Avian & Exotic Pet Clinic of Roanoke

Paul Stewart, DVM

(540) 989-4464


Did you know...

  • Snakes don't have ears? They feel vibrations and smell with their tongues.
  • Turtles are usually the ones found near water. Tortoises are found on land and dry areas.
  • Snake’s scales are made up of something called Keratin, which is the same thing that our fingernails are made from
  • There are more than 6,500 species of reptiles.The Reticulated Python can grow up to 10.05 meters or 33 feet long! .
  • Many lizards (iguanas and agamids) have an under-developed third eye on top of their head that acts as a specialized photo-sensor.

New Owners Documents:

Links for New Owners


  • Maximum Lifespan: A leopard gecko can live 25 years. A box turtle can live well over 50 years, given the chance
  • Diets for each species of reptile can be very specialized and may need adjustments with age, medical and physical condition. Please contact our staff to discuss optimizing the diet for your pet.
  • A reptile’s cage should be large enough to allow adequate exercise, have proper substrate for the species, have an appropriate temperature gradient for your pet to thermo-regulate, and be escape-proof.
  • A reptile’s cage shouldhave adequate humidity, water access, lighting (full-spectrum with appropriate UVB range) and light cycling, and should provide a secure retreat or hiding spot should they need it.
  • Cage location should be in a low traffic area to minimize stress.
  • Depending on the type of reptile, you can spend up to thousands of dollars.
  • Do not leave live prey in the cage with a snake unsupervised as this can lead to injury.
  • Any reptile can carry Salmonella, a germ (bacteria) that can lead to severe digestive upset in humans. Recommendations for preventing Salmonella in people:
    • Keep reptiles away from food preparation areas. Do not wash your pet, reptile cages, bowls or supplies in the kitchen sink.
    • People who are younger than 5 years of age, pregnant, cancer patients, HIV positive should not keep or be in contact with reptiles.
    • Always wash your hands after handling reptiles and their cages.
    • Reptiles should not reside in child-care centers or in the residences of those whom are prone to infection.
    • For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/general/prevention.html
  • More than 70% of the medical problems seen in our clinic are preventable with proper diet and husbandry.