Rehabilitating a sick Iguana... NEED ADVICE!! - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-27-2004, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Rehabilitating a sick Iguana... NEED ADVICE!!

I am currently rehabilitating an adult female iguana. Overall she's not in terrible condition from what I can tell, but, I have a few questions.

1. She seems to have trouble closing her eyes completley. In the past I've found that this is often becasue there is dead skin around the eye that hasn't shed away yet. It certainly looks that way in this case, but the problem is that it doesn't seem ready to shed. The rest of her body is shedding and it appears that the rest of her face is done, but, the skin around her eyes (which does appear to be dead skin) won't come off. It's still completley intact. I've tried bathing her but to no avail yet. Any suggestions?

2. She is creating a large amount of mucus that is building up on her gums and drying up. It forms this really thick gel-like layer on certain parts of her gums. I clean it off regularily with a Q-tip but it always seems to return. If you can tell what is happening here I would greatly appreciate it.

Other than the issues mentioned above she seems to be in pretty good shape. She is a good eater and drinks plenty of water and defecates fairly regularly. I would greatly appreciate any advice that you can give me.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-28-2004, 01:03 AM
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The build up of mucous could possibly indicate an oral infection of some sort. This may also explain the eye problems. When you open her mouth, is there any stringy/thick mucous? Are her nostrils clear and free of mucous or an abnormal amount of dry crust (its normal to have a little)? If it doesn't appear to be too bad, I would rinse the gums with an antibacterial solution - chlorehexadine being my choice for those type of things. Don't let her drink it, just rinse. If its persistant, a vet visit would probably be in order. If she's eating well, it doesn't seem real likely though. Mouth infections are far from comfortable and usually the first symptom is going off of feed. Perhaps she just had a touch of MBD which slightly deformed her jaw, so her gums are always slightly exposed causing the mucous membranes to work a little overtime? Hard to say.

Frequent soakings/mistings can help with retained sheds. Vitamin E oil works well on areas of skin that are damaged, like burns. Other than that, its a sensitive area, you don't really want to pick at it or anything. I'd wait until her next shed and see what happens, as long as it wasn't causing her too much immediate discomfort.

Rav

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-28-2004, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Some good news... more bad news.

Fortunately, the issues with the mucus seem to be declining. The skin around her eyes appears to be almost ready to shed... but is still clinging on. Despite the improvements, I recently noticed one more serious problem. While holding her to inspect her mouth and eyes she became slightly agitated so I lifted her above my head as I normally do to calm her. I then noticed three to four open wounds on her neck and dewlap, each is approximatley 3 mm in diameter. I have swabbed them with hydrogen peroxide and applied a topical ointment to assist in healing. She does have a problem with mites that I have been treating, although they are the larger, less dangerous kind. Mostly they are living around the cage and there aren't usually that many on her body, although, there are bound to be more at night. My only theory about the sudden appearance of these wounds is that they may have been casued by the mites.

Thanks for the advice. Any more that can be offered will be appreciated.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-28-2004, 03:19 PM
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Mites are a serious problem, there are no less dangerous kind. They often lead to anemia, and can contribute to all sorts of other problems. Including bad sheds, and generalized stress. I rescued an ig back in 1999. Her previous owner was nearly blind, so didn't see the mites on her. Her scales were all deformed, her skin black in most places, her tail nearly rotted off. It was pretty nasty. They can contribute to many problems, but open sores is not usually one of them unless there are some other issues, like a skin infection. Keeping the affected areas as clean as possible is about all you can do for it, short of a vet visit. I do highly recommend the chlorehexidine, it is an antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and does wonders with reptiles. Panalog cream is also a good thing to have on hand for wound treatments.

Rav

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Wrapped in all of the promises, that no one seems to keep.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-28-2004, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Yes, I am taking action to remove the mites. I am using a treatment provided by the vet that is misted on her regularly. It has worked in the past and I hope for the same results now. I meant that these mites are less dangerous because they are easier to notice even when the infestation isn't that bad, thus easier to stop at an early stage... but your point has been duly noted.

One thing I noticed about the wounds was that they are only on one side of her neck and dewlap (odd...). I see her scratching from time to time.

She is absolutley the sweetest iguana and basically sat still during the wound-cleansing process, although she definatley seemed aware of what was going on. She seems to enjoy my company even though she is sick. She likes being out of her enclosure and exploring the house. All good signs.

I am going to give that chlorehexidine a try. Every little bit helps.

Thanks again!
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