Geckos First Aid Kit


Moderator/The French Viking Moderathorr
Gecko first-aid kit

France has one of the world’s most complex sets of legislation on reptile keeping, and a permit system. These permits are handled by local authorities in charge of wildlife. There are national recommendations, and sometimes local ones. I received this recently from my own local authority and found it interesting to translate, as it will probably help some keepers. (Source: Note interne de la DDPP du Calvados à l’attention des capacitaires élevage d’animaux non domestiques du département). I have removed things that would never be used with geckos from their list.

« The local veterinary commission recommends every breeder of wildlife species from the area to keeps a First-Aid Kit adapted to the animals they keep and breed. The present note is not an obligation but we do encourage all wildlife keepers to permanently keep what follows at home, separately from any drugs and first-aid kits destined for human use.

-For the keeper:
A small bactericide and fungicide soap distributordispenser, with single-use paper towels and single-use latex gloves.

-For quarantine: (…) For reptiles, at least two glass tanks, escape-proof, with a lock system. Paper towels should always be used in any case for substrate. Such quarantine tanks should only contain the bare minimum for the species, according to its habits in the wild. Specimens should be housed ALONE in such tanks. Items Elements such as branches should only be used if this is necessary, and thrown awaydiscarded after each quarantine period of a given animal.

-For tests and samples: A set of sealed, sterile, plastic or glass containers for fecal samples and any other biological materials.

-For shedding problems:
A sealed “bathtub” with air holes, adapted to the size of the animals, which can also be used foron dehydrated animals. Use lukewarm water only, to avoid thermic stress. This container can, for example be a “Pet-PalPenpal/Fauna box” or "KCritter Keeper" used for small animals' transport, provided there are no possibilities for the animal to escape. Small steel forceps will help remove shed skin on delicate areas, such as the tail, eyes, and feet. Proceed with care, and do not hesitate to ask for a qualified veterinarian's assistance.

-For dehydrated animals: An electrolyte solution, either sold by your local veterinarian, to be given per os, or a similar electrolyte solution from a sports shop. The above “bathtub” may also be used, and reptiles will particularly benefit from repeated baths when dehydration occurs.

-For eye problems: a fluoresceinfluoresceine kit to detect ulcers on the eye surface prior to seeing a qualified veterinarian, and an eye cleaner lotion (Ocryl™). No other operation on an animal that has eye problems is recommended without the help of a qualified veterinariany doctor.

-For small injuries, small skin lesions: diluted Chlorhexidine (0.5%) can be used, or yellow Betadine™, provided for the latter that the wound is not deep and wide open. These disinfectants are also recommended after an autotomy. Repeated disinfections are not recommended, since reptiles have strong immune responses. Use these disinfectants only once, when you first notice the wound. Stress could result frombe caused by the repeated use of such products, and worsen the overall condition of the animal. Please note that Betadine™ contains iodine, which can irritate skin, and for this reason Chlorexhidine should be your first choice. Do not apply disinfectants near the eyes without veterinary assistance. We recommend as well that all keepers store an antibiotic spray for external wounds, such as Orospray™, which should not come into contact with the eyes (sulfanilamide and chlorotetracyclin). Likewise, a box of sterile compresses should be part of your first-aid kit.

-Superficial, mild burns: Always keep Biafine™ (unguent with trolamin) for mild itches and burns. Caution: Do NOT use on animals kept inside tanks with natural substrate, but transfer the animal into a quarantine tank.

-External parasites: If you notice the presence of mites, ticks, or other external parasites, contact your specialized veterinarian. Many treatments are highly toxic for reptiles, so we do not recommend avoiding buying products made for dogs or cats without a qualified opinion.

-Internal parasites: They should be treated without delay, especially for amibiases and coccidioses. It is recommended that you take a fecal sample to your veterinarian first, then, if no parasites are found after a first test, do another test two to three weeks after the first. Worming pastes used for kittens and puppies are a plus in your first-aid kit (Oxibendazole and Niclosamide, used in combination, are less harmful to small lizards than more potent de-worming treatments, (source: Dr. Lionel Schilliger, reptile vet.dr., Paris), provided the worm type is identified. We recommend keepers include in their kit a Metronidazole solution (2.5%), usable per os, 2ml/kg of weight of the animal, and repeated 5 to 7 days later if the presence of Entamoeba invadens is clearly shown through fecal samples (warning: Amoebas die shortly after the emission of feces, so make sure to bring a fresh, hour-old fecal sample within the next hour to your veterinarian). Metronidazole can also be used in case of loose, smelly and bloody feces, along with sulfamides, to treat coccidian infections (sulfametoxin 3 %, pyrimethamin 1 %). These products can only be obtained through a veterinarian-written prescription and we do not recommend using them before a clear diagnosise is made. Nevertheless, wild-caught animals showing suspect feces can be treated preventively in that way, if it is not possible to see a qualified veterinarian rapidly.

-Metabolic bone disease: Prevention is the key. Offer only properly gut-loaded insects for insectivorous species, and add liquid calcium gluconate and a SMALL amount of vitamin D3 (400-600 UI is the recommended amount) to the frugivorous species' diet. Also make sure you have replacement bulbs for animals needing exposure to UVB radiation. Juveniles, and breeding females producing eggs, should have a small dish of powdered calcium inside their enclosure. Use liquid calcium gluconate in drinking water preventively. If you notice any jaw, spine, or leg deformation, do not try to treat it yourself, but see your specialized veterinarian.

-Vitamin and mineral deficiencies: Always keep a supply of a multi-mineral liquid or powder complex, as well as a vitamin supplement adapted to the species you keep. Warning: Too much calcium may result in kidney stones, and excessive vitamins can lead to dangerous, sometimes fatal risks.

-Your first-aid kit should also contain:

-Single-use syringes and needles with graduations in ml and IU
-Cotton budsballs
-The phone number of the nearest qualified veterinarian doctor
-Sterile physiologic serum vials to clean eyes, wounds, abrasions, etc.
-Scissors, a magnifying glass, and sterile plastic tubes adapted to the size of your animals in case of assist feeding. We recommend liquid food in the latter case.
-Frozen liquid, complete diet adapted to your animals in case of demalnutrition or anorexia, (see your vet) similar to the liquid food used in post-surgical cases on other pets or even on humans, for a short-term use (these may cause somewhatmore or less loose feces).
Last edited:


Super Moderator
this is always a good idea, and I think a lot of people don't consider it. I have had a first-aid kit for my pets (both mammals and herps) for years.

I have to ask, though - do you mean sterile physiological SALINE? serum doesn't make much sense as a wound and eye cleaner?