Friday, June 8, 2012

Leopard Gecko Care

A little about the Leopard Gecko
Scientific Name: Eublepharis macularius
-They can live up to 20+ years, so they are a long term investment
-They grow 6-10 inches in length
-They have little to no odor
-They are nocturnal which means they mostly awake at night and sleep during the day
-They learn to accept handling and recognize their owners
-They have gentile/docile dispositions, and almost never bite
-They occasionally shed their skin and eat it, this is normal, don’t be alarmed
-They are generally quiet, but can make small chirping like noises, hissing, clicking, and little squeals

Housing and recommended supplies:
-Minimum of a 10 gallon aquarium for one, 20 gallon aquarium for up to three. Never more than one adult male to cage
-Under tank heater on warm side of cage
-Cage liner: Repti-carpet, felt, newspaper. Calci-sand is debatable since it has been know to cause impactions.
-Hide spot- ideally two: one dry on warm side of tank, and one moist (to aid in shedding) on cool side of cage
-Moss or coconut fiber for moist hide box/log
-Shallow water dish big enough for whole body
-Basking light on warm side of cage, leave on about 10-12 hours a day
-Cool side: 70-76°F,  Warm side: 80-90°F
-Humidity should never be less than 40%, higher in moist hide box to aide in shedding
-Book about gecko’s
-Small carrying size cage to hold crickets in

-They can eat crickets, mealworms, and wax worms, and also need a calcium supplement
-Feed mealworms every two to three days, and crickets once a week Make sure to “gut load” meals before feeding it to your lizard. Gut load refers to letting the crickets get a good meal or two in to fatten them up since they are often starved and not much nutritional value straight from the pet store.
-Wax worms should only be given as an occasional treat.
-Calcium can be dusted on crickets, or left in the cage in a small dish.
-Be sure to give them fresh water everyday

-Allow them to get used to their surroundings and your scent before handling, it’s a gradual process, keep handling to a minimum at first, over handling will cause them stress
-NEVER grab them by the tail, it will come off leaving a possibility for infection, even though it grows back, it will not look the same
-Move slowly, sudden movement will startle them
-The more comfortable they are in their surroundings and with you, the easier they are to handle
-Wash hands after handling, most reptiles are potential carriers of salmonella and infectious diseases

Habitat Maintenance:
-Thoroughly clean cage about once a week
-Clean water dish every day
-Check for feces and leftover food once a day and remove
-Small pooper scooper's can be purchased at the pet store similur to cat pooper scooper's if you prefer
-Also their urine is secreted in a soft solid form with their feces so no wet puddles to clean up unless their water spills

Signs you may need to take your leopard gecko to an exotic animal veterinarian:
-Rapid weight Loss
-Rapid thinning of the tail
-Severe lethargy
-Tremors or Seizures
-Sunken Eyes
-Any severe injury, open sore, or lump
-Abnormal stool, or inability to pass - mucous, watery, extreme scent, change in color
-Visible organisms or blood in stool
-“Gaping”, which is sitting still and breathing with mouth open for long periods of time
-Thick, white substances around the mouth – often referred to as, “chalky mouth”
-Will not eat for more than 2 weeks
-Any other physical abnormity or change in behavior

Common illness – see veterinarian
-Respiratory infection:
Symptoms: labored breathing, bubbly secretions from mouth/nose
Common cause: environment being too cold

Symptoms: loss of appetite, lack of stool, lethargy, death
Common cause: eating substrate that is indigestible

-Secondary Nutritional Hyperparathyroidism/ Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD):
Symptoms: softened/rubbery bones, lethargy, swollen/deformed limbs
Common cause: improper diet and lack of calcium

-Retained toe sheds, Can also occur around eyes and nose, and tail tip:
Common cause: not enough humidity in habitat/lack of moist hide box
May lead to loss of circulation to affected area, or infections

Symptoms: skinny tail, diarrhea, vomiting, death
Common cause: contaminated stool, housing, water, contact with another infected leopard gecko


  1. Wow! Is nirvana still alive?

    1. Very cool formatting and post too, by the way! More work then I usually do. Did your adsense account get approved yet?

    2. I have no idea if she is still alive, you have probably talked to Joey much more recently than I have. Thank you, I also have a power point to go with it. It was a class project, plus I was trying to help Nirvana get better care. Really it's amazing she had lived as long as she had. No adsense account yet. Every time I resubmit I get a reply a couple hours later saying I still don't have enough content.