Why and how long should new Leopard geckos be quarantined

Why and how long should new Leopard geckos be quarantined
Published by Author Renier Delport Posted on on .
Filed under Categories Leopard geckos, .
Credits: Image from commons.wikimedia.org.

To quarantine is defined as the isolation or keeping separate from others. The quarantine period is the time a new or a sick Leopard gecko should be isolated before it is introduced to, or allowed contact with other Leopard geckos.

All newly acquired or sick Leopard geckos should be quarantined.

The quarantine period is meant to prevent the transmission of (clinical and sub-clinical) diseases from one Leopard gecko to another. If a Leopard gecko is still visibly healthy after the quarantine period it will significantly lower the probability of having a disease – and it can be safely transferred to live with other Leopard geckos.

The quarantine enclosure

A Leopard gecko should be quarantined with most of its basic requirements. Even if this is the case, the enclosure must be hygienic and should have easy access to be cleaned and disinfected efficiently and regularly. Newspaper or brown butcher paper are the substrates of choice and there should be as little cage furniture as possible.

During the quarantine period (see later), Leopard geckos should be handled with medical latex gloves to prevent the transmission of potential zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be transmitted to humans).

Each Leopard gecko should be quarantined separately.

The quarantine period

The quarantine period for Leopard geckos should be for at least three to six months. Longer periods are especially important before the introduction into large, established Leopard gecko collections.

Quarantine inspections

Leopard geckos should be inspected before, during and after the quarantine period. Visual inspections can be done by keepers, but an experienced, reptile friendly veterinarian will also be able to assist with more advanced ways to diagnose difficult-to-see diseases. Veterinary inspections should be done at all three these stages.

Leopard geckos should be inspected for overall health, appetite, the appearance of droppings and external parasites (e.g. mites). Routine stool inspections will monitor the presence of possible internal parasites. Obtaining regular weights is also recommended.

Before Leopard geckos are allowed to exit from the quarantine period they should at least be visibly healthy to the keeper. This means that a Leopard gecko should be in good condition, eating, defaecating and shedding normally. They should also have a steady weight increase in the case of growing Leopard geckos, or sustain their weight in the case of adults.

About the author
Renier has a keen interest in the welfare of pet reptiles. He has been keeping and treating Leopard geckos for many years and has written various forms of literature on them and other fascinating reptiles.

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