Learn how to care for your pet iguana, that would be your loyal reptile companion for the next 15 - 20 years.
Submitted by PetFinderAdmin on 2010-10-30
If you are a new iguana owner, this page is written just for you!
Hopefully, you have done some research on iguanas prior to becoming "owned" by one? If not, please visit some of the extremely informative iguana care sites listed at the bottom of this page so that you can make sure that you have your iguana set up correctly, and that you are feeding it a well balanced vegetarian diet.
It is extremely important that you have knowledge of, and master the basics of iguana care if you want to have a healthy iguana and have an iguana companion for the next 15 to 20 years. Briefly, and believe it or not this is just the basics- check out the links below for even more info!
Your iguana, depending upon it's size, should be set up in either a tank or a home made enclosure that is two to three times the length of your iguana, and no less than three times the height of your iguana since they are arboreal (tree climbing) lizards. Huh? What does that mean? Well a young iguana, say one that is only about a foot in length, can be set up in a tank that is about three or four feet in length and preferably three feet high. You can surely see that a tank set up won't do for long I hope?
A home made enclosure is the best choice. If you are making an enclosure please make it for an adult iguana- even if your ig is still small. They grow quickly, and you don't want to have to keep building larger cages for it as it grows. That gets expensive, and often there isn't enough time in the day or week and the ig ends up staying in too small a cage for longer than it should. So if you are building a cage that is adult iguana sized keep in mind that the average adult iguana will end up being 5 to 7 feet in length. I guess it's unrealistic to suggest building a cage that is 14 feet in length? :) If you can make the cage at least 8 to 10 feet in length that would be great. The cage should also be as tall as you can make it, so please aim for at least 6 feet in height if not a full 8 feet in height. The cage should be no less than 3 feet deep, 5 or more feet deep is best. Is this beginning to sound like you are going to have to build a small room within a larger room for your iguana? If it is, and if you happen to have a spare room you might think of setting up your iguana to free roam in that room once it is 2 to 3 feet in length.
Iguana's tend to grow very quickly in their first three years. If making an adult sized enclosure to begin with sounds too expensive or is impossible right now, the very least you should do is to begin to save money towards the next new enclosure that you will need to build. Always be sure to plan for the next enclosure.
The cage should be set up so that it has a good temperature gradient. One side of the cage should be on the cooler side of the day time temps, and the other side should reach the higher end of the iguana's preferred day time temperature range. The day time temperature range should be between 80 F ( 26.6 C) and 88 F (31.1 C), with a basking spot of 95 F (34.9 C). Night time temperature should be between 75 F (23.8 C) and 80 F (26.6 C) , young iguana's should be kept closer to the 80 F (26.6 C) range at night. You should also have a few thermometers placed throughout the cage to ensure that the temperatures are correct.
Heating and Basking Lights
To achieve the proper day and night time temperature ranges a variety of products can be used. Basking lights can be the type sold in pet stores, but normal incandescent lights, or even the tract lighting reflector bulbs (most like the ones sold in pet stores but cheaper in hardware stores!) can be used to create basking spots and to achieve the proper temperature ranges. Ceramic heat emitters (CHE) set up in porcelain sockets, radiant heat panels, and infrared or lights made for night time use (moonlights etc.) can be used to help maintain the heat at night and or throughout the day as all of the products produce little to no light. A human heating pad, set on low, can be used as a sleeping area for the iguana, or placed under a propped up tank (tanks should never rest directly on the heating pad) to help add some ambient heat to the enclosure.
Heating devices that actually do produce light such as an incandescent basking light, and the UVB fluorescent tubes (which do not really produce heat but are vital to your iguana's health) should be on a timer. Your iguana is a day time- diurnal creature- who in the wild would usually awaken at the first light of day, and fall into a sound sleep at sunset. Lighting for diurnal reptiles should mimic nature. If the sun rises in your area at 6:30 a.m, your iguana's lights should come on at that time. Likewise if the sunsets at 6 P.M. the lights should be set to go out around that time as well. Of course in the summer time most of us do have longer periods of daylight, please just try to mimic what the sun is doing at all times of year and you will have a fairly natural photo period for your iguana to go by. It is helpful to have your iguana's lights set up on a timer. This will help keep the photo period regulated and eliminate the need for you to be home, or possibly awake at the time that your iguana's lights should go on and off. :)
Hot rocks. sizzle stones, or heat caves should NOT be used as these products can develop hot spots and burn your iguana, crack, smoke, short out, and endanger your iguana and possibly yourself. Iguana's are diurnal creatures, meaning they are awake and alert during the day and sleep at night when it's dark. They sense light and heat sources from above, not below, so using something like a hot rock to provide heat for your iguana could cause your iguana to become badly burnt since it may not realize fast enough that it is hurting itself. Covering hot rocks with substrate or cloth material only increases the fire hazard danger and will make it harder for you to check the rock on a regular basis to make sure that it is not developing hot spots or that it has not cracked. Please don't do this! My best suggestion as far as hot rocks go- If you already have one that is - is that you cut off the cord and use it as a cage decoration.
