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17 Yr Old Iguana is Obsessed with My Dog.

Discussion in 'Green Iguanas' started by playcrackthesky, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. playcrackthesky

    playcrackthesky New Member

    hello, this is my first post and it's in regards to my 17 year old green iguana, Cozmo.

    I have had Cozmo his whole life and he grew up with dogs and is unbelievably tame. He could eat out of the same bowl as one of my dogs, and he has, that's how laid back he is.

    When I had first got him I was living in Michigan and he had a cage with a heat lamp and heating stone, everything that he needed to be healthy. I moved to South Florida when he was about a year and a half and when that happened, we decided he no longer needed a cage because he got natural sun from laying around the pool all day.

    About two years ago Cozmo started to charge after my white schnauzer, Kapser. When he finally gets to Kasper, sometimes Cozmo just stands there, other times when he has charged towards him he has tried to climb up on his back, almost like he is trying to mate with Kasper. I have a black scottie and my sister has my scottie's sister and she also has a yellow mutt. The dog who he was raised with was also a black scottie and he has never tried to go after any of the other dogs, he just recently became obsessed with Kasper. Kasper is terrified of Cozmo now, because every time Cozmo sees Kasper, Cozmo gets up very high and charges at him. We have to keep them separate at all times because of this. One time Cozmo jumped up onto a couch that Kasper had jumped up on to try to get away from Cozmo and Cozmo jumped up with him, Kasper showed his teeth to Cozmo and Cozmo bit Kasper.

    Cozmo is obsessed with my dog! We have to keep our slider doors closed so that Cozmo doesn't get in the house to get Kasper. Cozmo will spend hours scratching at the glass doors, trying to get inside to get to Kasper.

    Has anyone heard of this kind of behavior?

    My sister and I brought him to an exotic vet for the first time in his adult life because of this, because of this we didn't know there were different exotic vets, this vet was an avian vet and the whole office had never even seen an iguana as big as Cozmo. The vet couldn't even tell us what sex he was, we had to send his DNA to place in CA to find out. She said that the reason he was doing this was because he needed to be fixed or injected with hormone shots, both of these options are insanely expensive and the fact that she couldn't even tell the difference between a male and female adult iguana leads me to believe that she wasn't really an expert on iguanas.

    so I'm clueless and have no idea where to go from here.

    I have a YouTube video of Cozmo charging after Cozmo but it won't let me post it., if you'd like to see it please don't hesitate to contact me.

    Could it be that he thinks that he's a dog, seeing as he has only ever been around dogs.

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I'm sorry but that is most definitely not all he has needed to be healthy...not by a long shot. You have been incredibly lucky, particularly if you are allowing the iguana to eat dog food! The one thing that has allowed you to get by this long is the move so he is getting natural sunlight with UVB.
    My suggestion is to find you a good reptile, not avian, vet and get the kidneys and bloodwork checked. Iguanas are strict vegetarians and animal protein will destroy kidney function.

    The vet you are dealing with is clueless. At 17 years old it should easily be visually apparent as to what sex he/she is.
    The iguana is not trying to mate with the dog but charging the dog in a territorial display! Keep them separated. An adult iguana can do some serious damage.
    Please PM me the link to the video.
  3. playcrackthesky

    playcrackthesky New Member

    Thanks! He was eating macaroni and cheese out of the same bowl as my dog, not dog food. Cozmo is a vegetarian. He was only in his cage when I lived in Michigan, he has or had free roam of the house before he started going after my dog and when we went to the vet they did his bloodwork. I'll PM you with the video.
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Mac and cheese is just as bad as dog food. Their bodies are not designed to process anything except plant material. The animal based proteins are way too rich for their organs to handle.

