Overnight care of reptiles, amphibians, and turtles
- Safe environment — Place the animal in a small waterproof container with adequate air holes for ventilation. For frogs, toads, or salamanders a warm moist washcloth should be placed in the enclosure for the animal to gain moisture from. For turtles a small amount of water can be added to keep just their feet moist. *If the turtle has a broken shell DO NOT give it any water — please keep it completely dry. Snakes may be kept in a small container that they cannot escape from; a tied pillow case works best.
- Reptiles have slow metabolisms and feeding them is not necessary for overnight care.
- DO NOT give any medical treatment or medications, including flea sprays etc. Many medications that are safe for use in your pets or humans are not safe in wild animals and can have severe to life threatening adverse effects. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REPAIR BROKEN SHELLS in any way! The method for repairing shells is very specific and “home repairs” result in the need to rebreak the shell for proper fixation. The best thing for the turtle is to keep it clean, dry, and indoors.
- Get the animal to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or facility as soon as possible in the morning. Injuries need professional medical attention as soon as possible to increase the likelihood of successful treatment. It is against the law and never in the animal’s best interest to keep or raise wildlife without the proper permits and education.
- Wear gloves and always wash hands thoroughly after handling a wild animal.