The green Iguana (Iguana iguana) comes from a very warm and humid climate - the rain forests of South America. The humidity level in your iguana's cage should reach approximately 80%. You should have a humidity gage in the cage. You can achieve high humidity within the cage by misting twice a day, perhaps having an air bubbler set up in the iguanas water basin, or perhaps by using a cool mist type of humidifier outside of the cage to make the room that the iguana's cage is in more humid thus increasing the general humidity within the cage. If your cage is a screened cage you may have some trouble keeping the humidity high enough for your iguana. You may want to cover some of the screened areas to help hold heat and humidity in (especially in the winter time when it's drier and cooler in your home). Adequate humidity is important to help keep the iguana from dehydrating, and will help maintain the health of your iguanas skin and help during shedding. Bathing the iguana daily and or misting the iguana daily also help keep your iguana's skin adequately soft and will aid in shedding too.
UVB lighting and sunlight
Ok, so you have the cage light and heated, but you also need to provide your iguana with a special kind of light called UVB lighting. The incandescent bulbs (round bulbs or special basking lights that you are using) only produce UVA lighting. This is great for heat and light during the day, but your iguana really needs the UVB lighting to help it use the calcium in its diet properly. The UVB rays help the iguana make the vitamin D2 in it's skin, which them converts to the vitamin D3. Vitamin D3, produced naturally by your iguana, helps your iguana use the calcium in its diet properly. Without this form of lighting (as well as proper temps and diet) your iguana could develop a calcium deficiency which could cause bone deformities, tremors and seizures and eventually death. Please see Calcium Deficiency in herbivore and omnivorous reptiles and my page about Metabolic bone disease (MBD) for more information and symptoms of this disorder.
Your iguana needs UVB lighting in the form of an artificial source such as a special UVB producing fluorescent tube like an iguana 5.0, a vitalight, or a reptisun fluorescent tube. This UVB producing fluorescent tube should be set up so that it is approximately 10 inches above your iguana ( no more than 18 inches as the UVB from the tube will be ineffective after that distance). There should be no glass or plastic between the light and the iguana. Glass and plastic filter out the UVB rays. If you have a screen between the light and the iguana please try to use a large holed screen material as fine screen can also filter out up to 30% of the UVB rays as well.
UVB tubes can get expensive, and you should replace your tubes every 6 months to a year. At around the year mark the UVB tubes will stop producing UVB lighting. Oh yes, they will still light up, but they won't be giving off as much, if any, UVB any more. Since the tubes are expensive it would be a good idea to set money aside or to buy new ones before you need them- if and when you have a small amount of spare cash on hand. Then the tubes will be there when it's time to replace the old one!
Of course the best source of UVB lighting comes from the sun! I've already said that glass filters out a lot of UVB rays, so please do not think that placing your iguana in front of a window or having it's enclosure near a glass unopened window will provide any or enough UVB lighting for it. You either need to use the UVB fluorescent tubes that I described above, or along with those tubes, get your iguana out in the sun on a regular basis- one to three times a week is good- when the weather is suitable for sunning.
You might want to have a hardware cloth type screened cage outdoors for your iguana to sun in. Please do make sure that part of the cage is shaded so that your iguana can get out of the sun if he's too hot. You can literally kill an iguana if you leave him outside on an extremely hot day with no access to shade or water. Even shade and water will not help if the outside temperatures are extremely hot. It would probably be best to supervise your iguana's time out in the sun, whether your ig is in a cage or not. Putting your iguana outside in a glass tank will cause it to overheat very quickly- don't do this! 30 minutes to an hour outside in the sun, in an adequately ventilated, shaded cage, one to three times a week would be a very healthy start towards maintaining your iguanas health. :)
For people living in cooler climates or who have short periods where the days might be a bit too cool to bring your iguana outside, you might try setting up an area in front of a window for your iguana to bask in. The window should have a very secure metal screen. Place a heating pad set on low in front of the open screened window, perhaps set up a basking light as well, and let your iguana bask in the screened window for short periods on days that are too cool to take your ig outside for some sunlight. Use a thermometer to make sure the area is fairly warm first.
