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Reptiles/Leopard Gecko Cut Arm


My juvenile leopard gecko cut his arm when he was stuck under one of his climbing rocks and bled a little, but currently has a swollen arm and is clenching it to his side. He is still eating and is limbing around but I don't know what I should do and don't have the money to take him to vet at the moment.

Hi Karen,

If the skin was broken then the immediate concern is avoiding infection. If he is on a sand or other similar loose substrate then I would suggest replacing that with paper towel or newspaper until the wound heals.

You can apply a bit of human antibiotic ointment to the wound with a Q-tip if it can be done without further aggravating the injury. Flush it with some tepid water first if there might be sand or other particles sticking to it.

With luck he just has a soft issue injury which can be painful and cause swelling (similar to us suffering a twisted ankle) but should recover fully. The fact that he is eating and moving around is a very good sign.  


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I can answer questions on the proper husbandry and diet of Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckoes, skinks, chameleons, tortoises, box turtles, treefrogs, non-venomous snakes and tarantulas. Also the breeding of some species of feeder insects. I have no experience with venonmous snakes and only limited experience with aquatic turtles.


I have been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 30 years. In addition to my regular job in the medical field I also worked for several years in a pet store that specialized only in exotics. The job entailed both caring for and answering questions on innumerable species. It required constant, extensive research into a wide range of reptiles. I have been called to appear on televised national media (CBC, CTV and Life Channel) as well as CBC radio to discuss the proper care of reptiles and other exotics in captivity. I currently own one or more species of those listed under my expertise with the exception of chameleons. I owned chameleons for years but keep none currently. I keep over 20 snakes comprising 5 species, both Colubridae and Boidae. I bred corn snakes for several years. I have a particular interest in treefrogs and currently have 5 different species. I've raised redfoot tortoises for 10 years and have two iguanas, one for 12 years.

A small and now defunct local magazine called "Pet Vue"

Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

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