Tag Archives: Certified Reptile Specialist

Interview with a UK Reptile Vet

7 Mar

Nathalie Wissink-Argilaga Lic,Vet, GPCert [ExAP] MRCVS, who is the head of exotics at Scotts Veterinary Clinic in Bedford was kind enough to answer a few questions for Reptile Apartment. Nathalie graduated from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Spain in 2004. She then completed a 1 year Small Animal internship at Davies Veterinary Specialists. Nathalie started work at The Scott Veterinary Clinic in May 2006. Her special interest is in exotic pets, particularly birds and reptiles. Nathalie holds a certificate in Exotic Animal Practice an is studying towards the RCVS certificate in zoo medicine.




RA: As well as treating pets in the surgery, do you keep any yourself at home?

Nathalie: I do not keep any exotic pets at the moment, but have in the past. I currently do have two cats that keep me on my toes.

RA: How often do you see exotic pets, especially reptiles in your surgery?

Nathalie: We see exotic pets and reptiles at Scotts Vet Surgery on a daily basis.

RA: What would you say is the most common exotic pet or reptile to be treated at your surgery?

Nathalie: Bearded dragons, corn snakes, leopard geckos and African grey parrots.

RA: And what would you say is the most common problem that you treat?

Nathalie: This would definitely be husbandry related problem such as constipation, anorexia and respiratory disease.

RA: Vitamin and mineral supplements is said to be the most important part of keeping your pet healthy, would you agree?

Nathalie: I would say it is an important part of keeping your reptile healthy but not the only one. It is a joint  issues of temperatures, humidity, UV provision and good husbandry in general.

RA: What advice would you give to anyone thinking about purchasing a reptile or exotic pet for the first time?

Nathalie: I would advise that it is extremely important to read up on how to keep them first and make sure that you can provide the right care for any animal that you are looking to give a home.

RA: What changes, if any, would you like to see in the exotic pet and reptile industry?

Nathalie: I would love to see more informed sellers and buyers and less tendency to increase the amount of species available, some of which are really not suitable for captivity.


Thanks so much to Nathalie for taking part in the interview. Please click the pic below to see the Surgeries website and remember that if you do have problems with your exotic pets, there are vets available to help.



UK Snake Enthusiast to Set up Zoo

6 Dec

Rupert Langridge is a snake enthusiast from Weston Super Mare in the UK who is on the road to fulfilling his life long ambition of opening a reptile zoo in his back garden.

Most people dream of taking their hobby to the next level.  Whether it be a breeding facility in your garden shed or opening the next reptile super store.  But Rupert  is hoping to take his snake obsession to an all new level.

Rupert studied zoology at University and is a qualified teacher offering educational talks to schools around the country and with  over 100 exotic pets, 70 of which are snakes, he is certainly committed.  A zoo licence has been applied for and planning is already in motion to convert a large double garage into his very own reptile zoo that Rupert hopes will educate, entertain and bring a new attraction to the area not seen before.

Education will be a big part of the zoos plans and Rupert hopes to teach his visitors about the importance of understanding reptiles, especially snakes and to try and dispell the myths regarding these stunning animals.

Rupert hopes for the zoo to be open in March 2011 and one of the first displays will be a 17ft female Reticulated Python as well as an Amazonian themed pond, flying snakes, snake anatomy displays and an area devoted to evolution of life on Earth.

Welsh Student Helping To Develop Carpet Viper Anti-Venom

16 Nov
Saw Scaled/Carpet ViperA student from the University of Wales Institute, Chris Cherry,  is working on developing a new way of creating and keeping anti-venom stable in the hot climate that the Carpet Viper inhabits.  This could potentially save 1000 lives a year and PhD student Chris is working closely alongside pharmaceutical company MicroPharm in Wales and the Nigerian government to produce this stable form of Anti-venom. 

The West African Carpet Viper of the genus Echis are an extremely venomous viper from dry regions of Africa and also parts of the middle east.  They are a small viper that grows no bigger than 90cm.  The venom of the Carpet Viper is extremely virulent and the Carpet Python is responsible for the most human fatalities of any venomous snake.  A bite from the Carpet Viper causes quick internal bleeding and is usually fatal.

Prior to starting his PhD, Chris traveled to Nigeria to witness first hand the areas and people affected by the African Carpet Viper and is said to be thrilled that his research will directly affect and improve others lives.