Your Reptile and Amphibian Resource and Information Site

Back to Chuckwallas Forum   Forums   Home   Members Area  

Chuckwallas Forum

Shutterbunny   Dallas0218   Shutterbunny   Dallas0218  
 Member  Message

 #1299076


Shutterbunny
View Profile





 Newbie desert iguana owner needs help

Newbie question here...I didnít know if this should be posted here or in the iguana forum, but that forum seems to concentrate on green iguanas and I know that desert iguanas and chuckwallas seem to always be listed together...


After 2 weeks of talking to pet store people, we decided to buy my son a desert iguana. I now know that the pet store people perhaps arenít the most knowledgeable and that perhaps the desert iguana wasnít a great place to start. Anyway, here is a "brief" scenario and my question/questions...

Bought the desert iguana on Sunday...pet store sent us home with a 10 gal. tank, combo hood (night, day and UVA/UVB lamps) a little cave and a food and water dish. Told us to give him romaine and maybe a dandelion from our yard for food. By Monday, Iíd looked up enough to know that the set up wasnít really working, the temp in the tank was hovering around 80 from top to bottom and side to side...not warm enough for basking or really for eating as everything I read says 90 or above for good appetite. So, yesterday (Tues) I changed the tank to a 30 gallon, got a bigger hood and higher watt daytime bulb. I also went an purchased water cress, kale, spinach, dandelion greens *not from the yard, fed him 4 from the yard but found out thatís probably not a safe way to go* mango and some squash (acorn or butternut, I donít remember). Changed out the tank last night and I am aware that the poor little guy is probably majorly stressed, but Monday and yesterday he hung out on his "hammock" under the light (probably attempting to get warm) and after last night (approximately 6pm) he freaked out and went into his rock/cave thing and has not come out. He has eaten almost nothing save the 4 dandelions from the lawn...I donít know how much a little desert iguana should be eating...heís maybe 7 inches nose to end of tail. I donít know how quickly he should be coming around and eating and how much of this is normal because heís stressed. He has access to food and water (changing food 2Xís a day in effort to be sure it is fresh if he decides to eat) and the temp up in his hammock is now hovering at 95-100 degrees and the rest of the cage is at 85 or so during the day.

I guess my questions are as follows...

I know stress is bad for ANY animal and certainly reptiles, is this kind of thing "normal" for a desert iguana this new and what can we do to help him through this?

How much would he eat each day if he was healthy and happy?

Is there a way to get him out of his rock cave and back up on the hammock so at least heíll be warm and in the UVA/B light?

Any other suggestions on what is best for him right now?

Thanks,
Michelle



05/30/07  01:44pm

 #1301118


Dallas0218
View Profile



  Message To: Shutterbunny   In reference to Message Id: 1299076


 Newbie desert iguana owner needs help

I have found that the best way to get babies to eat is with the dandelion flowers. I usually pull the flower apart into a few pieces. They seem to eat 2 to 3 flower buds depending on size of flower. After they start eating more aggressively I start adding in some greens ( mustard, turnip,collard, endive, watercress).I chop mine up so its easier for them to eat. Do not feed lettuce ( iceberg, romaine, red leaf, green leaf), these have no nutritional value for your pet. As they get older and start to grow, I start giving squashes and some fruits. If all else fails and he does not eat, you can try some small crickets, this is only to help start him eating, they are vegetarians and shouldnít be fed a regular diet of insects. You may want to increase basking area to around 105 deg. If your tank is in a high traffic area, you can move it to a more secluded area to ease the stress and hopefully increase his activity.

Brian



05/31/07  11:53pm

 #1305463


Shutterbunny
View Profile



  Message To: Dallas0218   In reference to Message Id: 1301118


 Newbie desert iguana owner needs help

Brian,

Thanks, I appreciate it, sorry I didnít reply earlier to you, I didnít get a notification that there was an answer tot he post and didnít check in over the weekend.

anyway...yep, heís eating the dandelion flowers and will eat the dandelion greens I bought as well...on Saturday, he started shedding his skin...itís coming off in pretty decent sized pieces and he is using the grape vine to rub parts of it off. He is definitely starting to settle in.

Thanks again, and Iíll keep updating as needed.



06/04/07  12:15pm

 #1305493


Dallas0218
View Profile



  Message To: Shutterbunny   In reference to Message Id: 1305463


 Newbie desert iguana owner needs help

Good to hear. Sounds like heís getting comfortable in his new home.

Brian



06/04/07  12:43pm


Back to Chuckwallas Forum   Forums   Home   Members Area