First Aid Kits for Reptiles: What to Include
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Emergency Kit for Your Herp

Since you never know when an accident will happen, keeping a pet emergency kit at your home is a good idea. You can put a first aid kit together yourself and buy the items separately, or buy one ready-made.

Reptile If you make a kit yourself, use a small plastic tub with a tight fitting lid to store the following items:

Important phone numbers

  • Veterinary clinic phone number and directions to the clinic
  • Emergency clinic phone number and directions
  • Poison control center phone numbers
Equipment and supplies
  • Magnifying glass
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers and metal nail file
  • Styptic powder or sticks, Kwik Stop, or cornstarch
  • Penlight
  • Scalpel blades and handles
  • Eye dropper
  • Cotton swabs
  • Turkey Baster
  • Clean towels - cloth and paper
  • Rectal thermometer
  • Lubricant such as mineral oil or KY Jelly (without spermicide)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Syringes of various sizes
  • Tub large enough to soak the reptile in water
  • Wire cutters (if enclosure is not acrylic or glass)
  • Pet carrier, cloth bag, or other items needed for transport
  • Gram scale
  • Stethoscope
  • Heat pack or hot water bottle (to keep pet warm during transport; wrap the pack in a towel - do not apply directly to your pet, or burns may result)
Bandaging materials
  • Square gauze of various sizes - some sterile
  • Non-stick pads
  • First aid tape - both paper (easily comes off of skin) and adhesive types
  • Bandage rolls - gauze and Vetrap
  • Wooden sticks of various sizes for splints - tongue depressors, Popsicle sticks, toothpicks
  • Stockinette
  • Gel foam - stops bleeding from wounds (ask your herp veterinarian)
  • Band-Aids (for humans)
Nutritional support
  • For carnivores: one or more of the following: meat baby food, canned cat food, Hill's a/d
  • For herbivores: fruit and vegetable baby food
  • Nutritional supplement such as Nutri-Cal, Vitacal, or Nutristat
  • Rehydrating solution such as Gatorade or Pedialyte
  • Wound disinfectant such as Betadine or Povidone-Iodine Scrub
  • Triple antibiotic ointment for skin
  • Antibiotic ophthalmic ointment for eyes, e.g., Terramycin
  • Eye wash solution
  • Sterile saline to irrigate (wash out) a wound
*Watch the expiration dates on any medication, and replace as needed.