Clinicopathologic findings and urolith composition for green iguanas (Iguana iguana) with urolithiasis: 21 cases and 132 stones (1996-2020)

Anthony J. Cerreta, Krista A. Keller, Sara M. Gardhouse, Jody P. Lulich, David Sanchez Migallon Guzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To document the clinical signs, diagnosis, and treatment of urolithiasis in green iguanas (Iguana iguana) and to report on the composition of uroliths from green iguanas submitted to the Minnesota Urolith Center for analysis. ANIMALS: 21 green iguanas with urolithiasis. PROCEDURES: Medical record databases of multiple veterinary teaching hospitals were searched from 1996 through 2020. Emails were sent to all facilities that submitted a urolith from a green iguana to the Minnesota Urolith Center from 1996 through 2020. Signalment; presenting complaint; physical examination findings; hematologic, biochemical, and diagnostic imaging findings; treatment; necropsy results; and survival times were described for each patient. RESULTS: Iguanas most commonly presented with nonspecific clinical signs, but 9 of the 21 iguanas had clinical signs associated with the urogenital tract. Twelve iguanas had a palpable mass in the caudal coelom. All uroliths were visible on radiographs. Surgery was performed on 15 iguanas; 3 died secondary to intra- or postoperative complications. Iguanas that underwent surgery had a median survival time of 39 months. Necropsy was performed on 5 iguanas, and urolithiasis contributed to the decision to euthanize or was the cause of death for 4. Uroliths from 132 iguanas were analyzed, and all were composed of 100% uric acid salts. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Green iguanas with urolithiasis may not have clinical signs or physical examination findings associated with the urinary system, and hematologic and biochemical abnormalities are nonspecific. Green iguanas should be routinely examined for uroliths, and surgical treatment should be pursued.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1216-1221
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 11 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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