Green Iguana Society logo  1999-2001, D. Baze

The Green Iguana Society Message Board is provided for people to ask questions about iguanas and their care, as well to share their own experiences with their iguana(s). Our message board is monitored. We really try our best to keep all posted messages "as is", but sometimes inappropriate messages may be removed and/or edited. Unfortunately, there are also times when a discussion may turn into a disagreement, which is perfectly fine and often times very normal, but if it turns into a discussion that includes rude comments, name calling, or other inappropriate behavior, we may feel it necessary to remove parts of or the entire discussion. We apologize for the times in which we may need to do this, but we only do this because want people to be welcomed here and we want to keep this forum friendly and helpful.

The following are not necessarily rules, but rather a list of some common problems, inappropriate behavior, typical "netiquette", and friendly advice we would like to share with people who participate in our message board, as well as other online forums.

Health, safety & vet care - The first and most important advice we want to give to iguana owners that visit our message board concerns health problems and veterinary care. It is often very common to see people post messages asking for help for their iguana who needs immediate care for an injury or illness. Even though you may get some very good advice on what to do and whether or not you should immediately go to the vet, please use your best judgement. Hopefully, you have already found a reliable and qualified herp vet. If you haven't found a qualified herp vet for your iguana, please do so as soon as possible and it will save you and your iguana many problems down the road. If you don't find a vet for your iguana, and a situation arises down the road where you may need one, don't be surprised if you find some people a bit harsh with you because you haven't found one already. Keeping your iguana healthy is the most important reason to regularly see a vet, but knowing where to go in an emergency situation can be just as important. If you have a qualified herp vet and a situation arises, put the situation into perspective and ask yourself a few questions....

    1. Is this situation an emergency? Use your best judgement and make an immediate decision. If you truly feel it is an emergency, do not hesitate, do not get on the computer, and call or visit your vet as soon as possible. Learning more about your iguana is the best way to be sure your decision is a good one...so keep reading and learning all the time.

    2. Who would know best how to help my iguana in this situation...my qualified herp vet or a stranger on the internet? There are many people available online that can help you with your iguana in times of need. This can be a wonderful resource, but once again, if in your best judgement from all that you've learned about your iguana, a situation arises where you need help...a trip to your vet will always be the best option.

    3. How much do I care about my pet iguana? Most pet owners will encounter a time when they must actually decide just how much they care for their pet. We understand that all iguana owners are different in how far they will go or how much they will spend on properly caring for their iguana. We hope that most people are devoted enough to their iguanas to learn as much as possible about their proper care, take them to the vet on a regular basis, be prepared to rush their iguana to the vet in an emergency situation, and be financially secure enough to be able to afford most care provided by their vet.

These are just a few questions and if you have learned a lot about iguana care, you will probably have many more questions to add. By all means, if you have an emergency situation, deal with it the best you can, and then share it with the forum. Asking for help in the middle of an emergency situation will most likely lead to many "Go to the vet ASAP!" responses. So, once again, learn all you can, find a qualified herp vet now, and you will have far less trouble later.

Learn & read more - Opinions and methods of properly caring for iguanas will most likely vary from person to person. Assume that there are no experts on how to care for iguanas. Learn as much as you can from as many different sources as possible. This includes reading as much as possible, talking to as many experienced people as possible, and making your own educated decisions on how to best care for your iguana. If you learn all you can...you will then become the only expert on how to care for your iguana.

Be nice, be pleasant, and be as friendly as possible - Politely asking for help is much better than demanding help. Kindly suggesting how to do something is much better than barking orders or telling people what they have to do. Give people their options and let them decide, because most of the time, deciding how to care for their pet iguana is ultimately their choice to make. Give them your experiences and knowledge of the subject, show them where and how to learn more, and allow them to care for their iguana...not you. The Green Iguana Society web site is full of information, but basically it is all suggestions on how to care for an iguana, which is why we give links to other sources.

Be patient...and keep learning and reading more - If you are asking a question, don't expect it to be answered...be happy when it is. If you seek advice, be happy when you get help and don't get mad if you don't get answers you were expecting. If you ask a question...keep reading and learning about iguana care and chances are you will probably answer your own question. Most questions asked about iguana care can be found if you read more. Many common questions asked on iguana care forums go unanswered because they can usually be answered if you try to learn more. If you have a question that goes unanswered, keep reading and learning as much as you can. If you still can't find the answer to your question, ask again and tell people where you have looked, what you have read, and that you are unable to find the answer to your question. Chances are that if you tell people exactly how hard you have tried to find the answer to your question, someone will help you by giving you some answers and probably some links to those hard to find answers.

Be careful how you say things - It is often times very hard to write in a way that shows how you're feeling or how you mean something to come across. Even if your intentions are good, the way you write something may be taken the wrong way. A very popular way of making sure your feelings are expressed in the way you intend them is to use familiar abbreviations and symbols such as :-) (smiley face) ;-) (winking smiley face) :-P (tongue sticking out in jest) ;-( (unhappy face) LOL (laughing out loud) and many, many others. Although it may seem silly, it is a very good way to help show your feelings and intentions. It is also considered rude to use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS when typing. It's considered a way of showing that you are yelling and shouting and should only be used to emphasize that feeling. For some more good information on netiquette and abbreviations, please visit Melissa Kaplan's pages on Getting The Most Out Of The Internet and Emoticons and Abbreviations.

Keep your message and questions on topic - Many message boards and forums are dedicated to a specific topic, such as our green iguana message board. There are literally thousands of different message boards and forums on the internet, and chances are there is at least one with the topic you wish to discuss. Look as hard as you can to find the topic you wish to discuss and then find one that is relatively close to the topic you're looking for and politely tell them that you have looked everywhere and would like some help finding the forum you need.

Conclusion - All of this information about message board and forum etiquette is to help everyone get along while helping and sharing with others online. We always urge people to voice their opinions and share their experiences, but we also emphasize to people that you can do this without offending or upsetting others. Everyone is different, every iguana is different...we just hope that everyone can get along, continue to enjoy caring for their iguanas, learn as much as possible, and keep forums such as ours, places to learn and enjoy. Thank you and we hope to talk with you soon.

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