Princess Anastasia, the iguana with style
A Very Merry Iggy Christmas
How Anastasia became a princess
Our iguana Anastasia AKA Binky has not been the easiest to raise. As a matter of fact she was very sickly as an iglet and developed Metabolic Bone Disease. This happens in iguanas when their diet does not have enough calcium.
She was syringe fed Gerber baby food for seven months because she was not able to eat due to her condition. Her mouth was bowed so wide that she could not eat regular vegetables as iguanas could.
It took us a long time to find a reptile vet because all vets do not know about iguanas and so many people want them. She finally got on liquid calcium and began to grow like crazy. MBD stunted her growth and at almost a year old she was only a little over 12 inches. Even now at almost 3 years old she is three times smaller then she should be.
Now, that little iggy, eats like a pig in a pile of slop. Even though I spent months syringe feeding her so she would not die, she became the princess of our home. She is very tame due to all the handling I gave to her and an amusement to watch. Her pesonality is so big I think at times she is laughing at herself for some of the things she does.
My husband built her a condo on wheels that we take to the vet where we board her when we go on vaction. They could not even believe that she lives like a queen.
Princess Anastasia could have easily died, had I not given her such good care. When deciding to purchase an iguana please make sure the first thing you do is find a vet that takes care of reptiles. They need a vet just like any other animal.
As you can see she has grown from all her other pictures and she is really a princess to say the least. I never thought in my wildest dreams I could love an iguana like I love her. She has style and personality as big as the heavens. I hope she lives for 20 years and grows old with me.
Anastasia the iguana with the big heart.
What are the symptoms of metabolic bone disease
Metabolic Bone Disease or MBD is a calcium deficiency that iguanas get because of lack of calcium in their diets. That is why anyone wishing to own an iguana should find a herp vet or reptile vet before purchasing them.
When iguanas do not have enough calcium they show signs but most of the time it is almost too late when the owner finds out and it is easily reversed if caught in time. Symptoms include: not wanting to eat, not moving, hind legs become large and hard, lower jaw becomes bowed and weak, lethargy and paralysis.
Calcium that you find in pet stores are not recommended for iguanas. You should get calcium syrup from a vet and the iguana would have to be weighed periodically because the dosing goes by weight.
If you can pull an iguanas mouth open with no problem then they are probably coming down with MBD. Iguanas mouths are very hard to open when they are healthy.
Just a baby
Iglets are so cute
The above picture is when we first got Anastasia. She had such a baby face. She is not a full grown adult iguana and a big personality to go with it.
The American Tourist
Posing for the camera
She knows everything in this life is about her. To her nothing matters but food, water and love from her mommy (me)
Making a phone call
It's hard to catch her
I wish I had a video of her throwing her food around her cage when she doesnt have what she wants in her iguana salad. Yes iguanas have a huge personality.
I got my eye on you
Praying over my food
Just being a bum
Every iguana needs correct lighting, heat and humidity. Their cage needs to be at least 85 degrees and they need a place to cool off, as iguanas can not regulate their temperatures. They need about 12 to 14 hours of light and then darkness. The also need a heat source at night time. A red or black reptile bulb is best for night heat. It is best to put eveything on a timer instead of having to turn lights on and off. They are strictly herbivores and need a very large cage about 6 foot by 4 foot. They will grow to be 6 feet long and can weigh up to 18lbs. They need temperature gauges and need to be bathed everyday. Their cages need to be misted and fresh food given daily. Several water bowls are needed and no hot rocks. The green igauana society has everything you need to know about iguanas on their website. You need to study it before even obtaining this cute little one as a pet. They can become expensive to feed and food is wasted that is why you have to shop smart for these animals. Under no circumstances should these reptiles be fed commercial food or crickets as many places will tell you. They can live a long healthy life with the proper care.
The Green Iguana Society is an excellent source with a wealth of information to raise and properly care for these reptiles. Other hubs I have written about iguana care are listed below.
Anastasia was very easy to tame because she had to be hand fed every day for seven months. Last year we had her spade and eggs removed because even though iguanas don't mate, females still carry eggs and in captivity it is hard for them to lay them. Since she as been spade she had at times become aggressive trying to tail whip me, but she knows I am the hand that feeds her so she never hits me hard. Its just a little tap to let me know she does not like what I am doing.
She knows what she wants and if one thing that she eats is not in her feeding dish, she will fling her food all over her cage. She also watches everything that is taken out of her cage during cleaning. They are not stupid reptiles at all. One day I was cleaning her cage and when I was finished I went on about my day. I walked past her cage and she was looking down. I went over to the cage to see what she was looking at and she was looking at the bottom of her cage. When I realized finally that I forgot to put her branches back in, I quickly put her branches placed just so in the correct spot. After a once over she nodded and went back to laying down as if she was pleased that she had told me what to do.
She is the princess of our house and will always be the princess until she leaves this world. My baby girl, my princess, my diva and any other name you could give her to please the queen.