Healthy vs Unhealthy Leopard Gecko: 12 Important Signs

If you start petting a Leopard Gecko, it’s obvious that you would want it to be healthy and happy. There is no doubt about that. But there are times when your Gecko might become unhealthy due to certain reasons. In such cases, you need to know the signs of a healthy vs unhealthy Leopard Gecko to understand when your pet needs you.

If you want to know more signs regarding an unhealthy Leopard Gecko and how to treat those, read till the end!

How To Know If Your Leopard Gecko Is Unhealthy?

Generally, Leopard Geckos are active and fun in nature. They love to interact with their owner more. But when your leopard gecko does not show these activities, it is possibly the first sign to know that something is wrong with your Leopard Gecko.

12 Unhealthy Leopard Gecko Signs

There are lots of signs and symptoms a Leopard Gecko shows when it’s unhealthy or unhappy. Hence there are ways to know if your Leopard Gecko is unhappy and some of them are:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Inactivity
  3. Difficulty in walking
  4. Wrinkled or dry skin
  5. Disinterest in eating
  6. Skinny tail
  7. Remains in hiding spots
  8. Closed eyes
  9. Infection around mouth
  10. Jerky tail movements
  11. Stressed/ Lethargic in nature
  12. Loose/ watery poop

1. Weight loss

When your Leopard Gecko starts losing its weight, it is a major sign of an unhealthy Gecko. Normally Leopard Geckos are keen eaters. They love to eat and sometimes even end up eating a lot. Mostly they love to have insects as their meal.

But when your Leopard Gecko is not liking the food or not having the food in the perfect amount, it will slowly begin to affect its health. Due to the loss of proper nutrition, your Leopard Gecko will not be able to fight certain diseases. Thus, it will become unhealthy with time.

2. Inactivity

Leopard Geckos are the most fun-loving and active reptiles that you can find. Most Leopard Geckos become active at night and remain sleepy during the daytime. This is a healthy lifestyle for them. But sometimes they become inactive.

There can be many reasons behind their inactive nature. It can be due to impaction; a disease where the food gets stuck in the gut of the Leopard Gecko and does not get digested with time. This really disturbs Leopard Geckos and they become unable to walk freely.

3. Difficulty in walking

This, as mentioned, can be a sign of an unhealthy Gecko. Mostly Geckos with impaction or also sometimes loss of toes due to difficulty in shedding.

When a Leopard Gecko goes through impaction due to eating something indigestible, the food gets stuck into its gut and does not move. This causes a lot of pain in the Gecko and it slows down its movement.

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When a Leopard Gecko faces difficulty in shedding, the skin around its toes can affect its walking and can cause the loss of toes as well.

4. Wrinkled or dry skin

When your Leopard Gecko is not drinking water in the proper amount, it causes it to have dry and wrinkled skin which is an obvious symptom of dehydration.

The dehydration causes your Leopard Gecko to face difficulties while shedding. Moreover, it becomes more lethargic and weaker slowly due to the absence of hydration.

5. Disinterest in eating

Normally Leopard Geckos are really keen eaters and they love to eat food whenever it’s given to them. But if your Gecko is having a bad time or not showing interest in eating, it could be because of the illness it’s going through. At that time, Geckos try to remain alone.

However, this can also be a sign of overeating. A lot of times, your Leopard Gecko might eat a lot which may cause it to stay in one place and not eat more.

6. Skinny tail

An unhealthy Leopard Gecko will not have a plumpy tail like a healthy Leopard Gecko.

Generally, the tail of the Leopard Gecko is really a storehouse of nutrition or food for which it looks plumpy in appearance. But an unhealthy Leopard Gecko will not have an ample amount of food left in its tail due to disinterest in eating or eating less food in amount.

7. Remains in hiding spots

Mostly Leopard Gecko loves to explore their environment. When Leopard Geckos are not healthy, it also affects their mental health. Most of the time, you might see your unhealthy Leopard Gecko remaining in its hiding spots. It could be because it cannot move properly or because it does not feel like interacting due to other issues it is facing.

8. Closed eyes

An unhealthy Leopard Gecko may keep its eye closed rather than being alert with open eyes. There could be a possible sign of sunken eyes which can be caused due to dehydration.

Sometimes eye conjunctivitis or eye infections can occur which can cause your Gecko to keep its eyes closed most of the time. If any bug enters your Gecko’s eyes, a similar thing will occur.

9. Infection around mouth

If there are any possible signs of infection that you can clearly see around your Leopard Gecko’s mouth, that’s definitely a sign of an unhealthy Leopard Gecko.

10. Jerky tail movements

These tail movements often occur when your Leopard Gecko is stressed which can be due to any disease or the presence of other Geckos/ live insects. All these situations make Gecko stressed enough and it starts to move its tail in a manner that helps it to defend itself.

11. Stressed/ Lethargic in nature

Leopard Geckos are as mentioned, fun in nature.

They love to interact and play with their owner. But when your Leopard Gecko is unhealthy due to metabolic bone disease, impaction, eye infection, or other things that stress it, then your Leopard Gecko will obviously become reactive against it. This is a major sign of unhealthy behavior as well.

See also  How To Treat Leopard Gecko Eye Infection?

There are also some other major reasons which can stress your Leopard gecko. For example, cohabitation, imperfect temperature, and humidity in a terrarium, unclean tank, and more. All these situations do affect your Gecko’s health and development.

