Skip to Content

How To Know If Your Iguana Is Dying?

How To Know If Your Iguana Is Dying?

How To Know If Your Iguana Is Dying? What are the signs of a dying Iguana? You aren’t the only keeper concerned about the health of your Iguana. Every good keeper is, and you’re at the right place to get all your questions answered.

Iguanas are one of the reptile animals known to be less susceptible to diseases if kept in appropriate conditions. Because of this, it’s easy to overlook some symptoms or signs that are not well pronounced till it gets worse. Invariably, what distinguishes a good keeper from a bad one is how well Iguanas know their pet and can care for it.

As a caregiver, you must first understand everything about caring for the species of animal you’re keeping as a pet. Secondly, you must be observant in your care to detect inconsistencies in your animal in time. Keep in mind that early detection can make a difference between your pet staying alive or dying.

To be on top of it, this article will discuss all the sick and dying symptoms of Iguanas and what you can do to save your pet. Note that not all signs automatically lead to death. Some symptoms can be remedied by adjusting your husbandry, while severe conditions will require diagnosis and treatment from an experienced vet.

But saving your bearded lizard’s life depends on when you found out it was sick and how fast you take action. After reading this article, you’ll fully understand your Iguana and can also tell between sick symptoms and Iguana dying symptoms. Keep reading to the end.

How To Know If Your Iguana Is Dying?

how to know if your iguana is dying
how to know if your iguana is dying

Iguanas do not have advanced communication skills like dogs. Iguanas can’t bark or cry to tell you that Iguanas’re hungry, sick, or sad. Hence, Iguanas only communicate by exhibiting behaviour that aren’t consistent with their normal behaviour. Behaviour such as not passing stool, not eating, and inactivity.

If you’re able to identify these behaviors and know what Iguanas mean, you can be sure to remedy the situation earlier enough before it worsens. Thus, it’s all right to say that you can only tell if your Iguana is sick if you know what each behavior it exhibits stands for. This section will discuss some of these abnormal behaviors and what Iguanas mean.

15 Signs Of A Dying Iguana

15 signs of a dying iguana
15 signs of a dying iguana

Talking about sick signs of Iguanas is to help you take action sooner before it’s too late.

Unresponsiveness To Stimulus (Lethargic)

Not responding to a stimulus can be a sign of good health. This will only happen when the lizard is in brumation. However, if it isn’t brumation season and your Iguana appears sluggish, you need to be concerned about its health. Often what causes lethargy is a sign of some underlying illness, and it can also be a drop in the temperature, causing less activity.

If your Iguana appears sluggish, you have to evaluate the heating and lighting lamps in its cage to know if Iguanas’re getting the right amount of heat. If your heating sources aren’t providing the ideal temperature, correct it as soon as possible. Once the temperature is ruled out, you can suspect a weakness of the bones caused by Metabolic Bone Disease.

Impaction/Lack Of Stool

Lack of stool is often a result of impaction, and impaction is caused by dehydration. When your lizard is unable to poop after some days of eating, it has not had enough water in its body to help digest the food, and this will cause impaction. Hence, if the issue is not detected in time and remedied, it can lead to death. To treat this, you need to offer your lizard plenty of water to drink and bathe it in warm water.

Bloody & Offensive Stool And Diarrhea

On the other hand, your lizard may have a running stool or stool containing blood instead of no seat. This could be from the diet, especially if you bought its food from the wrong sources. Intestinal parasites are another reason your lizard poops blood or has watery poop.

Thus, if your Iguana has an intestinal parasite, it’ll also poop blood or have runny poops. This illness is NOT something you should treat yourself at home; You Need To Visit A Vet Immediately.

Loss Of Appetite And Weight Loss

Loss of appetite and weight loss are the two most common and apparent signs that you’ll know your beardy is sick and needs help. Besides sickness, if the temperature in its cage is below average, it’ll trigger your beard not to eat. This is because Iguanas are cold-blooded, and Iguanas need heat to digest their food. Therefore, if your iguana hasn’t eaten and drank for a while, it’ll lose weight. A significant weight loss in a short time is often a severe problem.

