In need of some urgent help. Leopard gecko

jrh3

PreMolt
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Jun 4, 2011
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I know its not required but I would get it some exposure to UVB rays maybe a 5% bulb, I have seen reptiles from rescues benefit from it.
 

Dandrobates

Arachnoknight
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Nov 17, 2018
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162
It’s unfortunate that the animal is in such a poor state of health and I applaud your efforts. Ideally this is a situation where a trip to an exotics veterinarian is the ideal choice but I understand that circumstance don’t always allow that. There are a few things to consider though before you start administering medication and treatment on your own.
1. Regarding infection -Different species of bacteria are sensitive to different antibiotics. In the absence of a wound culture and sensitivity it may be difficult to find an appropriate and effective antibiotic. There are broad spectrum topicals out there but they may not be indicated for this type of situation. Some antibiotics are more effective than others at treating a given infection; therefore choosing a proper antibiotic is of utmost importance. Multiple courses of antibiotics may be necessary and any antibiotic treatment must be seen through its full course to lessen the risk of resistance developing.
2. Administration of medication- There are often cases where antibiotics are administered as an injection or intravenously. Proper administration is crucial to the drug’s effectiveness and must be considered before starting treatment. These situations are best handled by trained individuals.
3. Metabolism- Not all medications are metabolized in the same way. If the animal is experiencing organ failure (which may or may not be apparent) you must consider how and where the drugs are being metabolized within the body. Some medications can compound or cause organ failure. Azithromycin for example can cause liver damage if overdosed. It’s vital that a medication be dosed appropriately so that it is effective but not detrimental.
4. Duration of treatment- Reptiles may not respond to treatment as quickly as mammals. Depending on how a given medication is metabolized, the treatment process may go on for months before any improvement is shown. Reptiles generally have slow metabolisms when compared to mammals and repeat courses of treatment are often called for. Treatment can be a long drawn out process.
5. Comorbidity- Due to poor husbandry, sick animals often have additional health problems that may worsen in the presence of an infection and vice versa. Metabolic bone disease (which is actually a spectrum of diseases) causes its own severe health issues and although the process can be slowed or stopped by proper care, the damage is irreparable. Stress and parasites may further deteriorate a compromised animal’s overall constitution and make recovery difficult. Quality of life should be considered when determining a course of action.

Again I do sympathize with you. It is extremely frustrating and upsetting to see an animal in such a state of neglect. At this point it may be worthwhile to try a few non-exotic veterinarians given the gravity of the situation.You have the odd chance that they my be able to treat your animal or provide guidance on medication management. Other than that, as far as other resources go I’d recommend the Merk Veterinary Manual and Maders Reptile and Amphibian Medicine and Surgery. You never know, your vet may have them in their library. If you get in front of the right person you may have a positive outcome. Again, I hope it turns out for the better.
 

Poonjab

Arachnoking
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2,034
It’s unfortunate that the animal is in such a poor state of health and I applaud your efforts. Ideally this is a situation where a trip to an exotics veterinarian is the ideal choice but I understand that circumstance don’t always allow that. There are a few things to consider though before you start administering medication and treatment on your own.
1. Regarding infection -Different species of bacteria are sensitive to different antibiotics. In the absence of a wound culture and sensitivity it may be difficult to find an appropriate and effective antibiotic. There are broad spectrum topicals out there but they may not be indicated for this type of situation. Some antibiotics are more effective than others at treating a given infection; therefore choosing a proper antibiotic is of utmost importance. Multiple courses of antibiotics may be necessary and any antibiotic treatment must be seen through its full course to lessen the risk of resistance developing.
2. Administration of medication- There are often cases where antibiotics are administered as an injection or intravenously. Proper administration is crucial to the drug’s effectiveness and must be considered before starting treatment. These situations are best handled by trained individuals.
3. Metabolism- Not all medications are metabolized in the same way. If the animal is experiencing organ failure (which may or may not be apparent) you must consider how and where the drugs are being metabolized within the body. Some medications can compound or cause organ failure. Azithromycin for example can cause liver damage if overdosed. It’s vital that a medication be dosed appropriately so that it is effective but not detrimental.
4. Duration of treatment- Reptiles may not respond to treatment as quickly as mammals. Depending on how a given medication is metabolized, the treatment process may go on for months before any improvement is shown. Reptiles generally have slow metabolisms when compared to mammals and repeat courses of treatment are often called for. Treatment can be a long drawn out process.
5. Comorbidity- Due to poor husbandry, sick animals often have additional health problems that may worsen in the presence of an infection and vice versa. Metabolic bone disease (which is actually a spectrum of diseases) causes its own severe health issues and although the process can be slowed or stopped by proper care, the damage is irreparable. Stress and parasites may further deteriorate a compromised animal’s overall constitution and make recovery difficult. Quality of life should be considered when determining a course of action.