    The behavior is definitely territorial aggression. Had he not been on slick floor, you would likely have been taking the dog to the emergency vet! Keep them separated.
    I also looked at the facebook page and as I wrote earlier, the fact that he is male is quite easy to see. Also it appears that he is having difficulty with his front legs. The way he is moving is not normal. A normal healthy iguana would not be rolling around like that but would pick his body up off the floor, legs extended. This could be an indicator of metabolic bone disease. I seriously suggest you get him to a good reptile certified vet.

    mshrmheadcharge likes this.
  6. Salazare Slytherin

    Salazare Slytherin Elite Member

    Even cheese can cause kidney issues, they are lactose intolerant and simply will find it difficult to digest such foods.
    I do agree that the hormones could be related to the behavior being described though, but not because he wants to be with the dog, iguanas are wild animals, they have alot that works against them in captivity, and they are still driven by a strong instinct to survive, breeding, owners without dogs, usually find themselves being on the receiving end of the exact same behavior, in your igunaas mind, your dog, is the next best thing, this is how it looks to me anyways.

    Beautiful iguana, hey your ig is 17 I wont lecture you on how to care for it, but I can say for definite your iguana is lucky to be alive at this point.

    You could probably mitiigate the behavior by giving him a green cuddly toy.
  7. playcrackthesky

    playcrackthesky New Member

    uh oh, bone disease, that doesn't sound good, I'll have to try to find an exotic vet whose specializes in iguanas. The way he charges at him in the video is how he always charges at him and most of the time he just stands there when he gets to him. It came on suddenly, he never use to act this way towards my dog.

    We use to have a green towel that I wrapped with rubberbands to see if he would take those feelings that he has for my dog out on the towel. He seemed to take to it for a short time. I think he's attracted to my dog's bright white fur because I know iguanas are attracted to color.

    I hadn't known that iguanas were lactose intolerant, thank you for telling me that. The only human food he eats now is bread and that's not often. We have a garden that he helps himself to.

    he wakes up, is let outside of our caged in pool and fenced in yard, lays in the sun, walks around the pool a few times, snacks from the garden and is hand fed cilantro and other herbs and veggies, lays in the sun some more and then is given a bath and put to bed around 4. His bed is in our bathroom, there is a door that leads out into the pool area so it's perfect for him.

    We also move alot with him. We move most every year, I wasn't sure if this has made him act out, or maybe it has helped him be less territorial because the house I was living in when he first started acting up I had been living in for about 2 yrs, maybe he was developing some kind of territorial instinct because he had time to get attached?
  8. Rickenbackerman

    Rickenbackerman Elite Member

    Iguana's are attracted to color, but I'm almost 100% sure they can't see white. My Ig had these white basking shelves in his enclosure and he was terrified of them until I covered them with towels. As soon as I did that, no problem. I also have a turtle that will walk headfirst into any wall that has a white baseboard.

    You move every year? Yikes, any time I make any kind of change to my Ig's surroundings it takes him 6-8 months to get used to it...
  9. Salazare Slytherin

    Salazare Slytherin Elite Member

    I am positive that they can see white, I have seen mine walk over and eat white buds and flowers before, I think, the myth comes from them being in a bath like setting where their whole surrounding tends to be the same colour, if they are in the bath for eg, it seems to act kind of like a fog, but if that theory is true, it should be the same for most other colours too, but I stand by mine can definitley see the white colour. :)
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The difference is small sections of white against a darker back drop. Its the contrast that makes the flowers stand out.
  11. playcrackthesky

    playcrackthesky New Member

    [​IMG]Hello, back again. Cozmo my iguana is still kicking, healthy as an ox. The dog who he was infatuated with had passed a little over a year ago and right after his passing my other dog had fallen ill and he needed all of our attention and so we couldn't get another dog. He had passed away a few weeks ago and we got another white schnauzer.

    Cozmo is back at it, completely obsessed with the 8 week old white schnauzer puppy. He has absolutely no issues at all with my sisters dogs who are darker and he didn't have an issue with my black scottie who just passed.

    I just don't know what to do with him. We tried putting him in a giant cage and he wanted no part of being "locked up".

    As far as territory goes, my sister had gotten a puppy last year, a min pin and he doesn't even flinch when she's near, she lays with him and everything.

    Any suggestions?


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