How to Trim Iguana Nails? (The Right Way)

Iguanas including the green iguanas have extremely sharp nails that help them climb trees in the wild. But in captivity those sharp nails can make handling them difficult (and painful).

That is why trimming your iguana’s nails should be a regular part of your pet grooming regimen. It not only prevents you from being punctured and scratched when handling your pet, it also prevents the iguana from getting his nails hung in his cage wire and causing injury.

Here is a step by step guide for trimming an iguana’s claws.

What you will need:

  • Reptile claw trimmers
  • Styptic powder or corn starch
  • Human heating pad
  • Iguana treats
  • Bath or beach towel

Steps to Trim Iguana Nails or Claws

  1. You can soak your iguana in water for 15-30 minutes beforehand to soften its nails.
  2. You can also let them relax on a heating pad prior to the procedure so he is calm.
  3. Give him a treat prior to the procedure, and another one after the trimming is complete.
  4. You want to trim the nail “tip” only. Study your iguana’s nails or claws PRIOR to the procedure.
  5. Notice the black line that runs down the middle of the nail; this is known as the “quick.” You want to trim the part below the quick, try not to cut into the quick at all. You want to trim only the very sharp end point tip of the nail or claw.
  6. If you do accidentally cut too much and cause bleeding, apply styptic powder or corn starch to stop the bleeding.
  7. After a little bit of practice, you will know exactly how much of the nail to cut off.
  8. Have a designated area for cutting your iguana’s nails.
  9. Wrap him in a towel, and only expose the foot or hand you are cutting at the time.
  10. After trimming the tip of the nail ONLY, return the foot or hand to the towel, and move on to the next.
  11. If your iguana jerks back a finger or toe during a trim, don’t force it. Instead, let the clippers go, and wait a few minutes before resuming. If you hold onto the clippers when he jerks, you may injure him.

It is best to start routine claw trimming when your iguana is very young. That way he starts out accustomed to the procedure. Nails on younger iguanas grow faster and require more frequent trimming than adults. Once your iguana matures, the nails grow slower and require less frequent maintenance.

Iguana claw trimming is not difficult. You just need to be sure to have the right tools for the job and know what you are doing. The more experienced you and your iguana become at the nail trimming procedure, the easier it will be.

Filled under: Lizards

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