My leopard gecko stopped eating a while back, has dropped weight in her tail considerably and overall has little to no

Expert's Assistant chatimg
Customer: Hi my leopard gecko stopped eating a while back, has dropped weight in her tail considerably and overall has little to no energy. I think her cloaca is swollen and I’ve just started warm soaks and a little massage. Her tummy isn’t bloated. Is that still impaction?
JA: Hi there. I'll do all I can to help. When did you first notice this decrease in the leopard gecko's appetite?
Customer: It’s been going on for at least a few weeks..
JA: Does the leopard gecko seem to be in any pain?
Customer: I can’t tell. Mostly just lays in one spot and very little energy.
JA: What's the leopard gecko's name and age?
Customer: Bandit and I’m guessing she’s at least 9. Also hate putting her through too much because I know she’s older. Up until now she’s been very healthy with no issues.
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I think that’s it. Thanks.
Answered by Dr. Caryn – Vet in 22 mins 12 months ago
imglogo
Dr. Caryn – Vet
Pet Specialist
logo

2,212 satisfied customers

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

Customer
Here’s a few photos
Customer
Pic 2
Customer
Pic 3
Customer
Pic 4
Customer
Pic 5
Customer
Pic 6

Hello and thanks for posting your question on JustAnswer.com. My name is***** and I have been a veterinarian for over 21 years, specializing in aquatics, reptiles, amphibians, avian and other exotic species. You may already be aware, but on this platform veterinarians can provide insight and advice, but as this is not considered a legal client-patient relationship, we are unable to prescribe medications, provide medical records or sign documents for your specific pet. For that you would need to make an in person visit with a local veterinarian. I am happy to chat with you via text but if you are interested in a phone call instead that is an option you can choose for an additional charge. In the meantime, I am putting together some questions and/or suggestions to help with your pet’s concern.

Customer
Hi. Thanks for your response. I sent some pictures in the app. Not sure if you can see them.

I am sorry to hear that your leopard gecko Bandit is under the weather.

Yes, thanks very much for the photos....ouch!

Do you know for sure that she is female? I'm asking because the swelling she has under her tail looks like impacted hemipenes.

Customer
Ok I’m in the app and realize now it’s going through..
Customer
she only once laid a few eggs years ago. Up until then we thought she was a he.. lol

Okay, then she is definitely a female!! :-)

In that case, it is likely that she has cloacitis, or inflammation/infection in her cloaca. It does look like there is some yellow discharge as well.

Customer
Ok I’ve tried to get into a few of the all animal vets here in LA. They either aren’t taking new patients or booked until dec 5 or later.

Although studies have shown that even female leopard geckos do have the ability to form hemipenes if exposed to testosterone, so there is a possibility that she might be intersex and this is a hemipenes impaction.

Customer
What do you recommend for treatment.

So she likely will need veterinary care but I can give you some tips for home treatment while you are waiting for your veterinary appointment. It's also very important to make sure her husbandry conditions, especially temp, humidity, UVB, diet and supplements are all in the proper range, so I'm sharing a leopard gecko care sheet I put together as a reference. Please review at your convenience and feel free to ask any questions.

I would recommend shallow soaks twice daily for 15-30 minute in warm water (85F) mixed with Betadine solution (povidone iodine solution). Only enough Betadine to make the color of weak tea. Only deep enough so the ventral tail/affected area is submerged.

Customer
I’m making sure her temps and moisture are good but in terms of diet and supplements she’s not eating at all. I’ve tried using tongs to hold worms kn front of her but she literally has no interest.

After the soak, you can try to gently pull out any of the visible yellow material with a tweezers or cotton swab but if using a swab, try not to push the material farther back into the vent.

Customer
Ok re soaks and Betadine. I’ll keep on that for
Sure.
Customer
Ok I’ll try that as well

You can also massage the affected area with a qtip, gently, before trying to, gently, remove the waxy material. Don't yank, but you can gently rock back and forth if you have a decent hold on one of the plugs. But if it doesn't come out or isn't budging don't force it.

Customer
Ok I’ll do that.
Customer
I’ll also get back online and see if there’s a vet that can take her sooner.
Customer
Thank you so much for your help. ❤️

I would do the Betadine soaks at least twice a day.

If she's not eating, then you might need to assist feed her, especially if she's lost weight, which I agree it looks like she has.