I wouldn't do this when it's very cool outside, or when a cold breeze is coming directly at the window of course.
People living in northern climates are likely not getting any useful UVB from the sun between the months of October and March, so it might be pointless to try to sun your ig in a screened window at that time of year for Northerners. I'm in Ontario, Canada myself and I use the screened window method most often in April, May and September.
Ok, now your ig has a good sized cage, it's warm enough and has the proper lighting. What else do you need in the cage? Let's see. You will need to set up some climbing areas. You can do this by getting some branches that are approximately the width of your iguana's body and propping them securely in the cage so that the iguana can climb to different levels within the cage, and you can also get some cork bark and set it up for climbing or make ramps to different areas of the cage with it. You might also want to make a wide shelf or two within the cage at a high level, for the iguana to bask on.
Real plants may get eaten or become trampled very quickly. If you choose to use real plants in the cage you might want to use some safe, non toxic plants that shouldn't harm your iguana if eaten such as pothos, Philodendron, spider plants, Dracaena (dragon tree), ficus shrubs or hibiscus trees. Fake leaves or vines might work better. Just watch carefully that your iguana is not attempting to eat these fake leaves as they could potentially causes a bowel impaction if eaten.
Try to create an area in the cage that your iguana can feel sheltered and secure in. You can do this by making one area more lush with leaves and branches that the ig may hide behind or by creating a hide box that is large enough for your iguana to climb into and relax in if he's stressed. NOTE: An ig that hides all the time could be ill or extremely stressed.
You should have at least one small water bowl that the iguana can drink fresh water out of if he wishes. You may not actually see him doing this, but it is important to provide a dish of water just in case he does choose to drink. It is true that iguanas get most of their moisture requirements from their food, so please do make sure the food that you are offering is quite moist, but do also continue to provide a water dish.
You might also want to provide a larger water basin (maybe a large rubber-maid container or Tupperware dish) that your iguana's body can actually fit into. He may choose to defecate in this water area, which in turn will make keeping his cage area clean a lot easier on you! Do try to encourage your iguana to defecate in the water area, or in one particular portion of the cage so that it will be easier for you to maintain a clean cage.
Substrate is the caging material that you may chose to place on the bottom of the cage. A good substrate is something that the iguana can not or will not ingest (causing potential impaction problems) and something that is easy for you to maintain so as to keep the iguanas cage clean.
Suitable substrates may include artificial grass- please make sure that you melt or bind the edges of this astroturf like carpet and the tufts will come out and could be ingested by your iguana very easily, a thicker, perhaps green low pile carpet- repti-carpet - just be sure the fibers are tightly woven and don't fray easily. Fine carpet fibers can get caught around your iguanas claws and cut off circulation. Please inspect your iguanas claws on a regular basis if you use a carpet like substrate or if your iguana free roams you house on a regular basis. IF you do use a carpet like substrate you might want to cut two pieces of carpet so that a clean one can be placed in the cage when the first one becomes soiled and must be cleaned, and just trade them back and forth as they become soiled.
Butcher paper, paper towels and occasionally newspaper (careful of the inks used on newspapers as they could give off fumes that could make your iguana ill) can also be used on the bottom of the enclosure. Some people also use linoleum or tiles on the bottom of the cage- this makes for a quick easy to clean surface. Alfalfa pellets may also be used as substrate as these are edible, however any moisture getting on the pellets can cause them to mould very quickly, so moist or damp pellets should be removed as soon as they are noticed.
Substrates such as commercially sold reptile litter, bark chips, corn cob substrate, walnut shell substrate and or gravel, pebbles, sand or soil, can all be accidentally or purposely ingested by your iguana. Some of these packages claim that they are digestible. Unfortunately I have heard of many bowel impactions from products that claim they are digestible. I simply wouldn't take the chance. If you do choose to use a bark type substrate such as orchid bark, please make sure that you sift through the bark pieces and remove any that are smaller than your iguana's head. This will lessen the chance of your iguana eating a piece of bark and having it lodge in its intestines causing a bowel impaction.
