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New Iguana, Could Use Some Help!

Discussion in 'Green Iguanas' started by Steveho73, Sep 19, 2008.

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  1. Steveho73

    Steveho73 Active Member

    Gotcha thanks! I also just got a digital thermostat I will be setting the basking light up on. I've read that the optimal basking temp is between 90-95 degrees. Should I keep it at that or change it due to her current health conditions?
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Since she is convalescing I would set it at 95. After she gets back to herself you can lower it a bit if it seems that she is staying away from it too much.
    I set mine at 90
  3. Steveho73

    Steveho73 Active Member

    And the questions keep coming....

    Dominick, you mentioned about providing her with an egg laying area. A few questions about that;

    1. The Vet said the stress of egg laying may kill her. Could she suffer major fractures because of her MBD if she tries to lay the eggs or would it be some other factor?

    2. If you saw the latest pictures I posted of her, you will see the window ledge. She spent alot of time yesterday on that ledge just scratching. I went back and re-read the section in HATFIELD's (got it right this time lol!) book and there was an instance mentioned about a female sitting on a window ledge scratching for a while trying to lay her eggs. My semi-educated guess is that she may be ready to lay them?

    3. There is definately not enough room in the current cage to install the box that is in Hatfield's book. I figured out a way to basically build the box in the book and attached the entrance tube to the side of the cage. Should I do this or does anyone have another idea that has been successful for them?

    4. Should I start planning to have to go through all of this if my beardie turns out to be female? I've only ever read one book about beardies where all I got out of it was "beardies are fun pets and if your not stupid, they should live". It was a joke of a book compared to Hatfield's. Anyone have any suggested MUST reading for beardies?

    Thanks as always!
  4. Dominick

    Dominick Founding Member

    It's a pleasure Steve to work with someone who wants to do the right thing. :)
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I have never dealt with a gravid ig that has also MBD but compounded with what the vet said about continuing with a horrid diet, this makes me wonder about the vet. Since he knows beyound any shadow of a doubt that the iguana is full of eggs, and says that laying may kill her, why isn't that issue being addressed?
    Dominick may be able to better fill you in on this.

    A gravid iguana is usually restless. They wander and dig in search of a suitable nesting spot. If they can't find one they may retain the eggs. Your idea of a nesting box with a tube connecting the box and cage is a workable one if the tube isn't going to be too long. In the wild they dig a burrow. The tube would be a reasonable facsimile.
    And my female has twice ignored the nesting box and laid eggs on her basking shelf.
    LOL But that does about sum it up! Compared to dealing with green iguanas, beardies are a walk in the park!
  6. Steveho73

    Steveho73 Active Member

    Do you guys think a cat litter box filled halfway with damp construction sand would be good enough?

    I guess I'll get over to the beardie forums for an education as soon as I get the iggy back on track to good health. The beardie eats like crazy! He/she is only 3" SVL and eats 100 mealworms and 30-40 crickets per week and well as a little bit of collard greens each day! Needless to say, there is alot of mess in the cage to clean up everyday lol!
  7. Dominick

    Dominick Founding Member

    Sounds to me like you have decided to let her go ahead and lay out the eggs. It is best if you are there, so if there are any complications you can rush her to the emergency Vet, probably after hours, and have the eggs surgically removed. You know, as opposed to scheduling the surgery and having them safely removed before they become a problem. :p

    Ideally, you want a mixture of potting soil, sand and water. A covered kitty litter pan is the perfect nesting box.

    I suspect she will just lay them where she is. But you never know, so it is best to be prepared.

    OK, if this turns into a Bearded Dragon thread, I'm outta here. :p
  8. Steveho73

    Steveho73 Active Member

    Quick little update; I've been out of town on business but the wife told me that Zilla went all the way down to the bottom of the cage to go to the bathroom on the newspaper and then all the way back up to her top basking spot. She said she had no trouble at all climbing up or down. She didn't eat anything yesterday but we had a pretty good force feeding session on Monday and I will do it again when I get back to Tampa tonight. The MegaRay should also be in by the time I get home.
  9. Dominick

    Dominick Founding Member

    Greetings Steve-

    Thanks for the update! I was so worried when we stopped hearing from you. That usually means something has gone terribly wrong. So, glad to hear she is doing well.

    Moving up and down the enclosure could mean that she is getting stronger and beginning to act more like a healthy Iguana. How was the poop? She should have a large amount of urine, some white or beige urates and then a good firm feces.

    It's gross, but we need to pay particular attention to the poop. It's like a crystal ball to her insides that tell us how her digestive system is doing. If you google 'healthy iguana poop' you can see what it should look like.

    I expect the urates to be small in volume, beige or orangey (should be white), flat (should be fluffy) and even somewhat grainy. Urates are the indicator of how well the iguana's system is hydrated and how the kidneys are working. Our goal is to get her back to big, fluffy, white urates.

    She should have a good volume of urine each time. This is also an indicator of proper hydration and system health. If the volume is small, she is not getting enough liquid.

    We can talk about feces later, right now it's time to eat lunch. :p

    I look forward to more updates. Especially once she is under the Mega Ray!