-Offer food, even if not eating. If your leopard gecko is having difficulty reaching or getting to their food, put the food dish next to them or you can also hand or tong feed them. Place an insect gently against their lips and if they are hungry, they will bite at it. If not, don’t force it.

If needed, you can syringe feed them a replacement formula like ReptaBoost by Fluker's but go slowly and don't feed too quickly to prevent choking. If you’ve never done this before there are some good online videos that you can watch first such as this one by exotic pet veterinarian Dr. Laurie Hess:

https://youtu.be/38BbTokTwjI

To find a local veterinarian with reptile experience, here is a useful website you can use to search for other local reptile veterinarian:

https://arav.site-ym.com/search/

(please note this site may not work on older browsers like Safari)

These veterinarians are active members of the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians, which means they have interest and experience in treating reptile patients.

Customer
Amazing. Thank you for all the information!!

You are most welcome!

And if she's lethargic, make sure to keep her warm. If they’re not moving around much on their own, place them in an area of the tank that is around 85F, but not on top of a hot rock or under the hottest basking area as they can overheat or get burned.

If she's not eating, you don't want her to get dehydrated, so you might want to add a third soak per day that is just warm water, no Betadine. That way she can drink if needed. Same conditions, 15-30 minutes, 85F, but perhaps slightly deeper, shoulder depth.

After 3 days, I would drop the Betadine soaks to once daily but increase the water soaks to twice daily if she is still not eating.

Customer
Awesome so much great information. Thank you.
Customer
I really really appreciate it. Hurts my heart to see an animal in pain.

You are most welcome. Yes, we do hurt when our animals hurt.

You could do a gentle flush of the cloaca itself with the diluted betadine solution if you feel comfortable doing so. You can introduce the syringe tip (not a needle) into the opening of the vent and flush gently. Do so after a bath so the crusted material has been softened. If she really squirms, don't push it. Just go slow and use warmed solution. You can do this twice daily for 3 days so see if this also helps.

I don't recommend any triple antibiotic ointment use on the inside of the cloaca but you can dab some on the outside that is red. Do so after she's dried after a bath. And if I think of anything else that's over the counter that might help, I'll add an additional message.

Customer
I'll try all of this! Thank you so so much. You've been amazing. :)

You are welcome, I sincerely ***** ***** and Bandit the best. I do hope you'll be able to get her to a veterinarian sooner, but it may be tough during a holiday week. One other thing you can try, which sounds a bit odd, is topical honey. Honey is a potent antimicrobial agent and promotes healing of wounds. You could put some honey on the affected area (not inside the cloaca, but on the opening of the vent and the swollen part of the outer skin) for 15-30 minutes before doing the soaks, as the soaks will rinse off the honey. I recommend putting her in a paper towel lined box in the enclosure so the honey doesn't get all over the place and so she stays warm while it is on. Then do the soak and you can clean out the box and remove it from the enclosure to use again later. Just a thought.

Customer
I'm literally looking up vets and calling to see if I can get her in sooner. This gives me plenty to do meanwhile. I'm so grateful for your help. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. :)

Good luck, I hope you find somewhere. Thanks so much and you, too, have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Customer
Thank you! :)

Your welcome. :-)

Customer
Dr Caryn is kind, compassionate, and full of great knowledge. She genuinely cares about you and your pet’s well-being. I’m super grateful for all of her help!

Thank you so much, kind words!

Customer
Hi
Read less
unlike
0 Likes
logoBack
logologo
Dr. Caryn – Vet
logo
logo
2,212 satisfied customers
logo
Pet Specialist
imglogo
Dr. Caryn – Vet
+ years of experience
logo

2212 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 leopard gecko is Shedding really slow, she's not eating
4.8.2022
img
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
4,085 Satisfied Customers
She hasn't been eating and she seems lethargic. She dropped
1.14.2022
img
Dr. Caryn – Vet
Reptile Veterinarian
1,069 Satisfied Customers
We have a leopard gecko that isn't eating or pooping.
1.4.2022
img
Dr. Caryn – Vet
Reptile Veterinarian
1,069 Satisfied Customers
My leopard gecko seems to be unable to poop. We're massaging
11.13.2021
img
Dr. Amy Leigh
Pet Specialist
847 Satisfied Customers
She has an impaction I'm pretty sure - she's extremely
11.12.2021
img
Dr. Caryn – Vet
Reptile Veterinarian
1,069 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