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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 3710
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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My Iguana is lethargic eyes closed and not eating. Lil Blue

Customer Question

My Iguana is lethargic eyes closed and not eating.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help your iguana. What is the iguana's name and age?
Customer: Lil Blue about 6 months
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Lil?
Customer: no
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 9 months ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 9 months ago.

1) Have long have you owned Lil Blue?
2) Where did you adopt him/her?
3) Please tell me about:
Caging--what size of habitat is being used? Glass? Wire? Wood? Plastic?
Temps--what is the ambient temp? cool side temp? Any hot spot? What is the temp there?
Humidity--what is the ambient humidity?
Food--What do you typically feed Lil Blue? Please include all info about insects, fruits, veggies, etc.
Supplements--Any used? If so, how often and what do you use?
Lighting--please including info on what lights, if any, are used, what types of bulbs, how old the bulbs are, etc.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I've had Lil Blue for about 3 months and purchased for reptile store. I also have large green iguana, both live in large indoor enclosure that is made of wood with out door carpeting and wire front. Temp is from 70 to 85 degrees and humidity is low. I have big tub of water that they usually poop in so its always being clean. I feed them a mixture of collard green, mustered greens, kale and romaine. A few times a week I will give them orange or mango. I give them no supplements. Daytime light is 100w Zoo Med basking spot lamp with UVA rays and night infrared basking spot light from Exo Terra. Bulbs are new
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 9 months ago.

I can tell you right off that the temps are too low, especially or a young iguana that is going to be more susceptible to husbandry flaws. The temperature needs to be closer to the 85-95 degree range. The hot spot should go up to 105 degrees. At night, the temps can go as low as 75 degrees. Because iguanas are present in areas that are warm and with high humidity, the humidity should be at least 65% and, ideally, closer to 80%.

Iguanas must have calcium supplementation or they are prone to metabolic bone disease. Your older iguana is likely not suffering effects because of mineral content already present in his body that Lil Blue does not have present. I also didn't see mentioned the usage of a UVB bulb which helps reptiles absorb calcium and phosphorus from their food. I would also recommend more variation in the diet.

You can learn more here:
and here:

For the time being, you will need to separate Lil Blue from the other iguana to minimize stress. Husbandry efforts need to be increased to the temps and humidity mentioned above with the proper bulbs (need to add UVB immediately). Give him 24 hours of rest after the temps and humidity has been corrected. After this, place him into a shallow dish with warm water roughly 1/2 way up his body for a soak. This should last at least 15 minutes or until the water becomes room temp. After this, proceed below:

Because he is not eating, you're going to need to start hand feeding him. You'll also need to purchase a calcium/phosphorus supplement to begin immediately. You can puree fruits and veggies listed on the food chart above together or you can use approved fruit/veggies that are on the list and also made in baby food form such as squash, which is popular with iguanas. Into the baby food or pureed veggies/fruits mix, you'll need to add some of the supplement. Place small amounts on the front of the snout which, ideally, he will ingest.

It would also be wise for you to have Lil Blue examined by a vet who specializes in herps. You can find a comprehensive list here:

I’ll be standing by if you have other questions. Let me know if I can help further.

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