Reptiles/Dark hard spot


QUESTION: My new baby blue iguana has a spot on his right knee thats hard and black and doesnt seem to shed properly. Underneath on his thigh, is white hard scales from his last shedding that havnt come off yet, i was worried that it was difficult to shed off so i tried to remove some myself. it wont and i dont wana hurt him so i dont force it. im hoping its not an infection but im not sure how that could be since he hasnt hurt his knee that i know of, but he did break his own tail off when he got spooked once, but thats growing back fine. Is there anything i can do?

ANSWER: Hello Mason,

Do you have a picture of this area on the scales?
Have you tried bathing him to see if soaking helps remove any hard or retained shed?
Wow, a blue iguana, how beautiful!  I would really like to see a picture of him, too if possible.  I am glad to hear his tail has grown back nicely, also.  :-)
It shouldn't be an infection unless the scales were raw for some reason & was injured in
some way which an abscess could have formed.
How is his eating, does he have a good appetite?
Are you using a good UVB light for him & calcium supplementation too?


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QUESTION: He's eatting well from what i can tell, i give him a different type of veggie each week and feed him grapes from time to time, but he doesnt seem to like his food pellets at all. i give him baths once a while but i havnt tried soaking it yet. I use calcium powder too but i dont feel he gets enough cuz he'll only eat the leafy greens and hardly anything else. I hope the pictures help and hope that im just over worrying.

Hello Mason,

What type of heating/lighting do you use?  Do you have a heat rock or heat mat you are using for him that he could have burned himself on, or something he has rubbed his skin on like a sharp rock, etc?
It kind of looks like retained shed, possibly.  You can get some shea butter or even use olive or coconut oil on that area to see if that helps out for him.
He is a real beauty!
It doesn't appear to be infected but, you could also consider getting some unpasteurized honey to put on that area, in case it could be getting infected.  I don't think it's fungal, but I would watch it closely to be sure it doesn't spread to other areas.
He wont eat any veggies, just greens?  Which greens does he eat?  
He does need calcium, so definitely try to get more into him if possible.  
Which UVB light do you use?  

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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