Treating ripped-out claws
©1997, 2002 Melissa Kaplan
You may be startled one day to come home and find blood sprayed around your iguana's enclosure, or dried drops on his basking log, climber or floor. You search frantically for the gaping wound that bled all that blood...only to find no wound, no slash, but a missing claw.
How does it happen? Some iguanas jerk when they move, especially when they are nervous, scared or simply don't want to be touched. When these iguanas are standing on or clinging to hardware cloth or other rigid wire mesh, they may jerk their toes rather than lifting them out, resulting in either a broken toe, a ripped out claw, or both. The same may happen if the claw is trapped in a tiny hole or fissure in a piece of wood. Sometimes the claw may still be attached to the quick/cuticle or fingertip by a tiny shred of skin. It is best to remove the claw at this point. Depending on how much tissue is holding it to the toe, you may wish to take your iguana to the reptile vet to have it cut off. If it is just a shred of tissue, you can quickly pull it off.
Treating the Wound
Regrowth and Prevention
The best way to treat claw injuries, of course, is to prevent them from happening to begin with. While accidents will happen from time to time, you can reduce the likelihood of their happening:
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