Reptiles, like an iguana or bearded dragons, when kept as pets, often act docile. They are adopted as juvenile creatures and they grow up in the same habitat with the same family. So there are fewer reasons to get angry or agitated. But when it comes to maintaining a few healthy habits, and trimming its nails or cleaning it, then it may sometimes cause the reptile to become jittery.
Is it necessary to clip the nails?
There is debate over the issue among vets and reptiles’ owners about how necessary is it to clip the nails of the iguana. As iguanas are kept with long nails while they are in their natural wild habitat, the need of cutting nails seems not so valid. They roam in the forest with their nails and hung to trees.
When wild animals are kept as pets, we do not count on some of the natural procedures that they go through when they are in the forest. Lizards, geckos, and such reptiles are hunting creature, and for that purpose, they sharpen their nails against the rough rock chunks that lay in lots around them.
Also, their activities include lots of work using their nails, like digging the soil, chasing or running, and so on. Due to these processes, their nails get natural trimming and also get most of the use.
But when you keep the iguana as a pet, it needs some grooming and trimming. Long nails are not needed within the household as the pet will not be hanging from the tree; neither will it hunt insects with their legs. For regular roaming or other movement purposes, nails are unnecessary. So you can clip the nails of a pet iguana if you wish.
Why it’s important to Trim Iguana Nails?
When it comes to touching and petting, iguanas do not like it very much, though they act friendly when the owner comes close to them. But there are mood swings and when the iguana is not in a good mood, it can scratch the hand or any body part of the human.
Also, it is necessary to clip the nails as dirt can gather under the nails and that leads to bacterial infection. This is not a good idea as bacteria can spread and damage the health of the iguana. Both the pet owner as well as the pet will be living peacefully while the nails will be regularly clipped.
Regular interaction will be prohibited if your pet iguana comes with long nails. It can also be dangerous for the kids or other pets that are residing in the same house. If you do not want to see cut marks or avoid any mishap then keep the nails of the iguana trimmed.
Who can clip the nails of an Iguana?
You may find your pet quite well behaved and friendly with you all the time, but when it comes to some odd activity like clipping its nails, it is better to take the help of a professional. Iguanas, or for that matter, any wild animal is not well versed with the clipping procedure. So when you will try to clip their nails, it can make them feel threatened. They can also attack you thinking the clipping instrument to be dangerous for them.
Veterinarians can trim the nails of the iguana when you take it to them, or else you can seek the professional groomers who take care of usual pets. For the first few times, it is advised to take their help. Let the pet be adjusted with the clipping process. Also, it will give you time to get confident to do this job.
You should be tension free when attempting to follow this process. You should also be aware of the process so as not to harm the pet. When you are not stressed, it will also give a positive vibe and the iguana will not feel stressed. If you can clip the nails at home, you can do it without taking the pet out of your home and at a convenient place. The timing will also be of your choice and at your comfort.
What equipments are needed to clip nails?
Small or juvenile iguanas are easy to manage. You can clip their nails with regular nail clippers that are used for humans. But you must not use that same clipper for other purposes, and it should be kept exclusively for the pets.
For the mature iguanas, you need to get specific nail clippers that are used for grooming the pets. Large ones like dogs and large breed of cats as well as full-grown iguanas can be treated with this kind of nail clipper.
A towel is needed, with which you can hold the iguana. As this reptile does not like human touch much, if you hold it with a towel it will not feel the body of yours against it. Also if it wiggles at the time of cutting the nails, you will not be much bothered.
Keeping the cornstarch handy is necessary. In the case of reptiles’ nail clipping, bleeding is normal. In case it starts bleeding you need to apply cornstarch to it.
The towel also comes in handy when you need to wrap the whole body of the iguana inside one. y one limb at a time should be the right procedure to proceed with the process. If you do not wrap it under a towel, you can get hurt by its scratches, when you will start the clipping project.
Keeping some treats handy is also needed as that will help the iguana to calm down when it gets excited by the process. Also, you can keep the Iguana busy with the treat and it will help you to get to job done in a relaxed way.
Another person is required to hold the items for you, while you will be holding the reptile yourself. It is not possible for the owner to hold the pet as well as managing the tolls. So get an assistant who is not afraid of the iguana.
Step by Step process on How to Trim Iguana Nails?
You need to understand the mood of the iguana. Do not try to clip the nails when you are feeling that it is agitated or anxious for any reason. If you have time constraints and need to finish the clipping by that day, first make sure that the iguana gets calm.
To make the pet stress free, you can stroke it on the head, or keep it close to yourself without touching its body. This will make it trust you and get composed at your presence. Also, you can hold it for some time and see how it is reacting to your presence.
The nail clipping should not be done within the first month of the iguana coming to your residence. They need time to settle and you must give it that time. After the first few times clipping session with the professional, you will be able to understand the procedure as well as the mood swings of the pet.
You need to start from the tip of the nail of the creature. The tip needs to be removed. Do not hurry or grab a big share of the nail. Unlike humans, there are veins attached to the nails. This is a tricky process and if you are not very careful, there is a chance that you will end up hurting the vein, which will result in bleeding.
This vein is called quick, and with the thick nails that iguana used to have, it is actually risky to make the cut without touching the vein. The vein is often visible as a streak of dark shade on the nails. For the iguana and other lizards, the nail is thicker at back, and at the tip is the bent part. The thick part, which has veins in it, is closer to their limbs. This part is not supposed to be attacked.
Within two weeks to one month of first nail clipping, you will see the growth reappearing. So this is the time for clipping again, and now you know which part is to be clipped and how to handle the iguana.
Precautions to be taken while trimming
Hold it gently, to make it understand that you mean no harm. If you hold its body or paw too tightly then the iguana may feel attacked. Do not be rash in your action as that can frighten the iguana and it may turn defensive.
There is a black part and a white part of the nail, and you need to cut the thinner black part of it. The white part is thicker one with veins running into it. The black part keeps growing and this is the portion through which the iguana holds and grips tree branches, rocks, and prey insects.
Keeping a pet like an iguana is not a very simple task as you need to take care of its physique, diet, and habits. But as you love it dearly, the errands will become simple and if you feel relaxed at its presence, it will also reward you back.