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Reptiles/Home treatment for ill leopard gecko - advice please!!!!


QUESTION: Hi Tracie -
I have a 1 1/2 year old leopard gecko named Cleo.  She has always been a healthy eater and has always been very healthy. However, I recently went away and last minute had to change plans on who would watch her and two other leos and ended up having my mom's inexperienced friend watch them (BIG mistake!).  I got back Monday, April 1st (yesterday) and Cleo was lethargic and appeared to have lost weight.  She was also hanging her jaw open for a little bit and it looked foamy.  I immediately separated her from Zinger, the male, and GiGi, another female.  I recently got Zinger, and he hasn't shown any signs of any illness.  I tried to give her some water by gently opening her mouth and giving her water on my finger, which she seemed fine with.  
Today when I got home, I noticed that Cleo looked worse - almost pale.  I checked on her an hour after and she was vomiting clear mucus.  Naturally, I panicked a little and tried to wipe off some of the mucus so it wouldn't prevent her from breathing.  She had also had diarrhea, which was a dark brown with some green.  She hasn't been moving around much at all and feels very weak.  I have tried to call vets in my area, but the case is either they don't see reptiles, can't see me until way later this week, or they're simply too far of a drive.  I am hoping that there may be something I can order online (antibiotic) and treat her myself.  Whatever it was got bad quickly - she was 100% herself when I left on the 21st of March.  Please let me know if there is anything I can do!!!

ANSWER: Hello Alexandra,

Wow sorry to hear that happened!
Were they kept together, or separately while you were gone?
Did she keep her warm enough & change the water regularly?
It sounds like it could be a bad case of parasites or a respiratory issue from being kept too cold also.
If she was having diarrhea then that usually indicates parasite or worm issues.  If the water was dirty she could have contracted parasites that way, too.  The greenish stool indicates parasites.
I sell some meds for coccidia, or worms, but not baytril for respiratory issues.  
It you think it is respiratory related, which sounds like a possibility you would go to the nearest feed supply type of store to find Tylan or tetracyline to help treat the respiratory problems.
For coccidia or worms, I can give you my site if you want to deworm, etc.  
Are you keeping the tank around 80 overnight to help with immune system function?
You can get chicken or turkey baby food to try to feed to her with a plastic dropper or syringe.
Is she eating or no?
Let me know how she is doing.


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

Unfortunately, she died about two hours after I sent in my question. She was vomiting mucus and I tried to swab some out to help her breathe, but I guess there was nothing I could do to help.  She lived a good life, and I hope she is in a better place now.
To answer your questions, she was kept with the others while I was away.  I kept the tank around 80F, and their water was changed every other day.
Thank you for replying to my question. You seem very knowledgeable.

Hello Alexandra,

I am so sorry you lost her so suddenly like that.  I guess she contracted some type of respiratory issue or parasite.   
It was poor care while you were away & nothing you did.  I feel terrible it was so quick like that, you barely got to say goodbye.  :-(

If I can help with anything, just let me know.



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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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