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International iguana community

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When buying an animal, you first need to find a place where there is a choice and they can let you examine the candidates yourself. If the seller refuses you this opportunity - leave, this is already suspicious in itself. Keep in mind that iguanas have a whole range of different diseases, which often appear when improperly maintained at a young age, so choosing an initially healthy animal is an important task.

In addition, you should not take an adult or grown up iguana - these are most often animals that were abandoned by the previous owners (tired, difficult care, "bad" character, illness). The size of the small iguana is 6.5-8 cm. Moreover, the content “from infancy” (as well as with dogs, cats, etc.) allows not only to grow an animal correctly, providing it with the necessary feed and living conditions, but also to make friends and get together with him, which guarantees true pleasure from a future life together.

So, take turns taking the iguanas you like so that with both hands, with your fingers, you can carefully move their limbs, which is important during the examination. You should pay attention to:

* Clean skin and the absence of scars, scratches and bites (bites and scratches can subsequently lead to infection, especially since it is not known how they were obtained and how they were processed)

* The absence of burn marks on the stomach (burns heal, but the skin in these places will never recover completely and will be very sensitive to elevated temperatures)

* The absence on the abdomen of old adhering and rubbed feces (such dirt indicates either very unsanitary conditions of detention, or illness and weakness of the animal)

* The absence of dry feces residues on the anus (the presence indicates either a very weakened animal, or a possible infection, including parasites)

* Is the resistance of the iguana felt when trying to move its limbs (weakness and indifference indicate either a completely frozen animal or an acute lack of calcium)

* Lack of cones, tumors and nodules on the body, limbs and tail (except joints) (the presence of such traces indicates possible cysts, fractures and inflammations, which requires serious treatment)

* The absence on the body of the iguana (especially armpits, near the ears, neck) of black, brown or orange dots, possibly moving (ticks and other parasites)

* The normal shape of the hind legs without large nodes on the hips (one curved limb indicates a fracture, both - a serious lack of calcium in the body)

* The presence of meat on the extremities (dried and shriveled limbs, general sagging skin, speak of dehydration, internal parasites, infections, etc.)

* The root of the tail should be fleshy and round (visible or easily palpable bones are evidence of prolonged starvation or serious illness of the animal)

Head, eyes, nose, mouth

* Dull, sore eyes - a sign of a respiratory infection or damage to the surface of the eye

* The presence of deposits in the nose (except for saline) indicates a possible infection

* the inside of the mouth is pale, or gray-pink, mucosal lesions are visible, small spots of yellow, green or white deposits are evidence of severe infection requiring long-term treatment

* uniform chewing of the lower jaw may be a sign of bone disease (MBD - Metabolic Bone Desease, see below)

A tamed, “socialized” iguana can calmly relate to the presence of strangers, although it may try to climb onto the head or shoulder of the owner. She carefully monitors the world around her and can respond positively to stroking her back or head.

Healthy juveniles (as well as untamed teenagers and adults) will be aggressive and try to escape. They can beat with their tail, roll, wriggle in their hands, or even not be given in their hands.

A sick animal of any age can also resist, but will do so with less persistence and strength. If the iguana just lies and does not react in any way to the environment, and even more so to your hands, then it is either very cold or very ill, it may suffer from a severe parasite or infection. If at the same time her "bones are visible", then this may be a sign of extreme exhaustion caused by improper maintenance.

Keeping an iguana is by no means an easy thing and growing it is not so fast. You will have to first work with a wild animal that will respond to everything in terms of the struggle for survival. A healthy little iguana will fight to avoid the fate of dinner for a predator. For her, you are the one who wants to eat her. Your very presence already makes her feel uncomfortable. The cub will feel in danger and in plain sight, especially since he will be completely alone - without a bunch of other iguanas, helping to feel the danger and avoid it.

This is not a recommendation to start many iguanas at once (for starters, you will have to torment yourself with one). All this is said with only one purpose - to help you understand why at first the iguana will be shy, why she needs shelter and why she will not eat while you look at her. Under natural conditions, gullibility is a direct path into the stomach of a predator.

Gender and age

Iguanas can be sold at different ages. Usually, the offspring hatch in June or May, and in captivity these reptiles are bred extremely rarely. So if in February the seller says that the iguana is 2-3 months old, you should think about his honesty. It is also strange when, when selling an iguana that has not reached the age of one, they talk about its gender. Sex in these animals can only be determined after puberty, which occurs at approximately 1.5 years.


Age (years)Body Length to Tail (cm)Body length with tail (years)Weight, kg)
Newborns6,35-8,915-230,09
120-2351-690,4-0,6
228-3071-910,8-1,6
330-3676-1071,6-2,5
436-4189-1222,0-3,3
546-51114-1524,1-6,1
651-56127-1685,7-7,4
756-61127-1836,1-8,2

Inspection of the iguana upon purchase

  • the skin should be clean, without bites or scratches that can cause abscesses,

  • abdominal burns are not allowed

  • there should be no feces or substrate on the stomach. This may indicate unsanitary conditions or illness.

  • traces of dry droppings or urine at the anus may indicate infection of the iguana with parasites,

  • paws, body and tail should not be bruised, broken or swollen,

  • the presence of ticks - black, bright orange or dark brown dots moving around the body is unacceptable. Particularly careful should be examined neck, dorsal crest, areas of the armpits and around the ears. The presence of such points indicates poor care for the iguana and possible diseases,

  • iguanas should have correctly formed hind limbs. The animal should step on its hind legs confidently. Swollen hind limbs indicate a lack of calcium,

  • thin paws and wrinkled skin adhering to the bones indicate dehydration of the iguana, a bacterial infection or the presence of parasites in the body,

  • iguana eyes should be clear and not watery,

  • the presence of dried mucus on the nose may indicate an infection of the respiratory tract,

  • the oral cavity is pink. Signs of infection are the gray-pink color of the oral cavity. The presence of green, yellow or white plaque in the sky and tongue also indicates infection of the iguana,

  • the presence of tumors on the lower jaw, face, neck or knees is unacceptable (in adult males, the jaw can be strong and fleshy),

  • the iguana ridge and tip should be dry and dark,

  • the presence of a yellowish rash on the animal’s body indicates infection with salmonellosis.

Iguana behavior

A young and untamed iguana should behave aggressively. The animal will try to break out of its hands, use the tail as a defense tool.

If the iguana is already adult and kept in the right conditions, she will treat you kindly and with curiosity.

The disease, both young and adult individuals will be indicated by their lethargy and indifference to humans.

The main thing is not to rush. Your patience and care when choosing a home iguana will allow you to become the owner of a healthy and loving pet.

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