Vets: iguanas might poison dogs
COOPER CITY, Fla. (WSVN) -- Veterinarians are saying dead iguanas might be making dogs sick.
Many iguanas froze to death during a cold spell earlier this month. Then, doctors believe, dogs came in contact with them and ended up getting very sick.
Veterinarians at an animal clinic in Cooper City have noticed about 13 cases so far, including one death. One thing in common, vets said, is that all the dogs ingested dead iguanas, which, vets said, can become poisonous as their bodies decay.
Patrick Gibbons brought in one of the sick dogs. "I heard her scrambling trying to get through the door, and her hind legs were paralyzed," he said.
Vets said that the paralysis begins in the back legs and then goes up from there, to the front legs, as the poison takes hold. Vets said the sooner you can bring your pet to a veterinarian, the better the chance they have to stop the spreading of the botulism. It could be weeks before the dogs will be able to walk normally again.
In the meantime, Veterinarian Dr. Brian Roberts shared some advice to pet owners. "If you have a pet that likes to go outside, check your yard and remove any dead reptiles or birds or anything you have out there," he said. He also said, watch for any dead iguanas that might be floating in bodies of water.
Vets said they plan to send the dead iguanas they have collected in connection to these cases to a lab in Kissimmee, Florida, in order to verify whether the dead reptiles are indeed the common connection in these cases.
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