Reptiles/Gecko Impaction


It was only recently that I discovered something very wrong with my leopard gecko. A couple of clumps of fecal matter seemed to have hardened and stopped midway out. My dad figured that because I had not yet turned his heat lamp and heating pad on that the cooler area slowed his digestion. So we did just that. Two days later, it still remained. We then tried to soak him in warm water, but I personally did not know for how long to keep him in it before it became important to take him out. There's that and his constant shifting and turning often led him to dip his nostrils in the water which made me fear the risk of him drowning. I took him out and nothing seemed to have worked. From close observation, it appeared that something INSIDE his body was pushing against the skin outside, and felt like something hadn't fully passed. I've read the symptoms of impaction online, and my gecko seems to be exhibiting most of the symptoms: sluggish movement, eyes closed often, not eating as of recently and now the skin on his sides look cracked and dried. He barely even flinches when crickets try to climb on his body, as if he doesn't have the energy to push them off I'm beginning to dread whether or not this is at all curable.

Please take your gecko to an experienced reptile veterinarian immediately.  This is not an issue you can treat at home, at this point.  It's important to get reptiles to a vet when they show signs of illness, as they can quickly decline without prompt care.  Most reptile illnesses can be successfully treated with prompt vet care.


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Donna Fernstrom


My particular focus is on snakes and lizards, but I have a decent smattering of knowledge of turtles and crocodilians as well, plus the experience to get relevant information quickly if I don't have it on hand in my brain. I can answer questions on captive care, diet, breeding, incubation of eggs, starting hatchlings, and more. I am particularly experienced with ball pythons, Lygodactylus geckos and other small lizards with similar care requirements, leopard geckos, and garter snakes.


I am a professional breeder of ball python morphs, Lygodactylus (dwarf) geckos, and mourning geckos. I have begun working with Irian Jaya carpet pythons, and plan to expand to include more gecko species in the future. I also have a background breeding leopard geckos, and have kept several other species of small lizards, snakes, and a water turtle.

Nebraska Herpetological Society (

I have many care sheets published on my own website.

High School Graduate. Extensively self-taught due to high interest in wildlife and reptile care.

Awards and Honors
Fauna Classifieds board of inquiry Good Guy Certification

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