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What to Do If Your Leopard Gecko Won't Poop


Leopard geckos have become my favorite of all lizard pets, mainly because of the many varied colors (known as morphs).

What to Do When Your Leopard Gecko Won't Poop?

Don't worry if your leopard gecko hasn't 'been to the toilet' for a couple of days and everything else seems to be ok. But if it's been 5 days or more, you will probably start to get a little worried.

Leopard geckos can be similar to dogs in their habits, meaning that they are used to a certain spot in their vivarium. So study their environment carefully and see if anything has been changed.

Did You Clean or Change the Vivarium?

For example, did someone else clean the vivarium and therefore might have changed the scent by using a different cleaning product, or perhaps they were wearing a particularly strong perfume that day? Have things been moved around a lot? If so, then it might take them a few days to find their pooping place again. Ensure too that they were not housed in sand for any time.

If Your Leopard Gecko Isn't Eating, He Won't Be Pooping

Check that your leopard gecko is eating properly. If your leo doesn't eat, he won't poop.

If a reluctance to eat is the problem, then you need to take a good look at him to see if he appears to be healthy, not in stress, injured or lethargic.

Check the environment: are the heat settings correct, is he not being stressed by a family pet or an overly friendly child.

How to Get Your Leopard Gecko to Poop

  1. Try hand feeding him. Don't force feed him unless you are experienced. This is best left to a vet and only after the vet has identified the underlying cause
  2. Try different suitable food like waxworms (cut into bits and see if he will lick it off your finger, at least that will show if he still has an interest in food). Be careful that there's nothing hard (eg the hard shell of a mealworm) in his food
  3. Dehydration is a common and likely problem, feed him with a syringe
  4. Give her a gentle belly rub
  5. Take a bit of poop from another gecko, wrap it up in a paper towel and put it in a section of the vivarium
  6. Check the temperature and up to around 90 degrees if it isn't already. Belly heat aids digestion. Always use a thermometer to be sure
  7. Minimize any stress. Usually your leopard gecko will prefer the dark and not being handled too much.

If in Any Doubt at All, Call an Experienced Vet

And of course, if you have any doubts or concerns, give your local vet a call. Make sure it's a vet who has knowledge of leopard geckos

Dylen on April 21, 2019:

My leopard gecko won't eat, come out of his hide and or poop. help

Natalie on November 29, 2018:

I just recently took my aunts leopard gecko (an ex boyfriend had left it with her years ago and her set up was very poor) and he hasn’t pooped since I got him about a week ago. Is it the change in environment that is keeping him from pooping? He’s eating great and seems lively and healthy otherwise. But I can’t help but be worried

Marissa on November 25, 2018:

So my Leopard Gecko, Jazmine hasn’t pooped in about a week and it scares me

Melissa on April 25, 2017:

My leopard gecko isn't pooping at all ever since I got my new one. It hasn't been messing with her and only the baby poops she still eats but hasn't pooped have any ideas

Laura on March 29, 2017:

My leopard gecko isn't poopin at all. He's still active and looks to the viv door for food on feeding days. Still eats, but won't poop!!!! I'm scared. Any suggestions????

Lydia on January 07, 2017:

Anyone asking about newly purchased or hathed geckos, they can sometimes take up to 3-5 days before thy settle in and therefore, they may not eat or poop for around a week. Solely because they are not used to the viv

Geko girl on June 27, 2012:

I got my baby leopard geko on Saturday and she's been eating a lot but just hasn't pooped I've looked all around in her viv and found nothing. Starting to worry alittle bit. Please help me =(

charlie on April 08, 2012:

my leopard gecko wont eat i got it a day ago.i think it was because i was holding him.he plays in the water bowl a lot.i feed him mealworms.but he never eats.i might be overrating so please answer my question

robin reed on February 11, 2012:

hi, my leaopard gecko is very skinny and has a very fin tai. he is not eating and has dry poo blocking hi anus


When you have your leopard gecko out of its enclosure, keep a few things in mind to make sure your gecko does not get away or get hurt:

o Don’t leave it unattended
o Don’t put it somewhere it could fall
o Be mindful of other pets that may injure – or eat – your gecko. Our cat keeping a watchful eye on our leopard gecko

o Make sure your tank has a well fitting lid, or that your enclosure securely closes. This is not only so your gecko can’t get out, but also so other curious pets can’t get in.

