View Full Version : Iguana Problem... Please See!!!!!

10-01-2002, 07:55 PM
My cousin has a Green Iguana named Iggy. Iggy lives in an tank, with a screen top. Iggy has a heat rock in the corner of the tank, and there is just a little space. He gets down into the space, and he just sits there... and sits there... and sits there. Well, he sat there so long that his back curved. I don't know how to explain it... all I can say is that his spine... curves... If you are confused just tell me and I will try to explain better. I will try to get a pic, but I don't know how soon it will be. Please help me!
Poor Iggy! :(


Desert Arabian
10-01-2002, 09:15 PM
I think the tank is too small for him. How big is it? Iguanas need A LOT of space. That maybe the big factor- but I could be wrong.

Aspen and Misty
10-02-2002, 02:47 PM
Heat rocks are very bad to have in any repitals cage. They always get burned. If I was you I would take him to the vets.


10-02-2002, 10:12 PM
CALICUM!!! HE NEEDS CALICUM REALLY BAD!!!!!!!!!! If he doesn't get it soon he'll die!!! My friend has a 6 foot male & when he was a baby his mouth got sick & it was because of not having enough Calicum, The vet told us several this that happen to them & a bent spine was one of them. 99% of iguana's need extra Calcium, u can buy it at a pet store, crush egg shells into a powder & add it to his food. He needs a tank twice his length. Homemade cages r the way to go, its cheaper & it'll be the proper size. & heat rocks r known to kill them, its best to wrap the heat rock in a blanket so only a little heat is felt, or keep the blanket on the rock & only turn it on a few times a day for a half an hour. My friends iguana lives in his parents bedroom, they turned an old dresser into a basking shelf & a bedtime shelf. During the day, the put the ramp up to the shelf, leading to the bed & he'll go from his shelf to the bed to the floor down the stairs & into the livingroom, into the kitchen & into the tv room. iguana's need plenty of room. & they change their diets alot aswell. He'll need veggies & meat as in cat food or bugs (grasshoppers need to have their hind legs removed).

Ask for more info, I can get it.

& call the local vet.

Sam's My Baby
10-03-2002, 02:24 PM
Sorry to hear this has happened! :( I hope you can nurse him back to health!

10-03-2002, 04:58 PM
I used to have a six foot long iguana in great health .... so when I lecture, you'll know at least I know what I'm talking about. :)

First of all, iguanas need a LOT of room. My iguana, Willie, had a cage that was six feet tall, six feet long and three feet deep ... plus he had the run of the living and dining rooms most of the day.

Second, green iguanas (which is the most common pet store species, and probably what you have) are tree dwelling lizards. This means that you must have branches in the cage for him to climb up onto. Green iguanas do not do well unless they can climb.

Third, diet is the single most important, and single most botched, aspect of iguana care. Poor diet kills almost all captive iguanas by the age of three ... when actually their lifespan can be over fifteen years! Calcium deficiency is a huge problem. However, it is not as simple as just supplementing with calcium. The supplement must contain the correct ratio of vitamin D/phosporus/calcium. If it does not, the calcium becomes indigestible, and you have no gained anything.

Fourth, NEVER put a heat rock in for an iguana! Heat rocks are for ground dwelling reptiles, that warm themselves by laying on rocks that have been heated by the sun in the wild. Tree dwelling reptiles, like green iguanas, do not lay on hot rocks in the wild, they sun themselves in direct sun on a tree branch. Iguanas get their heat from above, not from below, in nature. Why does this matter, you may ask? Because a ground dwelling reptile is evolved to lay on hot rocks. Its digestive tract is higher up in its body, away from the heat source. Tree dwelling reptiles are evolved to bask in the sun on a tree limb. Their digestive tract is lower down in its body, right on its belly, away from the natural heat source. By forcing an iguana to lie on hot rock, you are putting all the heat right on its digestive tract. This cause the food to ferment before the helpful bacteria in the gut can digest the food. This can kill your iguana, either from malnutrition, or from food poisoning. Get that hot rock out of there, and put in an overhead heat lamp.

The best advice, frankly, is to go buy a detailed iguana care book. A good one, not a little pamphlet. Read it cover to cover, and then read it again. Highlight it. Memorize it. It will tell you all about food, supplement, housing, heat, illnesses, etc. You cannot raise a healthy iguana without one.

And, take your iguana to a herp vet, asap.

10-03-2002, 06:28 PM
Thanks so much everybody! I got a lot of info! I have another question. How much could I sell the heat rock for? I better get rid of it. How much would you pay for it? It is in perfect condition. I just need some opinions.

He does have a overhead light, and also has a branch. I will tell my cousin all of the info that you have given me. Also I have another question.
He has a little pool in there that takes up some of the space in the cage. He dosen't give the igauna any more water besides that... I don't know what to tell him. :(
Also, he feeds his Green Iguana dry igauna food. I keep presuring him to give him veggies! He just says that he dosen't have time... Can you answer my questions?
All the info will be appreciated! :D

10-03-2002, 10:36 PM
I don't know about selling the hot rock .... we had about a dozen of them at our humane society's fundraising rummage sale this summer. I think we sold them for a about $5 each?

He needs to have two different overhead lights - one for UV rays and one for heat. How large is the iguana? If it is fairly small, a 100 watt bulb will probably do for heat. Make sure it is in one end of the cage, so the iguana can get out of the heat when it gets warm enough. This heat is crucial for digestion and metabolism. It also needs a UV (full spectrum) light. These lights simulate the natural sunlight, which is important for Vitamin D synthesis, but they don't add much heat. That's why both lights are important.

Iguanas, like turtles, will naturally eliminate in water, if they are given the opportunity. Of course, if no water is available, they will have to go to the bathroom out of the water, but that can lead to constipation (which can be fatal if it is severe enough). I filled a cat litter box with water, and that was my iguana's "toilet". He NEVER went to the bathroom anywhere else. Iguanas also like to soak and swim. Some tame ones like to take showers! Your cousin's iguana should have a container of water big enough to get its entire body into.

Dry iguana pellets are ok, if the iguana eats them. Most iguanas hate them, and eat only enough to survive. They are totally unnatural food for a grazer. Iguanas graze all day long, just like a cow. Green leafy vegetables are as close to natural food as you can get for them. They should NEVER be fed iceberg lettuce, it has NO nutrients, and they will starve to death eating it. They should eat kale, spinach greens, parsley, etc. If your cousin insists that he doesn't have time for fresh vegetables (which, in my opinion, means he shouldn't own an iguana!), tell him to buy a jumbo sized bag of frozen, mixed vegetables, with no salt added. Keep the bag in the freezer, and scoop out some everyday and put it in the dish with the pellets. He can also buy a big can of fruit cocktail, in water, not heavy syrup. That won't take up much time, and it's certainly better than just pellets. Not as good as fresh greens, but better than pellets.

He REALLY needs to add a calcium supplement, in the correct ratios. Do you want me to see if I can find some links on the internet about iguana care you can print out for him?