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Gecko Not Eating

My gecko is not eating and his front right leg is puffed up with redness on the leg.

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My gecko is not eating and his front right leg is puffed up with redness on the leg. His tail has shrunk, and he’s sleeping way too much. Would you know how to help him?

The best advice I can give you is to find a vet in your area who is willing to treat herps, and make an appointment to have him evaluated and treated as soon as possible.


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The red, swollen leg could mean he has an infection in the tissue of the leg, or it could be from some sort of trauma. The fact his tail has shrunken means that he is utilizing his stored body fat and nutrients to sustain himself, since he is not eating enough to maintain himself and fight whatever is causing his leg problem. The weight loss is a sign that should not be ignored in any gecko. Once the tail has shrunken down, the poor lizard has no reserves whatsoever.

You didn’t give me a lot to go on. You didn’t tell me the species of gecko, and you didn’t provide me with his cage temperature range, lighting and what he eats.

From the limited amount of information you have given me, I would recommend you have him checked out by a qualified herp vet as soon as possible. If you don’t have a herp vet, you can ask pet stores that carry reptiles and ask them whom they use, or call a few veterinary clinics that don’t treat herps and ask them which vets they refer herps to.

Please have him examined as soon as possible. The sooner you have him evaluated, the better the chance you can return him to good health.

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Margaret A. Wissman, DVM, DABVP has been an avian/exotic/herp animal veterinarian since 1981. She is a regular contributor to REPTILES magazine.