Owner’s Guide to Dry Gangrene in Iguanas

Dry gangrene in iguanas is a condition that results from an infection.  If the infection is left untreated, it causes death of tissue.  Most lizards develop dry gangrene on their toes or tail.  So, what exactly causes this condition?

Cause

Most iguanas suffer from dry gangrene due to an injury in the affected area.  A common situation is having its tail stepped on which may damage blood and nerves.  Skin that has shed improperly can also cut off circulation in the toes or tail and result in gangrene.

Symptoms

This disease is easily noticeable.  The dead tissue will turn either black or brown.  It will also dry up and turn hard and brittle.  As the condition progresses, these symptoms will extend up the toe or tail.  The affected area will also probably feel mushy to the touch.

Treatment

Dry gangrene in iguanas is a very serious disease.  The affected area will need to be amputated to prevent the infection from spreading further.  If caught in time, the tail or toes can be amputated without many complications.  If the disease has already progressed, it will be necessary to amputate further up which will cause more bleeding and require more stiches.

Amputation of the affected area is only the first method of treatment.  Antibiotics are usually necessary to help combat the infection or secondary complications.  You, as the owner, will also need to care for your iguana’s wound until it has completely healed up.

Prevention

Since traumatic injury is one of the common causes of dry gangrene in iguanas, you should do everything in your power to prevent it.  You should also make sure there are no shedding problems which may allow dead skin to cut off circulation.  It’s best to check your iggie on a regular basis.

Source by D Swain

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