Most Common Iguana Diseases

The popularity of reptiles in Brazil has grown exponentially. One of these “new pets” preferred is the green iguana ( Iguana Iguana ). As a consequence of life in captivity several problems arise, especially when the tutors of these animals do not have sufficient information about the basic care of this species.

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To ensure that your iguana is well and does not suffer from any problems, in addition to all essential basic care, you should make periodic visits to your veterinarian expert on exotic animals! It is important that from a young age your iguana has the proper veterinary monitoring to ensure that it grows and develops without problems.

In this article by YourCatCareguide we summarize the most important information that you should know about the most common diseases in iguanas . Keep reading!

It may also interest you: most common diseases in dogs

Diseases of green iguana

As in any animal species, including human, proper nutrition is the basis for the prevention of any disease. The iguana is no exception! This reptile, strict herbivore, must have a suitable dietin captivity that allows it to grow without problems and that strengthens the immune system of it.

Iguanas can suffer from all kinds of diseases of the various systems, respiratory, reproductive, gastrointestinal, etc. However, there are some problems that we see more regularly in clinical practice and that is what we are going to tell you!

Metabolic bone disease in reptiles

The metabolic bone disease is one of the most common problems in green iguanas kept in captivity.

The main causes of this problem are the result of inadequate management of tutors. Read our complete iguana care guide to avoid making such mistakes. This disease originates mainly due to:

  • Inadequate diet : Foods low in calcium and vitamin D3 and with an incorrect proportion of calcium and phosphorus.
  • Inadequate exposure to ultraviolet light B : Absence of type B ultraviolet light, both natural and artificial.

The most common clinical signs of this disease are:

  • Soft and deformed jaw
  • Spontaneous fractures
  • Deformed bones and spine

To avoid this problem you should ensure that your iguana has a balanced diet based on green leaves. Regarding ultraviolet B light, whenever you have that possibility, you should provide direct sunlight for your iguana. If this is completely impossible, you should put an artificial light bulb of ultraviolet B spectrum in the terrarium, exposing the iguana to a period of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. You should ensure that both in the case of direct sunlight, as in the case of the use of lamps for artificial light, there are no plastic or glass between the light and the animal, otherwise the ultraviolet radiation B will be absorbed by them and not by the iguana .

Parasites on iguanas

The plants and trunks used in terrariums to enrich the iguana’s environment and bring it closer to their natural habitat sometimes bring some parasites . The most common parasites are of the genus Hirstiella and can usually be seen with the naked eye on the animal’s skin (red dicks), as you can see in the image.

If you have recently detected these red marks on your iguana, visit your exotic veterinarian so that he can diagnose the problem and initiate appropriate treatment. If it is confirmed that the mites are mentioned, a treatment based on ivermectin or any other miticide that your veterinarian may consider appropriate may be used.

Other parasites common in iguanas are the internal parasites. If you make regular visits to your veterinarian he will look at the iguana’s feces under the microscope and rule out the presence of parasites or, if you detect some, do the proper deworming!

Abscesses in iguanas

Abscesses are very common problems in iguanas, especially those that are housed in groups and are attacked by territorial reasons .

To treat an abscess will require antibiotic prescription and may even require a surgical intervention! If you detect any swelling in your iguana, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible! Never try to drain an abscess from your pet yourself! Contamination and opening of a wound can be very dangerous for the animal.

Reproductive problems in iguanas

One of the most common reproductive problems in female iguanas kept in captivity is dystocia. Basically, what happens is that the eggs get stuck in the oviduct and the iguana can not get them expelled.

The main causes for this problem are:

  • Absence of adequate place to do the posture
  • Substrate too hard
  • Lack of exposure to sunlight
  • Inadequate diet
  • Stress
  • Females too young (primiparous)
  • Too Old Females
  • Problems of eggs: broken eggs, more than usual, too hard, etc.

Also, this problem, like almost all others, has as its main source an inadequate management by the tutors. If you have all the right conditions for your iguana and make regular visits to your veterinarian, the harder it is to come up with any kind of problem. However, as you can see from the list of causes , there are some internal ones that you can not control.

For this reason, it is important to be aware of these clinical signs:

  • Swollen abdomen
  • Anorexia
  • Increased urine frequency
  • Behavioral changes: the iguana constantly seeks places to spawn.

If you suspect your iguana suffers from this problem, immediately visit a veterinarian . Treatment usually consists of the administration of calcium and oxytocin. More severe cases with obstruction may require surgical intervention.

Behavior problems in iguanas

Behavioral problems are one of the main reasons for abandoning these animals. Especially in the case of male iguanas, when they reach puberty , they may begin to demonstrate more aggressive behavior on territorial issues.

Some veterinarians may suggest castration to lessen aggressive problems, but it is important to accept that this is a natural behavior of this species and that most of the time can be avoided by providing adequate space and environmental enrichment.

You should always pick up your iguana underneath, as if your arm were the trunk of a tree and it can catch you. Never pet her on top, your iguana may feel threatened which will trigger aggressive behavior out of fear.

How to know if the iguana is sick?

The best way to know and the iguana is sick is to watch her behavior closely every day . If for some reason her behavior has changed, she has stopped eating, drinking, urinating or defecating: these are the first signs that something is wrong with her!

Even when everything seems to be normal, this is not synonymous with your iguana being well inside. That’s why regular visits to your veterinarian are so important. Minor changes may not be visible to your eyes but will not go undetected by the clinical look of a specialist in these animals. Reptiles are very resistant animals and sometimes it is difficult to realize that something is not right and when we realize it is already too late.

All home care, proper nutrition and visits to the veterinary medical doctor are the key to preventing any problem of your pet. Invest in prevention!

Have you recently adopted one of these animals? See our article with names for green iguana !

This article is purely informative, in we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to read more articles like the most common diseases in iguanas , we recommend you to come into our section of other health problems .

Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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