Again I do sympathize with you. It is extremely frustrating and upsetting to see an animal in such a state of neglect. At this point it may be worthwhile to try a few non-exotic veterinarians given the gravity of the situation.You have the odd chance that they my be able to treat your animal or provide guidance on medication management. Other than that, as far as other resources go I’d recommend the Merk Veterinary Manual and Maders Reptile and Amphibian Medicine and Surgery. You never know, your vet may have them in their library. If you get in front of the right person you may have a positive outcome. Again, I hope it turns out for the better.
100% understand where you’re coming from. Especially with the quality of life aspect. After a little more effort, if I determine she’ll have an overall crap quality of life or not getting better. I’ll do the humane thing and self euthanize. On a positive note, she did crap this morning and it Looked normal, Which I’m assuming is the first one in quite some time. I had a fear of impaction of being kept on sand for so long. Energy levels seem better too.
 

Baby T

Arachnoknight
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Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
212
This is so sad 😥 I applaud you for trying so hard to fix her. I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you but I sincerely hope she pulls through
 

Poonjab

Arachnoking
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This is so sad 😥 I applaud you for trying so hard to fix her. I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you but I sincerely hope she pulls through
I personally think she will to be honest. Going to be a lot of coddling for a while, but I’m ok with it. I’ve seen other rescue reptiles in ever far worse shape make a full recovery and live decent lives. Her main issue is the mouth rot. In the few days I’ve had her, and the medication I’ve been applying plus cleaning area outside the mouth, it’s honestly starting to look better. Ultimately she will need to take a dose of meds to clear the mouth rot/abscess completely.
 

Baby T

Arachnoknight
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212
Well that sounds like promising news. Makes me so mad that people allow their pets to get in this bad shape. Did the guy even care at all? Or was he just completely oblivious to reptile needs?
I'm sure she knows you're trying to help her too. I've rescued some animals in my time and I swear they understand when they've been neglected, then a hero comes along to patch them up and give them some love.
Keep us updated
 

Poonjab

Arachnoking
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The lady that gave it to my gf said she feels bad because she didn’t have time for it. Knew my gf (through me) kept exotics and said she’d surrender her for free. In a roundabout way, from what i gathered, admitted she didn’t know how to care for it properly. Ultimately how I interpret it is that’s she’s correct, she didn’t know how to care for it. But also got bored with it, let it get in the state it’s in, then realized how bad it was so tried to pawn it off so she didn’t have to deal with it. In the past 3 days I’ve already put about $100 into it. Lil buddy better pull through.
 

Baby T

Arachnoknight
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Messages
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The lady that gave it to my gf said she feels bad because she didn’t have time for it. Knew my gf (through me) kept exotics and said she’d surrender her for free. In a roundabout way, from what i gathered, admitted she didn’t know how to care for it properly. Ultimately how I interpret it is that’s she’s correct, she didn’t know how to care for it. But also got bored with it, let it get in the state it’s in, then realized how bad it was so tried to pawn it off so she didn’t have to deal with it. In the past 3 days I’ve already put about $100 into it. Lil buddy better pull through.
Sounds like pure laziness to me. I guess her only redeeming feature is she had the sense to give it up to someone she new would care for it properly.
In good hands now though 🤗
Fingers crossed she doesn't replace it with another pet!
 

Poonjab

Arachnoking
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Needs a vet IMO. There’s a lot going on sadly
Seeing some tremendous turnaround with her health since in my care. But agree with you 100%. I’m going the vet route. Ive scheduled the appointment. Unfortunately have to wait about a month until I can get her in due to Covid.
 

0311usmc

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Mar 16, 2017
Messages
291
Seeing some tremendous turnaround with her health since in my care. But agree with you 100%. I’m going the vet route. Ive scheduled the appointment. Unfortunately have to wait about a month until I can get her in due to Covid.
I think it's awesome what your doing for the gecko. Keep it up man your doing great so far. It also maddens me that someone could let it waste away like they were before you rescued it. Again props to you and wish you and gecko the best dude.
 

Poonjab

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9CF1C3D3-F77B-4391-B9D0-0C53780D427C.jpeg 192480DD-1CFB-4442-95BF-18D2A4C971B9.jpeg
little update. 100% confident she will make a full recovery. Both eyes are open as alert. Energy levels of healthy gecko. Still feeding by syringe, but feel when mouth fully heals, she’ll be back on her own eating un-assisted. Managed to remove dead flesh from inside her mouth. New healthy oral tissue is forming. Mouth rot looks to be 95% healed. Went through a shed a few days ago. Starting to look and act like a different gecko. I must say... I do good work haha.
 

Tim Benzedrine

Prankster Possum
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I'll tell you one good thing about doing a "rescue". It is a great feeling to successfully pull an animal back from the brink.

I took on a leopard gecko that was not in great shape. Not as in dire of a condition as you guy/gal, but it was sort of lethargic. It was given to a co-worker who passed it on to me. It was kind of mean as she described it. She did not give it up lightly, but she felt I'd do it better than she was able to. She brought it and its set up to me and it was sub-optimal. She told me that the "heat-lamp that was provided was just a hight wattage outdoor spotlight.. It had a hide and a water dish, and an uth under one end, so at least the original owner got something slightly correct, i guess.

