A Fix for Dogs Who Nosh on Dead(ly) Iguanas

By Adele

This winter, Florida’s iguanas are again freezing and falling out of trees like lizard-cicles. When I wrote about this problem 2 years ago, I called them rebels without a cause because they’re not native to Florida and they have no purpose in the U.S. except to be a nuisance.

Well, it seems they’ve found a cause.

Dead, they stink to high heaven and their carcasses spawn an organism called Clostridium botulinum, which causes botulism.

Dogs apparently find dead iguanas irresistible, so they’ve been munching and rolling all over the corpses. Then the dogs develop paralysis in their hind legs that can spread and prove fatal unless they get quick medical treatment.

This bacteria in the iguanas is the same one used to make Botox, so I’m thinking there may be a divine master plan at work here. Think about it: The only thing more plentiful than iguanas in Florida is wrinkly people. They could be recruited to gather dead iguanas for processing into Botox, being paid by the tail for their catch to supplement their Social Security benefits.

Botox would then be so plentiful, seniors could get injections dirt-cheap with their iguana profits. By spring, the population of Florida would look so incredibly youthful, the state would lose its reputation as God’s waiting room.

It’s not exactly the Fountain of Youth Ponce de Leon had in mind, but it would keep the iguanas from dying in vain and protect the dogs.

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11 Responses to A Fix for Dogs Who Nosh on Dead(ly) Iguanas

  1. drstacypetmd says:

    Yes, yes, yes botulism is a terrible disease and if your beloved companion has ever gotten it, it is a pitiful episode to deal with. I had a case that went bad and we had to intervene and humanely euthanize a dear friend. So, find some use for these creatures. Someone should get creative.

  2. catsworking says:

    Dr. Stacy, you are right. Botulism is something I wouldn’t even wish on a dog.

    If you read my first post on the iguanas, they are menu items in South America. If Americans weren’t so squeamish about eating lizards here, there would probably be a market for them.

    And I wonder how they’d look as a pair of shoes or a purse?

  3. Suzanne Schaefer says:

    Dearest Adele,

    Of course you know that Samantha and I are flying to Vero Beach, FL, to see my mom soon, so thanks for the tip about the dreaded iguanas–we’ve decided to leave our lab Gracie at home with her other owner Jeff. I just hope you’re not wagging your fluffy tail at the prospect of all Floridan dogs rolling over and playing dead throughout the Sunshine State. Sometimes you have to act like a DOG Adele, show a little compassion for your fellow, yet feeble, counterparts on this animal planet. Gracie is 12 and a sweet, large pooch who would never hurt a whisker on your catty, err, kind little snout. Treats and kisses, your friend Suzanne.

  4. catsworking says:

    Suzanne, if you read my previous comment to Dr. Stacy, I said I wouldn’t wish botulism even on a dog, so I certainly wouldn’t want your Gracie chomping on any iguanas. And now that you’ve read my post, I hope you will resist the urge to munch on any stiff iguanas you may find on the sidewalk in Vero Beach, delicious as they may look.

  5. Suzanne Schaefer says:

    Thanks for your gentle response, Adele. We’ve $pent so much dinero on air fare, hotels, and the rental car that we do not have squat left for breaking the fast, licking the lunch, or diving into dinner. Please throw a few crumbs our way of your delicious feline feast/fast food so we can resist gnoshing on iguana burgers and gator fries…We’d also love it if you could send a gourmet hairball sandwich with gravy to our second home near the Equator. Licking my whiskers and drooling down my chin(s) in anticipation of your meal-on-wheels special dinner…Your friend Suzanne

  6. boscodagama says:

    Tastes like chicken. But stringier.

  7. catsworking says:

    Hmmm… tastes like stringy chicken, huh? I wonder if iguana-flavored dog food could ever catch on (minus the botulism, of course). Maybe Rachael Ray could take 30 minutes to work some into her Nutrish recipe and see how Isaboo likes it.

  8. Tuxi says:

    Did I see that Tony was going to eat iguana on the Ecuador show commercial? He is as bad as his channel-mate Andrew. Eww! Now I know, my species eats such gourmet items as chicken by-products, but we draw the line at iguanas. I have grossed Mom out by eating spiders before she was able to pick them up in a tissue. But Magic almost caused a Mom eruption when he noshed on his granddaughter’s regurgitated cat food before Mom could wipe THAT up!

  9. catsworking says:

    Quite a bit of puking goes on here (YUL thoughtfully does it right in the BOWL), but nobody ever chows down on it. Eeewww!

    Tony didn’t eat any iguanas in Ecuador, but he saw one and said he’d had it before and it was the worst taco he’d ever eaten. He DID eat a guinea pig. Karen didn’t watch that part.

    We’re not big bug eaters either, but we do like to yank the legs off Daddy Long Legs if they are stupid enough to come into the house and then roll their heads around the kitchen floor. We also get these dark shiny bugs (water bugs, roaches?) or giant ants occasionally, but we act like pointer dogs and pursue them until Karen catches on and grabs them for us.

  10. Tuxi says:

    Hi! Oops! I’m like Yul and have puked in the dry food dishes. Sometimes I move before I hit the dishes, but sometimes it hits the fan, so to speak. And other times Mom has been nearby and has heard me start gearing up and came over and moved me. Sometimes I get back at Mom for doing her version of Steve Martin’s 1978 song King Tut-called Queen Tux. She’s a little funky, stubborn as a donkey. OK, I am at times!

  11. catsworking says:

    Living in a multi-cat household, Yul’s eruptions into the food bowl are pretty rude. OK, that particular bowl IS supposed to be ONLY for him and his super-expensive food from the vet, but Cole and I sneak a little from it every day — unless we go to grab a bite and they’re either all stuck together (because he didn’t even bother to chew them before yakking them), or they’re liquid. Either way, YUCK!

    Cole has a little song he likes to go around the house singing over and over and over… These are the only words:

    We are fam-i-ly,
    Put your paws together, and every kitty meow it!
    We are fam-i-ly…

    I think it’s finally sunk in that he’s not going back to the joint.

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