Reptiles/health help


ig swollen jaw
ig swollen jaw  
ig swollen jaw 2
ig swollen jaw 2  
QUESTION: I know I should consult a vet but im tight on money with the the baby coming and I want to do as much as I can cause I feel like crap about this. Im pretty sure my iguanas suffering from mbd melabolic bone disorder I first notice the swelling a couple days ago but thought nothing of it cause it was eatting and I thought he was just chewing. I look back in the cage today and saw my poor iguana with its tounge stuck out and its jaw still swollen... now I dont know much about ghis disease my cause we did the same routine with our old iguana that died from seizers from a surgury it had cause it exscaped and my dog at the time got ahold of it. But any way I went to the petshop today thinking I could by a uvb bulb to replace the basking bulb so he could get better but the uvb buld they told me to get was a bar bulb which cost 30 and the housing for it cost 60 and like I said im extremely tight on money so I bought calcium flakes to go in its food but I feel like im not doing enough what else can I do to get uvb into the tank and more calcium in its diet? I heard dandy lions are great calcium. And did I notice these symptoms to late to cure with at home remideys I am truley heart brokrn and I feel like its in pain and I dont want it to die. I bought it for my mom as a christmas present cause she missed her old one... also this one dont like to be held since when I first got it we tried to resolve that but it kept whipping us with its tale and trying to bite us. I just want to cure it. If it allowed us to hold it we would have found out sooner what was going on but.... all I know it only has a swollen jaw and swollen joints at the shoulder its not swollen any where else as you can see in the pictures that I have included thanks for listening to me hope you can answer me :)

ANSWER: Hello Samantha,

I am sorry he is having trouble.  I do agree, it is most likely metabolic bone related.  The swollen joints & jaw are very indicative of calcium issues.
Which UVB are you using, or are you using one at all right now?
Are you using calcium supplementation right now other than the calcium flakes?  They probably are not strong enough.  
Do you have any tube light fixtures?  
I have an online reptile store & sell liquid calcium you could try.  I think that he does need a strong calcium supplement but also needs UVB lighting, too.  

If you want to try the liquid, let me know.  Where did you shop for the tube bulbs?  


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: As of right now I dont have a uvb I was planning on getting it when I get my check. Only other calcium hes getting is from juvenile food and dandylion leaves cause I heard there great in calcium plus that calcium powder. I been doing that since I found out plus trying to get more sunlight in its tank for the time being the swelling in the jaw is going down but now it seems to have tongue swelling... I really don't know what to do now I cant afford to go to the animal hospital they charged me 80 just to tell me my cat puking its food up was cause of hair balls at my job I only make about 200 biweekly but I still need to get baby stuff cause im due soon... I tried opening a vet care credit last time but been denied for not having an established credit Im trying so hard to get it back to healthy but im just so scared and just really wish for piece of mind you know and I read on here it could be mbd or kidney and between work and getting baby set up my stress level hit high

Hello Samantha,

The sunlight shining into the tank is only radiant & wont actually give any UVB emissions.  Can you get him outside daily for some strong sunshine or is it warm enough to do so?
Continue with the calcium supplementation right now.   
I believe that it could be metabolic bone disease & hopefully not renal issues.  
The dandelion greens are high in calcium & an excellent source of vitamin A, too.
Is his breathing normal?
Is he eating very much right now?  If not, then you can get some greens & make a slurry out of the greens & some veggies, too.  Just use a plastic syringe to get some food into him.
Can he chew very well?

Let me know how he is doing.


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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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