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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11459
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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I have a leo issue. I have a leopard gecko that has skin

Customer Question

I have a leo issue. I have a leopard gecko that has skin issues constantly. It was a rescue from a child and was in poor condition when my husband and I got it. He did very well with us for about 4-5 years and about 2 years ago developed a shedding problem that was so server that we had to start giving him baths to help him shed. We do this regularly and have no idea his age but about a month ago he started loosing weight & his foot turned very dark/purple/black & stopped moving. Before it stopped altogether moving it was very jerky and just wasn't normal. My initial thought was that it was shed causing loss of circulation but now I am not sure. He eats and has a normal appetite but the leg is a real issue & he continues to loose weight. We have no exotic vet anywhere near us or we would take it. We are attached b/c he has always been extra needy. His cage set up is correct and he has a moist hide. We don't use any substrate and we do provide calcium & supplements. i have pics. help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Hello. I apologize that no one has responded to you sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just logged on and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. I'm sorry to hear of this problem. Your photos would be helpful. You can upload them by clicking on the paper clip icon in the tool bar at the top of the space where you type. Instructions will then pop up. Also, please give me your location - I may be able to help you find a vet. It does sound like you need one. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am located in Bristol TN
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here's another pic
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for getting back to me, and for the pics. I'm working on your answer and will post it as soon as I have it put together and typed up. I'll be back shortly.

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for waiting. I suspect your leo came to you with underlying health problems all those years ago, and they have gotten worse with time. Shedding difficulties often indicate something wrong internally.

The foot looks infected. A condition called dry gangrene is common. Sometimes it's the result of a minor injury, or as you suspect, unshed skin constricting the area, but often no original cause can be found. Because the infection can keep spreading up the leg to the body, it's best to have it treated by a vet.

If he's eating, but still losing weight, he may have parasites, internal organ failure, or even cancer. Again, there is no home treatment. All I can do is give you a first aid measure to prevent dehydration while you try to find a vet. .Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak your gecko for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes and fluids through their vents (where droppings pass out), so make the water deep enough to cover the vent. Be sure to supervise closely.

Unfortunately, when we have lizards as pets it's not uncommon to have to drive for an hour or two to reach a vet. This is the closest reptile vet I found:

Teena L Foster, DVM
PO Box 874
Rogersville, TN 37857
Telephone:(###) ###-####br />Emergency:(###) ###-####/p>

This one may also treat reptiles, but they don't bill themselves as reptile vets:

VCA Highlands Animal Hospital
25011 Lee Highway
Abingdon, VA 24211
Telephone:(###) ###-####/p>

Here are some that are a little farther:

Caldwell Animal Hospital
Rebecca C. Horton, DVM***** SE
Lenoir, NC 28645
Telephone:(###) ###-####/p>

Audie R Bloise, DVM
Rebecca C. Horton, DVM*****br />North Wilkesboro, NC 28659
Telephone:(###) ###-####/p>

Sweeten Creek Animal and Bird Hospital
Bolt Lee, DVM
3131 Sweeten Creek Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Telephone:(###) ###-####/p>

If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I hope your leo will reach a full recovery.


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