Iguana Illnesses That Require Immediate Medical Attention (Viewed 1764 times)
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Iguana Illnesses That Need Urgent Treatment

Just like us humans, Iguanas do fall ill from time to time. If you’ve come to love your pet iguana, it is likely that you want keep him for a long time. In this article, we will be looking at some of the most common illnesses Iguanas may contract over time, and which might require immediate vet attention and the use of medication, or else, you might end up losing your beloved pet.  

Fibrous Osteodystrophy

Fibrous Osteodystrophy, also known as the metabolic bone disease, comes as a result of malnutrition, and often occurs if your iguana is not fed well. Most shops that sell iguanas provide buyers with valuable nutritional advice and tips to help them understand how they should take care of their pet reptile. Most pet owners prefer feeding their pets with lettuce and squash. Sadly, these options are not as nutritional as they think. For instance, lettuces are basically water sponges, and have no nutritional value whatsoever. At the same time, such shortcomings as these are then aggravated by an insufficient intake of calcium and vitamin D3 by the reptile. As such, when the iguana is exposed to dangerous situations, it left vulnerable and will likely die. Some of the most prominent symptoms of this disease include listlessness, soft or rubbery face, swollen lower jaw, swollen limbs, and a strained eating and swallowing. Most of the time, the iguana’s limbs and spine can easily get fractured.

Paralysis of Back Legs

Back leg paralysis can be as a result of a vitamin B1 deficiency. Often, this condition could also affect the reptiles tail. Often, to treat the problem, the iguana might have to get injections of essential vitamins and minerals and a change in diet is recommended.

Nose Abrasions

Frequent escape attempts could leave the reptile’s nose and face with abrasions and scratches. When looking for a way to escape, iguanas tend to rub their noses on the walls of their enclosure. Normally, the abrasions are a result of rubbing on the glass, plastic or wire wall of their enclosure. When left untreated, these abrasions could lead to bacterial infections, ulceration of the rostrum, and other forms of deformities.

Thermal Burns or Injuries

Iguanas can get thermal injuries and burns when they come into contact with heat sources within their tank enclosures. The most common culprits include the light bulbs and hot rocks left exposed within the cage. As such, it is advisable that you place lights, or any other heated thing, in a location where the iguana cannot reach it.

Bacterial Infections

There are a couple of bacterial infections that could affect an iguana. A blister disease could be as a result of repeated exposure to a damp and filthy environment, while buildup of dry gangrene on the tail and toes of an iguana could lead to the reptile’s body parts turning from gray to black before they start breaking off. The main cause of all of these issues is usually insufficient and improper sanitation. Mouth rot on the other hand could cause the reptile’s mouth to swell and get inflamed, and could lead to an accumulation of pus within the iguana’s mouth. As a result of pus buildup, abscesses could start developing.


Parasites are another common issue that could affect the well-being of an iguana. These organisms could settle within the iguana’s gastrointestinal tract and in its blood. Of all factors that threaten an iguana’s health, parasites top the list of things that cause the death of domesticated these reptiles.

Viral Infections

Causes of viral infections in iguanas and their cures are still being researched.

Organ failure

Organ failure in iguanas is generally brought about by age or an existing bacterial infection. Dominant symptoms of possible organ failure include a loss of appetite, bloating, listlessness, and weight loss.

Bladder Stones

Bladder stones in an iguana will cause its abdomen to get enlarged.


Egg-binding is one of the leading causes of death among female iguanas, especially when they’re unable to have eggs pass through their reproductive tracts correctly.

The above, and other iguana health complications, require immediate medical attention if you don’t want to risk putting your pet iguana’s life at risk.