Owner’s Guide to Hypothyroidism in Iguanas


The thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that regulate various bodily functions.  Iguana hypothyroidism occurs whenever there isn’t enough iodine.  Without enough iodine, the thyroid gland is unable to function properly.  So, what exactly causes this condition.


Hypothyroidism in iguanas is caused by the presence of too many chemicals that prevent the body from using iodine properly.  These chemicals, called goitrogens, are present in a variety of foods.  Some of the most common foods include brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, and kale.


If your lizard is suffering from this disease, he will display a range of symptoms.  The most prominent sign is inactivity or general lethargy.  He will also probably experience slow growth.  The thyroid gland will eventually start to swell after functioning improperly for the while.  This will cause your iguana to develop a goiter, or swollen neck.

Also, most iguanas that have hypothyroidism are very tame and easy to handle.  If your normally aggressive iggie suddenly becomes tame for no apparent reason, this condition may be the problem. 


Fortunately, iguana hypothyroidism is a very easy condition to treat.  You simply have to reduce the amount of foods with goitrogens that you feed your lizard.  It would be best to eliminate these foods altogether, but reducing them will have a positive effect also.  It’s usually not necessary for your iguana to have to take iodine supplements.


Hypothyroidism in iguanas is easy to prevent.  You just have to avoid feeding your iguana the aforementioned foods that contain goitrogens.  Although you don’t have to stop feeding them altogether, you should only feed them occasionally.

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