    Safe journey home.
  10. Steveho73

    Steveho73 Active Member

    Well she is finally under the megaray. I'm still out of town on business but my wife installed it. We also finally heard back from the vet about the blood work that was done. The vet said her kidneys and liver are fine but her white blood cell count is up above normal (not out of control she said but above normal) which she said could mean that she is septic. I'll be back at home tonight and will take her to the vet tomorrow to start a every 72 hour antibiotic shot that will happen 5 times. She is also supposed to refer me to a local specialist who I will talk to about the possible surgery of removing the eggs and spaying her. Just out of curiosity, when should her orange color go away? Also, if we do get her spayed, will she stop turning orange?

    As far as her poo goes, it still seems normal and she is going on a daily basis. Pretty runny, some white in there and a good amount of solid. I last force fed her wednesday night and the wife doesn't think she has eaten since so I will do it again with the slurry when I get home tonight.

    The Gila reptile show is in Tampa tomorrow and we will be going but should get a few hours with zilla outside in the sun and a good amount on Sunday.
  11. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Thanks for the update. Hopefully you won't have to force feed her much more.
  12. Dominick

    Dominick Founding Member

    Thanks for the update Steve-

    Elevated White Blood Cell cont usually indicates infection that the body is trying to fight off. The ABX should help that.

    Orange coloration is caused by many things, breeding season, hormone imbalance, genetic pre-disposition or liver/kidney damage. So, it's really hard to say what is causing it right now. Of course, if she is spayed, you will never have to worry about her going gravid again. When everything else is corrected, we can make a better determination of what is causing her orange color, but my guess is it is not her gravidity.

    Well, the poop is the best we can expect right now. Pooping everyday is a great sign that her system is working. Keep an eye on it as the next weeks pass. It should start to get better as the intense UV exposure starts to help her absorb the calcium and replace the bone matrix, as well as improve her nervous sytem.

    Sound like she is stable and doing fairly well. I'm glad to hear that. She really doesn't know yet how lucky she is to have found you and your wife! In a few months when she is healthier, you can bring her back to the previous owner and show her the difference proper care makes!

    One last thing, please update Bob by phone on the latest information. He may have some more suggestions for you. He really is the best information source available.

    Keep up the good work!
  13. Steveho73

    Steveho73 Active Member

    A new update. We went to the vet today and started the antibiotic treatment. She will go back in Monday for her second. We also went ahead and had her get another calcium shot. I hadn't seen her in 2 days and its absolutely amazing the difference in her. She is full of life (and spunk!). When she is cruising around, she is not sliding her belly anymore but standing up on her legs and moving great. We force fed her again this morning and she was not a resistant to it, but after 2 syringe fulls, she was done. After the reptile show, we spent about an hour outside. Just for giggles, I broke a branch off the hybiscus tree and showed it to her. She actually chowed it down! It was the first time I have seen her eat anything herself. We came back in, she got back in her cage and I put a full collard leaf in there. She ate the whole thing! I really feel like we are cruising down the road to recovery! I'll post some more pics tomorrow.
  14. Dominick

    Dominick Founding Member


    This is all great news Steve!

    The important thing though is for her to sustain these good habits. One day of activity does not a full recovery make. ;)

    Sounds like she is behaving more like an Iguana. That's a really good turn around. I can't tell you how glad I am to hear it! :)

    Still keep an eye on the poop and watch out for those eggs!
  15. SurvivorSteph

    SurvivorSteph Subscribed User Premium Member

    Wonderful news!!
  16. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    That's great she ate on her own! And good food too!
  17. Steveho73

    Steveho73 Active Member

    Well things went very well at the vet on Monday for her second antibiotic shot. Everyone that came in the room that had seen her the first time we brought her in was amazed at how much better she looked (color and the amount the swelling in her legs had gone down) and how much more energy she had. She got the antibiotic shot and then another that was a cocktail of calcium, B12 and one other ingredient that I can't remember right now. She had a little food on Monday, but Monday evening (after the vet) she seemed a bit lethargic. I figured maybe it was either from the shots or just the stressful experience but the lethargy carried over into Tuesday. I don't think she ate anything yesterday nor did she go poo. I took her out of the cage last night and set her on the floor. She started to move around but was back to sliding on her belly and not moving very well at all. I am very concerned but as my wife said last night "when someone is recovering from cancer, it's not like they have only great days, she is getting better but she is still sick". This morning she seemed back to her attentive self checking me out while I was getting ready for work. We have another appointment with the vet today for the third antibiotic treatment. That's all for now...
  18. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    We'll keep our fingers crossed!
    Igs are pretty tough critters!
  19. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I know from many animals I have owned, a trip to the vet often wipes them out and they aren't them self for a day or so. Keep up the good work. It sounds like you are doing a great job.
  20. Dominick

    Dominick Founding Member

    Thanks for the update Steve-

    I think she is getting everything she needs to kick start her healing abilities. As I said before; One good day does not make a recovery (your wife is right on that one). She will be up and down, but overall should show signs of steady improvement.

    I am glad to hear she is getting B12, this is key to recovery from MBD. Also, remember you are only seeing the outside improvements. If everything you are doing is working well, there are many improvements inside her that you cannot see. ;)

    Keep up the great work. We are all very proud of you!
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