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The Iguana Den





IMPORTANT: These pages on health are meant to be general guides, not hard and fast rules. They were not written by vets and are NO SUBSTITUTE for veterinary care. If you suspect something is wrong with your iguana, PLEASE see a qualified veterinarian!


Even though iguanas LOVE to lay in the hot sun or the "fake" sun we provide with light bulbs, they can and do overheat. Many times, even when overheated, they won't move from the spot they are in. If your enclosure isn't set up properly they may not be able to get out of the direct heat. This is why it is so vitally important that we maintain the proper temperatures and habitat for our igs. They depend on us to do this.

The use of thermometers is very important in their care. Its recommended that you use at least three in their enclosure. As stated in another section, maintaining shade and water and a cool area also pertains to when they are outdoors.

Signs of over heating are: panting, open mouth and feeling hot to the touch. When you see any of this happening, remove your iguana from the heat into a cooler (not drastic change) area. NEVER put them in cold or even cool water !!!
Once removed from the heat source, they should cool down naturally. If they don't, You can lightly mist them with some lukewarm water, once cooled down, a luke warm bath can be given, since with overheating, they have most likely dehydrated. Offer some high water content treats such as water melon can help rehydrate them after an overheated state.

When setting up your iguanas enclosure, the placement of thermometers is very important. Don't waste your money on those plastic stick on thermometers, they are not accurate, sometimes reading as much as 10 degrees off. In regulating the basking area temperatures, you must place the thermometer where your iguana will be. If your basking area is in the middle of your cage, placing the thermometer on the side of the cage will not give a true reading.

Example: the thermometer is on the side of the cage, reading a temperature of 94 degrees. Where your iguana is laying, which most likely is right under the heat source, the temperature is most likely 10-20 degrees(or more) hotter.

Words of caution:
NEVER place your iguana in an enclosed tank or cage outdoors or in a window!!! The sun will cook them!

In the basking area, if you cannot hold your hand (it gets too hot) at the iguanas level, under the light, then its too hot for your iguana!!
Make it a habit to check your temperatures in your enclosure several times a day.

Invest in good thermometers... They have electronic ones that can monitor two different areas of temperatures plus humidity. They also record the highest and lowest temperatures...they are inexpensive (15-20$) and are available in many places such as Wal Mart, Radio Shack , etc.



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