My gecko seems to have something sticking out of her ....it looks like her poop. It has been there for a couple weeks. I

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Customer: My gecko seems to have something sticking out of her butt....it looks like her poop. It has been there for a couple weeks. I tried to pull on it with a tweezers gently but it didn't help. I was reading online that they shouldn't have sand in their cage but she does. The pet store suggested calcium sand. Is there anything I can do to help her?
Answered by Anna in 6 mins 12 years ago
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Anna
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Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hello,

some additional information will help me to answer your question.

Are you sure the thing hanging out of your gecko isn't part of her intestines? Look closely at it for signs that there is blood, skin, etc. there.

How has your gecko's appetite been?

Thank you.

Anna
Customer
It's hard to tell, but she has a small bulge inside of her off to the right side(down there). To the left of this bulge is where the thing is poking out. There isn't any blood, but right now she is shedding and has some skin in the way of seeing it very well. She hasn't been eating very well lately.
Thank you for getting back to me. Don't pull on the thing anymore, in case it is her intestine. What you can do is give her a good soak. Prepare a shallow bath of 1/2 Pedialyte (yes, the kind made for human infants) and 1/2 water. Soak your gecko for 10 to 20 minutes. Then, with her still in the water, gently massage her underside from front to back for another 10 minutes. If it's not possible to get any Pedialyte tonight, use plain water, and get the Pedialyte tomorrow. The bath acccomplishes several things. Lizards can absorb fluids and electrolytes through their vents, so this will help with dehydration. The water and the massage can help her pass droppings. If what you see hanging from her is poop, the water may soften it enough to make it come off.

Before putting her back in her cage, get rid of the sand. I wish pets tores didn't even sell it, but they do. It is the leading cause of impaction and eye infections. It is probably the source of your gecko's trouble. A solid substrate, such as reptile carpet or ceramic tile, is best. For tonight, you can use plain paper towels or newspaper. If you’d like to see the results of using sand with lizards, you can take a look at the following site. The photos are graphic, so if such things bother you, you may not want to look.

Impaction

Make sure the temperature in your gecko's cage is between 82* and 88*F, day and night. Wrong temperatures can lead to digestive problems.

After a bath, you may beable to tell if the protrusion is intestine or poop. If you find that it is intestine, let me know, and I'll tell you what to do. If you give your gecko a soak and massage tonight, and again tomorrow morning, but she doesn't pass any droppings, she probably has a severe impaction. That lump that you see can be a sign of that. In that case, you'll need to take her to a reptile vet, or she is likely to die. This link will take you to a directory of reptile vets:

http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlist


I’m also sending along a care sheet, courtesy of Joan, another of our experts. You can use it as a checklist to make sure all the conditions are right. If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your gecko will reach a full recovery.

Anna

Leopard Gecko Care Sheet

The Leopard Gecko is originally from Pakistan, India, and a few other countries in Asia. They actually live on hard rocky outcrops and they are nocturnal (active at night). They prefer temperatures between 82 and 88 degrees all day and night. They grow to between 8 to 11 inches. Leopard Geckos are available in a wide range of colors and patterns which are the result of selective captive breeding. These include albino, ghost, striped, jungle, Leucistic and high yellow. These colors have been made possible through selective captive breeding. Leopard Geckos make wonderful pets for almost any age person. Leopard Geckos also make good long term pets. They can live over twenty years. Never grab by tail it will break off.

Leopard Gecko Housing: A male Leopard Gecko should never be housed in the same cage as another male leopard gecko because they will fight and possibly kill one another. A male can be housed with several females without any problems. I do not advise housing leopard geckos in the same cage with any other reptiles. A single Leopard Gecko can be kept in a ten gallon tank. For a male and a few females a twenty gallon tank or larger should be used. The cage should have a screen lid on top of it to prevent any escapes. Leopard geckos need places to hide and sleep during the day so you must provide a couple of hiding spots. They need a warm hiding spot and a cold humid hiding spot. Just put one hide box on the side with the heat light and put the humid hide box on the side that does not have the heat light. I actually prefer an under the tank heater for heat source rather than a light since the geckos are Nocturnal. For the humid hide box, Paper Towels work well and easily replaced inside a hide box. You can make your own humid hide box from a small plastic shoe box or from a margarine conatiner. Cut a hole in one end of the container and place moist paper towel inside it. The humid box should be cleaned out every week and re moistened. A humid hide box is needed so that the gecko can go in it when it needs to shed. The humidity helps the old skin come off.

