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Mystery Illness - Advice needed

Apocalypse910

Adult Gecko
3 Year Member
I have a juvenile leopard gecko that has been in and out of the vets for over a month now and I'm hoping to see if anyone else has encountered this problem.

Originally I brought him in with some swelling on the side of his face and trouble opening both eyes. She suspected a systematic infection - he received a full course of antibiotics.

There was no improvement, she did further tests, and gave him an x-ray and diagnosed MBD. She prescribed Calcium Gluconate and topical antibiotics for his eyes. I was shocked at the mdb diagnosis as I do dust every meal (crickets, mealworms, and superworms) with calcium and or multivitamin. He also has constant access to calcium powder. My other 4 geckos are on the same diet and have never had an issue with mdb . I don't think she's wrong, it just seems odd. I will mention that he did receive a gluconate overdose when I started the medication, I feel horrible about it and I'm wondering if it could have caused further complications. (Vet wrote 2ml, I saw it was wrong and thought i remembered the dosage as .2 - was supposed to be .02) We discontinued the medication for a few days at the vets instruction.

I've also noticed that his abdomen seems swollen recently, and more recently he's developed yellow spots on the roof of his mouth. My first guess would have been mouth rot resulting from his other issues but it looks nothing like it, is completely underneath the skin, and does not react to hydrogen peroxide.My second guess would be gout, but he is very young, the lesions seem too large, and there is no other joint swelling. He hasn't eaten in a long time (refuses repta-aid), however his weight is still good. He's been on calcium for about two weeks now. His belly appears better today which is a relief and he's becoming more active but the lesions in his mouth, and his continued weakness have me very concerned.

Anyone have any ideas, or experience with similar issues. I've already spent a ton in vet bills and I'm not sure what to do next.
 

LeoLover

Adult Gecko
3 Year Member
Wow, sorry I have nothing to help you on this. But post a photo of the mouth, if you can. Maybe someone will recognize it.

I hope he gets feeling better.
 

Apocalypse910

Adult Gecko
3 Year Member
Thanks guys! Sorry I didn't respond sooner - have had my hands a bit full lately.
After I posted a second gecko was affected with the same starting symptoms. The geckos were clutch-mates, they had the same diet but lived in separate enclosures.

After doing more research I'm compelled to think that the eye problems and facial swelling were in fact MBD and the other symptoms were secondary infections. I dusted every meal and always had calcium available but it apparently wasn't enough. Not sure if it was the inconstant gut-loading, or the fact that I was using oyster-shell calcium but I'm now convinced it was MBD. When the first gecko became ill I got a prescription for calcium gluconate and gave it to both lizards. The second one developed similar symptoms anyways and neither responded to the treatment for some reason.

In desperation I started using a mix of fluker's liquid calcium and repta-aid every other night. The first gecko looks much better but is still in obvious trouble - the second one made a near complete recovery in just a few days. The yellow growth on the mouth of the first became much worse, but as it grew I noticed that it was not, in-fact under the skin. It was just a plaque on the mouth's surface. I don't know what it was but I carefully removed it with a q-tip with dilute hydrogen-peroxide. It was not appreciated but seemed to have worked.

Not out of the woods yet but I'm starting to see some good signs.
 

Apocalypse910

Adult Gecko
3 Year Member
They've both taken a bad turn for the worse. Facial swelling is back on both, neither can open their eyes. I took them to the vet again and got more antibiotics but it isn't helping. They've been on calcium and eye ointment antibiotics for a month and a half. They've been back on oral antibiotics for a few days now. I've been feeding them repti-aid, ground crickets, and flukers liquid calcium nightly.

I am so frustrated and sad right now. Don't think this is a winning battle.
 

Darkmaster743

Moderator
Staff member
3 Year Member
They've both taken a bad turn for the worse. Facial swelling is back on both, neither can open their eyes. I took them to the vet again and got more antibiotics but it isn't helping. They've been on calcium and eye ointment antibiotics for a month and a half. They've been back on oral antibiotics for a few days now. I've been feeding them repti-aid, ground crickets, and flukers liquid calcium nightly.

