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  1. #1
    Elite Member TitoAndKatt's Avatar
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    Help!!!! My Iguana is Rotting!!!!

    Hey guys
    I just recently rescued a Hatchling Green Iguana from a family who didn't know how to properly care for him. A guy bought him for his 7 yo and toddler daughters... The wife was thoroughly freaked out by him too. At one point he got too cold and "froze to death" and they put him in the shower for two days and he "came back to life." Then later he escaped and was attacked by their cat. They sold him to me for $50 with "the entire set up" that they supposedly had invested about $250 into. He came with a 10 gal tank, one light with JUST a basking light no UV, frozen mustard greens that when thawed were totally mushy, and iguana pellets! I have since bought the UV lights and fresh greens, veggies, and fruits he needs and have done a lot of research. He seems to be a lot happier than when I first got him and I am in the process of building a bigger cage. (he still fits in the tank but barely - he doesn't have enough room to really run around or climb - I am building him a bigger cage).

    Recently though he molted and developed about 3 tiny holes in his Dewlap. At first they were pretty small. I do not think that they are from the cat attack as they did not appear until he started molting. :S They are not swollen or anything, just there. I don't think he got them from rubbing either though it is definitely a possibility...I don't have anything really sharp in the cage though and the holes look more like old holes that have always been there (only they haven't) but they are getting bigger.

    On the front of his face he had developed a black spot. It wasn't there before (that I noticed) or at least not nearly as bad. It looked almost like the scales are a little shriveled and I do not think that it is molting. It was like a small black/dark brown spot on his lower lip and a couple of scales seem a bit withered...he was still molting. Then overnight the spot turned brown to deep black. Last night I looked at it and it was black with the center, most shriveled scale, missing, then I looked tonight and the black scales have all Fallen Off!!!! Now it is a clear-ish (because you can see the translucent skin underneath with all the scales missing) red and looks painful. I don't think he is eating much either! Not that I can blame him the poor little guy! He seems to be eating mainly at night... I have a vet appointment for him but it is not for a week! I feel SO bad for him! My lizard is just dissolving away! What can I do in the meanwhile? He does not seem to be behaving differently other than the fact that he is more aggressive (which could be due to actually having good nutrition an is no longer lacking for good energy-he has been eating fine up until the last day or so-or to feeling in pain). He lets me touch and examine the holes in his dewlap without any problem (I haven't tried touching his lip since the scales fell off, though he didn't object when they were black), but the holes are definitely getting bigger. I just want to make him feel better! Does anyone have any advice to help me get him through the next week?

    Also, On one side his Tympanic scale seems dark and withered. I thought it was because he was molting it? But I am pretty sure he is mainly done molting for now (all the major stuff anyways) and it is still there. It seems smaller, but not by much. It was there when I got him too. it is like a dark, withered, dead patch and seems to be stuck partially inside his head (ear canal?). I can see part of the Tympanic scale underneath it and it looks normal, but the rest of it is taken over by this big dead-scale-thing. Has anyone else seen this before? Is it because he is molting or could it be some sort of infection/injury? (His cat-scars are looking better by the way, so that is good at least.)

    If anyone can point me in the right direction as far as research, potential causes, etc (I would like to try to figure out what this all is) and ESPECIALLY something I can do to help him until his appointment Next Wednesday I would REALLY appreciate it! Thanks! sorry for the long post...






  2. #2
    Registered User Juggernaut_Bish's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!!! My Iguana is Rotting!!!!

    Iguana's don't molt they are not of exoskeleton. They shed. Sounds like an infection. I would try putting some tripple antibiotic ointment on, I would also give him Betadine baths daily.

    The thought of a burn from his heat lamp also comes to mind. I had this problem with Yoshi, first few days we had her, she found a way burn herself and suddenly had blistered skin that was dark and just bursted open.

  3. #3
    Registered User Juggernaut_Bish's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!!! My Iguana is Rotting!!!!

    Just make sure you get him into the vet still even if it "clears up".

  4. #4
    Elite Member jfogle78's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!!! My Iguana is Rotting!!!!

    Take it easy Juggernaut_Bish. I told him to come here for help, he is just learning and trying to help this poor Ig. And some people do call shedding molting.

