Owner’s Guide to Iguana Paralysis

Paralysis in iguanas is a very serious condition. While some iguanas may be paralyzed permanently, sometimes the condition is reversible. So, what exactly causes iguana paralysis?

Causes

Your iguana can become paralyzed for various reasons. The most common cause of this condition is metabolic bone disease. It can also occur if you keep your iguana in an improper environment or feed him a bad diet. Injuries, lesions, or tumors involving the spinal cord can also result in paralysis.

Signs

If this condition occurs because of metabolic bone disease, you will notice a variety of signs before your iguana actually becomes paralyzed. These warning signs include loss of appetite, twitching, and swollen lower jaws. Once paralyzed, your iguana will be unable to move. He won’t even be able to defecate or urinate by himself.

Diagnosis

If you suspect that your iguana is paralyzed, it’s important that you take him to a vet as soon as possible. He will be able to tell for sure and begin treatment.

Treatment

As mentioned earlier, paralysis can sometimes be reversed. Your iguana will be given a variety of medications include calcium, vitamin D3, and anti-inflammatories. He will also need to undergo physical therapy. Throughout this whole process, you will need to provide support care to your iggie. He won’t even be able to go to the bathroom without your help.

Prognosis

If your iguana’s paralysis is permanent, the outlook is very bleak. You will need to give him baths on a daily basis. You will also need to give him massages to help expel urine and feces from his body. Since he won’t be able to move by himself, you will have to transfer him to and from his basking, sleeping, and feeding areas. As his health continues to decline, euthanasia may be a more humane choice.