EnRICHing the iguana/keeper relationship through accurate care information and compassionate re-homing.
Even though iguanas can live up to twenty years, and sometimes even longer, eventually, your green friend will pass away. Many of us at RICA have had a green companion pass on. This page is dedicated to those beloved pets who are waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge.
You may have noticed at the bottom of each page on RICA's website, is "In Memory of Moe".
Moe was surrendered to an animal rescue. She was estimated at about seven years old, but was probably older, being small for her age.
In April 2006, Moe was being fostered at a temporary facility where she was fed well, shedding, and handled daily. She was returned to a foster provider at the animal rescue in April 2006. A month later on May 20,2006, I was called upon to help other volunteers to transport four iguanas from this foster person to others willing to help foster. When we got there, the cages were filthy with mold in the food dishes. Most of the lights were not working and the room was cold, about 68 degrees. Moe was found at the bottom of her cage, barely able to move, she was so cold. Upon further examination, it was discovered that she had stomatitis, commonly called "mouth rot". Her tongue was thickly coated with a yellow discharge.
I took Moe to the Emergency Animal Clinic in St. Paul, where she was examined by the vet and given antibiotics and pain medicine. The vet attending her said Moe was in horrid condition and no doubt in much pain due to the advanced stomatitis. Moe was placed in a warm humid environment and an attempt was made to stabilize her.
When she was released to me on Saturday 5/20/2006, I was instructed to give her another injection for pain at 1AM Sunday 5/21/06, and another antibiotic injection Sunday at 5 PM. I brought her home and placed her, still in the carrier, in a warm room. I wanted to wait until 1 AM to move her into another enclosure, since I would have to move her for the pain medicine. Until then, I wanted to keep her quiet.
At 1 AM, I prepared the injection, but when I brought Moe out of the carrier, she was already dead. Poor Moe hung on just long enough to be saved. For all practical purposes, she was dead when we got there. I hate to think of what was going through her mind as she lay dying, waiting for someone to save her. At least she didn't have to die in the awful, cold, filthy surroundings she was subjected to. How long was she made to suffer?
I had the body necropsied and here are the findings:
2.Tongue: glossitis/myositis, necro-hemorrahagic, marked with necrotizing vasculitis and numerous colonies of rod-shaped to filamentous bacteria.
3.Somach: vasculitis, mucosal/submucosal necrotizing with numerous filamentous bacteria and mulitfocal hemorrahagic mucosal hastric infarcts.
4.Lungs: multifocal intravascular filamentous bacteria with mild multifocal heterophilic vasculitis/pneumonia.
5.Liver: lipidosis, hepatocellular, diffuse, mild to moderate.
6.Stomach and colon: impaction.
7.Heart: hydropericardium, mild to moderate.
Comments: The animal had septicemia that was likely secondary to a marked glossitis that was caused by gram-negative filamentous bacteria (Pseudomohnas fluorencens?). The animal was emaciated which may be due to an inability to prehend food due to the glossitis.
In other words, she was starved to death, causing lowered immune function, which in turn caused a system wide infection, including pneumonia, in addition to having fluid around the heart.
I look forward to seeing Moe at the Rainbow Bridge, where she has been restored to health and vigor.