My and father got my mother a little leopard gecko as an early Christmas gift on the 17th of December. She is a female leopard gecko, and about 6-8 months old? We are not too sure about her age, but she is not full grown yet..

When we brought her home she was scared and anxious like any new animals are, and we left her alone in her enclosure with fresh food, calcium and water each day.. She got used to our voices, but was still pretty anxious when we came near the tank to look at her.

When we were setting up the tank, we noticed that the kit they got had the wrong types of lights. They were way too high, and would have almost cooked the gecko if we hadn’t noticed the temps tire.. We had to go and buy new and proper lights..

Right after this she started shedding. We believe that it was a forced shed.. From the stress and the wrong heating. She was never able to get the skin off of her toes.. and we couldn’t handle her to help, since she is so new.. It seemed difficult for her to walk because of the skin on her toes/hands, and she had to position her arms weird, even when she slept..

We soon found out that she wouldn’t eat her mealworms or crickets, and the only way we got food into her was by giving her living crickets.. She would drink the normal amount of water, and would eat a cricket when hungry..

Not too long after all of this, she started to drink.. A lot. I was afraid that she was trying to lay eggs, and I was right.. We think that the eggs never properly formed, or fell apart.. She cannot push them properly, and just little pieces are coming out.. Her belly looks swollen, and she is in a lot of pain.. She has no energy to push, and just sits and walks with her hind legs open, and sometimes in the air.. She would constantly crawl around her enclosure, and at a point she started to actually drag herself rather than crawl properly..

Today she has started opening her mouth, and looking as if she is trying to gag, or push something up.. She started flinging herself, like she was having an exorcism, and it was terrifying to see.. She accidentally hit her jaw once or twice on her house, as we think there is blood on her mouth.. She squeaked at one point, and she has been breathing very shallow breaths, and has been heaving..

She IS in CONSTANT pain, and we have NO idea on what to do.. We are all crying, and we can’t figure out what to do..

This is the first leopard gecko we have ever owned, and we feel like we are horrible people.. The kit we bought at PetCo for her was labeled for leopard geckos, but came with misleading parts and pictures.. The lamp they gave us would’ve almost cooked her, and the dishes were wrong..

We have done our best to take care of her, and we didn’t know she was sick until now.. She got 100% worse today, and we were unable to take her to the vet in time..

Her name is Cricket by the way, and we love her dearly.. We feel so bad..

We have also noticed that her tail is not getting bigger, and it is concerning us as well..

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    go to the vet with your pet. Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 12:07
  • 9
    If this is a matter of urgency, take the gecko to the vet immediately. It may take hours or even days for you to get a response here. Having a vet look at it is the best thing you can do for the gecko now. Any answer you get here may be less useful because we cannot examine the gecko. Please let us know of any updates too in case it will help others in your situation in the future.
    – Henders
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 12:16
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    If you can afford it, a vet is definitely your best option (and the gecko's).
    – Mick
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 12:41
  • I don't know about the rest of the stuff but the geckos won't eat dead crickets you always need to feed them live ones.
    – Max
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 3:43

3 Answers 3


I'm sorry that this will be far too late to save your pet. Your pet was clearly suffering from leopard gecko septicaemia, also known as "red-leg" syndrome. When pets are stressed, their immune system becomes weak and vulnerable to infection.

Septicaemia is when you get an infection in your blood stream. In reptiles, it is normally 100% fatal without vet intervention utilizing antibiotics. Sadly, there is little research on the subject, but if you can afford it take your pet to your local/exotic vet. The vet can look for secondary infections and take blood tests to confirm the infection, then prescribe antibiotics for your gecko.

I hope this helps someone in the future.


My gecko, named Plinxton, did the same thing, but she never flung herself. She died only a week after having these symptoms. We thought she was laying her eggs. Whenever we picked her up, she would go limp, and one night she passed away.

Side note: we were trying to get her to a vet, but they said "don't touch her, it'll make it worse" so I couldn't. But the last thing I ever did was to say "I love you Plinxton, guess what - I have a surprise for you! We're taking you to the vet!" and stroke her back.

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    the only thing that she had else was she was turning pale.. Commented Sep 5, 2018 at 22:36

Unfortunately your gecko might have little time left as “red-leg” syndrome might have gotten to her before help was given. But it isn’t dead yet - take it to the vet IMMEDIATELY and get him/her checked out. Try feeding her more often and keep a very very close eye on it until you find out whether it will survive or not.

Another possible answer is that she is egg-bound and can’t get the eggs out. If this is what happened then your gecko has little chance, unless surgery is done.

Good luck to you and your gecko.

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