  5. #5
    Elite Member TitoAndKatt's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!!! My Iguana is Rotting!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by jfogle78 View Post
    Take it easy Juggernaut_Bish. I told him to come here for help, he is just learning and trying to help this poor Ig. And some people do call shedding molting.
    Thank you. (I am a girl btw that is the Katt part of my name ) I didn't know that there was a technical difference between the two: I figured it was like break vs fracture: they both mean the same thing - ask any orthopedic doc lol - so I apologize. I do not think it is a burn since the lamp is on top of the tank and he couldn't reach it but it is not impossible; I considered the same thing. (Though that does not explain the holes). I definitely will still take him to the vet, as regardless he needs a checkup, esp with his rough history.

    Would Neosporin work? I didn't want to put anything on it in case it would harm him in any way...

  6. #6
    Subscribed User Moshpitrockchick's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!!! My Iguana is Rotting!!!!

    Oh jeeze, that sounds TERRIBLE. Could you post pictures by chance?

    What can you tell us about his current set up? What are his temps and humidity and what brand/strength of UVB do you have?
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  7. #7
    Elite Member TitoAndKatt's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!!! My Iguana is Rotting!!!!

    I would post pics but don't have a camera at the moment other than my phone which is too blurry to be effective. I will try to take some via webcam later...that might work...

    He is in the 10 gallon tank I got him in at the moment because I have been unable to finish/transport the bigger cage I built for another few weeks (long story) but that cage is a little bigger than 2feet deep*4 feet wide*3-4 feet tall (and it is elevated an extra two feet or so to make him feel higher). Anyways, for now it is the tank unfortunately. I would have to double check the bulb but it is either ReptiSun or ZooMed. Temps are pretty warm and fairly humid. I have had horrible luck with the pet store - things keep malfunctioning so I do not have everything that I need right now. It is on my list of to-dos this week/weekend to go back to the pet store and replace/get more stuff, including a thermometer and humidity gauge - I have had to get the set up gradually as I am a college student paying my own way and have extremely limited funds. I have to buy it in bits w/ my paycheck.

    I feed him Mustard and collard Greens, Squash, Cucumber (for hydration - I also keep a big water dish in the tank and give him occasional baths), and some organic veggie baby food for variety (AK doesn't have the best fresh produce selection haha). I don;t have any loose substrate (I use like a felt/astroturf mat) and I try to let him out fa little while everyday for exercise/to keep him form getting bored. With supervision of course, usually I let him roam around my bed (he chills out on my pillows) or sit in my lap while I do home work. I take him on tours of the house too - he likes to look around. I have a night light too (blue light that is supposed to be just for heat - I will double check on the brand and type) and try to keep him on as close to a regular schedule as I can (within an hour difference max on a bad day)

  8. #8
    Elite Member Lucysfriend's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!!! My Iguana is Rotting!!!!

    That does sound terrible,I should of read this post first before all the others, now it makes sense,lol. Sounds like a definate vet visit to me. I would wait until Merlin and Dominick, Lacey,Nicole come online they know there iggy stuff!
    My thoughts are with you and good luck getting that iggy healthy!
    Just because you have an animal that isnt dead doesnt mean you know how to take care of it

  9. #9
    nrfitchett4
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    Re: Help!!!! My Iguana is Rotting!!!!

    where at in AK??? I was in Fairbanks for 4 years thanks to the army. You're right, the produce there sucks.
    Try greeniguanasociety.org
    They have an ig salad that you can make up in advance and freeze. Just make sure you supplement with calcium and b vitamins. I bought human calcium and a multivitamin, ground it up with a coffee grinder and put it in a shaker. I also bought a bottle of alfalfa pills, ground those up in the other shaker. I sprinkle both on the salad.
    for the salad: winter squash (acorn, butternut, etc), whole green beans, parsnips, either mango or papaya. I run it through the food processor and then individual baggy it up, then into a freezer bag. Yoda gets one a day. mix it with fresh greens (collards, mustard, turnip), these do not freeze, don't even try.
    More to follow

  10. #10
    Administrator Merlin's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!!! My Iguana is Rotting!!!!

    Iguana's don't molt they are not of exoskeleton. They shed.
    Ease up there. You're splitting hairs when someone is asking for help!
    Besides birds dont have an exoskeleton either and they molt.

    Katt, I suggest calling the vet and explain to them that the problem is escalating rapidly and you need to get him in now!
    Sometimes it takes a lttle prodding!
    The only thing that comes to my mind is some sort of fungal attack possibly as a result of the cat attack and mistreatment.
    Is this someone that specializes in reptiles? In this situation a regular dog and cat vet may not be up to the challenge.
    Merlin,
    What's Life Without A Little Magic!

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