Healthy leopard geckos can live for up to twenty years in captivity. However, how do you tell if your gecko is healthy?
As a reptile owner, you will want to take the time to get to know your gecko’s habits, from its food intake to bowel movements and water consumption to energy levels.
Monitoring your leopard gecko can help you quickly identify if there is a problem.
Adult leopard geckos can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) in length and weigh between 60 grams and 90 grams. Females are lighter, sometimes as light as 45 grams. Leopard geckos only weigh 6 to 8 grams at birth.
Weighing your leopard gecko can help you identify if your gecko is a healthy weight.
What makes leopard geckos so fascinating is their full and plump tails. The tail should be fatter than the stomach area.
Thin tails is a sign of ill health and should be looked at as soon as possible to identify the cause and rectify it.
Your healthy leopard gecko should have a plump body, the bones should not be showing. The stomach should be full and rounded. It should not be distended unless your gecko is a female and currently carrying eggs.
Getting to know your gecko and its normal body size can help you quickly see if there are any problems that need your attention.
An adult healthy leopard gecko should poop every two to three days. The poop should be black or brown, possibly with white in it. It should be solid.
If you notice the poop is loose and watery, possibly with undigested food in it or blood, then it's cause for worry. You should get your gecko to the vet as soon as possible to get the relevant treatment.
A healthy leopard gecko will have clear, bright, and alert eyes. The eyes should be wide open and vibrant. If there is any sign that the eyes are sunken, this could be a sign of dehydration.
If the gecko cannot open its eye or eyes, this could be a sign of infection and will require veterinary treatment. Keep a close watch on your gecko’s eyes to ensure it is happy and healthy.
Leopard geckos should have clean and firm mouths. There should be no discharge. Mouth rot is a mouth and gum infection in reptiles that is often a result of food stuck in the teeth or cuts in the mouth.
If you suspect your gecko has mouth rot, seek veterinary treatment. If left untreated, it could kill your leopard gecko.
Healthy leopard gecko skin is undamaged with no sign of any parasites. Your gecko should also shed regularly, every four to eight weeks. When your gecko is healthy, the shed will result in the entire skin coming off in one piece.
If the skin doesn't come off completely and there are still parts of the skin left on the reptile, then this is a sign of an unhealthy environment. This could be a result of low humidity levels, lack of minerals, or nutritional issues.
Your vet will be able to provide you with advice on how to safely remove the skin without causing any damage to your leopard gecko.
Leopard geckos are keen eaters with a diet of mainly insects. When your leopard gecko is eating a set amount without leaving food in the enclosure and suddenly you notice food being left behind and not eaten, this is a cause for concern.
Lack of appetite could be a result of numerous health issues from metabolic bone disease to mouth rot.
Leopard geckos are very active reptiles that love to explore their enclosure and surroundings. They are generally energetic geckos. The gecko should be moving around and responding to the surroundings with eagerness.
If you notice your gecko is hiding more than normal or not moving for long periods of time, then you should take note and find out what the problem is.
Regular Vet Visits
You know your leopard gecko is healthy when you take your gecko for regular vet visits for a general health check and some poop samples. This should be done annually.
By getting to know your leopard gecko, you will soon be able to notice telltale signs if there is a health problem. Healthy geckos are happy geckos.
Getting to know what is healthy and what is not can help you provide your gecko with a happy and full life moving forward.