How To Know If My Iguana Is Sick

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How To Know If My Iguana Is Sick

More and more people have opted for keeping exotic animals as a pet. People are generally more accustomed to living with mammals such as dogs and cats than reptiles such as iguanas, making it difficult for us to interpret their behaviour and detect symptoms of disease. Iguanas are not the most expressive animals, so sometimes it might be difficult to know their mood. Furthermore, these animals tend to hide their signs of illness as a defensive trick, which adds even more difficulty to the task.

In we are aware of this fact and so we explain how to tell if an iguana is sick.

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The best way to know if your iguana is sick is to become familiar to its normal behaviour.

Although iguanas are not excessively active animals if you have noticed that your iguana is calmer and quieter than usual you should keep an eye on it as lethargy is a common symptom of many diseases.

Moreover, a sudden increase in aggressiveness also it can be caused by disease.


The most common causes that make a iguana lose its appetite are stress, excessive temperature, change in diet or inadequate nutrition.

If you have ruled out these factors and your iguana still does not eat then likely it is sick.

How To Know If My Iguana Is Sick - Anorexia


Joint inflammation is usually caused by gout, and inadequate food may be responsible for this.

Similarly, food disorders together with an inadequate supply of ultraviolet radiation can cause metabolic bone disease. In these cases we will see swelling in the hind legs, deformed fingers, and, in extreme cases, paralysis.

Also, lack of vitamins in itself can cause paralysis.


Sometimes external parasites, such as ticks and mites, can be observed.

These can be difficult to see at a glance, though sometimes their droppings can look a bit like 'dust'.

In addition, there are Internal parasites that are capable of causing vomiting and diarrhoea.

Iguanas rarely vomit, therefore doing so might be a clear sign of illness.


Both diarrhoea and constipation are signs of disease.

Sometimes changes in temperature can cause the stools to be more liquid than normal, but if this situation persists you should consult a veterinarian.

You should keep an eye on your iguana's feces to see if there is any change in color, volume or consistency.

How To Know If My Iguana Is Sick - Droppings


Healthy iguanas breathe with their mouth closed. If you have seen your iguana breathe with its mouth open it may be suffering from a respiratory disease.

Their nostrils should also be checked in search of mucus.


Healthy iguanas don't usually twitch, so if your pet is twitching it might be a sign that something is wrong.

Loss of balance

If your iguana seems to be unable to stand on four feet, it might be because temperature is too cold. Restore the temperature, but if it still struggles to keep balance, check with a vet.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Know If My Iguana Is Sick, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

  • We recommend you to take your iguana to the veterinarian at least twice a year.

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1 comment
Anna Picket
So if my iguana sits around with its mouth open, just breathing, that's a bad sign. That would be bad if he got a "respiratory disease." It may seep obvious, but I hadn't realized that iguanas could get colds. maybe we should find a vet that knows how to treat exotic animals.
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