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Leopard Gecko Impactions

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Leopard Gecko Impactions

Impaction is where the gut is filled with a non-absorbable material that is obstructing the flow of the ingesta leading to disease. Leopard gecko impactions are most often due to intentional or accidental substrate ingestion. Accidental substrate ingestion can happen while these animals hunt and lashes out to a moving insect, only to find a mouth full of substrate.

Leopard Gecko Sand Impaction

Leopard gecko sand impaction is a serious, life threatening condition that is usually seen in calcium deprived geckos. It is due to the intentional eating of sand (so-called Leopard gecko geophagia) to try to increase its calcium needs. This usually happens when the Leopard gecko supplementation is inadequate or when sand is used as Leopard gecko substrate.

Sand impactions can be divided into mild and severe impactions. A mild Leopard gecko sand impaction will usually cause no visible harm and will usually go unnoticed. Mild impactions that is diagnosed to cause problems can be treated by conservatively by rehydration and laxatives with close observation.

Severe sand impactions can be suspected with a gecko showing signs of Leopard gecko MBD with the addition of the following:

Leopard Gecko Sand Impaction Diagnoses & Treatment

The severity and definitive diagnoses of Leopard gecko sand impaction can be made by taking an abdominal radiograph.

Depending on the severity of the condition, treatment can either be conservative or intensive. Intensive treatment include hospitalization, parenteral rehydration (drips), antibiotics, laxative, force feeding and enemas. In very severe cases surgical removal of the gut contents is recommended. Drastic intervention usually carries a poor prognoses and a lot of owners elect to euthanase instead of pursuing intervention.

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