Iguanas can make wonderful, low-maintenance pets. They have fun personalities and can bring you a lot of laughs. However, like other animals, iguanas can also become ill now and then. When they do become ill, it's important that their owners realize something is amiss and take them to the vet. To that end, here are some of the key health problems you should be watching for in your pet iguana.
Stomatitis is a swelling of the mouth. Infectious stomatitis is swelling of the mouth caused by infectious bacteria. This is a sadly common problem in iguanas. The key symptom tends to be excessive saliva production, which makes it look like your iguana is drooling. The iguana may even develop thick mucous discharge that looks chunky and white. A vet can diagnose infectious stomatitis with just a mouth swab. If your iguana does have this condition, it can be treated with antibiotics.
Pinworms are tiny, parasitic worms that can take up residence in an iguana's digestive tract. They primarily live in the rectum and venture out to lay their eggs around the iguana's anus. If your iguana has pinworms, they will generally start rubbing their bottom on things. You may notice that the tissue on their rear end is red, swollen, and irritated. Some iguanas also develop diarrhea when infected with pinworms. A vet can administer a deworming medication that will get rid of the worms.
An iguana may develop a respiratory infection if they are kept in an area with poor air circulation, or if their cage is not kept clean enough. These infections may cause your iguana to breathe rapidly and shallowly, sneeze, or develop a nasal discharge. A vet can clear out the iguana's airways and may also prescribe medications to help them clear up the infection.
Low Vitamin D Levels
Iguanas have a very high need for vitamin D, and if they do not get enough of it, they may become lethargic. Their appetite also tends to suffer. Your vet should examine your iguana to see if they are, indeed, low in vitamin D. If they agree the iguana has a deficiency, they'll generally prescribe a vitamin D supplement you can put in their water.
As you play with and admire your iguana, try to be aware of their health. If you notice anything amiss with them, make sure you consult with a veterinarian who treats reptiles.