Iguana Diseases you need to be Aware of
Iguanas in captivity are prone to a wide variety of diseases, almost all of which are caused by malnutrition or unsuitable living conditions. These can all be traced back to their owners, who have not sought out proper information regarding the care of iguanas or who have simply not been able to give their pets the care and basic living conditions they need to survive and thrive.
What is Metabolic Bone Disease?
The most common of all the iguana diseases is a disease known as Metabolic Bone Disease, which is caused by severe malnutrition. Iguanas need a healthy combination of dark green vegetables, fruits and occasionally flowers such as hibiscus in order to remain healthy in captivity. It is also recommended that small amounts of vitamin and mineral supplements are added to their diet. However, a lot of misinformed iguana owners believe that their pets can survive on a diet of iceberg lettuce, which in fact has very little nutritive value. Iguanas fed on such diets rapidly become malnourished and develop Metabolic Bone Disease.
How do Iguanas become Calcium Deficient?
Another common ailment of captive iguanas are injuries (and in severe cases paralysis) of limbs caused by Calcium deficiency. The primary reason for Calcium deficiency in captive iguanas is insufficient exposure to sunlight or artificial UV light. This results in little or no vitamin D being produced, which means their bodies become unable to absorb Calcium, even if it is present in their diet.
Why do some Iguanas suffer from nose damage?
Many iguanas suffer from nose damage due to being housed in cages or enclosures that are too small for them. This causes iguanas stress and they continually pace around their small enclosures, rubbing their noses against the sides and damaging their noses. This damage can cause further complications, such as mouth rot, and often leaves the iguanas permanently disfigured.
Why do some iguanas suffer from Burn Injuries?
This is, more often than not, is caused by heat lamps installed within iguana’s enclosures to provide heat and artificial UV light. Iguanas have a natural tendency to bask in places where they can absorb the largest amount of heat and UV rays as possible, and in their natural habitat, where the source of heat and UV rays is the sun, this isn’t usually a problem. However, iguanas in captivity still try and get as close as possible to the source of heat and light, even if it is an artificial source. If the heat lamp is positioned too close to the iguanas basking spot, this may cause them to make physical contact with the heat lamp and get burned. As outlined above, most of these diseases and injuries in captive iguanas are caused by the ignorance of their owners. Hopefully articles like this will help iguana owners to learn more about their exotic pets and do a better job of looking after these interesting creatures.