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Options for analgesia and anaesthesia in reptiles
  1. Kevin Eatwell

    Kevin Eatwell graduated from Bristol in 1995 and initially worked in mixed practice before working for various wildlife hospitals, zoological collections, commercial clinical pathology laboratories and exotic pet practices. He is currently a lecturer in exotic animal and wildlife medicine at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. He is a veterinary liaison officer for the British Chelonia Group and an adviser to the Tortoise Protection Group. He holds the RCVS certificate and diploma in zoological medicine, and is an RCVS recognised specialist in zoo and wildlife medicine.


Reptiles are an increasing component of small animal practice, whether they are animals belonging to private owners or zoological collections, or, occasionally, wildlife casualties. The provision of analgesia and anaesthesia in these species is notoriously difficult due to differences in metabolism compared with other animals and their ability to bypass the pulmonary circuit. This article discusses the use of analgesics and anaesthetics in reptiles, and outlines the requirements for appropriate monitoring and recovery.

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