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Reptiles/Leopard Gecko abcess


QUESTION: I've had my female leopard gecko for 2 yrs now and i got her when she was a baby...Her tank air temperature is usually between 85-90. Today i was holding her and noticed she had some kind of cold sore looking thing on the left side of her mouth. It doesn't look swollen and there isn't any pus so im not sure what it is or what to do.
If you have any idea I would greatly appreciate it. She is still eating just fine and she hasn't lost any weight or anything

ANSWER: Hello Lindsay,

Is the area hard or soft on her mouth?
Could a cricket have bitten her?  Do you leave crickets in the tank with her?
If you have any pictures to post that would help.  
It could be a cyst or abscess.  Try cleaning it off with a diluted betadine solution & then use antibiotic ointment on it as best as you can.

Let me know how she is doing.

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QUESTION: Tracie, Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly, I really appreciate it... I just bought an under the tank heater,because her floor temperature was around 70 degrees. Do you think this will help her immune system heal her sore? I do not leave crickets in her cage with her, I make sure that she eats them one at a time while I'm watching her. I haven't touched the sore yet, because I did not want to infect it at all. How much do I dilute the betadine solution? 50/50? 60/40? etc? Is there a specific Reptile antibiotic ointment i need to get or will a human antibiotic do the trick? I will post pictures as soon as i can.

Thank you again!!!! =)

ANSWER: Hello Lindsay,

You are welcome.  :-))
Great, the under tank heater is definitely needed as they need belly heat to fully digest their food.  
The warm/hot end needs to be around 88-90 & the increased heat should help boost her immune system.
You are using a basking light also, correct?
You can use regular human antibiotic ointment like neosporin or polysporin just taking care not to get any into the mouth area.  
The betadine can be diluted until it resembles a weak tea solution.  Maybe 3 parts water to 1 part betadine, roughly.  

That is good you don't leave crickets in with her.  Could she have scraped her mouth on something trying to shed?

Let me know how she is doing.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

My Mojave =)
My Mojave =)  

Sore/Scab thing
Sore/Scab thing  
QUESTION: Thanks for keeping in touch with me. =) So I'm attaching pictures now, and they were taken Monday evening and nothing has changed since then. The lesion is on her left side.

I haven't been able to apply any ointment on it yet, but i plan to tonight. The heater has definitely made the floor warm, which should be better for her. Thank you for the information on the betadine and temperature range.

She still has her appetite, so It doesn't seem like it is hurting her.


Hello Lindsay,

She is a pretty girl indeed.  :-)
That should be helpful to get her more heating on her underside.  
How are the temperatures now for her?
I hope she is doing better & that her mouth heals up soon.

Keep me posted on her.



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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