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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11507
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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my iguana is having seizure i dont know what to do im sca

This answer was rated:

my iguana is having seizure i dont know what to do im scared

Some additional information will help me to answer your question.

How long has this been going on?

What temperatures do you amintain on the warm and cool sides of the cage?

What do you feed? Any supplements?

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

Thank you.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

well usually she wonders around my room and shes on my window for most of the day! and at night i put her on her cage, don't really have a uvb light for her, since shes on the window most of the time. I feed her roman lettuce and occasionally, strawberries, broccoli,cactus and days,

but she hasn't bee eating my scared i don't want to lose her u think she can still make it?

Thank you for getting back to me. Someone has given you incorrect information on iguana care, and that is the source of the problems. If you make some important changes, you may be able to restore your iguana to health. It certainly can't hurt to try.

The seizures are probably a sign of Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). As MBD progresses, it causes symptom sin just about every body system. 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. It's extremely important that you buy a light that produces UVB rays as soon as possible. A Reptisun 10.0 is a good brand that does. If you choose another brand be absolutely certain it provides UVB rays. Don't take the word of pet store personnel, but read it for yourself. Full-spectrum, DayGlo, daylight, UV, and UVA are NOT the same thing. I'm putting a lot of emphasis on this because it's crucial to a reptile’s health. UVB bulbs must be replaced every six months as they lose their effectiveness after that, even though they may still look fine. Light that comes through a window isn't sufficient because the glass filters out the UVB rays.

A second cause is lack of calcium. Food should be dusted with plain calcium powder, such as Flukers. You can read more about MBD here:

I apologize that there's a glitch on the site tonight that won't let me activate links, so if you want to see the site, you'll have to copy and paste it to your browser.

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. An iguana needs to spend time in its cage, so it can be exposed to these lights for 12 to 14 hours per day.

Your iguana's diet is also poor. They need a wide variety of produce. I recommend this site for more information on iguana feeding and care:

Because your iguana hasn’t been eating well, she may be dehydrated. I'm going to give you a first aid step to take to help with that. Use some Pedialyte to prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak your iguana for about 20 to 30 minutes. Be sure to supervise closely. It’s best to give two of these soaks each day until she returns to normal. The Pedialyte and water can be absorbed through the vent, so this is a way to get much more into your iguana’s body.

In summary, start giving Pedialyte soaks, buy a UVB light , provide a calcium supplement, and make sure the temperatures are right. These measures won’t immediately cause the swelling to go down. MBD takes a long time to develop, and it will take awhile for it to improve. If the condition is too advanced, only a vet will be able to help, but the above measures may be enough. All you can do is try. If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your iguana will reach a full recovery.

Anna and 2 other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you
In order to get some calcium into your iguana, add some calcium powder to her bath. Mix it in well. That can be absorbed throught he vent, too. Do this tonight - waiting until tomorrow will be too late. If no pet stores are open, you can buy plain powdered calcium in the human supplements area of discount stores and pharmacies.
Another of our experts (thank you to Joan) has suggested that you also crush a calcium tablet to a powder, and just put it in your iguana's mouth. This is in addition to providing calcium in the bath. It's absolutely crucial that you get some calcium into her.


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