If your iguana is allowed out of it's cage to roam about or if it's a free roamer you should also be aware that your iguana may eat some very odd objects that it might find lying around, ranging from tissues, paper towels, loose change, kids toys, pieces of clothing such as underwear for example ... yep, it's been done ... It's simply amazing the kinds of things that have been found in iguana's bellies ... so please, if your iguana is allowed out of it's cage on occasion please make sure that there is nothing lying around that could fit in it's mouth and be swallowed. These animals are curious creatures and just seem to have a way of getting into trouble when we aren't being careful! :)
Now, what are you feeding your iguana? Hopefully the pet store or person you got your iguana from told you to feed your iguana ONLY a vegetable and fruit diet, and told you NOT to feed your iguana any food items that contain animal proteins (i.e. no insects, no cheese, no pizza, no dog food, no monkey biscuits, and no commercial iguana dry foods as they often contain animal proteins as well!).
Commercial dry diets specifically made for iguanas are not a good diet item for YOUR iguana. First of all- they are dry, and since iguanas get most of their moisture requirements from the food items that they eat, a dry diet could lead to dehydration, and chronic dehydration can and more than likely will lead to Kidney failure sometime down the road. A diet that contains animal proteins will also lead to kidney damage and failure as well. :( This is a very terrible way for an iguana to die, and it is usually a long drawn out illness. Please do not let this happen to your iguana. Commercial diets first ingredients are also often wheat or corn products. Iguana's do not digest these food items well, and wheat products contain oxalates that bind to calcium and make the calcium indigestible. So and iguana fed a commercial diet may not be getting the nutrients, vitamins or minerals that he needs to stay healthy, and the dry diet could cause other problems such as kidney failure later on in the igs life too.
The amount of fresh greens in the igs diet should be between 35% and 50% with the rest of the diet being made up mainly of freshly shredded vegetables. The fruit portion of the diet should be no more than 10% of the total.
You really should feed your iguana a diet made up of fresh greens such as collard greens, dandelion, mustard, water cress, turnip greens, occasionally fresh hibiscus leaves if you can get some, rapini, and escarole, occasionally herbs such as basil, cilantro, oregano may be offered.
The fresh vegetables portion of the diet can be shredded or chopped into small pieces. One orange vegetable choice can be yellow winter squash, sweet potato or yam can be used in each fresh salad that you prepare. Other key, staple veggies to be used in the regular salad are parsnip, green beans, and very occasionally carrots.
To add protein to the diet you should use alfalfa rabbit food pellets, crumbled alfalfa hay, powdered alfalfa or pulverized alfalfa tablets. Alfalfa is also high in calcium. You can grind the alfalfa up into a fine powder to be mixed into the salad, or you can leave the pellets whole. It does take iguana's sometime to get used to the alfalfa being added to their diet so you might want to start out by adding a very small amount and gradually increasing the amount of alfalfa in each salad as your iguana gets used to it.
Fruit can make up approximately 10% of the diet. Some fruit items have a better calcium to phosphorus ratio than others such as figs, raspberries and cantaloupe. One key factor in adding fruit to the diet is that the fruit often gives the salad a higher moisture content, and a nice moist salad is a very good thing to be offering your iguana to help keep him well hydrated. You can use the following fruit in the salad- figs (raw or dried), raspberries, strawberries, papayas, pears, plums, mangoes, apricots, cantaloupe, dates, blackberries, grapes, soaked raisins, prickly pear, cactus and kiwi (both skinned).
Vegetables and fruit that can be used occasionally but not on a regular basis- carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, other root vegetables, cactus pad, star fruit, asparagus, okra, and any of the summer yellow and green squashes.
Foods to avoid or to feed on a very minimal basis because of Oxalates, Phytates or Goitrogens:
Iodine plays a critical role in metabolism as a component of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Anything that affects the availability of iodine may induce goiter. The presence of dietary Goitrogens found in foods such as bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard seed, rapeseed, turnips Brussels sprouts, chards could cause an iodine deficiency in your iguana and cause a goiter to develop. This could lead to symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Calcium absorption can be impaired by diets containing phytates (especially in soy ingredients such as Tofu, so while tofu is vegetable based and a good source of protein it is not a good dietary item to be offered on a regular basis), and oxalates - Spinach, rhubarb, beets, Kale and chards, carrot tops. Oxalates bind dietary calcium and thus prevent the body from utilizing the calcium in the diet.
