I have a baby iguana and he is dragging his leg, i think it is broken. is it a and suffering process to fix and get

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Customer: hi. i have a baby iguana and he is dragging his leg, i think it is broken. is it a long and suffering process to fix and get better,what can i do, please help. i am in malta
Answered by Anna in 7 mins 11 years ago
30+ years of experience

17,054 satisfied customers

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


Some additional information will help me to answer your question.

Do you know how the leg was injured?

Exactly how old is the iguana?

What types of lighting and heating equipment do you have?

What temperatures do you maintain in the basking area and on the cool side of the cage?

Has the iguana been passing normal droppings?

What type of calcium supplement do you use?

What is the diet like?

Thank you.


is there a vet available?
Did u receive my reply
No, I didn't. There's no sign of it. Will you try again?

Thank you.
there was no drop or fall to cause the injury, just all of a sudden he was walking round the room and then i noticed his leg

he is round 8 to 10 weeks. i have had him 1 week, brought him from a pet store

i have a heat lamp,the pet store said it was good

he has made little droppings so far.

no calcium was been given at the moment

will it be very expensive for the leg treatment,, rough estamite

thanks darren

diet of fruit and veg, all types given

It came through this time, Darren.. I'm working on your answer, and will post it as soon as it is typed up. I appreciate your patience.

Please don't reply to this post as that can lock me out so I won't be able to post your answer.

I'll be back shortly.

Thank you for waiting. Since you only have had the iguana for a week, and the injury happened with no fall, I suspect you were sold an iguana that was already suffering from a serious health condition called Metabolic Bone Disease. It is the result of improper care, specifically a lack of UVB light and calcium. MBD is the most common cause of a broken leg in iguanas. To complicate matters, the pet store gave you incorrect information on care. There are important changes you'll need to make if you want to return the iguana to health. I'll tell you about those, but first we'll talk about the leg. Most vets do not set and caste a broken leg in an iguana. Often, the leg is splinted to the tail to stabilize it as it heals. Even without veterinary care, if proper conditions are provided, the leg will heal, but it may always be a little deformed or not as functional as it should be. Most iguanas adapt. I can't tell you what a vet in Malta might charge. even here in the United States vet fees vary greatly from one area to the next. the best way to find out is to call the local vet and ask if they treat reptiles and what their fees are. I tried to find a reptile vet, but apparently there are none in Malta. If you can't find a vet, and choose to let the leg heal on its own, be sure to remove everything in the cage that the iguana can climb on. You don't want a second broken bone. When he has healed, you can replace the items in the cage.

Now for care. You have to make sure you have the right lighting and that the temperatures are right in the cage. It’s very important that you get a reliable digital probe thermometer and check the temperatures in the cage. I suspect that they are not right. If an iguana is too cold, it will not eat and will not be able to digest its food properly. 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. A Reptisun 10.0 is a good brand of UVB light. Full-spectrum, SunGlo, DayGlo, UV, and UVA are NOT the same thing. The light must produce UVB rays to do any good. UVB bulbs are only good for 6 months, even if they still look fine, because after that amount of time, they don't emit enough UVB rays to keep the iguana healthy. It's good to plan on replacing the bulb every 6 months. Since your pet store didn't even know that iguanas need UVB light, they may not sell the lights. If that's the case, you may ahve to order one online. You should also give him a calcium supplement. The following site has information on choosing supplements:


Without calcium and UVB light, Metabolic Bone disease will progress, eventually causing a slow and painful death. You can read more about MBD here:


Because the pet store gave you incorrect information, and I've found that to be common to pet stores all over the world, you need a place to go for reliable information. I recommend this site for more information on iguana care:


Since you are a new iguana owner, you may want to read all of the information there. If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope you'll be able to nurse your iguana back to health.


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