The Exotic Vet


This 7 year old female iguana was brought into the clinic today for a non-healing wound. She has free range of the owner’s home and does not have an enclosure of her own-no UV light, heater, anything. The owners have a dachshund that enjoys chewing on the iguana’s spikes and has done so for quite some time. A few days ago the iguana was discovered hiding behind the toilet and her body looked discolored and misshapen and she had a large open wound on her back. If you look closely at the pictures you will see blue patches all over her- these are not the discoloration noted-this iguana was painted blue, she also had glittery nail polish applied to her claws. Until blood work and bacterial cultures come back we can’t be 100% sure what is going on with her but it appears the dog bite got infected and this infection moved down the fascial planes of her back and has  separated her muscles from surrounding tissue. She also feels like she may have metabolic bone disease but this can’t be proven until we get radiographs.

This case makes me sad because this iguana was treated more like a decorative house accessory than a pet. I was also angry that the owners knew the dog chewed on her but let it continue to happen. Reptiles must have their own enclosures with access to UV light and proper temperature regulation. The owners are not able to spend much more money and this wound is very deep and she appears septic so the most humane next step may be euthanasia but we will see what the lab results show.