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YOU WILL GET A REJECTION OF YOUR QUESTION IF YOU FAIL TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO QUESTIONER IN FULL!. I am primarily here to assist with health concerns. I am here for the more difficult questions. Not for questions that you could research & easily find the answer yourself. My standards are that you provide DETAILED and RELEVANT background history on your pet before you ask me any question about it other than GENDER or ID. The requested information is in the instructions to questioner. Failure to answer each of those questions to provide that background, will result in your question being rejected. I can answer questions related reptile husbandry, identification (esp. in Texas and the SW), legal aspects, and advanced level medical care. I am the director of Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue (TX), a wildlife rehabilitator specializing in reptiles, a founding member of The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation, a subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service,, educational content contributor to, and a Dept of State Health Services accredited animal control instructor (CE) for reptile handling. I do most of my own veterinary care in-house, including minor surgery and necropsy. I am most experienced in Chelonia with box turtles and common smaller tortoises; and in Squamata with everything from Anoles, Geckos, Beardies, and Monitors, to venomous snakes. I am most known for my expertise with horned lizards (Phrynosoma). With snakes, my primary expertise is in Crotalids (rattlesnakes), but I can answer a broad range of questions about various species. I am not aware of any reptile related question that I would not be able to provide some reasonable answer for. I have a direct style and may tell you something you did not want to hear; but the welfare of the animal comes FIRST with me, and I will always reflect that position in my answer, despite how it might make you feel.

Experience in the area

I am a non-academic herpetologist with 25+ years reptile experience, and I am an accredited Texas Dept of State Health Services Animal Control Instructor for Reptiles (CE). I am a reptile rescuer, reptile wildlife rehabilitator, and subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service, wikivet, and article/journal content contributor to Lafebervet. I have medical and scientific resources available, and I perform in house reptile veterinary care for my rescues. I am not a vet, but I read from the same materials and have had to correct quite a few in the past. The average vet is not well versed with reptile physiology and medical treatments.

Animals that I am currently caring for, or have significant rehabilitation and husbandry experience with: Horned Lizards (5 species); Eastern and Western Box Turtles; Painted, RES, YBS, Soft-Shell, and Cooter aquatic turtles; Russian Tortoises; Fire Bellied Toads; Fire Bellied Newts; Ornate Horned Frogs; Green Iguanas; Desert Iguanas; Spiny Lizards; Long Nosed Leopard Lizards; Anoles; Racerunners; Collared Lizards; Bullsnakes; Eastern Ratsnakes; Great Plains Ratsnakes; Kingsnakes; Gartersnakes; Cornsnakes; Boas; Pythons; Bearded Dragons; Water Dragons; Massasauga Rattlesnakes; Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes; Leopard, Mediterranean, Golden, Indo-Pacific, African White-Spotted Geckos; Savannah Monitors; Jeweled Curly-Tailed Lizards; Long-Tailed Grass Lizards; Fox Squirrels; Deer Mice; Hispid Cotton Rats; Merriam's Pocket Mice; Eastern Cotton-Tails; Blue Bar racing pigeon; Budgies; Asian Forest Scorpions.


Co-Founder & Director: Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue

Founder: The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation

Publications contributor. The Horned Lizard Husbandry Manual - self published 75 pages of care information on genus Phrynosoma.

Wikipedia entry "Horned Lizards" - contributed to a majority of the content., and various reptile related forums and email lists under the handles "fireside3" and PhrynosomaTexas".


My hands-on field, rehabilitation, and captive husbandry experience beats a PhD any day of the week. I am also a state accredited animal control instructor for reptile handling.

Past/Present Clients

I was requested to provide my care manual on the Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos), for the Montreal zoo. My manual is also used by several other zoological institutions in N. America. I also teach reptile education to summer camps, and instruct wildlife rehabilitators on live saving and rehab techniques with reptiles.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Some reptiles can be conditioned/trained, and many species of tortoises may rival the intelligence of canines. Some, such as tortoises and Iguanas, are very social and can recognize individual persons. Pain in reptiles is misunderstood by the average person because they cannot whine or whimper, and may not react as people expect; however, they do feel pain.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

Reptiles are not suitable pets for children, and knowledge of average buyers is usually lacking. Reptiles are not considered cuddly, so are commonly mistreated or kept in improper conditions even in chain pet stores which claim to put animals "first". Everyone jumps through hoops when a bunny or kitty is in a cold or unclean habitat. Hardly an eyebrow is raised in these places for the reptile.

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Recent Answers from Mick

2015-08-17 My leopard gecko is having... serious shedding problems.:

I'm not sure I'm going to be able to help you. You seem to think you know better.     1. You didn't state how many roaches she was eating. You said how many you have been needing to put in the bowl. That's

2015-08-14 My leopard gecko is having... serious shedding problems.:

Thank you for the background.   I will need photos.   How often have her sheds been coming?  How many roaches per week is she eating?   What is appropriate sized roaches? I will need a measure in relation

2015-07-05 Bearded Dragon Wart/Mole/Skin Tag:

Thank you for your attention to details in providing the background info.     Can you obtain better photos than these? The quality of the camera is not that great and I need better lighting and focus.

2015-06-06 Brumation or not?:

I HIGHLY doubt this is brumation. These dragons are too young for that. It's more likely there is a husbandry defect. Please convert your figures to English standard and provide photos of the dragons.

2015-05-10 Turtle:

Yeah well this seems pretty odd and I bet I know exactly what happened, but YOU are going to have to follow directions and submit the information as laid out in instructions to questioners, and if you


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