Being herbivorous, iguanas need leafy Greens, plant matter, veggies and some fruits in their diet. They are usually enthusiastic eaters and have a strong desire for food. If your Iguana is not eating food properly, it can cause concern and a symptom of broader health issues.
In this article, I will discuss the question: why is my Iguana not eating, along with what to do if my Iguana is not eating. Like any other pet, iguanas can also develop health issues with not eating food, improper diet or poor husbandry.
Iguanas should be housed in a neat and clean Habitat with a suitable environment. If your Iguana is going on a hunger strike, keep reading to know the top 9 reasons why is my Iguana not eating. We’ll also discuss nine tips to get your Iguana appetite back.
9 Reasons Why Is Iguanas Not Eating
Iguana usually refuses to eat food when there are any pain or health issues, and they can also refuse to eat food if you offer a poor diet. The following list contains the top 9 most common reasons why is my Iguana not eating.
Reason #1: Injury.
If your Iguana suffers from an injury, he is lucky to stop eating. If the injury is severe or wrong, it should be treated by a professional vet. Not treating the injury properly can get it infected very soon.
Therefore, there can be many potential causes of injury in their enclosure, like sharp edges on tank decor, keeping more than one male Iguana in the same enclosure or allowing live insects to roam around your Iguana’s enclosure. These are enough to cause a severe injury to your Iguana that can get infected if not treated properly.
Solution: If the injury is minor, you should consider cleaning it with warm water and an antibiotic. A minor injury or cut will not affect your Iguana appetite and make them eat less unless it is severely infected. If you can’t happen to solve the issue, consult your nearest pet veterinarian.
Reason #2: Poor Diet.
As iguanas are herbivorous, you should keep insects and meat from their serving. They usually forage on plants and their matter. They can also be fed dark leafy green vegetables but not food high in protein. If you are feeding your Iguana with high protein, it can cause severe health issues in the kidney.
Adding to this, it is essential only to feed your pet the food they need. You should avoid feeding any food from your kitchen as most of them are a total waste. And some of them can even be poisonous. Adding to this, if you have been feeding your iguanas the same diet every day, it can create boredom. Your pet might not be interested in eating the same food every day.
Solution: Consider offering a food variety to make sure your Iguana gets a well balanced healthy diet rich in minerals, vitamins, and nutrients they need to thrive. It would be best if you tried offering varieties of veggies, seeds, flowers and fruits to find out what food entices your iguanas to eat.
Reason #3: Calcium Or Vitamin Deficiency.
There are many types of vitamins that your Iguana needs to stay healthy. Such vitamins include Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and Vitamin b1. A vitamin E deficiency can cause them to lose their appetite, but it is scarce.
On the other hand, vitamin d is the most common vitamin that most Iguana lacks. It is important to always mix the calcium supplement with Vitamin d3. Iguanas recovering from a hunger strike are more likely to have a vitamin deficiency.
Calcium deficiency may also create issues in absorbing nutrients and digesting food properly. Even if you feed all types of leafy greens and vegetables, not all nutrients are being absorbed by your pet. Therefore, you should consider looking at some supplements to balance your diet.
Solution: if you think that your Iguana is suffering from a vitamin deficiency or t, consider taking him to a vet to check their blood and learn vitamin levels. You can also try self-dosing your iguanas with Vitamin supplements but make sure you don’t overdose.
In case of calcium deficiency, many other calcium powdered supplements are necessary to dust on your Iguana’s foods to prevent further deficiencies and promote healthy digestion.
Reason #4: Stress.
There are many causes of stress in Iguana. If Iguana is not eating correctly, it can also be a sign of stress. When Iguana feels stressed, they often refuse food and lower their activity level, increasing their aggression. There can be many chronic stress causes like aggressive tank mates, improper handling, illness, small enclosure or wrong temperature in their habitat.
Out of all the reasons on our list, stress is the most difficult to understand when it comes to knowing why your pet is not eating. Iguanas appear to be in a situation of chronic stress, then. Start checking their enclosure settings first.
Solution: if you feel your Iguana appears stressed, you should first check the tank’s temperature and humidity level. If this is correct, then look at the diet you are feeding. If all these don’t seem to cause chronic stress, then maybe your Iguana is suffering from illness.
Adding to this, if your Iguana is new, stress is every day. Bringing any pet, including an Iguana, to a new place is ultimate stress for them for a few days, which should reduce quickly within the first week.
Reason #5: Impaction.
If you have offered any food in big chunks, then Impaction is possible. Impaction usually happens when a chunk of food or any item gets stuck in your Iguana intestinal tract, causing a severe blockage. This blockage can be highly uncomfortable for your Iguana, making them unable to eat correctly.
The most common symptom of Impaction is a lack of appetite and a change in their Poop. Impacted Iguana will have small and granny Poop. Or, their Poop will completely stop. Impaction is quite common in reptiles like iguanas, who live in captivity with the wrong substrate.
