A thorough initial examination is the cornerstone of a health care program for the pet iguana. All newly acquired iguanas, regardless of age, should be thoroughly examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Besides a complete physical examination, a blood workup and stool examination should be included. The advantage of this thorough initial workup is that current and potential medical problems can be identified and treated before they become serious.
Intestinal Inoculation: A fairly recent discovery has provided a probable explanation for the premature deaths of young iguanas despite apparently adequate diets. In the wild, young iguanas obtain needed intestinal bacteria and protozoa by eating the feces of adult iguanas. The microorganisms acquired this way are essential for digestion of plant material. Baby iguanas are not born with these microbes, so young iguanas reared in captivity never acquire them. All newly acquired, domestically raised (not wild-caught) iguanas should receive fresh feces from a healthy, parasite-free adult iguana (preferably wild-caught). One dose should inoculate the iguana for life.