Iguana Owner’s Guide to Blister Disease


Blister disease is a common problem for captive iguanas. It is also known by a few other names such as scale rot, vesicular dermatitis, and necrotizing dermatitis. This condition is usually caused by poor care.

Iguanas that are forced to live in unsanitary conditions are highly susceptible to blister disease. This is commonly a problem when the owner fails to clean up rotting food, feces, and urine in the enclosure. The iguana will be forced to lie in this dirty environment.

After living in these dirty conditions for a prolonged period, blisters will usually start to develop. These watery blisters can become infected wounds once they burst. This transfers bacteria inside the body which can infect the blood and internal organs. The area around the blisters may also start to rot away. This will make your iguana much more susceptible to secondary bacterial and fungal infections. It is very important that you seek veterinary advice as soon as you notice signs of blister disease. Immature iguanas can die very quickly from this condition. Iguanas suffering from other conditions or stress will likely have a weakened immune system which can make the condition rapidly fatal also.

The first order of treatment involves removal all rotting tissue and skin. This will be followed by aggressive antibiotic treatment. If you catch the disease in its earliest stages, you can soak your iguana in a Betadine solution once or twice each day. It’s also vital that you clean and disinfect the enclosure before you put your iguana back in it. It’s important that you clean your iguana’s habitat on a regular basis. You shouldn’t allow feces and urine to sit around. You should also remove any uneaten food on a daily basis.