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One Word: Croutons.
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One of the most common diseases in the iguana hobby is the dreaded metabolic bone disease. Most iguana keepers will encounter this at least once, sometimes it'll for sure kill them unless drastic measures are taken.

The main thing associated with this disease is the lack of calcium in the bones, but there is still a lot more to this disease then you think.


Why Calcium Is important and What Causes MBD:


Calcium not only helps bones and teeth grow but is also involved in many other processes like: blood clotting, muscle contraction and nerve impulses
,and a heck of a lot more. Many foods that people feed their iguanas have high levels of phosphorus, which in high amounts, will react with the calcium and create calcium salts which cannot be absorbed into the reptiles blood stream. To prevent this the amount of calcium should be twice that (or more) of the phosphorus intake.
Not having the right amount of calcium also in turn effects the liver and kidneys, which are needed to process calcium itself.

Among all other things, the reptile itself needs to be able to produce vitamin d, which is needed to process calcium altogether. To provide an ample supply of this certain vitamin supplements can be added to it's food, the main thing to provide this though is enough light should be provided. Most reptiles need UVB lights, etc. but iguanas need this about 50 times more. In all the set-ups my family and myself have had there are multiple lights. Some things that are included are: about 3 different flourescent light bulbs, a ceramic heater ( lately have found that those cheap chicken egg incubators work better, the little metal reflector type things), and a special twist around compact UVB bulb.
 

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Flam, a good thing to add is some specifics on food........for example, since youre talking about MBD specifically, you might mention to either limit or NEVER feed spinach as it binds calcium, thus preventing its absorption.... Mention the limiting of kale too, as it can cause gout if fed too often.

Very important, variety..... Greens should make up 80% of the diet (mustard, turnip, dandelion......light on collard, NO lettuce of any kind), other veggies 10% (bell peppers, peas, carrots, lima beans, etc) and finally 10% fruits (berries, mango, papaya, kiwi etc)...... It is a good idea to shave/blend these items all together so the iguana can't pick out his favorites thus limiting his overall variety. ;)
 

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Oh man......we saw this so much at the vet. Our office iguana was a rescue as a matter of fact! We had many iguana euthanasias too, poor malnourished and very often MBD victims.... My stepson's mom had one.....I got so tired of hearing about it. She had NO clue how to keep an iguana. She had it in a probably 30 gallonish enclosure with a heat bulb and a stick. Thats it. They fed him a regular diet of crickets......... I made a care sheet for him to give to her, but who knows if it helped.

Iguanas shouldn't be sold in random pet stores......
 
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