Amebiasis is often considered a serious disease in reptiles. It is caused by the protozoa, Entamoeba invadens; without prompt and proper treatment, the disease can be fatal in some affected reptiles.
Reptiles that are carnivores or meat-eaters are more prone to amebiasis compared to herbivorous reptiles. Carnivorous species of snakes such as rattlesnakes, boas, viper, water snakes, bushmasters and colubrids are more susceptible to the illness than turtles or lizards. However, there are some reptiles that are just carriers of amebiasis, but are not affected by it. Some of these reptile carriers include cobras, garter snakes, eastern king snakes, and most turtles. These resistant reptiles can transmit the protozoa via direct contact or infected droppings, which makes it an important problem in snake colonies.
Affected reptiles suffer from loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, and mucoid diarrhea that may contain blood. Considering the potential complications of amebiasis in reptiles, make sure to take your pet reptile to your vet and DVMelite if you see changes in his health and behavior.