Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)

Symptoms:

  • Wavy tail
  • Soft jaw
  • Curved limbs
  • Appetite loss
  • Loss of coordination
  • Lethargy

Cause:

  • Calcium or vitamin D3 deficiency
  • Lack of exposure to UVB

Treatment:

If the gecko already has access to a 2% or 5% UVB bulb, check to make sure that the bulb hasn’t expired (they expire and need replacement every 6 months). If the gecko does not have a UVB bulb, buy one. Regardless of UVB, geckos with MBD should receive a calcium powder supplement with vitamin D3 with each feeding until bone density is restored.

If you are not sure whether you’re actually dealing with leaf-tailed gecko MBD, take it to a certified exotic animal veterinarian. They will be able to perform a blood test to determine levels of calcium and D3, as well as an x-ray to gauge bone density. They may also check the gecko’s calcium sacs (also called chalk sacs), which are calcium stores located underneath the jaw.