When a new Gecko or another tank mate is introduced, Leopard Gecko gets stressed. This happens because leopard Geckos are solitary in nature and they love to stay alone rather than others present in their tanks. Hence when another Gecko is introduced even if it is from its own breed, it stresses them.

A clean and perfectly regulated tank is something that helps Gecko grow efficiently. When you do not clean the tank regularly or at least once a week, it eventually gets dirty and can induce mold formation. A similar thing happens when the temperature of the tank is too high. This also helps in fungal development.

Also, when the temperature is low in the tank, it slows the metabolism process of your Gecko. This can create impaction and ultimately makes your Leopard Gecko stressed. Too high a temperature can create dehydration issues and burn the skin of your leopard Gecko, leading to death eventually.

12. Loose/ watery poop

Loose or watery poop can be a sign of unhealthy geckos. Generally, a Leopard Gecko which is healthy will have solid, dark brown colored poop. It should not be runny or another color which can be a sign of an unhealthy Leopard Gecko as well.

What Does Healthy Leopard Gecko Poop Look Like?

Poop of Leopard Geckos helps a lot to understand if your Gecko is healthy or not. Generally, when a healthy Leopard Gecko poops, the poop should be solid and brown in color which can be at least half an inch long with a bowel movement.

How To Know If Your Leopard Gecko Is Healthy?

  • Active
  • Smooth moves
  • Bright eyes
  • Clear mouth
  • Healthy tail
  • Accurate weight
  • Plump body
  • Eats perfectly
  • Maintains a healthy sleep cycle


A normal and healthy Gecko will always be active at night and will love to explore the tank. It will never sit down in one place once it gets the habit of staying in the enclosure.

It will also come running to you if it sees you and may lick you to show its affection as well.

Smooth moves

Any Leopard Gecko which is healthy and happy will move smoothly from one place to another. It won’t show any jerky tail movements or slow movements while roaming around. It will be very fast while moving here and there.

Bright eyes

A healthy Leopard Gecko has bright and shiny eyes. Most of the time Leopard Geckos having a healthy lifestyle will have eyes that are bright and open mostly. This helps them to be alert and maintain a good bond with the owner as it can come running to them. This makes the owner happy seeing their Geckos this friendly.

Clear mouth

When a Leopard gecko is healthy, its mouth area will look perfect and will not have any rotten flesh or skin left around that area. Their mouth will be fresh and clean with no signs of disease or parasite attacks.

Healthy tail

Leopard Geckos mostly have a plumpy and a good textured tail if they are healthy and happy. The tail should be around the size of its body and the color should be lighter than the body.

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Accurate weight

A Leopard Gecko with good health will have perfect weight and height according to its age. Since weight loss or disinterest in food will not be an issue, there will be no chance of them having less weight than they should have.

Plump body

A Leopard Gecko with a healthy lifestyle will have a plumpy body just as a plumpy tail. The body will not have discoloration or will not look like a skeleton.

Eats perfectly

When a Leopard Gecko is healthy, it will consume more food and drink water in a perfect amount. This is a very natural thing to see as most Geckos remain hungry after being active for a long time.

Also, to remain spontaneous, Leopard Gecko do love to eat food that will provide them enough energy and nutrition for their health and growth. Sometimes if you provide more food than usual, it will eat more which is also not beneficial for its health. Over eating can become an issue for its daily lifestyle.

Maintains a healthy sleep cycle

When a Leopard Gecko is healthy, it will also have a healthy sleep cycle. Means it will sleep at day time mostly and remain active after the day ends. If anything bothers Leopard Gecko’s sleep cycle, it will surely not be active at night. Rather you can find its eye closed or see it tired most of the time.

What Does A Dehydrated Leopard Gecko Look Like?

A dehydrated Leopard Gecko looks very dull and weak in appearance.

Moreover, the elasticity of the skin will not be intact. There will be severe and repeated constipation issues due to lack of water and undigested food.

Due to the scarcity of water, the shedding will not happen as it should. There will be skin left after the shedding is done. Your Leopard will be more lethargic and attacking in nature.

There are many reasons why your Gecko might have dehydration issues. If the temperature of the tank is too high or if the supply of water is not appropriate, then your Leopard Gecko will suffer from dehydration.

Healthy Leopard Gecko Weight

When a Leopard Gecko is born, its weight increases with its age. The more it grows, the more food it requires to survive. Hence the growth of their body length also occurs simultaneously.

Here the body weight according to the age of the Leopard Gecko is listed below:

Juvenile2-5 gram
1-2 months15-30 gram
6 months25-60 gram
18 months40-80 gram

Final Words

Leopard Geckos are very active and friendly in nature. When this fun-loving creature faces any disease or becomes stressed due to other factors, it generally shows some symptoms that can help the owner to distinguish between a healthy Leopard Gecko and an unhealthy one.

For example, A healthy Leopard Gecko will always interact with its owner but an unhealthy Leopard Gecko will spend much alone time and might hide in hiding spots.

Similarly, there are a lot of other situations where your Leopard Gecko will show unusual behavior which is mentioned above. If you see any changes in your Gecko, make sure to determine the reason and contact a veterinarian immediately.

This will help your Gecko to become healthy and happy again.

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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