Reptile Function

Raised scales on the the cyclura toe, what does it mean?

If your cyclura or other iguana has scales that looked “raised” on their toes by the nail, it might be a sign of inflammation, injury or infection.

Raised scales on the toe

Raised scales on the toe

The photo above (from Dan Bristow) shows one cyclura toe with raised separated scales while other toes are normal looking.

First, make sure that it is not shed related. Look at it closely for a few days and see if the condition improves or the scales pop away.

If the condition remains the same, it maybe due to injury or even infection. The inflammation from within the skin will separate the scales. You can clean it out daily and apply Neosporin for a few days. In many cases the problem will go away eventually and will not cause any permanent damage.

However if the problem doesn’t go away for a few weeks or your iguana shows any sight of discomfort with the toe, please see the veterinarian in your area for treatment. If this problem isn’t addressed properly your iguana may lose the whole nail or joint.

This nail condition happens sometimes from iguanas climbing on mesh. The claws get caught on it and injure the joints. It also happens if you are trying to pull the iguana off the cage mesh wile it is grabbing on the mesh with it’s nails.


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