If you own a Leopard Gecko, you will definitely want it to stay by your side for a lifelong time. But you may one day find your Gecko not responding or maybe in a dying condition. In such cases, the only question that may come to your mind is- How to save a dying Leopard Gecko?
There are a few steps such as measuring the Gecko’s weight and height, giving proper medicines and food supplements accordingly, helping in shedding, consulting a veterinarian, etc. that can be used to save a dying Gecko. But before you start proceeding, always examine your Gecko thoroughly at first.
If you want to know more on how to save your Leopard Gecko from dying, read till the end!
Saving A Dying Leopard Gecko: Step By Step
If you have a dying Gecko who has less chance of survival, you can still try to save them by maintaining some steps. However, these steps need to be performed really fast if your Gecko is in a bad shape.
- Measure height and weight
- Examine the Gecko
- Give proper foods and supplements
- Create a good enclosure
- Take off stuck skin (if any)
- Continue giving food
- Consult a vet
Measure height and weight
Before you take any steps with the Gecko that is in a dying situation, you first need to measure its height and weight. This will help you to know the amount of food or supplements it needs according to its size and shape. Hence you can easily buy the stuff knowing the proper requirements.
Examine the Gecko
After the measurement, you need to examine the Gecko very carefully. You need to see if your Gecko is dehydrated or has any stuck skin or not. You can basically examine the dehydration issue by looking at its muscle loss or dry and flaky skin.
Give proper foods and supplements
After examining your Gecko, you need to start giving it foods and supplements according to its weight and size. You can mix up the multivitamins, or supplements for immune support and make a diluted food mixture that you can feed to your Gecko using a syringe.
You have to be very gentle while feeding it as it can be a bit defensive due to its unhealthy situation. If not handled properly, it can eventually lose its tail and die too.
While giving it the food, make sure to not make the diluted mixture very strong otherwise your Gecko will throw up. Moreover, do not give large amounts of food together as your Leopard gecko won’t be able to take it and might stop eating as well.
Before giving the food, you can try to put some water around its mouth to let it know that food is coming on its way.
Create a good enclosure
A good way to revive your Gecko is to create a good enclosure with proper heat, humidity, lighting, water, and all. It should also have a controlled water dish with a proper substrate beneath.
The humidity and temperature should be optimum so that it helps your Gecko to get a moisturized environment. The stuck skin thus will come out or become soft easily.
The lighting should not be too bright otherwise it can create eyesight or suffocation issues for your Gecko.
Take off stuck skin (if any)
If you notice any stuck skin on your Gecko, you can use a tweezer to pull it off gently. But make sure to handle your Gecko gently and if it tries to run away, do not grab it. Let it have its moment and then start the process again.
Continue giving food
You need to continue giving food to your Gecko. Only one day of giving food will not make any difference and will not make the Gecko survive.
The amount of food can be given in bigger amounts once your Gecko gets a habit of having food every day, You can also give it food two to three times a day according to its size and age.
Consult a vet
Even if you see your Gecko reviving and getting its energy back again, you still need to have contact with a reptile veterinarian. Consulting a vet will help in the recovery of your Gecko faster.
How Long Does It Take For A Leopard Gecko To Starve To Death?
Normally Leopard Geckos can survive up to several months without eating anything. This thing can happen if their bodies get adapted to not having food for a long time in nature.
However, an exact time for wild Geckos to survive without food would be 2-3 months whereas the juveniles require daily feeding. The adult Leopard Geckos can survive up to 4-5 days without food. But in every case, the size and age will matter equally.
What Does A Dying Leopard Gecko Look Like?
A dying Leopard Gecko is not something you would want to see if you are a Gecko lover. Yet some signs will help you to know if your Gecko is in a bad shape or going to die soon. These signs will help you to make quick decisions and you can save your Gecko on time too. A dying Gecko will have some issues, such as:
- Extreme weight loss
- Few or abnormal droppings
- Lack of appetite
- Sunken eyes
Extreme weight loss
A dying Gecko can be recognized easily when you see it losing its weight drastically. The amount of lack of appetite becomes so much that your Gecko does not prefer to come out to have water let alone food.
Leopard Geckos do have a fast metabolism and they can easily digest food within a few hours. Hence they need food every time to keep fit.
If they do not eat for a few days they can still survive as their tail contains the nutrition that is provided to them when there is a lack of food in nature. Hence their tail looks very shiny and plumy when they have enough food stored for themselves.
But this tail becomes thin like a stick which is the first signal of weight loss in your Gecko. Weight loss can occur due to poor nutrition, parasite invasion, illness, impaction, or dirty enclosure too.
Few or abnormal droppings
The droppings of a healthy Leopard Gecko contain a white part which is uric acid and a brown part which is the stool. But when your Gecko has fewer droppings and the consistency/ color is different than usual, it can be a sign of a dying Gecko too.
However, the abnormal stool can be seen mostly during the final days, Hence you need to keep on looking for any abnormalities in your Gecko’s stool to see if it is in a dying condition or not.
Lack of appetite
Your Gecko might seem disinterested in having food if there is any parasite invasion, illness, or major sickness going on.
It can also happen if there is any issue within the enclosure or there are any fluctuations in temperature or in their diet. This can also lead to weight loss which can be a cause of their death too.
