Stomatitis (Mouthrot; a journal of treatment)
Stomatitis is a systemic condition that when presented in Iguanas can be persistent and will need both antibiotics and antiseptics along with surgical removal of caseous plaques (when present in advanced cases).
Stomatitis (mouthrot) is a serious condition in any reptile but here we are looking at the disease in the case and journal of an adult male Iguana.
Symptoms can go unnoticed for a long time while the disease progresses and in very advanced cases can infect the bones of the jaw and skull resulting in death. Early symptoms are difficult to diagnose as these can be as simple as a thickening of the saliva, slight bleeding and maybe lack of appetite, the exact diagnosis can only be verified for certain by a veterinarian on the results of swabs and or biopsy of the infected area which will then show which type of bacterium is involved in the infection and therefore which type of antibiotics will treat it successfully, some antibiotics will treat certain types of bacterium while being ineffective against resistant varieties thus showing the importance of a laboratory diagnosis of the bacterium present.
The first noticeable signs can sometimes be an occasional bleeding on eating and appearance of a greyish plaque in the back of the mouth or gum area and even then it can be mistaken for a piece of stuck food at first, sometimes a good view is obtained when the Iguana is yawning or eating and then when seen a few times it is apparent that this is not some foreign body but is actually attached as in an abscess. This is actually the puss or caseous plaque of the infection (this in an Iguana is not runny or blood coloured as in humans but is actually solid) this has been described as a waxy or cheesy substance and grey or yellowish in colouration, in my own experience it presented as a small floret shaped object (as in broccoli or cauliflower) about a centimeter diameter and grey in colour, noticeable when the mouth was open and situated in the back right corner of the jaw.
To confirm this was a variety of Stomatitis I took a swab of the area involved and this was sent for analysis via My veterinary surgeon, the results came back after a few days time and confirmed my suspicions but unusually the bacterium involved was a heavy growth of 'KLEBSIELLA OXYTOCA' trust my Iguana to have one of the more uncommon organisms (more common in snakes), on the good side however the vet confirmed although this bacteria was showing some resistance there were 4 antibiotics that could be used successfully against this particular type.
Treatment consisted of 2 antibiotics (1 specifically targeting the organism and the other a broad spectrum type) combined with surgical removal of the plaques and treatment of the wounds with antiseptic (chlorhexidine).
The antibiotics used were oral Baytril 2.5% 1.2ml by mouth twice daily and Nisamox (Amoxicillin) 250mg in tablet form half a tablet once daily this course was for approx 2 weeks after which the progress was reviewed, the plaques had mostly come away successfully and the wound was washed with chlorhexidine, however there was still a small area of grey plaque that needed to be removed so a second course of Baytril was prescribed which was this time successful in treating the condition completely.
In conclusion it can be seen that although this condition can be treated with great success; it does help with the outcome favourably the earlier treatment is started and also obviously this has to be overseen by a Veterinarian who will need to establish which organism and therefore which antibiotic will be required.
In the picture below; the area concerned has been enhanced digitally to give a clearer image of the plaque over areas of mouthrot.