I am so frustrated and sad right now. Don't think this is a winning battle.
Im sorry to hear that, Im starting to take a beating as well. Its almost been a month and Artemis is getting ready for her shed which im not sure how easy she can cope with in her small area ( So she dosent have to move to much ) and with her legs having problems. Besides my problems i'll pray that your's get easier and that your geckos become healthy again. Continue to give Repta - Aid, Ointment and any thing and maybe things will get better for the both of us. You never know how things may turn out ;)
 

Josh

Administrator
Staff member
3 Year Member
Sorry to hear you lost one of the little guys. Any word on how the second one is doing now?
 

Apocalypse910

Adult Gecko
3 Year Member
Sorry to hear you lost one of the little guys. Any word on how the second one is doing now?
Thanks. He seems a bit better although it is hard to say - Don't want to get my hopes up. They both looked like they were recovering a few times before taking another turn for the worse.

I am convinced that this was more than a calcium deficiency although I don't know what could have caused it. The second was on calcium gluconate as a preventative measure before he showed any significant symptoms and still got as sick as the first one. My biggest fear is that this is something contagious that might get to my other geckos or my tegu.
 

Apocalypse910

Adult Gecko
3 Year Member
The other gecko died today. I can't describe how terrible I feel right now. I'd been spending an hour a night syringe feeding both geckos, giving them their meds etc. Rory looked like he was starting to feel better the last few nights - was really hoping I could save him.

I still wish I knew exactly what happened. I don't think the progression fits MBD although I could be wrong. Maybe it is just wishful thinking that I'm not to blame for this. I just can't believe how quickly they both went downhill - they seemed so healthy and robust a few months ago.

happier times...
Rory2.jpg
 

Darkmaster743

Moderator
Staff member
3 Year Member
That gecko looks like mine, She may have MBD and well.... I feel like mine may end the same even though we are trying so hard. Very Very sorry for your loss :(
 

Rylee

Adult Gecko
3 Year Member
I recently had to put a gecko down because he had yellow stuff on the inside of his mouth. He had swelling on one side of his face and soon he got very skinny and weak. I had to put him down. I now have a second gecko, swelling on the outside of her mouth and the same yellow stuff inside. She can barely open her eyes, they are swollen and look cloudy. She is super skinny and has no energy. She is getting put down very soon, within a few days. The first one has been in and out of the vet 3 times with lots of medication, it had no results. They both refuse\refused any food.This sounds suspicously familiar.......
 

Rylee

Adult Gecko
3 Year Member
My case went the same...they were both very healthy, until they lost weight and were super skinny within a week or two.
 

Apocalypse910

Adult Gecko
3 Year Member
I recently had to put a gecko down because he had yellow stuff on the inside of his mouth. He had swelling on one side of his face and soon he got very skinny and weak. I had to put him down. I now have a second gecko, swelling on the outside of her mouth and the same yellow stuff inside. She can barely open her eyes, they are swollen and look cloudy. She is super skinny and has no energy. She is getting put down very soon, within a few days. The first one has been in and out of the vet 3 times with lots of medication, it had no results. They both refuse\refused any food.This sounds suspicously familiar.......
That sounds nearly identical to the symptoms my geckos had - I'm very sorry to hear that you are going through the same thing. If I can ask did the vet give you a diagnosis or did they just send you home with antibiotics? How old were they (mine were both at about a year)? Still trying to figure out exactly what happened - and terrified that my other geckos are going to get sick.

I don't know if it helps you at all but it did appear that the yellow material in the mouth could be removed easily in my case. I used a q-tip dipped in dilute hydrogen peroxide - the plaque did not appear to be particularly well attached. Seemed to help them eat more easily but ultimately didn't help in my case.
 

Rylee

Adult Gecko
3 Year Member
That sounds nearly identical to the symptoms my geckos had - I'm very sorry to hear that you are going through the same thing. If I can ask did the vet give you a diagnosis or did they just send you home with antibiotics? How old were they (mine were both at about a year)? Still trying to figure out exactly what happened - and terrified that my other geckos are going to get sick.

