Leopard Gecko Impaction

An impaction is known to be one of the most serious health problems in the leopard gecko. This happens when some large food or any substrate gets stuck in the gecko's digestive tract, causing a blockage of that pathway.

In the case of Leopard geckos, impaction is a condition that can kill the gecko if left untreated, so it is extremely important for pet owners to be aware of all the causes and symptoms of Leopard gecko impaction as well as the treatment for the condition so that if you know this, then you can prevent your gecko from developing this health issue in the future. As for Leopard gecko impaction, we will provide you with all the information you need in this article to help you. You should read the entire article carefully in order to prevent your beloved gecko from impaction.

What is Bowel Impaction in Leopard Geckos?

The term "Bowel Impaction" describes a health condition in leopard geckos that occurs when a large food or indigestible substrate is inhaled by your leopard gecko and this results in the obstruction of the digestive tract of your leopard gecko. There is a risk that the gecko's entire digestive system will collapse if untreated, which will lead to organ failure and the eventual death of your gecko.

The gecko is prone to impaction since it can block the intestine of the gecko, causing the gecko to poop infrequently, as well as refuse to eat, so it is very important to treat your gecko from impaction since if this problem is left untreated, the gecko can die of starvation or other health problems.

Signs of impaction in Leopard Geckos

The owner of a Leopard gecko should learn the early signs of impaction in Leopard geckos to prevent them from dying from impaction. If they know early signs then they will be able to treat them early and prevent their deaths from impaction.

Here are some early signs of impaction in Leopard geckos that you might want to keep in mind.

  • Having constipation,
  • Having a bloated belly,
  • Unable to defecate,
  • Loss of weight rapidly,
  • Dark spots are present under the belly,
  • Become irritable as a result of changing behavior,
  • The loss of appetite,
  • Feces that are pale or absent,
  • Dehydration,
  • Having difficulty breathing,
  • Vomiting,
  • Feeling sluggish,
  • The tail becomes thin etc.

Causes of impaction in Leopard Geckos

For leopard gecko owners to be aware of the reasons for impaction in leopard geckos is very important for their geckos to be protected from that reason early so that it does not happen to their geckos and the impaction doesn't occur.

When a gecko consumes a large insect or worm

Leopard geckos are small reptiles, which means that they have small mouths and stomachs, so when they eat a large food item, such as mealworms, red wigglers, etc., it gets stuck in their tiny stomach and doesn't digest well, causing their belly to swell and then they suffer pain.

If you feed your gecko so many insects in one go, then its stomach will not be able to digest them, which may result in impaction in the gecko.

If they are dehydrated

In cases when your Leopard geckos suffer from dehydration, they will cause impaction. When your Leopard gecko is dehydrated, it does not have enough fluids within its internal system to easily pass bowel movements, thereby resulting in an impaction.

Leopard geckos suffer from dehydration when they drink less water when they eat insects with a low level of moisture, when the temperature is very hot, and when the environment is very dry.

Due to loose substrates

If there are loose substrates in your Leopard gecko habitat, such as walnut shells, wood shavings, sand, bark chips, etc, your Leopard gecko may eat them in. By doing this they may ingest small amounts of these substrates which will become stuck in their digestive tract and therefore they may develop impactions.

Inappropriate temperature and humidity conditions

The leopard gecko is a cold-blooded animal, which means it is dependent on the temperature and humidity in its habitat in order to keep its body functioning in order. You should be aware that when you keep your Leopard gecko tanks in an improper temperature and humidity, such as too hot or too cold, then your gecko will be unable to digest their food properly, which may result in impaction.

Ways to prevent my Leopard Geckos from getting impaction

As a leopard gecko owner, you can protect your gecko from impaction by doing some simple things to prevent impaction. Below are some tips on how you can prevent your gecko from impaction.

  • A gecko should be fed small to medium-sized insects and should be avoided by larger insects.
  • Ensure that they have a dish of water at all times in their habitat, as well as a humid hide in their enclosure. Mist them every day to prevent dehydration.
  • It is always recommended to avoid putting loose substrate in their tank to prevent them from getting eaten by these loose substrates such as sand, gravel, coconut husks, bark chips, and so on.
  • It is recommended to maintain the habitat temperature between 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 85 degrees Fahrenheit in order to prevent impaction from occurring.
  • You must feed your leopard gecko insects that are smaller than the width of the gap between the two eyes of the gecko.
  • Make sure that you always give your Leopard geckos food in a dish insert rather than putting it directly in the tank so that they do not pick up any debris or lose substrates and put it in their mouths accidentally.

What can I do if my Gecko is suffering from Bowel Impaction?

As soon as you find your leopard gecko is suffering from impaction, you should take the following steps to treat it: first, if you caught him or her during an early stage of the impaction, then you should give him or her a warm bath or give him olive oil. However, if impaction becomes too dangerous, then you need to take him or her to a vet as soon as possible.

Below we have discussed both methods.

You should give your leopard gecko a warm bath

As soon as you find out that your leopard gecko is suffering from impaction in its early stages, you should treat them at home by giving them a warm bath. Warm baths help to relieve pain and stress also if they aren't pooping.

You should follow the steps below to ensure that you give your gecko a safe warm bath at home.

  • Prepare a bathtub with warm water for your leopard gecko and make some ventilation holes in the tub.
  • It is also important to ensure that the temperature of the water is not too high.
  • Put your leopard gecko in a tub, and make sure the water level is not too high from the leopard gecko's belly.
  • Then leave your gecko in warm water for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Once that is done, massage the gecko's belly for about 5 to 15 minutes.
  • It is recommended that you repeat this process every day for a period of 2 to 7 days.

You can give olive oil to your Leopard Geckos

In addition, you can also treat your leopard gecko impaction at home by giving them olive oil to ingest, which will help make the impaction disappear.

Please follow the procedure below to give olive oil to your Leopard geckos safely.

  • The first thing you should do is go to your local store and purchase olive oil or mineral oil for leopard geckos.
  • As soon as you purchase olive oil for leopard geckos, apply a drop of olive oil or mineral oil to the front of its face by gently pushing the drop in.
  • When a drop enters the mouth of a gecko, the gecko will begin to lick off the droplets and you should take care not to let the drop go into the gecko's nostrils.

Make an appointment with your veterinarian for your Leopard Gecko

After you have performed the above treatment for 1 week and don't see results then you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible to take an X-ray of the leopard gecko's belly and a laxative may have to be prescribed. They may also have to do surgery if the impaction is fatal.

Can impaction kill Leopard Geckos?

Yes, impaction can kill a leopard gecko if it is left untreated. However, if you catch the early signs of impending impaction in Leopard geckos and treat them early, you can help them recover sooner.

Are worms capable of causing impaction in leopard geckos?

It is true that worms such as mealworms and super worms are capable of causing impaction in your leopard gecko if they are fed a lot of them in their diet or if they have very large worms. This is due to their hard and dry nature, which can be lodged in their intestines and cause them to impaction.

Whenever you are planning to feed your gecko worms, make sure you feed them only a small amount and worms of a small size as well as give them heat to digest them properly after you have fed them worms.