It had some stuck shed. It did not eat well when I got it. and was going anorexic. The girl told me that the owner said that it would only eat mealworms. I personally am not in favour of mealwworms as a steady diet. But I finally broke down and offered those. No dice. The lizard seemed to be shutting down. I examined its mouth for signs of mouth-rot, but that did not appear to be an issue.
The weight loss was becoming alarming.

Finally, I decided i was gonna have to bite the bullet and try to stimulate its appetite. I don't know what sort of reputation the product has, but I decided to try a tube of "Jump-Start, a high calorie appetite stimulant. And I bought a bag of freeze-dried crickets. I pulverized the crickets into a fine powder and added water to create a paste. I got some down the lizard, but I think it was the Jump-Start stuff that did the trick. Before using that regimen, the lizard had barely eaten a thing for months. I was thrilled if I got a single cricket down it.
But after that stuff, it gradually began to accept more, and it began to regain the lost weight.While it is not the big eater that my other leopards are, it has a reasonable appetite.
There is one last puzzle. it seems to be far-sighted. It's eyes look normal, no signs of stuck shed over them such as a tell-tale milkiness. Though I suppose it is possible that a single thin layer may be there, but I honestly do not believe that to be the case. But it will charge after a cricket and then just lose track of it when it gets close, especially if the cricket freezes. But I've noticed that trick working on my healthy leopards now and then, it's likely a common predator response.

But in any event, the lizard is pretty happy, it now explores it's enclosure, in comparison two just constantly laying around in lethargy as it began to do before i ramped up my attempt with syringe feeding Jump-start and pulverized crickets. But i really believe that it was the Jump-Start that turned the tide.. I think the stuff probably contains a good bit of sugar, and I would not have wanted to use it too long, but it was worth taking a chance with, I think. Getting that stuff IN the lizard was frustrating, he was weakened, but still had enough in him to put up a struggle.
Oh, and it was not terribly underweight when i took it on, which I blamed myself for at least for a while. But i realized that I was unlikely to be the cause of the anorexia, it just had not began to show the effects of it yet.

Anyway, that makes for that great feeling i described in my opening sentence.
 

Poonjab

Arachnoking
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So an update for anyone who is curious. Gecko made a full recovery. Just got through second shed in less than a month. She looks plump and healthy. Also eating on her own. Her mouth rot has 100% disappeared. I credit this to boosting her immune system through proper husbandry and supplements. As well as multiple daily applications of vetericyn. For anyone who keeps herps, I swear by this product. 31502E1C-342C-4D19-AB14-7F9F3B5574F2.jpeg E354D76B-30BC-44CC-A232-A23297C101A7.jpeg 1051B644-8428-4DD2-A48F-293D223B811B.jpeg Now compare these photos to when I first got her. It’s crazy how quick she turned around.
 
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darkness975

Latrodectus
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It's too bad the toes won't grow back, but yes that turnaround is amazing.
 

Poonjab

Arachnoking
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It's too bad the toes won't grow back, but yes that turnaround is amazing.
Agreed. In total I think I counted 6 toes with claws. What surprised me was the mouth rot healing in its own. Wish I could have posted pics from inside her mouth. There were literal puss oozing abscesses in there. From the earlier pics, you can see how bad it was on the outside. That was all stuck shed connected to rotten flesh in her mouth.
 

SamanthaMarikian

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Jan 7, 2019
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For anyone else who finds the thread who is in a similar situation, idk if its been said already but vets will likely give carnivore care to syringe feed it so id suggest buying some on amazon to save yourself some money on the vet bill for that one. My vet gave me like 4 grams for $16. They also typically will give silvadine cream(idk if i spelled it right) which in my experience is a life saver. You can also use original neosporin WITHOUT PAIN KILLERS sparingly since it is an antibiotic until you’re able to get to the vet. You can also give warm soaks in a betadine solution, but id soak first in normal water so if it is thirsty can drink and not have to drink betadine water. Theres a website with more specific info on over the counter things you can use til you can get to the vet and if i find it i’ll link it. Anyone feel free to correct or add
 

Poonjab

Arachnoking
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Goo
For anyone else who finds the thread who is in a similar situation, idk if its been said already but vets will likely give carnivore care to syringe feed it so id suggest buying some on amazon to save yourself some money on the vet bill for that one. My vet gave me like 4 grams for $16. They also typically will give silvadine cream(idk if i spelled it right) which in my experience is a life saver. You can also use original neosporin WITHOUT PAIN KILLERS sparingly since it is an antibiotic until you’re able to get to the vet. You can also give warm soaks in a betadine solution, but id soak first in normal water so if it is thirsty can drink and not have to drink betadine water. Theres a website with more specific info on over the counter things you can use til you can get to the vet and if i find it i’ll link it. Anyone feel free to correct or add
Good info. Thanks for sharing.
 
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