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Malnourished/Thin Iguana...HELP!

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  • Malnourished/Thin Iguana...HELP!

    I am aghast at a recent rescue I've acquired. A six year old Iguana about four feet long. Massive spine deformity and scarring in area, scars on legs, tail, and head. Back spines broken or missing completely, and the tail is so brittle its close to falling off. He has nails missing, and is very thin. This is horrible!! How could somebody handle an animal this way? I was wondering if anybody knew a vet in my area that could look at this poor fella. I live in Easton, Maryland. There are so few vets, let alone herp vets.
    I also could use some advice on what to feed him to put weight on him. His ribs are clearly visible, and what can I do about his tail?
    I'm so afraid of it breaking, I've heard of some major infections resulting from tail breaks.
    Please, any assistance would be great!

  • #2
    Re: Malnourished/Thin Iguana...HELP!

    I sent this to ya in pm also...

    Ok.. Need some answers on him though first.
    What is his caging set up like ? temps/lighting/humidity etc ?
    Do you know for sure that he was actually injured ? Sounds more like a lack of UVB/UVA that's going on possibly. That would lead to a health condition for the iG that can relate to him getting injured quite easily. It also can NOT be reversed, BUT it can be stopped in the area of progression though. When you say spinal injury..Does he have an area ,usually right about at the same point as the rear "hips" , that sort of swerves outward from the straight line of the spinal column..and/or is basically like a lump going on there ? This could also be located at other points on the spine, but is usually at that point most of the time. This is caused by what is known as MBD..Metabolic Bone Disease. They get this from the lack of UVB/UVA basically.
    In regards to the weight gain thing. There really is no way to put weight on to them in an immediate manner. It is actually a slow process for such. It will consist of feeding them large amounts of fresh dark greens along with a balanced diet of other vegetation basically. I'll get a listing of the foods they need to ya later.
    For now, what is the ig actually eating ? Does he eat a lot or just a small amount ?
    On the tail.. Make sure that his caging is large enough for him to move about without having to bend the tail at all. If the tail is could break easily from the sounds of it.
    Are there any areas of infection on the ig at all ?
    When / how long have you had the ig ?
    Now for the other issues I didn't direct in that one.. Nm On the where / how long had him.. I see that all now here :

    How could somebody handle an animal this way?
    Quite easily actually, they purchase a tiny lil iglet without any clue about it's care and/or size potential..NOT to say the least about it's possible temperament also that it could / would exhibit too. They become csared of the HUGE monster they eventually wind up with for one thing. They also have not the first clue about how to properly maintain it in good health at all either. that's how ya wind up with an IG like the one that you currently have on your hands.. ??? I am NOT condoning such a thing at all btw. I am merely pointing out the why/how this sort of thing usually happens with the igs that wind up in need of rescue that are like this one is atm.

    Ok.. On the scaring thing.. Just make sure that they are all closed off and none are open still and/or infected either at this time. If any are let me know and I'll tell ya what to do with them also.

    He has nails missing
    Ok...Are you 100% sure that the nails are merely missing actually and that the digits have not actually been cut down/off on the ig ? I have seen igs that people have done this with..arghh. They will cut the digits fully down below the knuckling so to say so that the ig no longer has claws and also will not grow them back either. If the nails are just missing, there is a good chance that they might grow back. With this going on.. I'd be leary of providing any type of high structure like limbs for the ig to climb on actually. They utilize their "claws" when climbing and hanging out ..Without these..the ig is in danger of falling off of a high place and obtaining even more injury from such..especially with the ill health it has atm.


    • #3
      Re: Malnourished/Thin Iguana...HELP!

      Sid is housed in a 5x5x4 wood and plexiglass cage. His basking temp is 94 and his shade temp is around 80. I tracked his owners back to the time he was one. He was taken to a Baltimore area animal shelter with a "gaping wound in his back and an apparently broken spine." The shelter handed him over to a rehab facility where his multiple open wounds were treated. They could do little for the back. By age three he was recovered and healthy, the back healing into a knot of sorts. He has full motor function in his hind limbs but has developed an intense stiffness of the spine. This stiffness slows him down at a run and he has some trouble turning around.