Updated Oct. 14, 2020
This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list of quarantine practices, but it gives a good idea of where to start. As always, more research is better. The following might seem scary or over-excessive but we want everyone's reptiles to live long, happy, healthy lives.
With the various reptile diseases occurring all around the world, it is important more than ever to practice proper quarantine procedures. Many types of reptile ailments can remain hidden, and undetected for lengthy periods of time. For this reason, it is a good idea to quarantine for a minimum of 3 months, (ideally for 9 months.) Even then, certain diseases and parasites can hide for years. Please get your reptiles tested to make sure they are truly healthy.
Even if your new reptile was purchased from a reputable breeder, it is still crucial to quarantine and test your reptiles.
If you suspect that your reptile is ill please seek a vet that specializes in reptile care. As mentioned above, reptiles can hide injury and ailments better than mammals, often by the time a vet is sought out it is too late.
Ideally, you should quarantine your new reptile in a separate room away from your other reptiles. We realize this is not always an option.
Always wear throw-away gloves/sanitize your hands in-between handling your new animal, and any supplies related to it. This includes cleaning equipment, feeding equipment, decor etc. We recommend purchasing throw-away gloves, as many types of serious parasites and diseases can spread quickly.
If you have visitors that also have their own reptiles at home it is best to have them sanitize their hands (preferably wear throw-away gloves) before handling your animals. Mites can also travel on visitors clothing.
During quarantine minimize the amount of decor in your new reptile’s enclosure. Porous surfaces can be a breeding home for bacteria or mites. Do not have a reptile set up in a bioactive habitat during their quarantine period.
Keep a close eye on your reptiles’ water dish as mites can appear as tiny specs.
Discard any uneaten food. Do not offer it to your other reptiles.
Due to the nature of the substrate we recommend, (a paper pellet litter called “Yesterday’s News”), I recommend it over using paper towel during quarantine (Unless your animal is showing signs of illness) as it is still easy to monitor the animal’s faecal matter, and due to the burrowing nature of Western Hognoses, they sometimes get stressed on paper towel.
Cleaning – When you clean your animal’s enclosure and related items. Everything will need to be thoroughly scrubbed with a safe soap such as Dawn Liquid Dish Soap. Rinse that off and then let the items soak in hot water.
We then rinse that off and spray the items and enclosure with 10+% Peroxide and let that sit for 15-30 minutes. (The longer the better). This is rinsed off before steaming.
We then use a hand-steamer that reaches 205F degrees, the required temperature is a minimum of 165F. We use the steamer on everything.
Dishes and hides go in our dishwasher on the deep clean setting. (this reaches hotter temperatures for longer than the regular setting. Since learning more about Cryptosporidium, we cannot recommend enough to bring steam cleaning into your regular cleaning routine. Bleach is OK, but not as good as it's made out to be. As mentioned above, we prefer 10% Peroxide as Bleach or F10 will not kill parasites like Crypto.
This is one of the many steamers we use, and the one we most reccommend.
Conair GS38 Turbo Extreme Steam