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  1. #1
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    Question Baby Iguana Won't Eat or Move Around

    We just bought a new baby iguana after losing our previous one. We've had her for about 3 days now and she has yet to eat anything, either from a dish, the bottom of her tank or from either of our hands. On top of that when we place her in her tank she won't move more then a few inches by herself. She won't even try to get closer to her heat or uv lamps, her hiding hole. And we mist her regularly each day. Please, some advice so we don't have to lose two iguanas in such a short period of time. Thanks!






  2. #2
    Elite Member maligirl's Avatar
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    Re: Baby Iguana Won't Eat or Move Around

    Wow sorry to hear that .... I'm sure she will be ok i dont know much about them but I do know ALOT of people in here do just want to wish you LUCk
    Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.

  3. #3
    Elite Member Typhanie's Avatar
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    Re: Baby Iguana Won't Eat or Move Around

    It sounds like she's still in her adjustment period. She'll need a little time to get used to you and her new surroundings.

    Put her in a quiet place of the house where there's not a lot of activity. Don't handle her for awhile. Leave food for her everyday, but don't be intrusive if at all possible. It may take a couple of weeks before she stops being afraid that you'll eat her and begins to adjust.

    As long as she isn't losing weight, let her have the time she needs. If the behavior persists for a long time or if she starts losing weight, get her to a vet. She may be sick. If not, when she starts to behave more normally, you can slowly begin to handle her again to get her used to you.

    Also, what are her setups like? Temperature? Humidity? Size of tank? Substrate? If these are not correct, this could also adversely affect her behavior.
    "Let's eat, Grandpa!"
    "Let's eat Grandpa!"

    Punctuation. It saves lives.

  4. #4
    Administrator Merlin's Avatar
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    Re: Baby Iguana Won't Eat or Move Around

    The more information you can give us the better.
    Tank size, tempreatures in hot and cold end, substrate, foods, types of lights etc.
    Merlin,
    What's Life Without A Little Magic!

  5. #5
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    Re: Baby Iguana Won't Eat or Move Around

    Hey, sorry for the delayed response.. internet access is very sporadic at our apt.
    We have him/her in a tall 35 gallon hexagonal tank, with moss at the bottom, UVB and basking lights at the top (we're in the process of getting thermometers and humidity meters, so I'll have those numbers up hopefully in a few days). There is a hammock and an arboreal lagoon connected to each other and to the floor by a vine and a stick. There is also a hiding box at the bottom. I have some pictures which I'll try to upload asap. We tried leaving food (mostly veggies and some fruit) displayed in different places throughout the cage, but since he/she didn't eat for days, this morning we force fed him/her a nice iguana shake recipe we found online. He/she has been roaming around a little more which made us very happy (thanks for the tips about leaving him/her alone to get accustomed to the new environment, it seems to be working).
    Wow.. reading this makes me realize I should probably have him/her sexed... till then I'll refer to it as a she (I don't know why, but it looks like a she to me)...
    Anyways, she has some yellow coloring on her face now and I'm not sure if that's normal... any ideas? Also, when do you think it would be safe to start handling her? Right now we only take her out to feed her, and even that seems to stress her out quite a bit.
    Once again, thank you so much for all your replies, they were extremely helpful!

  6. #6
    Elite Member Typhanie's Avatar
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    Re: Baby Iguana Won't Eat or Move Around

    It is stressing her. It's a really bad idea to force feed her unless you absolutely have to. If she starts losing weight, or is she stops eating for an extended period of time, take her to a vet first, before force feeding her.

    You are teaching her to be afraid of you, and the more afraid she is, the less she will be willing to eat - and the meaner she will become as she grows.

    I usually say right off the bat, two weeks at least that you don't handle a new reptile. Really, though, it depends on her. First you want to get her comfortable enough to eat. Only after that will she be ready to handle. You'll have to observe her. If she runs to hide or acts extremely nervous, you'll want to wait a little longer. If she seems to accept your presence in the room, then you can start taking her out for a little bit at a time to get her used to you.

    What vegetables are you offering her? You should be feeding her a mixture of dark greens - collards, mustards and dandelion greens are the best - supplemented by other greens, like kale, or vegetables like squash. All of this should be cut up very small for her. If you use squash, it should be grated. She could choke on large pieces. Lettuce should be avoided. Other greens, like spinach, and fruits should be fed sparingly - only as treats once in awhile.

    Have you seen the iguana caresheet? http://reptileguides.herpcenter.com/...-t39.html?t=39

    This will give you a good idea of the temperatures and humidity she should have, and a more complete list of foods that are good for her.

    While she is in her adjustment period, it would be a good idea to have a dish for her food inside the cage. At a regular time, go in and put some food in for her and leave the room. If she doesn't eat it, remove it when you replace it with fresh food. I'd do this twice a day. You can use smaller portions, if you don't want to waste too much food. If you can, avoid being in the room as much as possible, and try not to touch her. I have a feeling that she'll start eating within a couple of days of you doing this.
    "Let's eat, Grandpa!"
    "Let's eat Grandpa!"

    Punctuation. It saves lives.

  7. #7
    Administrator Merlin's Avatar
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    Re: Baby Iguana Won't Eat or Move Around

    Iguana shake? Never heard of any such thing. What is in it?
    Typhanie is correct. Force feeding is a last ditch effort to save a starving animal and is very stressful to them as well as very dangerous. If you haven't been shown how to do it,..don't
    Also you need to get those thermometers now! Temperatures are not something you can get away with guessing at. Reptiles are extremely dependant on the proper temperatures to maintain their body process. A few degrees one way or another can make the difference between the reptile living and dieing!
    Merlin,
    What's Life Without A Little Magic!

  8. #8
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    Re: Baby Iguana Won't Eat or Move Around

    Thanks for the tips, Typhanie! I was worried about the force feeding, but she had been losing weight... However your tips sound very knowledgeable so we'll be trying those methods from now on! Luckily my parents are small animal vets, and my mother has a good friend who specializes in exotic animals, so we'll be e-mailing her to see if she can take a look at our little girl and make sure that aside from being stressed we don't have to worry about any illnesses that she might have. She looks healthy, but I figure we're better safe than sorry!

  9. #9
    Subscribed User fire2225ems's Avatar
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    Re: Baby Iguana Won't Eat or Move Around

    if the tank is in a room that people are in often, you should try covering the sides with newspaper or something... at least for a few days, then try taking one side off at a time. This might help her adjust to you some.
    I would also start planning your next enclosure for her, she's gonna out grow that 35 gal quickly!

    Also a little more info please... What kind of UV light do you have? where is the light? how far is it from the basking area? is it on top of a lid of some sort? If so what?
    ~*~ SHELL ~*~

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."

    ~ Immanual Kant

  10. #10
    Subscribed User fire2225ems's Avatar
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    Re: Baby Iguana Won't Eat or Move Around

    oh yeah, you might also try adding a hide box in there to, she might feel more comfortable if there is a place for her to go hide, that you don't go into.... kinda like her own room.
    ~*~ SHELL ~*~

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."

    ~ Immanual Kant

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