Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Iguana Care - Trimming Your Iguana's Claws an Easy Step by Step Method

By []Jesse Kincaid

Every pet has specific needs, and these needs vary per species. Iguanas are no different. It is your responsibility as a pet owner to respond to your animal's needs and care for him properly.

One specific maintenance procedure in caring for your iguana is claw trimming. This is not a time consuming task, and it should be performed regularly and correctly.

Untrimmed claws present many problems. First of all, they can hurt you a great deal when you handle your iguana. Secondly, iguanas with sharp lengthy claws can inflict injury to themselves, as well.

As an iguana's claws grow, they form into a "curved" shape. This causes the nails to get caught on the cage wire, which can result in a nail being snatched off or even worse.

The goal of the nail clipping is not to snip it down to the very base. You want to remove the sharp needlepoint portion of the claw so it does not have "puncture" capability. You want your iguana's claws to be dull, not razor sharp.

Trimming your iguana's claws may hamper his climbing ability somewhat. Some people have found that modifying the habitat is a solution. You can modify your iguana's climbing accessories by providing additional "branches" or "rungs" to improve his grip.

You can also add grooves in the added branches to give him a better foothold. If you only clip the sharp ends of the claws, the climbing issue is often not even a problem.

When your iguana is younger, his claws will grow faster and require more frequent trimmings. Once the iguana matures, his growth will slow and the number of trimmings required will decrease as well.

You and the iguana will both get used to the trimming process after you have practiced a few times. Just be cautious and careful not to harm your pet. You do need to be in full control, though, and your iguana needs to sense that. The younger the iguana is when you start a regular trimming process the better.

Reptile claw clippers are the recommended tool for the job. You can use other items such as scissors or human toenail clippers, but claw clippers designed specifically for this purpose work well.

You should choose an area where you will trim your iguana's claws and make that the routine trimming area. The area might also be where you provide other routine and first aid treatments. You want your iguana to associate this area with "good" helpful procedures, not negative ones.

You can offer your iguana a treat before you perform the trim and again after you are finished. A human heating pad is a great tool for relaxing your iguana prior to the procedure. If your iguana is fussy about the trimming procedure, it is because he is not feeling secure and relaxed.

Cut only one single claw at a time and have a routine pattern you follow. Move slowly, and pay attention to all areas of the iguana's body so you do not accidentally pinch another finger in the process.

If your iguana happens to jerk his finger or toe back during the trimming, don't force the issue by gripping the clippers tightly. Instead, just let go, and give your pet a few minutes before resuming the procedure.

It is best to cut too little than too much when you trim an iguana's claws. You can always trim off more later, but you cannot take back a painful nicking. If you do happen to cut into your pet, don't panic. It does not hurt as bad as you may think, depending on the severity. After you have some practice, you will know exactly how much to trim off from experience.

The quick of an iguana's nail appears as a black line through the middle of its claw. The quick extends down the claw to the very tip. You want to trim the part of the claw that is below the quick, only the very tip. You just want to clip off the sharp pointed part.

You can file the rough tip of the nail down after clipping if you iguana does not make too much of a fuss. It is not necessary, though, and your iguana may not be cooperative enough.

Keep styptic powder handy to stop the bleeding just in case you do cut too much. Other things you might try are soap, cornstarch, or flour. Styptic powder is inexpensive and one container will last you a while, unless of course you are a butcher of a nail trimmer.

Some iguana owners like to soak their iguana a half hour or so before they trim their nails, claiming it makes the nails softer. You might consider letting your herp veterinarian trim your iguana's nails the first few times, allowing you to observe.

In the beginning and until you are more experienced, you might enlist the help of a friend or family member to assist you in the nail trimming procedure. Some iguana owners use a towel to "wrap up" the iguana, gently pulling out only one foot or hand at a time, trimming, then replacing in the towel "wrap" until the job is finished.

As you and your iguana both become adjusted to the procedure, it is much easier than you may think to maintain your iguana's claws. Have the proper tools for the job, and know what you are doing ahead of time. You will be an expert claw trimmer in no time at all.

Jesse Kincaid is an avid iguana enthusiast and enjoys helping others learn how to properly and humanely care for pet iguanas. Jesse enjoys working outdoors as a kayaking, fly fishing, and rafting guide. You can read more about Iguana Claw Trimming [] care and needs at Jessie's website, Iguana Care Basics []

Article Source: [] Iguana Care - Trimming Your Iguana's Claws an Easy Step by Step Method

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