I have a one year old Leopard gecko, albino. She has a shriveled tail, no fat in it, and her feet and hands are swollen.

Expert's Assistant chatimg
Customer: I have a one year old Leopard gecko, albino. She has a shriveled tail, no fat in it, and her feet and hands are swollen. Her arms are skinny as well, and this seemed to happen overnight. Can you help?
Answered by Anna in 5 mins 12 years ago
imglogo
Anna
30+ years of experience
logo

17,040 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hello,

Some additional information will help me to answer your question.

Does your gecko have an appetite?

Has she been passing any droppings at all?

What temperature do you maintain in the cage?

Do you give a calcium supplement?

I also want to let you know that there have been some technical issues on the site today, so if there seems to be a long delay in our responses going back and forth, that is why. Thank you.

Anna
MsAM40306.8442171296
Customer

She ate a cricket yesterday. The cage right now is at 80 degrees but it gets up near 95 or so depending on the day. I have a heater under the cage as well.

 

I have not been giving calcium supplements, but bought some powder for crickets yesterday.

 

I thought she may be experiencing impaction so I removed the sand and have carpet. The sand was in the cage about two months and my other gecko is fine.

 

She had droppings Thursday night but I did not see any yesterday when she was alone in one of our containers.

 

Her tail has no fat, it is skinny and there seems to be a hard line over the end of her body where her tail starts. I thought it was a small meal work attached at first from the way it looks but it isnt. Her joints are swollen at her feet and hands as well.

 

She has been healthy and eats well, but this suddenly came on this week.

 

I appreciate your help. We are every worried about her.

 

Thanks, Melissa

 

 

Thank you for getting back to me, Melissa. First, I'm going to give you a first aid measure. You're on the right track with the bath, but we can make it better. Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants), and prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak your dragon for about 20 to 30 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, with her still in the water, gently massage her underside from front to vent for an additional 10 minutes. That may be enough to help her pass some feces. Be sure to supervise closely. Repeat this twice a day.

You can also buy a superworm at the pet store. Dip it in olive oil (or other vegetable oil), and then feed it to the gecko. That can also help with impaction.

I'm going to give you this much right now so you'll be able to get started. I'm not finished with your answer - I'll be back in a few minutes with more.

Anna



The symptoms you're seeing are consistent with either gout or kidney disease. When a gecko is this sick, a veterinary visit is needed. The soak I described above can help prevent dehydration, and may keep your gecko strong enough to make it to a vet. The nearest reptile vet I could find for you is 82 miles away. It is

Coleman Animal Health Center
Charles W. Coleman, DVM
8823 Sandifur Pkwy.
Pasco, WA 99301
Telephone:(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr />
If that's too far away for you, see if you can find a local vet who would work with that vet by phone consultation. Your gecko is extremely ill, and the sooner you can get in, the better.

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 container. 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





Read less
unlike
0 Likes
logoBack
logologo
Anna
logo
logo
17,040 satisfied customers
logo
30+ years of experience
imglogo
Anna
+ years of experience
logo

17040 satisfied customers

Ellen

Ellen

Licensed veterinarians

31,131 satisfied customers

Pearl avatar
Pearl Wilson, Veterinarian's Assistant
116 Veterinarians are online right now.
Related Veterinary Questions
My male leopard gecko's hemipenes were found super swollen
9.15.2022
img
Dr. Duran
Veterinarian
180 Satisfied Customers
I woke up with some trauma and tail rot in my leopard gecko.
7.10.2022
img
Dr. Sara
DVM
316 Satisfied Customers
The tip of his tail is right it. Albino gecko. It just
6.10.2022
img
Dr. Caryn – Vet
Reptile Veterinarian
327 Satisfied Customers
Have a leopard gecko that isn't moving much and seems very
3.10.2022
img
Sydney DVM
Owner, Veterinarian
569 Satisfied Customers
My leopard gecko tail is shriveling up at the end and dry.
5.14.2021
img
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
4,085 Satisfied Customers
How it works
logoAsk for help, 24/7
Ask for help, 24/7
Members enjoy round-the-clock access to 12,000+ verified Experts, including doctors, lawyers, tech support, mechanics, vets, home repair pros, more.
logoExpert will respond in minutes
Expert will respond in minutes
After you reach out, we match you with an Expert who specializes in your situation. Talk, text, chat, whichever you prefer.
logoSave time & money
Save time & money
No scheduling hassles, missing time from work, or expensive consults.
A JustAnswer membership can save you significant time and money each month.
Sarahesq and 87 other Veterinarian specialists are ready to help you.
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.
Why you’ll love JustAnswer
JustAnswer is the best way to get expertise on-demand from doctors, lawyers, vets, mechanics and more. Since 2003, we’ve helped more than 9 million people in 196 countries and have an A+ rating with BBB and a 9.6/10 rating with TrustPilot.
Highly rated, verified Experts
We pride ourselves in our 8-step verification process including license and credential checks. Vetted by us and rated by customers, like you.
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal ...leave nothing to chance.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
JustAnswer, Professional Services  General, San Francisco, CA
Google reviews
TrustPilot Reviews