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  1. #1
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    Aug 2021
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    Question Are oral antibiotics really necessary?


    Hi, this is my first time posting (I made an account just for this, though I've been reading these forums for a while for care tips!). I need some advice on whether we should have our leopard gecko go on oral antibiotics.

    Backstory: Our female leopard gecko (9yrs) had a case of tail rot two weeks ago, where the very tip of her tail (~1cm) became necrotic. We took her to the vet the same day it started. She had shed just the day before the necrosis but we checked her right after shedding and again when the necrosis started and there was no stuck shed. She'd had a fall off my shoulder a week or two prior and I'm wondering if she may have injured her tail tip then? The vets weren't able to determine a cause, but they swabbed the outside of her tail to do a culture and sent us home with silvadene creme to apply every 12hrs and monitor the tail, which we've been doing for 2 weeks straight.

    We took pictures of it every 12hrs, the necrosis never progressed past where it first appeared and the dead dried tip eventually fell off on its own. The end of it looks pink and healthy now, she has been eating and pooping well throughout and she's her normal curious wandering self when we take her out. She hasn't been spending as much time basking by her water dish as before, she's spending more time in her main hide recently but we also changed her substrate to paper towel to keep her tail clean which is different. We typically have her on excavator clay, humidity ranging from 35-45% and temperature ranging from 80-95F. We feed her on mealworms and hornworms dusted in Calcium + VitD powder.

    Now, my question

    The vet finally got back to us in a voicemail with the culture results from the swab they did two weeks ago. They said they found 3 strains of bacteria, one of which can be kind of challenging to treat, so they suggest an oral antibiotic for ~ 3-4 weeks and then following up with bloodwork to make sure the antibiotics course is completed. When we were there previously, they mentioned that doing a blood draw can cause her tail to drop. I'm wondering whether it's really necessary to put her through the antibiotics course and blood workup when she and her tail seem to be doing fine? Of course if there's a chance she could really be sick even though we don't see it, we will absolutely give her whatever she needs. I just feel like she isn't sick and all this would be more stress on her for no reason. Also, do we keep on applying the silvadene creme every 12 hours until her tail is fully healed?

    Any advice would be much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Somerville, MA
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    I think this is a good thing to bring up with the vet. Sometimes a "wait and see" attitude is useful. You an ask the vet if this type of bacteria is possibly found normally in leopard geckos but the levels are elevated which has caused the concern. You could see if the vet would be comfortable with doing another blood draw in 2 weeks to see if things have changed. I wouldn't venture to render an opinion because I'm not a vet, but this is my take on the questions to ask.


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