Am a Stranger to my Pet Iguana
Q: Paco has been a great iguana. He’s now about 8-years old and recently his personality has changed. Some days he likes me, and others he chases me agressively, or acts like he’s never seen me before. Do you have an suggestions about what I should do? C. C., San Diego, CA
A: He chases you? I wouldn’t give him the opportunity, as full grown iguanas can reach 6-feet, nail a pretty formidable bite and a good swing of that tail can break your leg. I am not suggesting any of this will occur, but it can if you allow yourself to be in that position. If you can figure out what’s causing Paco to aggress, stop doing it.
Meanwhile, Dr. Laurie Hess of Bedford Hills, NY, who has a special interest in alternative pets, says adults just don’t change for no reason. Kidney disease, in particular, may be the first rule out, but other possibilities include improper calcium or phosphorus levels, and heating in the place where the iguana is kept that isn’t quite right.
“By the time we witness a change in behavior, there may be an underlying medical explanation that’s been going on for months, or even a year or more,” she says. “This is why a visit to a veterinarian who has experience treating iguanas is a very good idea.”
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