A small amount of calcium carbonate powder and a vitamin powder should be sprinkled onto, or mixed into the salad daily. While we are trying to offer our iguana's a well balanced diet of veggies, greens and fruit, many of the food items we offer have a high phosphorus content. That is why we need to add a small amount of calcium powder to our iguana's diet daily- to balance out the calcium to phosphorus ratio. The calcium powder should not contain phosphorous. I also prefer not to use one that contains added Vitamin D3 either since vitamin D3 is a fat soluble vitamin and can easily build up to toxic levels in the iguanas system. I also don't think that an iguana having regular access to proper UVB lighting or unfiltered sunlight needs added vitamin D3 in it's diet since the iguana will make its own vitamin D3 in its skin.
If you make large batches of salad in advance and freeze salad portions please realize that vitamin B1 (thiamine) contained in your fresh vegetable salad can degrade due to the actions of a chemical called thiaminase. Vitamin B1 deficiency can cause numerous problems for iguanas fed a diet containing frozen veggies or fed a diet made with fresh salad ingredients that are frozen for a short period of time. Because of this, if you use frozen veggies or freeze portions of your iguana salad in advance, you should add a tiny sprinkling of either vitamin B1 powder or Brewers yeast to the thawed salad before you serve it to your iguana. It is probably best to mix the vitamin B1 or brewers yeast into the salad as it does have a strong smell that might cause your iguana to not want to eat his food.
Your iguana should be green, active and alert. It should move around the cage on occasion, climbing a branch, climbing down from the branches or shelves to investigate it's food bowl or water area etc. It may not be constantly in motion, it is natural for iguana's to sit for a few hours and bask, but your iguana should be moving around in the cage several times a day and should be quite alert when you walk into the room to check on him. He should show interest in the food that you offer him, if not when you first put it in the cage at least within a short while later.
If your iguana barely moves, seems to sleep a lot, isn't eating at all or well, has a dark colour to it's skin (keep in mind that the skin might turn greyish in spots just before a shed), appears thin etc. ... that it might very well be sick, or that the cage temperatures could be too cool or even too hot for it. Check all of the basics first, before panicking. Make sure the cage temps are correct, make sure you are feeding the proper diet, make sure your iguana's getting proper UVB lighting. If all of that is correct, (even if it isn't and you make corrections your ig might still need to see a vet ASAP) scoop your iguana up and take him to a vet ASAP. Reptiles usually do not act sick until they are very sick. They hide illness very well until they are so sick that they simply can't help but act sick. Often by that time they are so sick that they need immediate medical attention. So please, if your iguana is acting ill DO take it to a reptile veterinarian as soon as possible. Immediate action could save your pets life.
Your iguana should eat daily, and defecate daily. If it isn't, please check to make sure that the cage temps are correct, that you are feeding him daily and that his food is moist. Too dry food, or improper (too cool) cage temps can cause constipation and poor digestion. Loose substrate or other loose items that you iguana might come across could have been ingested and might be causing a bowel impaction as well. Improper temps, diet that is too dry or not offered often enough, improper lighting leading to MBD, and ingested substrate can all be very common reasons for lack of appetite, to no appetite, lethargic behaviour, and failure to defecate daily.
If your iguana has extremely loose stool, frequently goes throughout the day, and or has extremely smelly stool, your iguana might have a parasite infection. Your iguana may also suffer from lethargy and lack of appetite as a result of a parasite infection. You should take a fresh stool sample to the reptile vet (along with the iguana of course!) and have the stool tested for parasites. Parasite infections are easy enough to cure with a few doses of the proper antiparasitic medication, however, left untreated your iguana could become very ill, lethargic (sleepy, inactive, not alert), dehydrated (from diarrhea), and possibly die as a result of untreated infection.
An iguana that hides a lot, or that tries to hide when you are near is usually a very stressed, scared or sick iguana. These are behaviours to note and to try to see if you can alleviate by adding a hide area, checking your husbandry practices, making sure the room your iguana is housed in is not too noisy or active or that other pets (dogs, cats, other reptiles or birds) are not the source of your iguanas stress.
