Rainbows By Design

This is an Excellent Chart Regarding Common Problems and Treatments in Reptiles, ENJOY

Common Reptile Drugs and Dosages

Warning: The provision of this information is for the use of wildlife rehabilitators working in conjunction with veterinarians, and for veterinarians abroad who may not have easy access to such information or to other vterinarians who are knowledgeable about reptile medicine. Herp owners are strongly encouraged to not self-treat their reptiles and amphibians without the guidance of a reptile vet. The increasing availability of over-the-counter products and some legend drugs does not mean that treating animals, including reptiles, is a straight-foward matter. There are many factors herp vets must take into consideration when deciding upon the course of treatment, drug to use, and dosage to give, factors the following document does not address. Failure to take those factors into consideration may lead to the death or permanent injury of the reptile.

Compiled by Melissa Kaplan


Unless otherwise noted, the doses below are from Mader (1996) and Frye (1993).

Note: All drugs are administered s.i.d. unless otherwise indicated.



Amikacin (amiglyde sulfate)5 mg/kg IM, then
2.5 mg/kg IM q 72 hr
Highly nephrotoxic - give with SC/IC fluids
Amoxi (amoxicillin)

10 mg/kg IM q24h

22 mg/kg PO q 12-24 h

Ineffective unless used with aminoglycosides (such as Amikacin)
Baytril (enrofloxacin)

Lizards and snakes:
Routine: 5 mg/kg IM/PO q 24h
Resistant: 10 mg/kg IM/PO q 24h


7.5-10 mg/kg diluted with normal saline IM

All reptiles: Highly cytotoxic and nephrotoxic - give with SC/IC fluids. Injectible form may be administered PO. NOTE: When given PO, it may be mixed with a small amount of Syrpalta, banana, applesauce, etc., to make it more palatable; increase dose to 10 mg/kg for PO. There are now flavoring agents vets can use to mix the orally administered Baytil with making a more palatable medicine that is easier and safer to administer than by injection.

Tortoises: Give in front legs only, up to 21 days (Lancaster, pers comm, 1997). May also give PO.

Flagyl (metronidazole)150 mg/kg PO weeklyanaerobes
Fortaz (ceftazidime)20 mg/kg SQ/IM q 72h *

 This is a 3rd generation cephalosporin (newer than Baytril)used parenterally for gram-negative infections, and is particularly, useful in reptiles.

May cause pain on IM injection; SC injection probably less painful. Is kept in freezer and must be brought to room temperature before injecting.

May cause hypersensitivity reactions, diarrhea, granulocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, mild azotemia. May need to reduce dose in renal failure; use with caution.

* From Mader
 From Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook, 5th Edition


Calcitonin (Calcimar, Miacalcin)Hypercalcemia1.5 U/kg SC tidNeed additional fluids for diuresis. May be lethal if given before Ca:P levels are normalized.
Secondary hyperparathyroidism50 U/kg IM once; rep in 2 wks if needed
Calcium glubionate (NeoCalglucon, Calci-Syrup, SandozMild MBD1 ml/kg PO bidOTC in most states; can be ordered through pharmacies if not otherwise in stock.
Dystocia1 mg/kg PO bid up to 5 ml/dContinue until eggs are laid; if not laid within 24 hrs, consider needle aspiration or surgical extraction. See Dystocia
Calcium gluconate (various manufacturers)Iguana: hypocalcemia100 mg/kg IM qid prn.
Calcium lactate (Calphosan)hypocalcemia250 mg/ig IV, IM bid.




TypeDrugDose mg/kgRouteFrequency







rep q 2 wks 1x

rep q 2 wks 1x for cestodes and trematodes in some species

in snakes


 Niclosamide150POrep q 2 wks 1x
Hepatic wormsFenbendazole (Panacur)*50-100POrep q 2 wks 2-3x
HookwormsFenbendazole (Panacur)





rep q 2 wks 2-3x

rep q 2 wks until 4 negative fecals obtained†

LungwormsFenbendazole (Panacur)50-100POrep q 1wks 2-3x



Sulfadimethoxine (Albon)25POrep q 6 days until negative fecals obtained ‡
Fenbendazole (Panacur)100POrep q 2 wks until negative fecals obtained ‡
Ivermectin (Ivomec)*0.2IMrep q 2 wks 2-3x
Piperacine citrate50POrep q 2 wks 2-3x
RoundwormFenbendazole (Panacur)50-100POrep in 2-3 wks
100POrep in 2 wks
25POrep q 2 d for 3 wks
StrongylesFenbendazole (Panacur)50-100POrep q 2 wks
Thiabendazole25POrep q 2 wks 2-3x
Pyrantel pamoate (Strongid-T)25POsid 2-4 d
PentastomidsFenbendazole (Panacur)



