Diseases And Leopard Geckos
Leopard geckos are healthy reptiles for the most part. There isn’t much that can cause them to actually be sick. If you have got a healthy leopard gecko from the pet store, there is only little tendency for them to have diseases, unless you have bought an already sick gecko (see picking out a gecko).
With the proper supplements and healthy balanced diet, as well as proper care and love, your leopard gecko can live healthily throughout its 20-year life span. That’s why prevention plays a vital role to deter diseases and ailments.
Listed below are some of the common ailments and problems a leopard gecko can have, and a bit of what you can do.
Metabolic bone disease (Hypocalcemia)
This disease is largely caused by deficiency of calcium in a leopard gecko’s diet. Because calcium is deficient, the leopard’s body extracts calcium from its own bones. Thus, the bone itself gets weak. Common symptoms of this disease include lethargy, unusual curvature of the legs, painful and swollen joints, soft jaws, as well as generalized weakness. You can, however, prevent your leopard gecko from acquiring this disease by giving sufficient supply of calcium to your pet through its feeds. This is actually a must for every gecko and you should not forget doing this, that is if you want them to be healthy.
All leopard geckos have the risk for a tail loss, as this is a common defensive mechanism when they feel threatened or if their tails have been grabbed. One other cause is if it engages with a fight with another gecko. In order to prevent this, you have to execute extreme care in handling your gecko, and never let it feel threatened. In case of an accidental loss of tail caused by a cage mate gecko, you should take it out the tank immediately, keep it warm, and then feed it regularly. You don’t have to worry as the tail will grow back some time soon, however the problem is it wouldn’t be exactly the same in regards to pattern and size than the rest of the body. So it’ll make a big impact on how your gecko looks.
Unregulated temperatures can cause problems with the leopard gecko’s respiration. If they are either too low or their humidity is too high, it can suppress the immune system of your beloved geckos, thus making it easier for the problems to arise. How to know if your pet has a respiratory infection? Symptoms of a respiratory infection are somewhat similar to just plain stress. However those with infection would seem to be panting and they usually leave their mouth slightly open, as if grasping for air. Mild cases can be remedied by making the temperature a bit higher, at least 84-90 degrees Fahrenheit in a day setting and less than 80 degrees during night time. However, for prolonged symptoms, veterinary care is especially needed.
Just for a preventive measure, you must quarantine your new leopard gecko first for at least 3 months, meaning it stays alone in its cage before you let it go outside or share a tank with another gecko. That way, you’ll definitely know if your reptile is healthy or not. Also, you want to house geckos that are the same size as some will bully the smaller ones.