I had both of my iguanas in the same tank while i cleaned the other one and fixed the crack dome, one iguana was picking

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Customer: I had both of my iguanas in the same tank while i cleaned the other one and fixed the crack dome, one iguana was picking on the other one, but I didn't think it was too serious since i didn't see any actual biting. when i came back into the living room 2 hours late i removed the agressor and put him in another tank. here I am 6 hours later when I went to turn the day light off and turn on the night light i noticed my under-dog lizard was laying funny under his log (log not touching though) so I picked him up to inspect. his leg is swollen and looks like it's set funny. if he was a toy i would tug on it, it looks kind of pushed in. Of course i won't do that since it's a living thing and it would hurt him. i put him over in the warm corner in front of the light and moved his water and lettuce over near him. how do i tell if it's broken and requires vet attention (which i can't really afford)? Any advice? Thanks

V/R,
Amber
Answered by Anna in 7 hours 12 years ago
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Anna
30+ years of experience
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17,022 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hello,

I'm sorry to see that no one has responded to your question earlier. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online and saw your question. If you still need help, some additional information will be sueful.

What brand and size of UVB light do you have? Is it a coil or straight tube? How old is the bulb?

Do you give your iguanas a calcium supplement?

Thank you.

Anna
Customer

I have a regular florecent tube light over head, but I have a day bulb (not a long one, a regular lightbulb looking one from zoo med) and the same kind of night bulb. both are 100 watts. the night light was just replaced last week after the old one (maybe 2 or 3 months old) burnt out, the day light is probably about 2 months old. I keep a stock of lightbulbs under my tank to replace them when they blow out so I'm not exactly sure how old it was before I started using it. I put calcium suplements (reptocal powder) on their food about once a week, i was doing it more often but the back of the bottle said once a week so i gave it about a two week break incase i was over dosing them then picked back up again this week. I feed them every vegetable I can think of, bak choi, brussel sprouts, leaks, romain lettuce, tomato occasionally, spinach, spring mix salad, onion, green pepper, plums, strawberries, etc. so I figured they probably had a good enough diet even without the suplement. Thanks for helping me. I really appreciate your time.

 

V/R,

Amber.

Thank you for getting back to me, Amber. While the attack by the other iguana was the immediate cause of the problem, I suspect there is underlying Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD), and that made it easy for the leg to break. MBD results when there is an imbalance of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. The disease can take months to years to develop and produce symptoms. It causes a slow and painful death if not treated. Lack of UVB light is the most common cause. I don't believe your lights provide UVB. UVB lights are not measured in watts, but in output. for example, 10.0 %. Pet store staff often sell people the wrong bulbs. DayGlo, daylight, full-spectrum, UV, and UVA are NOT the same thing. It's essential that you find out if your bulb produces UVB rays. If you remember the brand and model, give me that information and I'll find out for you. If there's no way to find out, it would be best to get a new light that you're certain about. A Reptisun 10.0 is a good one.

A second cause is lack of calcium. Food should be dusted with plain calcium powder, such as Flukers. Food alone doesn't supply adequate calcium. You can read more about MBD here:

http://www.greenigsociety.org/mbd.htm

The following page has information on choosing and using supplements:

http://www.greenigsociety.org/vitamins.htm



Temperatures that are too low can also cause MBD. If an iguana isn't warm enough, it can't properly digest its food, and won't be able to metabolize calcium. The temperature directly under the basking light should be 90*F to 95*F. The coolest part of the cage should be 80*F. Iguanas need two kinds of light. The basking light provides heat. The UVB light doesn’t get very warm, but provides UVB rays. Without both types, an iguana will eventually get sick and die. Because pet stores often give unsuspecting pet owners incorrect information, I recommend this site for more information on iguana care:

http://www.greenigsociety.org/careinfo.htm

If your iguana's leg is broken, it will eventually heal - provided all proper conditions are met - but it may be crooked or it could become infected. It would be best to have a reptile vet examine the iguana. This link will take you to a directory of vets:

http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlist

If you have more questions, or need help figuring out your light bulb type, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your iguana will reach a full recovery.

Anna

If you find my answer helpful, please click on the ACCEPT button. Thank you.)



Customer

There is no broken skin. How will I be able to tell if it does become infected? Can it get infected eventhough there is no open wound? I have repti-wound-healing aid from zoo med. Can this help without there being an actual abrasion?

 

The calcium supliment I use is reptocal with calcium and Vitamin D3. It's a powder that you sprinkle a little bit on their vegetables. They don't like them though so I go light on them and skip days. I'll stop that and start dosing them more heavily.

 

The lights I use are:

ExoTerra heat glo infrared heat lamp (night time) 100 watt

Exo Terra Sun glo Neodymium Daylight (day time) 100 watt

the daylight one says that it has UVA rays but doesn't say how much. Are these innefective? I just bought some new bulbs (same brand) but I haven't opened them yet. I've been using the same kind ever since I got my lizards. I also have new 15 watt repti glo UVB lights that I bought today but I haven't installed them yet.

 

Thanks for your answers. I'm going to hit accept weather you know about the wound aid or not, I appreciate your time.

The Wound-Aid won't help with infection if there's no broken skin. The main signs of infection would be increased swelling of the leg, appetite loss, and lethargy.

The two ExoTerra lights that you've been using don't provide UVB rays, and so, would be ineffective in preventing MBD. The main purpose of those lights is to keep the cage warm. The Reptiglo lights that you just bought will provide UVB. Iguanas do need both kinds of light. UVB light is invisible to the human eye, and UVB lights also put out visible light. The bulbs have to be replaced every six months. They usually still look fine because they're putting out visible light, but they no longer emit enough UVB to do any good.

I also recommend that you get a different calcium powder. The added D3 is dangerous. It can cause neurological damage. You want a plain calcium powder. The Flukers company makes one, and it's inexpensive. If your local pet store doesn't have a plain powder, I can give you an online source.

If I can help in any other way, just let me know.

Anna
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