You should always avoid purchasing any loose substrate that your Iguana can ingest. Iguanar Iguana hIguanaested sand, it can also lead them to Impaction.
Solution: Sand impaction can be easily determined using an x-ray or can be felt by gently touching your Iguana stomach. It would help if you considered using substrates like reptile carpet or tiles, which significantly reduce the risk of Impaction, primarily for convenience and hatchlings.
The first thing to do for an impacted Iguana is to stop feeding them. It would help if you took your Iguana tIguananearest vet as soon as possible. Sometimes, Impaction can recover or clear up on its own, but a quick trip to the vet will be better to be on the safe side.
Reason #6: Parasites.
If your Iguana iIguanaering from internal parasites, this can be a bigger problem. Most of the Iguana breeds in captivity get parasites from their prey or through contact with other reptiles. Internal parasites are not expected.
However, iguanas hIguanaertain parasite load in the stomach without impacting their health; too high of a load can lead to many problems like weight loss or lack of appetite. Some of the most known internal parasites are protozoans and nematodes.
Adding to this, if you have been feeding your Iguana wild insects, it can also be the reason for internal parasites. Most wild insects carry parasites which Iguana should never ingest.
IfIguana you have more than one Iguana, Iguanaou should always wash your hands when handling & switching between two reptiles to prevent the spread of parasites. An Iguana suffering from parasites will never want to eat and appear lethargic.
And Iguana signing from parasites will still poop, but it will be discoloured or runny. Discoloured or runny Poop is the most significant sign of parasite infection in reptiles.
Interesting Further Reading
- Can Iguanas Live With Other Reptiles?
- 7 Safe Plants For Iguana Enclosure
- 9 Best Type Of Iguana For A Pet
Solution: Avoid letting them roam in your garden or yard. If your Iguana iIguanaering from parasites, get your Iguana tIguanaby a veterinarian because they are best at treating it with anti-parasitic medication.
Reason #7: improper lighting setup.
As we all know, iguanas are most active during the daytime and often love basking in the sunlight. They should always have access to UVB lighting while being in that enclosure. UVB light is essential for iguanas to synthesise Vitamin d and build strong bones.
It is essential to permanently replace the UVB light every six months as its output decreases. Without proper UVB light, Iguana mIguanafer from a metabolic bone disease, a severe health problem. Metabolic bone disease can deform your Iguana’sIguana’sspines and limbs.
The absence of a UVB bulb or lighting will also result in them refusing to eat or lacking appetite. The stress of metabolic bone disease can alone make your Iguana Tiguan hard time eating. If there is no proper UVB light and your Iguana sIguanaating, you get the problem right away, which needs to be solved.
Solution: if there is no UVB light, the first thing is to install one. If you already had a UVB light, then check its output as most worn off after six months of usage. It is best to replace the UVB light every six months permanently.
If your Iguana iIguanaering from metabolic bone disease, it can even be treated or reversed early. Visit your veterinarian for a blood test to know if the calcium level is too low. It will also help you identify the metabolic bone disease in the early stage if there is.
Reason #8: Wrong Temperature.
Iguanas need hot and humid temperatures inside their tanks. Suppose it is too cold, your Iguana iguana. Therefore, the first thing you should do is check your tank’s temperature. If your Iguana iIguanased to low temperature for too long, it can also have trouble digesting food.
An Iguana living in a cool tank temperature may also develop a weakened immune system. As we already know, an Iguana needs a proper ambient temperature inside the enclosure which should never be lower than 75° F. Their basking spot should always have a suitable temperature of around 95-100° F.
Being cold-blooded, iguanas rely entirely on external sources of temperature for energy. Your Iguana iguana is fully warmed up to eat without proper temperature. After eating, they also need temperature for proper digestion. This makes us aware of why temperature is vital for reptiles like iguanas.
Solution: if the temperature inside their tank is too cold for them to keep themselves warm and digest food, make sure to fix it using UVB bulbs and basking lamps. Not fixing the low temperature can lead to more severe health issues. If the Iguana hIguanacharge from its mouth or nose, it might suffer from a respiratory infection, which a vet should check.
Reason #9: Shedding.
If an Iguana is about to shed, it is common for them to eat less or not at all. The pattern of reduced appetite with shedding is typical for most reptiles, and shedding in Iguana iguanas happens throughout their entire life. Depending on the age of your Iguana, Iguanaequency and the length of shedding will also vary widely.
You can expect a giant adult Iguana to take at least two weeks to properly shed while the juvenile sheds in a day or 2. In shedding, Iguana’sIguana’scomes papery and white with rubbed off patches. An adult Iguana sheds their skin periodically.
Solution: if your Iguana shed, it is better to mist and soak them regularly to help. Most of the Iguana shed In pieces. You should constantly monitor your Iguana iguana shedding and ensure there is no small piece of the skin stuck or attached to your pet.