How To Choose A Healthy Iguana (Viewed 1333 times)
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How To Choose A Healthy Iguana
Posted on December 11, 2015

How To Find A Healthy Pet Iguana

So, you have made the decision that you want to have a pet.

But you aren't sure what kind you want to get yet.

You leave your house and go down to visit your local pet store.  After you look at several kinds of cats, dogs, fish and birds, you realize that you actually would prefer something different; something that would turn heads and make people stop and notice.

You keep looking, afraid that you won't ever be able to find the pet that is perfect for you.  Suddenly you happen to spot a few tanks of green lizards that have dewlaps hanging down from their chins.  Some look old, while others are hatchlings.  Suddenly you are excited.  You rush up to the pet shop owner or clerk to find out what they are.  The person lets you know.
 
He provides you with some other interesting information as well, including that these reptiles come from Mexico, Columbia, Honduras, Suriname and Peru.  There are over 700 species, and in some places these lizards are referred to as "Bamboo Chicken."  

You continue to listen and keep nodding your head because you agree with everything the person is telling you.  The whole time you are telling yourself how you have to get one for a pet.  You finally tell yourself that the iguana is indeed the pet that you have always dreamed about.

You also want to ensure that the iguana is healthy.  You aren't willing to spend your hard-earned dollars on an animal that is going to die fast on you.  So what should you do?

There is an easy answer to that question: do a touch test.

Ask the shop owner if you can hold the iguana you are interested in your hand.  Use one finger to examine the various body parts of the lizard.

Things To Look For In An Iguana

In terms of an iguana's common appearance, the following should be considered:

- The skin needs to be free of scratches and bites, and be clean, clear and firm. (Scratches could potentially get infected in the future)

- There should be no burns on the stomach (Burns might heal eventually, but the skin would be sensitive to heat always.)

- No ground-in stool in the stomach.  (A dirty stomach is an indication that the lizard is living in an environment that is unhygienic, which can make the animal weak and sick.)

- The opening has no urine or dried stool on it.  (If these are present it indicates that the lizard may have protozoa and parasites inside its stomach.)

- When you move the iguana's body parts it puts up a strong resistance.  (Instability and weakness might be a sign that the animal is suffering from a calcium deficiency or is injured.)

- The tail, limbs and entire body do not have any swelling, bumps or lumps.  (Veterinary treatment is needed for any fractures, infections or cysts.)

- The thighs and rear legs have a normal shape.  (A swollen light might indicate an insufficient calcium supply or fracture.)

- The body is vibrant and smooth looking and the limbs are full and sturdy.  (The lizard might be dehydrated or starving if it has very thin limbs.  If the body has a dull and wrinkled appearance, there might be parasite or bacterial infections.)

For its mouth, nose, ears, eyes and head, the following should be noted:

- The animals should have clear eyes.  (If they are weepy, crusted or bleary, there could be inflammation in the yes, or an infection within the respiratory system.)

- The nose does not have any wet or dried mucus.  (Bubbly or dried mucus can indicate that the the respiratory system is infected.)

- The inside areas of the mouth should have a healthy appearance.  (The insides of the mouth would be rotting if there was an infection.)

- The jaw isn't swollen.  (The animal could have metabolic disease if it is.)

- There are no lumps or swelling on its neck, dewlap or face.  (Swellings can indicate there are abscesses.)

The following should be observed regarding the iguana's behavior:

- An iguana that is unresponsive when in your hands might be very ill.

- A baby that is healthy will attempt to get away.

These are only a few things you should look for when purchasing an iguana as a pet.

Now that you understand what to look for to ensure an iguana is healthy, and you have found one, you can leave the pet store smiling.  Raising your new iguana won't be easy to do, but it is definitely worth a try.