This is Dragon. I know some may not see an iguana as a very cuddly pet, but every animal has its way.
We lost this dear wonderful lady yesterday. She was an astounding 15 years old. That is very old for an iguana in captivity. We have had her longer than we have had our daughter Shelby!
Don't fret too much. We will miss her, but she lived a good life and it was her time. Her death came as no surprise. She stopped eating over a week ago. She lost all her muscle mass over three weeks ago. We knew it was coming and her time to leave us was near. She passed peacefully.
We used to take her to the Petsmart sometimes when we lived at the old house. That always turned heads. We could only take her in the summer when it was warm though...as reptiles dont have any way to regulate their body heat and the only way to keep her warm outside of her heat lamp and heat rock was to take her out on warm days.
She had a leash...yes she had a harness. We would take her for walks out on the grass from time to time.
In the summer she had a large cage that she managed to escape on one occasion...scared me to death...we looked and looked for her. We found she hadnt gone far at all...she was in that big old tree in the front yard (at the old house) looking down at us probably laughing in her reptilian way at the silly humans looking for her. Ian had to get a ladder and perch precariously on the top of it, but he got her down. She clung to the branch reluctantly.
She loved to have her bumps rubbed. She had raised bumps on the back of her neck.
She had a rough start in life. Way back when, Ian and I went to go to the grocery store for a few things. We had a sickly cat and figured she would not bother Dragon, since she didnt feel very good. How that cat dragged that poor lizard out of a coveredtank I will never know. The top is covered by a wooden cover. But she did, had that lizard out on the floor and had really torn her up good. Dragons eye was turned back, her thin ear hole covering was ripped open, she had numerous puncture wounds and scratches. We sat vigile with her over night keeping her warm with her heat rock.
Well she made it through. Her eye got better and her ear hole healed up and recovered itself. We werent sure she would make it, but she sure did.
Then came a whole other set of problems. She was reaching an age to produce eggs. Reptiles are like birds, they will produce eggs whether they are mated or not. Difference being reptiles expell their eggs all at once. Our girl was getting bloated looking and we were afraid she had become eggbound. (Not being able to expell the eggs).
I searched and searched for a vet that would take her. No regular vet wanted to touch her...but on the northside of Atlanta I finally found a vet that specialized in reptiles and birds. Thank goodness. We made an appointment and went right in.
With Xrays the doctor saw at least 25 eggs, and yes she was indeed eggbound. She also had a kidney stone that would only get worse with time...so they were to remove that while in there. She was spayed so there would be no further problems.
The doctor was very impressed with Dragons bone structure. More often than not people that get these animals do not adhere to their diet requirements. They think lizards are easy keepers, and they are in some ways. They must have the right amount of calcium in their diet though. Too much will cause calcium deposits and kill them. Too little and their bone structure suffers, some will have no bones in the their toes or hands...things like that. Dragon had bones all the way to the tip of her little toes. So we had been doing right by her.
800 dollars later...we were out of there. Sheesh that was one expensive vet visit. But as you can see, she was worth it, she lived a long long time.
Anyway...I wanted to do an entry about good old Dragon. She was a good old gal.