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Health Problems
(www.animalcareassociates.com/iguanahealt.htm)
Iguana Diseases Requiring Veterinary Attention

1)Abscesses
Bacterial infections may settle in 1 or more areas and result in abscess formation. Reptile pus is not liquid, but is of a cheesy, sometimes rubber like consistency. Consequently, treatment of abscesses by a veterinarian involves opening up the pus filled abscess and manually cleaning it out. Antibiotics are then infused directly into the cavity and also given by injection. Bacterial infections of reptiles require injectable antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria from the body as rapidly as possible. When therapy is delayed or insufficient, bacteria multiply and spread throughout the body, usually resulting in internal abscesses. Antibiotic therapy then is much less successful. Initial and periodic white blood cell count are necessary to properly monitor the progress of the patient and to detect any relapse.
Egg binding can be a life threatening condition. It results when a pregnant female cannot expel one or more eggs from the reproductive tract. Causes of egg binding include; malnutrition (especially mineral imbalances), various diseases, mummification of eggs, and large or malformed eggs. Physical examination and radiographs are necessary to diagnosis this problem. The veterinarian may select a medical and/or surgical approach to relieve this serious condition, depending upon the circumstances.

2)Egg Binding
Egg binding can be a life threatening condition. It results when a pregnant female cannot expel one or more eggs from the reproductive tract. Causes of egg binding include; malnutrition (especially mineral imbalances), various diseases, mummification of eggs, and large or malformed eggs. Physical examination and radiographs are necessary to diagnosis this problem. The veterinarian may select a medical and/or surgical approach to relieve this serious condition, depending upon the circumstances.


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3)Metabolic Bone Disease
The most common disease of captive iguanas results from gross malnutrition. Most new iguana owners are not given proper dietary information when they buy their iguana. In fact, many are given incorrect information. The most common mistake is feeding lettuce (usually iceberg lettuce) to the exclusion of other important dietary items (see the section of Diet). Lettuce provides adequate amounts of moisture but is a nutritionally barren food otherwise. The problem is often aggravated by Vitamin D3 and calcium deficiencies, which result from inadequate exposure to direct sunlight or artificial ultraviolet light and lack of vitamin mineral supplementation.

Signs of fibrous osteodystrophy include: general listlessness, and enlarged, swollen lower jaw, difficulty in eating, and markedly firm, swollen limbs and tail. Unfortunately, these desperately ill iguanas appear well fed and chubby, and veterinary care is not often sought until it is too late. Sometimes the back, tail or legs are fractured or deformed. These problems usually receive more immediate veterinary attention.


Iguanas with metabolic bone disease should be treated by a competent reptile veterinarian. If the patient refuses all food offered except lettuce, the lettuce must be top dressed with a suitable vitamin mineral powder.


Iguanas that have become "lettuce junkies" (consume lettuce to the exclusion of other foods) must be encouraged to accept and feed on more nutritionally complete food items. Some iguanas accept items that resemble lettuce, such as spinach and beet greens, and they may be more accepting of other foods offered. Another way to wean an iguana from lettuce involves sprinkling the more nutritious items (cut up in small pieces) over the preferred lettuce leaves.

Usually the iguana will feed on both simultaneously. With each feeding, the proportion of nutritionally superior food items should be increased and the amount of lettuce decreased until the iguana has fully accepted a more nutritional variety of food. After 2-3 weeks, a vitamin mineral powder can be sprinkled over the food to ensure nutritional adequacy. If such a product is used during the transition period, it may cause the iguana to refuse all food, including lettuce. This would be undesirable. CONTINUE NEXT




4)Mouth Rot
Bacterial infection of the mouth is often the result of malnutrition and a debilitated, weakened condition. Signs of mouth rot include swelling, inflammation and accumulations of pus within the mouth, increased salivation, and difficulties in eating. Treatment involves identifying the offending bacteria and giving appropriate antibiotic therapy. Proving vitamins, fluids and forced feeding are also essential.

5)Nose Abrasions
One of the unfortunate consequences of captivity is injury resulting from repeated attempts to escape. Iguanas tend to push and rub their noses against the walls of the enclosure as they repeatedly pack back and forth. This constant trauma results in chronic ulceration of the nose (rostrum), whether the walls of the enclosure are made of glass or wire mesh. Nose injuries may result in serious and often permanent deformities that may cause long-term problems.
Preventing this problem is difficult, but providing adequate visual security (hiding places) and other additions to the enclosure (artificial plants, branches, rocks) helps to minimize it. A visual barrier of dark paint or plastic film placed on or along the lower 4 inches of the enclosure's walls often inhibits pacing and rubbing.

6)Paralysis of the Rear Legs
A disease resulting from vitamin B1 deficiency causes paralysis of the rear legs and tail. This problem is treated with injectable B vitamins and dietary improvement, including vitamin - mineral supplementation. Rear limb paralysis may also result from mineral (especially calcium) deficiencies that cause fibrous osteodystrophy of the spinal column. Injectable calcium is also necessary in the therapy of this problem.

7)Thermal Injuries
Serious burns often result when iguanas contact unprotected heat sources within their enclosures. Exposed light bulbs and heat lamps are most often responsible for these accidents. If they are installed in an iguana enclosure, they must be outfitted with a protective device to prevent burns.






o if you r wondering how to tell iguanas apart you cant becaue they have both male and female orgainds

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