Parasites

Pinworms - leaf-tailed gecko parasites

Microscope image of pinworm eggs. Source: Wikipedia

Symptoms:

  • runny stool/diarrhea
  • reduced appetite
  • lethargy
  • weight loss

Treatment:

Like mites, intestinal parasites are common in wild-caught (WC) geckos, although they can affect captive bred (CB) individuals as well.

Because leaf-tailed geckos are sensitive to handling and easily stressed out, owners should wait until the gecko is well acclimated to its new home, or the stress of treating for parasites may kill it. Usually this takes 1-2 months, depending on the individual.

When the gecko is ready, collect a fresh poo sample from the gecko in question and bring it to your vet for analysis within 24 hours. If a parasite infestation is detected, the vet will prescribe some dewormer paste to administer orally.

Of course, sticking a syringe into a leaf-tailed gecko’s mouth is easier said than done. Use a freshly-washed credit card to gently pry the gecko’s mouth open (the gecko will NOT like this) and quickly follow with the syringe. It might take a few tries, especially if this is your first time.

After you have finished all of the dewormer, do a full replacement of the substrate and disinfect all terrarium accessories to help prevent reinfection.