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Choosing a Healthy Leopard Gecko

December 01, 2020

Are you considering adopting a Leopard gecko? These cute, colorful lizards are becoming very popular. Leopard geckos really do make great pets. They’re typically quite gentle, and they’re also naturally clean. This makes them a great choice for first-time reptile owners. Of course, when adopting a lizard, you want to choose one that is in good health. How do you tell? A Covington, GA veterinarian offers some tips on picking out a healthy lizard below.


Your lizard’s tail should be plump, even a bit fat. Geckos actually store fat in their tails, so a bony tail in an adult lizard is often a sign that it’s underweight. (Note: baby geckos have smaller, flatter tails, so this isn’t as much of a red flag in a young lizard.) 


Take a look at your little buddy’s face. Leopard geckos should have clear eyes, which should not be sunken or bulging out. You shouldn’t see any goop or discharge around the eyes, nose, or mouth. The mouth should also close correctly.


Gecko toes are pretty adorable. Make sure they’re all there! It’s not uncommon for lizards to be born missing a toe. This isn’t necessarily an issue. What you want to look for are signs of trouble, such as swelling or discoloration.


Healthy lizards have firm, supple bodies. You shouldn’t feel any lumps, bumps or lesions. Your potential pet also shouldn’t have any ribs sticking out.


Your gecko should be alert and responsive to stimuli such as sounds and movements. A lethargic one could be ill.


We know, this isn’t the funnest thing on the list. However, if you do see feces in the cage, take note of their texture and appearance. Pale, orange or yellow colored feces can be a sign of illness, as can diarrhea.


What if you’ve fallen for a gecko that you know or suspect is sick? Helping an animal can be a very rewarding experience. In some cases, the lizard may have a condition that is easily taken care of, or even resolves with good care. However, rehabilitating a sick lizard may be too much for a first-timer. Make sure you have a great veterinarian, one that is familiar with geckos, and follow his or her advice to the letter. 

Do you have questions about gecko care? Contact us, your local Covington, GA veterinary hospital, today!

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