If you want to let your leopard gecko roam a bit safely, you could check out a pet playpen. They’re collapsible and come in a variety of colors.

Make sure you have everything your Leopard Gecko Needs! Check out our Habitat setup and Gear guide here.


Your First Leopard Gecko?

I remember the first day I bought my first leopard gecko. It was December 26, 2011. I had been wanting to buy one forever. I did so much research on them because I found these lizards so fascinating. First, I researched crested geckos and found out that they were a little harder to take care of than leopard geckos. Tokay geckos didn’t appeal to me because they were kind of ill tempered. Meaning that whenever you put food in or showed them your hand they almost wanted to fight you. Tokay geckos are the most aggressive gecko.

I remember watching YouTube video after video and just became completely obsessed with them. There were so many morphs. I seriously probably read 40 articles on them online. They had this cute little “I don’t care about the world attitude.” Maybe Geico sold me completely on them. Still to this day I don’t know why I was drawn to them. But, I was and it really is one of the best pets I have ever owned in my life. Leopard geckos did appeal to me because from what I have heard they were insanely docile and really didn’t require a lot of care. I certainly didn’t want a lizard that was always going to bite me or a reptile that I had to stress about, if they got out of the cage. It just seemed like a perfect fit for me.

So, here I was thinking I knew everything about leopard geckos. I bought Sly my first one from a local pet shop. She was so tiny and cute. I called my mother over and told her I bought a lizard. At first, she was kind of like why? I was like because they are cool. She came over and I attempted to show her Sly. Sly was hiding in her coconut. She didn’t come out one time my mother was there. Instead she was sleeping in her tank probably trying to catch up on some sleep. I would remove the coconut and she would wave her tail and run to the next hide. When I think about it, it was probably a really scary situation for her.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is hold your new gecko. But, you need to observe him/her to see what it’s doing. Holding a leopard gecko actually stresses the reptile out so for the first two to three weeks I just like to let my leopard gecko get used to his/her new habitat you probably won’t see it much at first. They are going to be very scared. I tend to use paper towels for my substrate or newspaper for the first 2-3 weeks. What you’re going to be doing is monitoring its poop to make sure its not runny. It’s a good rule of thumb that if your gecko is pooping its eating. Remember that you can’t pick up a leopard gecko by it’s tail because their tail will detach. Just in case you’re wondering the tail does grow back, but it will look kind of messed up.

At night make sure you use a squirt bottle and mist their cage. Geckos love to lick water off the terrarium. You can feed them 3-4 small mealworms a day (dusted with calcium powder).

Put your hand in the terrarium and see how your leopard gecko reacts. Don’t be worried if they don’t show much interest at first. In fact, they’ll probably just run to their hide. After 2-3 weeks of this they might crawl up to your hand. Naturally, they are very afraid because they are so low on the food chain. They have to make sure you’re not a predator before trusting you. It takes time, but your gecko will eventually get used to your hand reaching inside the terrarium.

Once your leopard gecko starts crawling up to your hand you can pick them up. I would not pick them up from the top because that is how a bird would. Instead put your hand in front of it and gently touch it’s tail so that it will crawl on your hand. Lift up your hand and just let the gecko crawl on your hands. For the first 2-3 weeks (sometimes longer) I would only handle them for 5-10 minutes a day.

Make sure you keep your hands in the terrarium because baby geckos are very hard to catch when out of their cage.

Once two weeks pass you can begin taking your leopard gecko out of his/her cage, and put a plastic box underneath them and let them crawl on your hands. This just means letting the gecko go from hand to hand. It’s very important that you have a box under them so if the gecko gets frightened he/she will just jump into the box and you won’t be trying to hunt down a gecko under the furniture.

