Metabolic bone disease in a green iguana (Iguana iguana)
The vast majority of captive reptile illnesses can be directly traced to improper diet and hubandry, either through a simple lack of knowledge or unwillingness on the part of the owner to put in the effort required to keep an exotic species healthy. Temperature is critical -- too hot and the animal can be burned, too cold and it will stop eating. If the humidity is too low, most reptiles are unable to shed properly. Exposure to ultraviolet light and appropriate diet are essential for basking reptiles to maintain proper calcium homeostasis. Of all the diseases which plague our reptile patients, one of the most common is metabolic bone disease. Usually the result of dietary and husbandry mismangement, this preventable disease is actually a broad term that encompasses many metabolic disturbances including fibrous osteodystrophy, nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism, osteoporosis, hypocalcemia, osteomalacia, and rickets. While the underlying cause may vary between cases, the effect on the animal is generally the same. This debilitating disease can be further illustrated by the following case study.
Senior seminar paperSeminar SF610.1 2006 Z45
Iguanas -- Diseases -- Treatment -- Case studies