Difficulty Walking/Moving

This is a sign that often requires medical help. Your pet Iguana may have problems moving or walking for two reasons. Firstly, it can be that your lizard fell off from one of the cage accessories in its enclosure and got itself injured in the leg. Secondly and most likely, your lizard may be suffering from Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) caused by calcium deficiency.

Interesting Further Reading

To be sure which one it is, an X-ray needs to be done to rule out injury in the leg. If your lizard fell off a branch and got its leg broken, your vet will know what to do to treat it. However, if it’s a metabolic bone disease, you’ll need to supplement your lizard’s diet with calcium and vitamin D3.

Skin Infection

You may notice some inflammation or swelling of the skin, discolored patches, especially in the mouth area, and some open wounds in the skin of your lizard. These are all indications that your Iguana is suffering from a fungus infection.

Once detected, take it to a vet immediately for treatment with antibiotics. However, to prevent this, you have to ensure that your lizard’s enclosure is kept clean and dry. High humidity and the wet section are often the cause of skin infection.

Wrinkly Skin

Naturally, Iguanas have wrinkly skin and some scales. But healthy skin will look fresh, contain moisture, and show some elasticity when pulled up. This means that if you should pull up its skin with your fingers, it should settle back in. But dry and wrinkly skin will not settle in.

A visibly wrinkly skin will look skinnier, and the fatty reserves in the tail will appear sunken in. Try pulling up your lizard’s scales to test this and see if it settles back. When you notice wrinkly skin in your lizard, know that it is dehydrated. Hence, you should offer it plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Shallow/Faint Or Difficulty Breathing

Any of these signs is a symptom of respiratory infection. Wrong humidity levels often cause respiratory infections. A raised humidity with low temperatures will give viruses and bacteria good ground to breed and infect your lizard. Once you notice these breathing signs, take your pet to the vet immediately.

If not treated in time, a Respiratory infection can kill the lizard in no time. You prefer One End Of The Enclosure, Especially The Cold End. Every reptile kept in captivity will have both a warm and cool side with a basking spot. In each area, specific temperature ranges are to be maintained with slight fluctuations.

Since Iguanas’s cold-blooded, Iguanas rely entirely on their environment to regulate their body temperature. Hence, once the temperature you provide isn’t within the ideal range, they become a problem. If you notice your lizard spending more time in the hot end or basking all the time, know that the temperature is low and your humidity is high, which is why your lizard is trying to stay warm and dry.

However, if you notice your lizard always digging a burrow, lasting under an accessory that provides shade, or spending more time in the cold end, then it’s an indication that the cage is too hot.

Extreme temperatures (either too cold or too hot) can negatively affect your Iguana. While too hot will cause severe skin burns, too hard will cause skin and respiratory infections. The rule of thumb is to maintain an ideal temperature of 75⁰ – 85⁰ F. Read our article.

Discolored Stomach

Stress can cause this, making the stomach of your Iguana black. Hence, it would help if you tried to avoid stress at all costs.

Cloudy, Sunken, Or Filmy Eyes

A healthy Iguana will have clear and bright-looking eyes. Anything other than this tells you that your lizard is sick. In severe cases, where a discharge comes out from the eyes, it could be an infection. Any problem with the eyes needs the attention of a vet.

In all, you may ask, so at what point will my Iguana get sick and die? Remember when I mentioned that all these signs do not mean that your lizard will die. Your Lizard Will Only Die If Any Of These Signs Was Not Detected And Remedied On Time.

Iguanas, like other reptiles, are sensitive to their husbandry, especially temperature. This means that slight negligence on your part as a keeper can cause serious health issues to the lizard. That notwithstanding, the illness can be remedied. But if you didn’t notice it in time, the lizard can die. Close examination and keeping records of everything about your lizard cannot be overstated.