Iguana Bites: Understanding the Risk

1 Mar, 2022

Iguana Bites: Understanding the Risk

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If you have a penchant for exotic pets you may already know something about iguanas and iguana bites. However, even as a pet owner who prefers the exotic you may not know how bad an iguana bite is, and why you need to worry. Iguanas can indeed bite and this could be often quite dangerous.

Read on to learn more about how bad is an iguana’s bite is, whether it is poisonous or not and what might trigger this action.

Do iguanas have teeth?

two iguanas - many people fear iguana bites
Iguanas are surprising creatures full of character and temperamental. Many fear iguana bites

Photo by Akshay Chauhan

Iguanas may bite, although it is unusual. They have razor-sharp teeth that they utilise to tear plants. The teeth are sharp, flat, and leak-shaped, with serrated edges. Because the teeth are located on the inside edges of the jawbone, they are not usually visible, especially in immature iguanas. The teeth have the potential to create severe cuts.

There are a variety of reasons why your iguana may bite you or why an iguana in your yard might try to bite you. If it’s a pet, make sure you spend a lot of time with it, getting it used to being handled and learning its body language.

Are iguana bites poisonous?

An iguana bite is not typically toxic or venomous, however it can still cause considerable harm. This is one of the reasons you really need to understand and assess how bad an iguana bite is.  Iguana venom glands have atrophied, producing only a weak and harmless venom. In other words, the bite would not be venomous. Yet their bites can severely injure the fingers, ankles, wrists, and face.

Never remove an iguana by yourself

If you are scared about iguana bites, in case you or your children are hurt, it is essential to know how to handle them. You can face some consequences if you harm an iguana, according to Iguana Control Palm Beach.  Don’t try to remove them on your own, as it is illegal to relocate them. Instead, call in a professional iguana removal expert to take care of the business.

What you need to know about iguana bites

Iguanas eat plants; their primary source of nutrition is plant-based. While iguanas do bite humans, they are not seeking blood or flesh to eat when they bite. Though there have been several cases of iguanas assaulting their owners.  However, according to one research, herbivorous lizards must have a stronger biting power than carnivorous or omnivorous species to consume and digest vegetation.

So how bad are iguana bites?

The good news is that an iguana will warn you before biting you. This involves standing on its hind legs and leaning forward with its head bowed. This is an indication that it is feeling threatened.

How bad is an iguana bite and what types of bites do they give?

Iguanas may bite you for a variety of reasons. Below you will find ways to better understand how bad an their bite can be, and some of the reasons why iguanas usually bite you:

  • Bites of Curiosity – When iguanas see or smell anything new, they usually investigate. They reach out their tongue and take a little bite to test if anything responds.
  • Unintentional Bites – This is common when hand feeding your iguanas. There are no major injuries linked with this bite because it is not designed to assault you in a hostile situation.
  • Frightening Bites – When attempting to tame an iguana you have recently purchased, it may wag its tail and bite you out of fear. The power of this type of bite is not particularly dangerous, nor should you be concerned.
  • Kind Bites – If you are worried about the strength of their bite, consider the kind bites. Such bites have the potential to persist for a long time but they are not dangerous. The bite typically eases with time and will be released after some time. It becomes more aggressive when you take it away and bite harder. Placing an alcohol swab under its nose is one method of dealing with it. If it is chewing and clutching onto your clothes, remove it carefully so that it does not injure its teeth.
How bad their bite is depends on their motivation

Photo by Giu Vicente

Territorial Bites

Territory dominance is vital for iguanas, just like any other species. Putting two or more male iguanas in the same enclosure is a terrible idea since territorial attacks will ensue.

The mating season is cruel

Male iguanas may be highly aggressive and difficult to handle during the breeding season. This is one reason you need to know how bad an iguana bite is especially at certain times of year.

A final word on the dangers of the iguana biting you

Iguanas can also detect hormonal changes in human females. Believe it or not it makes them much crazier. So, when mating season arrives, never take your iguanas out of their cages. Absolutely keep from stroking them, especially if you are female!

Need Pet sitters?

If you have pets at home you will likely need pet sitters at some point in time. Join a housesitting and pet sitting network like Housesitmatch.com to find free checked pet sitters.

JOIN HOUSESIT MATCH AS A HOMEOWNER PET OWNER TO FIND FREE CHECKED PET SITTERS

FURTHER READING ON PETS AND PET CARE

Daily care for exotic pets – Your guide

4 Pet care tips for when you are away

Planning your holiday home and pet care

What is House Sitting?


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LamiaW

LamiaW

Founder and Director of HouseSitMatch - I'm a hands-on Admin on the site. Please ask any questions and as soon as I can I'll happily answer and assist where I can.

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