How to Tell if Your Iguana is Sick

If you have a pet iguana, you may find it a bit difficult to read his moods sometimes. Iguanas, after all, are not the most expressive animals. These scaled beauties tend to hide any signs of illness as long as they can. This is a defensive trick they learned in the wild. Even though your pet lizard may be completely safe in your Lexington home, the habits of a wild animal are deeply ingrained in him. If your iguana has an injured limb, for instance, he may try his very best to make the injury unnoticeable. To ensure your iguana stays healthy, you’ll want to keep a close eye on his behavior.

Here are a few things to watch out for with your iguana.

Appetite Loss

If your iguana is usually a healthy eater, and suddenly starts picking at or ignoring his food, this could be a sign that something is wrong. There are a few instances where it is normal for an iguana to refuse food, such as when the temperature is too cold for him, when he is about to shed, or if it is breeding season. If none of these apply, and your iguana is not eating, he may be ill.

Lack of Energy

Healthy iguanas tend to be quite alert, and even feisty. If your scaled buddy seems disinterested in everything, is lethargic, and/or seems weak, he could be sick. Keep a close eye on him; if he doesn’t bounce right back within a day or so, contact your vet.


Iguanas don’t generally twitch. If your pet lizard is twitching, this is a red flag that something could be wrong.

Loss of Balance

If your iguana seems to be struggling to get on or off his perch, or falls off, there could be something going on. Iguanas sometimes do this when the temperature gets too cold, so make sure that your lizard’s domain is sufficiently warm.


Healthy iguanas rarely vomit. If you have witnessed your iguana getting sick, this could also be a symptom of illness.

Iguanas have specific needs. To stay healthy, they need clean cages, proper heat and light settings, and a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients. Don’t feed your iguana iceberg lettuce, as there is no nutritional value to it, and they will become malnourished. They also need a cage that is at least 3-4 times their length. Make sure to do plenty of research so you will know what to expect when it is shedding time, or when they enter breeding cycles.

If your iguana is displaying any of the above symptoms, please contact your Lexington vet immediately.

Leave a Reply