So many ask the same question: What Vitamin or Calcium Supplement do you suggest?
That answer is pretty simple: We recommend using the Vitamins and the Calcium that comes naturally from a properly developed all vegetarian diet.
If an iguana is being fed a balanced diet such as the IguanaDen Diet, then supplementation should not be necessary. The iguana should get all the nutrients it needs from its food.
There may be times when supplementation is necessary - during breeding season, a little bit of extra calcium may be added to a female's diet to help with egg production. An iguana in rehab may need some extra calcium and/or vitamins to help heal. An extremely picky eater may need some supplementation.
If your iguana falls into these categories, we recommend supplementing only on the advice of your vet. It is far too easy to oversupplement. Many people fall into the trap of 'if a little is good then more must be better!'
Too much in the way of vitamins and/or calcium can cause as many problems as too little. Your vet will be able to prescribe the correct dosage based on your iguana's needs and weight.
The general rule of thumb when supplementing is that if you can see it, it's too much. If you do need to supplement on a vet's orders, a handy way to distribute powdered supplements is to put them in an old salt shaker. This way you can shake out just a dusting.
The Problems With Commercial Supplements:
The Pet Market loves to make fools out of us on a daily basis. Some of the more popular Vitamin supplements on the shelves today are SPRAYS. They are meant to be sprayed on your Iguana's food and ingested as the Iguana eats.
The first problem that most people miss with these spray is the labeling. I have not yet found any of these sprays that will list the ingredients, leaving me to wonder what the heck is in that bottle? In the mind set of the ol' mighty dollar, I would not be surprised if we found it to be only water.
The second problem with sprays it the fact that NONE of them give you an exact dosage for proper use. We never know how much is enough, or how much is too much. Don't we owe our iguanas more than that?
The last problem found with these sprays is that most Iguanas do not like them and will refuse to eat. This certainly is not a good thing.
Many of the Vitamin and Calcium Powders on the market suffer some of the same drawbacks as do the sprays above. Many of these do actually list the ingredients, and I guess that is the best thing I can say for them.
The first problem we find with powders as we see with sprays, is the lack of a dosage. The number one recommended dosage for these powders is to SPRINKLE LIBERALLY. So let's think about this. I sprinkle, you sprinkle and everyone sprinkles differently, there is no doubt. Wouldn't this mean that some igs will get more of these products risking HyperVitaminosis & HyperCalcemia? Meanwhile, other igs may get far to little and suffer HypoVitaminosis & HypoCalcemia. On the upside of all this, we can figure that at least 1/3rd of all iguanas that are being given these products, will hopefully be getting the correct amounts. Not the best odds if you ask me.
There is now a product on the market going by the name of Solar Drops that claims to replace the need for UVB lighting. To quote a member of the Pogona email list, products like this are about as effective as dancing in front of your iguana, singing "I'm a little ray of sunshine"!
Please read the section on When to Supplement to find out more about how and what to supplement if your iguana needs it. Remember that a healthy iguana on a balanced diet should NOT need supplements of any kind.
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