An iguana that is fairly healthy, alert and active will probably stand up or look alert when you come near it's cage. If it doesn't know you well yet or trust you yet it may stick out it's dewlap (that flap of skin under it's chin), and it could even open it's mouth as a threat to bite. When your iguana is used to you and knows you better sticking out it's dewlap could be a sign of "don't bother me", or it could be telling you that it thinks it is the boss of his territory, or it could simply be a means of saying "hello" to you. It does take a while to distinguish what all of the types of iguana body language mean, and you can only do that by observing your iguana and how he reacts to various situations and encounters with you.
Hopefully you do know that iguana's can be quite territorial and can become aggressive at times. It is usually during their breeding season, which may last up to three months at a time and come once or twice a year, that iguana's are most aggressive. Breeding season can come at various times of the year too depending upon where you live or where the iguana is originally from. It is not uncommon for some iguana's to go into breeding season in the spring and fall, while others go into breeding season in the winter and summer. There are ways of handling and dealing with your iguana during these periods and other periods of aggressiveness that are discussed on my Taming and Aggressiveness in Iguana's page.
Other than an increase in aggressive behaviour, which could be very mild to severe, your iguana might get some orange coloration on it's body, legs and sometimes on its tail when it comes into breeding season.
Male iguana's might also display their hemipenes for you, and leave you little presents of semen deposits in their cage or other furnishings. Dried semen deposits might get stuck in the iguana's vent, or be passed when the male iguana inverts his hemipenes during defecation or while displaying his hemipenes. Dried deposits can be 1/2 to 1 inch or so in length, semi translucent to brownish in colour, may have some stool on them, and might be rubbery in texture. If you notice what you think might be a dried seminal plug sticking out of your iguana's vent you might want to try to remove it. Do this by first soaking your iguana in chest deep lukewarm water in the tub. Your iguana will probably defecate while in the tub and the plug might come loose at that time. If it doesn't fall out on it's own the best time to try to remove it is after a soaking. Gently tug on the plug and with any luck it will come out ... it will definitely be rubbery after a soaking. Don't try to remove it if a gentle tug doesn't work, you don't want to hurt the iguana. Seminal plugs are usually not a problem but if there is enough of a build up they can interfere with your iguanas ability to defecate.
Key behaviours that you should note that could signal that your iguana does not want to be handled or bothered or that he might be getting ready to bite you are: white head, dewlap extended, quick vibrating bobs and head shakes, your iguana is standing up and his body is puffed out and he's presenting the side of his body to you, tail flicking and or making quick little whips, and or the mouth is open. If you must handle your iguana when he is displaying one or two or more of these signs please do so with care, be aware of where your hands and fingers are in relation to his face, and do not put your own face too close to your iguanas. They can move fast and while it's bad enough to be bit on the hand or finger you absolutely do not want the iguana to bite you anywhere in the head or face area.
If you do get bit, try to remember not to instinctively pull your hand (or whatever body part is getting bit away) as that will make the bite worse. Iguana's have serrated teeth. If the bite is a quick one, and you do not pull away, you will probably end up with a bite that consists mainly of puncture wounds. If you pull away from the bite you will more than likely end up with deep gashes that may require a trip to the emergency room and stitches.
All that being said, a fairly tame iguana (remember they are wild animals and cannot truly be called tame) can be handled quite easily most of the time and can make a truly fascinating animal companion. Interaction, bonding and trust are key factors in helping make your iguana a handlable and enjoyable part of your family. :) Understanding their needs and behaviours is also one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy iguana and having a good relationship with one. They are extremely intelligent creatures and one of the most interesting lizards to keep, when kept properly.
Finding a reptile vet
If your iguana is sick- PLEASE TAKE IT TO A REPTILE VET. It is too hard to tell what might be wrong with an animal when someone writes ... and most often what the person describes sounds serious and sounds like it needs medication to cure it. Save time- If your animal is sick, don't wait for a reply- because anyone answering your letter is probably only going to tell you to take your iguana to a vet.
It's also ALWAYS a good idea to know of a reptile vet in your area - BEFORE- you really need a reptile vet, but then, it's also a good idea to take your animal to a vet shortly after purchase for a general check up too.
Yearly check ups and yearly fecal exams are also a very good idea. Vet bills can be expensive, especially when an animal becomes very ill, is injured or some emergency comes up with the animal. Please- DO - set aside a small amount of money each month for expected and unexpected veterinary medical expenses. If you do this I can promise you that your pocketbook won't feel the next vet visit as much! You might also be less hesitant to take your animal in for medical attention if you know you have spare funds set aside for just such a purpose.
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