Hygiene is defined as practices and/or conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially through cleanliness. When it comes to good hygiene practices for Leopard geckos, important practices include the cleaning of the enclosure and its contents, regular disinfection, wearing proper protection and hand washing. This article will also mention a few recommended ways to disinfect items.
Cleaning of enclosures
A dirty, uncleaned Leopard gecko enclosure will lead to unhygienic conditions. Food and water dishes needs to be cleaned and disinfected every day. The daily removal of of stool/droppings and uneaten food is also very important. The enclosure itself and substrates should be removed, washed and/or cleaned out completely and disinfected before replacing the Leopard gecko(s).
Preventing the spread of diseases
Diseases can easily spread from unhygenic conditions to Leopard geckos and to humans. Humans can also be affected by diseases that is spread from Leopard geckos, their droppings and their food.
Regular hand washing (with a disinfectant soap) is probably the most important habit Leopard gecko keepers can get into. Hand washing is important after handling a Leopard gecko (including before handling another Leopard gecko), Leopard gecko food and/or any of the enclosure content.
Disinfection refers to the reduction and sometimes eliminating harmful micro-organisms. Depending on the object that is disinfected, methods includes washing the object and/or spraying of an disinfectant onto the object. Various objects can also be disinfected by proper sun drying.
There are various types of disinfectants on the market. In South Africa F10 has a wide product range including wipes, hand soaps, sprays and contact cleaners. These are both effective and safe to use with Leopard geckos and other animals.
Diluted bleach solutions (such as Milton) is also a popular choice. Proper disinfectants are available from veterinarians, vet shops, pet shops and pharmacies. Instructions, indications and contra-indications will be available with most good disinfectants.
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