A healthy Leopard Gecko is very active in nature and it will always roam around its tank. Most Leopard Geckos become active at night and they can show it, even more, when they are basking or hunting for food.
An unhealthy or dying Gecko will be lethargic in nature and it will not be this active. Mostly your Gecko will stay inside its hiding place or you will see it walking really slower than usual.
Lethargy is not always a sign of dying but it can be a sign of stress or sadness as well. But still, you have to be very cautious if you find your Gecko’s behavior different or lazy in nature.
Sunken eyes are another sign of your Gecko being in a bad state. Generally, the eyes of a Gecko are very shiny and bright and it does not look dead in any sense.
However, when your Gecko is thirsty or has a dehydration period, its eyes can look sunken and dull to be specific. That time you need to provide proper humidity and water inside the enclosure.
If your Gecko still does not show any signs of cheerfulness, you need to consult a veterinarian.
What Are The Causes Of Death In Leopard Geckos?
There are multiple reasons why your Gecko might die suddenly. But there are a few major reasons that can cause the death of your Gecko, which are:
- Bacterial or parasitic Infection
- Wrong pairing
Impaction is one of the leading reasons why you may find your Leopard Gecko dead. This is a situation where your Gecko might eat something that is not digestible in nature which ultimately causes digestive issues and therefore no food processing or pooping and eating.
This situation mostly occurs when you use substrates such as – sand particles or paper tissues that can be mistakenly eaten by your Gecko. After that, it is obvious that your Gecko will be more sluggish in nature and it won’t eat and consequently won’t poop as well.
Sometimes your Gecko might have moss which can grow inside the enclosure due to humidity. This moss is also not digestible and our Gecko can die as a result.
In these cases, you can actually help your Gecko by massaging its belly or giving it a bath if needed.
Dehydration is another cause behind the death of any Gecko. Most of the time the owners fail to understand if their Gecko is dehydrated or not. Dehydration does not only occur when your Gecko is having water. It can also occur if the enclosure doesn’t have proper humidity.
When your Gecko is dehydrated, it may show some symptoms like:
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Wrinkled skin
- Sticky mouth
- Dry and flaky skin
- Muscle and appetite loss
The temperature inside the enclosure of the Gecko plays a vital role in its survival. Since leopard Geckos are found in nature and when you keep them inside an artificial place, it is necessary to provide optimum temperature as well.
If too much heat is provided, it can kill the Gecko easily. Too cold temperature also does not allow the Geckos to digest their food properly. To help your Gecko in these situations, the 85-90℉ temperature can be kept inside the enclosure.
Bacterial or parasitic Infection
Bacterial infection by crypto in the gastrointestinal tract is one of the most common reasons behind the death of your Gecko. When this parasite infects Gecko, your Gecko will soon start losing weight and will have no interest in consuming food. This can also lead to the death of your Gecko.
As Leopard geckos are not social in nature, it is obvious that they will react when they are kept with other Geckos. The pairing can cause the death of Geckos easily due to the nature of the Geckos to have their space.
When two male Geckos are kept together, most of the time these two will fight and cause harm to each other. Opposite to this situation would be two female geckos as they can be kept together if needed. However, most of the time Geckos do fight for their own space which causes death to another gecko.
How To Help a Gecko Who Is Starving?
Starving is one of the main reasons after impaction which can cause the death of your Leopard Gecko. If your Leopard Gecko is starving, other than impaction, there can be some other reasons behind it, such as-
- Wrong temperature and lighting
- Health issues
In such cases, you can actually help your Geckos to make sure that it survives and does not fall ill in the process. This can be done in some steps:
- Check the enclosure temperature and humidity
- Move your Gecko to another enclosure (if needed)
- Feed some favorite foods of Gecko
- Look for any sign of illness
Check the enclosure temperature and humidity
The temperature and humidity both are required for your Gecko’s survival. Too cold or too hot can make your Gecko’s health worse and humidity is required for good hydration. However excess humidity can create moss inside the enclosure.
Hence you need to maintain a temperature between 85-90℉ and humidity should be 30-40%. This way your Gecko will have a proper enclosure inside which they can have their meal without any issues.
Move your Gecko to another enclosure (if needed)
If there is any stressful situation occurs inside the gecko’s enclosure such as-
- Presence of another Gecko or alive insects
- Dirty enclosure
- Bullying etc.
In such cases, you can shift your Gecko to another enclosure so that it can become stress-free and have its meal.
Feed some favorite foods of Gecko
You can feed your Gecko silkworms, crickets, mealworms, etc. This way it will start concentrating on having more food. But do not give your Gecko a lot of food together as it can lead to eating issues as well.
Let your Gecko have food in a smaller portion at first. Also, try feeding it two to three times a day.
Look for any sign of illness
If your Gecko has an impaction, parasitical infection, injury, or infection, it can stop eating as a lack of appetite and digestive tract issues. In such cases, first look if there is any sign of illness and if it has, take it to a vet at first and then start the curing process.
Leopard Geckos are very calm reptiles in nature and having one of them is always a good choice. You need to follow all measures step by step to revive a dying Leopard Gecko.
But, if you want to keep your Gecko safe for a long time, you always need to be very cautious about how your Gecko is leading its life and if anything is affecting its health and development. Thus, you can have your Gecko by your side always in a healthy state.