I don't know if it helps you at all but it did appear that the yellow material in the mouth could be removed easily in my case. I used a q-tip dipped in dilute hydrogen peroxide - the plaque did not appear to be particularly well attached. Seemed to help them eat more easily but ultimately didn't help in my case.
They sent me home with antibiotics, that didn't work well if at all. The first one to fall sick was about three years, the second around two years. Thanks for the advice, but she is far to sick now, she is basically bones and skin and is already scheuduled to get euthanized. I feel your pain, my other geckos live close to where the sick ones did. Were your geckos ever in contact? Mine were housed together when they were younger and about 3-4 months ago they were introduced to breed (but never did). They haven't been in contact since. All my other geckos are doing fine and no symptoms as of right now.
 

Apocalypse910

Adult Gecko
3 Year Member
They sent me home with antibiotics, that didn't work well if at all. The first one to fall sick was about three years, the second around two years. Thanks for the advice, but she is far to sick now, she is basically bones and skin and is already scheuduled to get euthanized. I feel your pain, my other geckos live close to where the sick ones did. Were your geckos ever in contact? Mine were housed together when they were younger and about 3-4 months ago they were introduced to breed (but never did). They haven't been in contact since. All my other geckos are doing fine and no symptoms as of right now.
They gave me antibiotics at first but that did nothing in my case as well. Mine were housed together when they were younger but that was probably three months prior - the cages were next to each other. A third gecko was housed with them when they were younger as well but he is fine. The only other thing I can think is that I maybe accidentally swapped water dishes or something when I cleaned their cages. I don't know specifically but I may have gotten careless.

I just have no idea how anything could have been introduced - they were both offspring of my adult geckos, their cages were reasonably clean, no contact with outside animals. It could still be nutritional but I still doubt it given the speed it progressed and the fact that I changed the diet before the second one showed any real symptoms. I did have issues with hemipenis prolapses on several of my geckos a few months prior. My adults were treated for parasites but tests of the younger gecko's stools didn't turn up anything.

Diet was mostly super-worms with some crickets. I get my food from several different stores so can't really narrow that down any.
 

Rylee

Adult Gecko
3 Year Member
They gave me antibiotics at first but that did nothing in my case as well. Mine were housed together when they were younger but that was probably three months prior - the cages were next to each other. A third gecko was housed with them when they were younger as well but he is fine. The only other thing I can think is that I maybe accidentally swapped water dishes or something when I cleaned their cages. I don't know specifically but I may have gotten careless.

I just have no idea how anything could have been introduced - they were both offspring of my adult geckos, their cages were reasonably clean, no contact with outside animals. It could still be nutritional but I still doubt it given the speed it progressed and the fact that I changed the diet before the second one showed any real symptoms. I did have issues with hemipenis prolapses on several of my geckos a few months prior. My adults were treated for parasites but tests of the younger gecko's stools didn't turn up anything.

Diet was mostly super-worms with some crickets. I get my food from several different stores so can't really narrow that down any.
Wow this situation sounding more alike by the minute. My geckos diets are mealworms oonce every two days and calcium-dusted crickets about once a month, maybe a little more frequently. I get my food from Petco and Petsmart. I am getting a fecal test and I am possibly doing an autopsy when the second one gets put down. I am determined to find out what is wrong so I can prrevent the rest of my geckos from contracting it if i can.

I am posting this all over reptile facebook pages and so far i've had someone say their male was like this, i am hoping to get some more info on that case soon. I've had someone tell me its mouthrot (explains mouth symptom, but not anything else) and crypto (I dont know about that, not many symptoms match up). Hopefully this gets resolved soon.
 

Rylee

Adult Gecko
3 Year Member
I recently talked to the person with the other gecko, they said it had weight loss and mouth/eye infections. It was 1 and 1\2 years old, eating mealworms and locusts, the vet's medication did not help and the animal ended up dying.
 
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