Gout in iguanas is a condition that causes painful, swollen feet. It affects the joints and can lead to severe arthritic symptoms. You may be wondering what could cause such a condition.
Most iguanas suffer from this disease because they have been fed too much animal protein. These lizards can’t digest animal protein very well. Uric acid, a byproduct of protein digestion, will eventually start to become lodged in the tissue of the joints leading to gout.
Although an improper diet is by far the most common cause, it’s not the only one. Iguanas that experience frequent dehydration are also particularly susceptible to this condition. This is usually caused by lack of fresh water on a daily basis. Kidney damage resulting from various conditions can also cause gout.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the main symptom of this disease is swollen, painful joints. Although tissues in the feet are usually affected, other areas such as the eyes may also become swollen. Most iguanas suffering from gout also experience lethargy or inactivity. Their scales and skin will also look unhealthy.
The first order of treatment is to administer anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids. This will help reduce pain associated with arthritis attacks. In some cases, your iguana could even need surgery. Since improper care is usually the underlying cause of gout in iguanas, changes in care will also need to be implemented.
Gout is an incurable condition, so it’s best to prevent it in the first place. This means making sure that you don’t feed your iguana too much animal protein. You will also need to provide fresh, clean water daily.