Provided you have read the leopard gecko caresheet and are taking proper care of your new gecko you’ll be fine. Remember that it’s a very slow process to get your leopard gecko to trust you, but in due time they’ll have no problem sleeping on you for hours and hours.

Then you will have 15 or so years to enjoy their company, show them to your friends, and watch them.


Help! Leopard gecko won't poop!

Madskull00

Well-known member

Sdellin

Super Moderator

I do not know if the hard lump you are feeling is normal, but if he hasn't pooped yet and it's been at least five days (I believe that is correct?) and he has stopped eating I would advise you to call a vet. The lump could be whatever was impacting him and it has moved down through the intestines or colon and will soon be eliminated. Let us hope this is the case.

Yes, please post more pics so we can see what you are seeing.

Dustin

Well-known member

The problem with impaction is that there can be a plethora of underlying causes. The mealworms could be a cause, but you could also have impaction from dehydration, impaction from MBD, or a verity of other things. That's not to try and worry you, but it makes it incredibly difficult to solve it from home, or for individuals on forums to offer advice past the standard procedure when reptiles stop defecating, and from everything I've read, you've covered all the bases as far as those steps go.

As far as losing the use of the back legs, that's generally only in very serious cases of impaction as far as I know. There still could be an underlying issue, even if he appears 100% fine aside from the fact that he is not pooping.

At this point, your best bet is probably to go to a reptile vet. Anything we can suggest at this point is a complete shot in the dark. Raising the hot spot temperature to around 92F can help, hydrating with an electrolyte formula can help, soaking can help, but they all are practically useless without knowing what the underlying cause is (if there is one, impact is possible for no real reason also, but that is incredibly rare in my opinion).

Think of it this way, if you has something wrong with your health, would you rather take every drug in your house at random hoping one solves the problem, or go to a doctor and have a much better chance at pinpointing the source of the illness?

Madskull00

Well-known member

I do not know if the hard lump you are feeling is normal, but if he hasn't pooped yet and it's been at least five days (I believe that is correct?) and he has stopped eating I would advise you to call a vet. The lump could be whatever was impacting him and it has moved down through the intestines or colon and will soon be eliminated. Let us hope this is the case.

Yes, please post more pics so we can see what you are seeing.

Madskull00

Well-known member

The problem with impaction is that there can be a plethora of underlying causes. The mealworms could be a cause, but you could also have impaction from dehydration, impaction from MBD, or a verity of other things. That's not to try and worry you, but it makes it incredibly difficult to solve it from home, or for individuals on forums to offer advice past the standard procedure when reptiles stop defecating, and from everything I've read, you've covered all the bases as far as those steps go.

As far as losing the use of the back legs, that's generally only in very serious cases of impaction as far as I know. There still could be an underlying issue, even if he appears 100% fine aside from the fact that he is not pooping.

At this point, your best bet is probably to go to a reptile vet. Anything we can suggest at this point is a complete shot in the dark. Raising the hot spot temperature to around 92F can help, hydrating with an electrolyte formula can help, soaking can help, but they all are practically useless without knowing what the underlying cause is (if there is one, impact is possible for no real reason also, but that is incredibly rare in my opinion).

Think of it this way, if you has something wrong with your health, would you rather take every drug in your house at random hoping one solves the problem, or go to a doctor and have a much better chance at pinpointing the source of the illness?


Recently Purchased Leopard Geckos

If you’ve recently bought a new leo, they will take some time to get acclimated to their new environment. Lizards tend to stress out very easily especially when being transported to a new home. I recommend giving your pet at least 1 to 2 weeks to get situated. Be sure to consistently offer prey items in a bowl every day and until they get back to feeding normally.

If the reptile is healthy, they will have a good amount of fat stored in their tail which comes handy during times of stress.

The old saying goes, if they’re hungry enough they will eat and this has proven true more often than not in my experience.


Watch the video: 5 REASONS WHY YOUR LEOPARD GECKO ISNT EATING! And How To Get Them To Start (July 2021).