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Discussion Starter #1
I'm fired up. My neighbors have a sort of FB-like message board to keep in touch and keep everyone informed about neighborhood updates and what have you.

Recently, someone's pet iguana got out in the 40 degree weather and ended up on another neighbor's lawn. They've tried to contact the owner with no luck, and the iguana was in pretty bad shape. I offered my help because there's one thing I do have expertise in, iguanas.

I ran a licensed home based reptile rehab for 10 years, and had an iguana for 21 years that I used for educational volunteer work. My nickname for a long time was the Lizard Girl. I've rehabilitated 100's of lizards specifically, and became the iguana expert that my vet would have foster some of her patients until they were back to full health. This is not for bragging rights, it's just when it comes to iguanas specifically, I have a huge soft spot for them. I've seen way too many abused and neglected to know they do not make ideal pets.

So anyway, another neighbor has decided to offer her assistance because she's own an iguana for a couple years and has a bearded dragon now. She was already on her way to the neighbor with iguana to bring dog food (iguanas are vegan), a 10 gallon tank (this iguana is 4 ft long), and a heat rock (they have known to cause belly burns and will heat a half frozen iguana up too quickly and will go into shock). I'm so angry and feel like this iguana is going to die before it gets back to its owner. The neighbor that has the iguana said that she thinks she has enough help with the other neighbor going over there.

Should I just let this go?
 

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I'm fired up. My neighbors have a sort of FB-like message board to keep in touch and keep everyone informed about neighborhood updates and what have you.

Recently, someone's pet iguana got out in the 40 degree weather and ended up on another neighbor's lawn. They've tried to contact the owner with no luck, and the iguana was in pretty bad shape. I offered my help because there's one thing I do have expertise in, iguanas.

I ran a licensed home based reptile rehab for 10 years, and had an iguana for 21 years that I used for educational volunteer work. My nickname for a long time was the Lizard Girl. I've rehabilitated 100's of lizards specifically, and became the iguana expert that my vet would have foster some of her patients until they were back to full health. This is not for bragging rights, it's just when it comes to iguanas specifically, I have a huge soft spot for them. I've seen way too many abused and neglected to know they do not make ideal pets.

So anyway, another neighbor has decided to offer her assistance because she's own an iguana for a couple years and has a bearded dragon now. She was already on her way to the neighbor with iguana to bring dog food (iguanas are vegan), a 10 gallon tank (this iguana is 4 ft long), and a heat rock (they have known to cause belly burns and will heat a half frozen iguana up too quickly and will go into shock). I'm so angry and feel like this iguana is going to die before it gets back to its owner. The neighbor that has the iguana said that she thinks she has enough help with the other neighbor going over there.

Should I just let this go?
Yes go get the lizard :) If you can take better care of it and you are already seeing the person who is suppose to take care of it obviously doing thing that's not fit for it GO GET :):):)

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dam*. That's unfortunate for the iggy.



a 4-ft iguana rates an 8-ft cube as a cage, like an indoor aviary. A 10-gallon tank is a sick joke, unless U want to fold the animal on dotted lines. :eek:

a heat-rock is liable to cause severe burns - the ENVIRONS, not the belly, need to be warm, but of course U know that.
It's very very likely the herp-novice is going to kill this iguana. :( Good luck getting any reasonable std of care - i would try to explain to them, but be prepared to be told to shut up & mind yer own beeswax, IME.

- terry

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Things did not end well last night. I contacted the neighbor holding onto the iguana and ended up going over there after a couple hours thinking they just had it under a heat lamp. The other neighbor, let's just call her Liz for the sake of this not sound confusing, was also there. Liz told the first neighbor that the iguana needed to be brought out of hibernation. Iguanas do not hibernate. If they are put in cold temperatures, their bodies start to shut down. I get there and see that Liz has indeed put out a bowl of wet dog food and is trying to force feed water down its mouth... It wasn't even alive at that point. There was no shallow breathing, I attempted to check for any signs of life, there was just nothing there.

I've seen what happens when an iguana is being revived from hypothermia, if it's not moving around after like a half hour, even groggily, it's not likely to make it. This iguana was dead. It had probably been out all night, and we had freezing temps over night. He was most likely out too long with no safe warm spot to go. They found him among the leaves on their lawn just laying there.

Well, I got kinda irritable with Liz, told the other neighbor that the iguana was gone. I have no clue if it ever was alive at this point. Liz proceeds to tell me her expertise with her bearded dragon that she's had for 5 years. There's a reason a lot of people own bearded dragons, they are hardy reptiles and easy to care for. Also, they do eat meat. Mine is 15 years old and I've fostered quite a few before. Liz became a know it all, and I basically just walked in there to see what I could do, it was gone, and had to get out of there because I felt like crying.

I used to go do these reptile education conventions with my iguana. He was about 6 ft long and 35-40 lbs, but was a very docile male so kids could pet him and I didn't have to worry about him running away. He had a leash, but we also had a sort of cat perch he liked to sit on. You wouldn't believe how many people would come up to me and tell me all these things that were so wrong. Like iguanas will grow as big as their tank, or dog food is fine as a staple, or trying to tell me that they were vicious and my iguana could attack at any moment. I'd had him since I was 10 years old. He was a free roamer and never bit or attacked anyone. People that never owned an iguana, or someone who had an iguana but it died after a couple years.

Just listening to this Liz woman speak was like reliving that all over. She really had no clue what she was talking about and it was very upsetting.
 

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I'm sorry to hear it.



yes; very upsetting, indeed. :(
Trying to feed any animal who's shut-down & cold is a recipe for killing them - kittens & pups who are chilled must be warmed FIRST, then fed. If U can't get their core-temp up, any food that gets into the stomach cannot be digested & begins to spoil.

It sounds as tho the iguana was either dead or very-nearly-so when found; at least hypothermia isn't an agonizing death. They slip deeper & deeper into a quasi-sleep, lose sensation from the extremities inward, & die.
Being REVIVED from hypothermia, OTOH, hurts incredibly. Iggy was likely past feeling whatever indignities were done, which is good.
Poor critter. :(

- terry

 

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Discussion Starter #7
The thing that makes me even madder was that Liz was so adamant about giving it dog food. It needed to warm up before even being concerned about any food or water. I had told her 3x previously no dog food and she just kept saying, "a few pieces will help". If a reptile is freezing and you try to feed it, they get stomach rot because their systems aren't even working and you're forcing it to digest food. On top of the animal being vegan, sure if it was healthy and alive, it would've taken the dog food, but my dog would probably eat chocolate if I gave it to him... Doesn't mean it's ok. You go to ANY reputable iguana expert and they've had studies done that shows meat causes kidney and liver failure in iguanas. Not right away, sure, but it will happen. They are not made to digest meat. I have a vegan friend that never ate meat before in his life, and he accidentally ate chicken thinking it was tofu, spent 2 days throwing up because his stomach wasn't acclimated to the bacteria in chicken.

The whole thing is just nuts.
 
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