Substrate: There is an abundance of products on the market that claim to be safe substrates. All Loose Substrates (Please note the link above) however are not safe to use. A substrate is what you put on the bottom of the cage for the lizard to walk around on. If a Leopard Gecko ingests any of the substrate accidentally, the substrate must pass through the digestive system. Trust me they will ingest substrate, sometimes on purpose. If it does not easily pass through the digestive system compaction will occur. Compaction is an extreme blockage of the digestive tract and is often fatal. Some substrates that I consider unsafe because they can cause compaction are: sand, bark, Calci sand, crushed walnut shells, lizard litter, gravel, aquarium gravel, and coconut fiber. The safest substrate is using paper towels or plain newspaper, non-stick shelf liner , cage carpet or ceramic tile. For any leopard geckos that are younger than six months I advise using paper towels or plain newspaper until they are at least six months old. Calcium sand is not fully digested no matter what it claims. The stuff just does not break down completely. . Leopard

Gecko Heating and Temperature: The cage should be between 82 to 88 degrees all day and night. There is two basic ways to heat the cage. One is to use a under tank heater like heat tape. The other is to use a black, or blue night incandescent heat light. I prefer to use a heat light. For a 10 gallon tank a 60 watt bulb should work depending on room temperature. Place the heat light on one end of the cage. By putting the heat light on one end of the cage it keeps that side warmest and allows the gecko to move to the warmer side with the light or to the colder side without the light as needed to regulate body temperature.

NEVER EVER USE A HOT ROCK, HEAT ROCK, OR ANY SIMILAR PRODUCT. Hot rocks heat unevenly and are notorious for causing terrible thermal burns. Do not buy a hot rock and if you know anyone who uses one, tell them to throw it away.

Leopard Gecko Feeding: Leopard Geckos will do very well on a diet of mealworms and crickets. I like to provide some variety in feeder insects to create a more balanced diet. Feeder insects I use are silkworms, mealworms, roaches and crickets with the legs on one side of the body pulled off. Crickets will bite your geckos while they sleep, these bites are prone to infection, so if you pull off one side of their legs then they cannot move around the cage and get to the gecko and also this prevents the crickets from climbing out of the cage. Gut load feeder insects for at least a day before putting them in with the gecko. Feed geckos insects that are not larger than the width of the head of the gecko.
Adults can be fed superworms, though I advise only feeding a couple superworms at a time. Leopard Gecko Vitamin/Mineral Supplement: For young geckos dust the feeder insects every other feeding or place a small feeder dish with supplement in it and some mealworms in the cage. For adults and babies place a shallow dish or a plastic lid in the cage with a teaspoon of calcium powder on it. The gecko will lick the calcium powder as needed. You still need to dust feeder insects every other feeding though with a vitamin supplement for young geckos. Adults use vitamin supplement once a week. Leopard Gecko Water: Use a shallow water bowl, fill with water as needed. Remove bowl from cage and clean out weekly.

Do Not Feed Pinkies







MsAM40217.0420950579
Hi again,

Have you been able to figure out what the protrusion is?

If poop, has it softened or come off?

Thank you.

Anna
Customer
I gave her a bath last night and again today. The protrusion is still there...I don't believe it's poop. Is there anything I can do if it is her intestines?
The very best thing to do would be to take her to a reptile vet as soon as you can. If the organ isn't too damaged after being out for so long, a vet can put it back in, and put in stitches to keep it there. Until you can get to a vet, make a paste of sugar and water. completely cover the protrusion with it. Put your gecko in a container with a smooth bottom so the prolapsed organ can't' get caught on anything. You should also cover the bottom of the container with the sugar/water mixture. This link will take you to a directory of reptile vets:

http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlist

It is likely that your gecko did become impacted, and then strained so hard, that the prolapse occurred. Other than the first aid with sugar and water paste, there isn't anything you can do at home. I hope you'll be able to quickly get help.

Anna

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