Merck Manual Essay On Flatulence Pads

Glass aquaria are commonly used, but the greater visualization perceived as an advantage to the owner may be stressful to the reptile. Glass is also a poor insulator, and greater heat loss may lead to dramatic temperature fluctuations. Even if the entire top of the enclosure is covered by mesh, ventilation may be severely hampered. Plastic or fiberglass enclosures are more expensive but more versatile.

Newspaper, artificial turf, and organic particulates (eg, bark chips) are suitable materials to line cages and vivaria, but they must be completely replaced regularly. Soil, sand, and natural leaf litter can also be used, but oven baking is recommended to sterilize before use. Gravel and pebbles are not recommended for terrestrial species, because they are difficult to clean and often ingested by reptiles. Other essential items include a water bowl (large enough for the reptile to bathe) and various retreats (eg, cardboard boxes, cork bark, shredded paper). Clean, secure branches are required for arboreal species. Soap and water is generally all that is required to clean cages, but bleach can be used as long as rinsing is thorough. Some cleansers (eg, phenolic disinfectants) are toxic. In certain areas, the climate may permit keeping reptiles in outdoor enclosures, which is highly desirable, although theft, predators, and wildlife carriers of disease should be considered.

Recommended Minimum Space Requirements for Reptiles

Minimum Space Requirement

0.4 m2/0.1 m carapace length

Purely aquatic chelonians

0.25 m3/0.1 m carapace length

0.2 m2/0.1 m total length

0.4 m3/0.1 m total length

Kingsnakes and rat snakes

Important  Husbandry  Requirements  for  Selected  Reptiles

Terrestrial, rain forest (semi-arboreal/aquatic)

Terrestrial, temperate to subtropical

Terrestrial, temperate to subtropical

Temperate to subtropical gravel bottom or bare, water depth 30 cm min, land area ⅓ of tank

Gas is normally present in the digestive system and may be expelled through the mouth (belching) or through the anus (flatus).

There are three main gas-related complaints:

  • Excessive belching (eructation)

  • Abdominal bloating (distention)

  • Excessive flatus (known colloquially as farting)

Belching is more likely to occur shortly after eating or during periods of stress. Some people feel a tightness in their chest or stomach just before belching that is relieved as the gas is expelled.

People who complain of flatulence often have a misconception of how much flatus people normally produce. There is great variability in the quantity and frequency of flatus. People typically have flatus about 13 to 21 times a day, amounting to ½ to 1½ quarts (0.5 to 1.5 liters), and some people pass flatus more or less often. Such gas may or may not have an odor.

Although flatus is flammable (due to the hydrogen and methane gas that it contains), this does not pose a routine problem. For example, working near open flames is not hazardous. However, there are rare reports of gas explosion during intestinal surgery and colonoscopy when electrical cautery was used in people whose bowels were incompletely cleaned out before the procedure.

In the past, colic in infants 2 to 4 months of age was attributed to excessive abdominal gas. Today, however, most doctors do not think colic is related to gas, because tests do not show excess gas in the abdomen of these infants. The actual cause of colic remains unclear.

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