Fibrous Osteodystrophy



Fibrous Osteodystrophy
This is most often seen in the jaw bones; they begin to soften and bow outward as they continue to be pulled upon by the muscles. The heads of some afflicted animals, such as iguanas, tend to look small and rounded, juvenile in appearance. Self-feeding becomes difficult, then impossible, as the jaw bones become too soft. Force feeding by tube is required in advanced cases.
The swelling of the jaw is sometimes mistaken for an abscess. Abscesses, however, are rarely bilateral, and quick a discussion of diet and environment are often all that is needed to confirm a diagnosis of fibrous osteodystrophy.
As the bones weaken, the body tries to compensate, and a network of soft connective tissue forms, stretching across the weakened areas. This results in hard lumps. Most noticeable in the long bones of the legs, they can also be felt in the tail. Many owners mistakenly think their lizard is healthy and strong based on the appearance of the legs. In fact, the lizard is highly susceptible to broken bones, and such breaks may go unnoticed due to the overlying swelling.




Bibliography: