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  1. #1
    Magdel is offline Newbie
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    Default Leopard Gecko; possible infection in hind feet


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    I just got back from college for spring break, and since we can't have pets in the dorms, I had to leave my leopard gecko Brody at home. I don't know how old he is, but I think he's at least 6-8 years old. I adopted him from an owner who didn't want him anymore about six years ago (he was fully grown at that point), and ever since I got him, he's had some trouble with shedding. He was already missing a few toes and most of his toenails when I first got him from what I assume were unresolved collections of skin on his feet in the past. I make sure to keep a good moist-hide for him when he sheds, though he usually still needs a bit of assistance with his hind feet in particular.

    But I don't think my parents have been following through on keeping his hide dampened and his feet clean while I've been away. When I got home, there were bloody footprints all over his terrarium, and he has possibly infected toes and soles on both back feet. There are also some scabbed-over sores on the underside of his tail. He had really thick buildups of skin on his feet, but I let him soak in some warm water and peeled away the worst of them. Now he's bleeding from one foot, favoring both when he walks, and they seem very inflamed. I wasn't able to get the skin off the worst two toes--they're practically black, and I don't know if it's gangrene or just scabs.

    According to my parents, his one foot had some blackened toes when they went to pick me up a day and a half ago, but his tail and other foot seemed okay.

    He seems to have a pretty normal appetite, though he wasn't inclined to chase his food (for obvious reasons). I replaced the paper towels (which my parents put down over his substrate a week or so ago) and I have a thick layer of damp paper towels in his hide. In the event that he does have an infection and it gets worse, I'm not really sure what to do, since I don't know of any vets in the area which will handle small animals like Brody. I'm not sure it's feasible to take him to a vet even if I can find one, so I was wondering if there are any steps I can take at home to start helping.

    Would it be safe to soak his feet in epsom salts? Or apply any kind of antibacterial ointment to his feet, or even just plain petroleum jelly? And is there anything else I can do in his terrarium to make him more comfortable? He's very sweet and was extremely patient while I was cleaning his feet, and I really want to do as much as I can to help him.

    I'll get some pictures up as soon as possible--probably tomorrow morning. I tried to snap a few while working on this post, but he wasn't inclined to sit still, and I don't want to stress him out with too much handling.

  2. #2
    Magdel is offline Newbie
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    Here are some pictures--believe it or not, this is actually a visible improvement from last night, but he 's pretty much refusing to walk. I have him soaking a bit more because the remaining skin has tightened down again. Hopefully he won't try and shed too soon.

    072.jpg066.jpg067.jpg068.jpg069.jpg070.jpg071.jpg

  3. #3
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    Oh god. Your gecko needs to see a vet ASAP. There are a ton of things wrong there, and all of that is not something you treat at home. You also need to seriously do some hard research into your setup and figure out what's causing all of this.

    ~Maggot

  4. #4
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    Aimless is offline Super Moderator
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    hey Magdel -

    it's possible that the problems with feet are stuck shed, but what's up with the tail? was his substrate allowed to get really dirty while you were gone? if not, I'd be very concerned about burns.

    can you please tell me how is cage is heated, and the temperature at the hot spot? if he has an undertank heater, it looks like it may have burned him. can you also tell me how you're verifying the temperature?

    as to care: there are a few things you can do at home, and I'd suggest starting immediately. if he doesn't have an infection, he will, right? and note that taking care of wounds and/or infections in reptiles is a very slow process; if he's not completely healed by the time you go back to class, I hope your parents are willing to take proper care.

    a vet is always your best bet, but there are some things you can do yourself. first off all, do NOT put petroleum jelly or neosporin ointment on your gecko. petroleum isn't good for herps. however, you CAN use betadine to wash the wounds, which I'd do at least twice a day, and then cover with neosporin cream. be sure to get the kind that doesn't have pain relief and it's perfectly safe. as for the betadine, dilute it to look like weak tea and just set him in it for a minute in a bowl or something; this will be the easiest way to get it on his toes.

    I would definitely keep him on paper towels to keep the wounds clean. I would also try to soak and work on that stuck shed another time; as hard as it is to get it off, any tissue underneath that might be OK doesn't have a chance to heal until the stuck shed is gone.

    good luck with your gecko, and please let us know of his progress.
    Morelia spilota harrisoni * Liasis fuscus * Liasis mackloti * Liasis mackloti savuensis * Anteresia maculosa * Python regius * Gekko gecko * Rhacodactylus leachianus * Correlophus ciliatus * Blaesodactylus boivini

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    Aimless, do you notice anything wrong with the jaw? It doesn't look right to me.

    ~Maggot

  6. #6
    Elizabeth Freer's Avatar
    Elizabeth Freer is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magdel View Post
    Here are some pictures--believe it or not, this is actually a visible improvement from last night, but he 's pretty much refusing to walk. I have him soaking a bit more because the remaining skin has tightened down again. Hopefully he won't try and shed too soon.

    072.jpg066.jpg067.jpg068.jpg069.jpg070.jpg071.jpg
    Brody looks like his wounds are quite painful. He really needs to see a vet asap for those multiple wounds and long-term shedding difficulties. Some of his wounds are infected. There is a link for vets right at the beginning of my Leo Caresheet linked right below in my signature. You might share where you live so members could suggest exotics close by?

    Find a Veterinarian - Local Vets and Veterinary Clinics, Vet Services

    http://www.herpvetconnection.com/

    Does he have a hot rock?

    What calcium and supplements does Brody get on a regular basis?

    Please post a picture of the inside of Brody's mouth.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 03-03-2013 at 07:47 PM.
    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

    Click:
    Leopard Gecko Care Sheet
    Health Questionnaire

    ===> URGENT: No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside a vivarium EVER <===


    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Lygodactylus kimhowelli ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ P. tigrinus

  7. #7
    Aimless's Avatar
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    also please try google - there are a lot of gaps on that site for exotic vets.

    I notice more than the sores, but disinfecting is a good place to start.
    Morelia spilota harrisoni * Liasis fuscus * Liasis mackloti * Liasis mackloti savuensis * Anteresia maculosa * Python regius * Gekko gecko * Rhacodactylus leachianus * Correlophus ciliatus * Blaesodactylus boivini

  8. #8
    Magdel is offline Newbie
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    I'm not sure if my earlier post is going to go through--it said it required some kind of verification, which didn't occur last time I posted a reply to this thread. If this goes through and it hasn't, I'll post it again.

    In the meantime, I did a betadine wash and changed Brody's paper towels. He's still not inclined to walk, but he leaned over to his water dish for a drink. I put it close to his hide for easy access. He didn't eat when offered, but I think it might be because he's still keyed up from being soaked and handled, so I'll try again in an hour or so.

  9. #9
    Magdel is offline Newbie
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    Posting this again, since it apparently didn't go through the first time-- may be some updates between this and the post right before

    @ Embrace, I want to get him to a vet if possible, but I'm still in the process of locating one in my area that can handle exotics. I also don't drive, and my parents work full time, so the transportation situation is not ideal. But until I can make it to a vet (hopefully soon), I want to make sure that I'm doing everything I can to help until then.

    @ Aimless, I really don't know too much about the conditions of the terrarium while I've been gone. The substrate is hard-packed sand (sand that was dampened, then dried in place, then smoothed down to take off the harder edges), but when I got home, it was entirely covered in paper towels, and I don't know how long they were there. There are fresh paper towels down now. It's conceivable that the sand might have abraded him after a shed to cause the under-tail sores, but according to my folks, the sores definitely weren't there before they picked me up. He's been using some variation of this substrate arrangement since I've had him, and it hasn't ever caused a problem.

    He has an under-tank heating pad, and when I checked the temperature on the surface, it seemed normal. He's been hanging in the heated space for most of the day and has been fine, so I don't think it's burning him. Just to be sure, I scraped away the substrate, and the glass isn't hot to the touch either. I don't have a thermometer, but I check by the back of my hand and by gauging how he responds to it.

    I was able to remove the stuck shed a little bit ago, and I'm going to try applying betadine as soon as he's had some time to cool down. Would you recommend leaving his hide drier so his skin doesn't stay wet? I don't think wet skin will heal as quickly, and I'm worried that keeping his feet wet will make whatever infection worse.

    @ Elizabeth, thank-you very much for the vet link. I haven't yet located a viable vet, but I'm still searching. I live in Wexford, PA if anybody knows of a place.

    I dust his meals with calcium, but I don't have any other supplements besides that. I'm not sure if my parents have been keeping up with the dusting, though. I don't think I was clear enough about the special kind of care he needs, but I intend to make sure that they know exactly how to treat him by the time I have to leave.

    How would you recommend I go about opening his mouth for a picture? He's very good about being handled and I've never been bitten, but he doesn't like being touched around his eyes/face.

  10. #10
    Elizabeth Freer's Avatar
    Elizabeth Freer is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magdel View Post
    I'm not sure if my earlier post is going to go through--it said it required some kind of verification, which didn't occur last time I posted a reply to this thread. If this goes through and it hasn't, I'll post it again.

    In the meantime, I did a betadine wash and changed Brody's paper towels. He's still not inclined to walk, but he leaned over to his water dish for a drink. I put it close to his hide for easy access. He didn't eat when offered, but I think it might be because he's still keyed up from being soaked and handled, so I'll try again in an hour or so.
    Your posts seem to be coming through.
    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

    Click:
    Leopard Gecko Care Sheet
    Health Questionnaire

    ===> URGENT: No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside a vivarium EVER <===


    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Lygodactylus kimhowelli ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ P. tigrinus

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