rep in 2 wks

Ivermectin (Ivomec)*



rep q 2 wks 2-3x

* Ivermectin is administered in near-toxic doses to be effective, and must be repeated often 3 times to be as effective as the far less toxic fenbendazole. Merck, the maker of ivermectin, does not recommend its use in reptiles. Often fatal or nearly so to small, debilitated reptiles. May cause paralysis, blindness, etc. in larger reptiles. Its use is not recommended for lizards and snakes; it is nearly always fatal when used in turtles and tortoises. Ivermectin toxicity includes paralysis and blindness.

† From "Drug Dosage and Chemotherapeutics", by Lara Maxwell, DVM, in Biology, Husbandry and Medicine of the Green Iguana, E.R. Jacobson, DVM, ed.

 From VIN

ƒ From Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook, 5th edition

*Fenbendazole, commonly sold under the brand name "Panacur", is generally purchased by veterinary clinics in powdered form. The powder is mixed with fluid as needed for oral administration. Fenbendazole is also available in cream form sold in tubes for horses. The calculations for fenbendazole are as follows:


kg bodyweight x 0.25 = cc per dose
gm bodyweight x 0.00025 = cc per dose

Compounded liquid

0.3-0.4 cc/lb. bodyweight per dose
0.66-0.88 cc/kg bodyweight per dose


TypeDrugDose mg/kgRouteFrequency
AmoebiasisMetronidazole (Flagyl)24-50POrep q 2 wks
40POrep q 2 wks
125POrep q 2 wks
CoccidiaSulfadimethoxine50POq 3 d, rep in 3 d
PO/IMfirst day, then
q d x 5 d
POfirst day, then
q d x 5 d
FlagellatesMetronidazole (Flagyl)25-50POrep in 3-4 d PRN


Dosages Specific To Turtles
Franklin Gould, Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation, 1998
Amoebiasis, TrichomoniasisMetronidazole50 mg/kg PO; rep 2 wks.
CoccidiaSulfadimethoxine30 mg/kg PO d for 10 d.
TapewormsPraziquantel5-8 mg/kg PO; rep in 2 wks.
Roundworms, Hookworms, Lungworms, HeartwormsFenbendazole40-50 mg/kg PO; rep 2 wks, 2-3 x.

Note: Never use piperazine or ivermectin on any turtle. Both have been demonstrated to have toxic, if not lethal, effects on turtles. 
Per Melissa Kaplan: these are also the drugs and dosages generally used for other reptiles

Amikacin2.5 mg/kg every 72 hrs IMup to 5 mg/kg for 48 hr with fluid support
Amoxicillin10 mg/kg per d for 7 d SQw/aminoglycosides
Ampicillin10 mg/kg per d for 7 d SQup to 20 mg/kg q d
Baytril (enrofloxacin)

5 mg/kg per d for 10 d SQ



up to 10 mg/kg q d

up to 15 mg/kg for 72 hr in tortoises with URI

After the initial injection by vet, the injectible may be given by mouth, increasing dose to 10 mg/kg per d for 10 day [K. Harkewicz VMD 2002]

Ceftriaxone50 mg/kg per d for 7 d SQ.
Chloramphenical50 mg/kg per d for 7 d SQ.
Gentamicin2.5 mg/kg every 72 hours IMup to 10 mg/kg for 48 hr w/fluid support
Tetracycline50 mg/kg per d for 7 d SQ.
Trimethoprim-Sulfa30 mg/kg per d for 7 d PO.
Tylocin5 mg/kg per d for 7 d SQ.
Acyclovir (Zovirax 5%)Topical, applied daily.
Vit A injectableIt is recommended that this be givin in doses of less than 2000 IU per injection due to potential toxicity
Cod Liver Oil1-2 drops twice per week added to food.




Miscellaneous Drugs, Dosages
Lactated ringers

Tortoises: 15-25 ml/kg q 24 hr SQ part vic

Reptiles: 15-20 ml/kg q 24 hrs part vic


Lancaster, pers comm, 1997

Barten, pers comm, 1995


Nutri-Cal: 1-2 ml/kg q 24 hr part vic

Food*: 2% bodyweight q 24-48 hr part vic

Reptile stomach capacity: 25-100 ml/kgBarten, pers comm, 1995

*For slurry recipes, see Emaciation (Starvation) Protocol

Glossary of Drug-Related Terms

Deciphering Prescriptions