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Iguana Parasitic Diseases

Parasites: Both internal and external parasites are common in newly acquired and imported iguanas and every new iguana should receive a veterinary check up to include a fecal exam to check for internal parasites. Be sure that when you take your iguana to the veterinarian that you bring a fresh fecal sample with you for examination. It is important that the veterinarian that you choose be experienced with examining and treating reptiles because iguanas carry some parasites that are vital to their digestion and just randomly deworming them may cause the loss of these needed parasites as well as the unwanted and harmful parasites.

Parasite Problems: Parasites may be found externally (mites), within the gastrointestinal tract (worms, protozoa), and within the blood (malaria-type parasites) of captive iguanas. Parasites represent a significant burden in addition to the inevitable stresses of captivity endured by all pet iguanas, and should be treated by a veterinarian specializing in reptiles. Iguanas weakened by malnutrition and chronic bacterial infections are particularly susceptible to the detrimental effects of parasites.

Mites: Can be present on newly imported or newly obtained animals so all new animals should be quarantined for a period of not less than 30 days in a room away from other iguanas, this will also help prevent the spread of other potential diseases. Mites can become a problem if left untreated so attention should be paid to the eyes and the tympanum for the presence of mites moving around. There are several species of mite that may be present on iguanas, but the most common are seen as white, red and brown moving specs. Mites are easy to eliminate if caught early, but if left untreated can quickly become a problem for you, your iguana and even other household pets. For this reason it is important to not only treat the iguana for mites, but to treat the enclosure and surrounding environment at the same time.