Stress, anxiety, fear and frustration in different reptile species: how to reduce these negative emotional states during veterinary procedures

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Jane Williams, Danielle Beck
Veterinary Nursing Journal
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Behavioural responses vary significantly within the Reptile Class when stressed, fearful or frustrated, making it very difficult to observe or measure their emotional state. Reptiles are not commonly seen in general veterinary practice which can mean that suitable accommodation is not always available, and as there is a huge variation in a reptile’s ability, or lack of, to signal changes in emotional state, it can be challenging for veterinary nurses to identify and address the stress response. The veterinary practice can reduce negative behavioural responses by managing transportation, sampling and handling methods to improve the patient experience. This article refers to reptile species commonly kept as companion animals in the UK, including snakes, lizards and tortoises, which may be presented for veterinary treatment. It also examines possible routes to the identification of Reptile species as suitable pets, and indeed the suitability of Reptiles as pets at all.


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