Help! Red spots on leopard gecko feet

This is my first post, so sorry if I mess something up. I was holding my leopard gecko when I noticed these strange red spots. I’d tried to Google it, but I’m having difficulty. I’m worried. Is there anyone who knows what’s going on? A couple superworms got loose in the tank, could they have something to do with it?

Google photos link:
Google Photos

Info: I’ve had him for almost 3 months. His behavior has been normal. He eats well. (Mealworms + crickets, gut loaded and dusted) He is in a 30 gallon setup. Has reptile carpet, warm, cool, & moist hide with sphagnum moss. Temperatures all good and I clean everything once a week. He’s had no problems with shedding. I check him carefully each time.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

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Just a little update: I gave his feet a gentle soak in some lukewarm water. I’ve transferred him to an alternate tank while I do an extra deep cleaning on his tank. I’m going soak everything in hot water and use reptile wipe out cleaner. Just in case the problem is in his reptile carpet i’ll be replacing that with paper towels. Any info or advice is greatly appreciated!

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I do not have any advice, I’m sorry. I would suggest maybe taking your Leo to an exotic vet if you have that option. The only thing I could think of is If maybe your Leo tried to dig at your reptile carpet and caused some blisters? Although, the picture makes it look kinda like its underneath the skin. I hope it heals up and goes away! Welcome by the way!

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Thank you. It’s looking better this morning. He was NOT enthusiastic about getting his feet soaked XD, but it seemed to help.
Google Photos
It’s a little more red than the picture shows, but looks like it’s clearing up. I’ll be keeping a close eye on it and if it gets worse or doesn’t go away then I’ll take him to a vet.

I don’t know for sure, but I wonder if he got mites? I recently got a few used reptile supplies including a branch. I thought I had thoroughly sanitized everything, but maybe I missed something. To be safe I won’t use it again.
Here’s a happy pic
Google Photos

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Many prey items, including superworms, will snack on leopard geckos if left uneaten in the cage. I’m a vet but I’m not an exotics vet, and I agree with @marandatrotter33 - you need to take your buddy in to see an exotics vet, preferably a boarded specialist.

I don’t know enough to distinguish mite bites vs. superworm bites. Depending on what you are using to clean, those could also be chemical burns, or abrasions from substrate. I also see you have a cloth hut for him- unless that is getting replaced and disinfected with each cage clean, your cage cleaning is only partial. You should also take separate temps from inside that hut, to make sure that he’s not too cold when he goes inside, as that places insulation between him and the ground.

You said there were superworms in the tank, but you didn’t mention those when describing his diet. You also say you gutload, but you didn’t say with what (or what you dust with and how often). It’s important that you tell your exotics vet, when you bring him in, the full story- try not to leave things out. You also said ‘temps are good,’ but that’s not an adequate description, especially as you didn’t mention whether you’ve had leopard geckos (or other reptiles) before. It’s important to get accurate readings of the temps on the ground, hot and cold ends, using a probe or temp gun type thermometer.

If you got a branch yourself, from outdoors, get rid of it immediately, and sterilize everything in the tank, as well as the tank itself. All reptile carpet/furniture would ideally be thrown out, boiled, or at the least put through the dryer a few times (same with any other cloth/fabric, like his hut). Unless you know how to safely select and thoroughly sterilize wood, you should not collect cage furniture yourself. It’s not uncommon for prey insects to snack on branches, which means your gecko may be getting inadvertently poisoned. Buy reptile supplies from a safe and reputable source. Definitely don’t buy used supplies until you are proficient in all this stuff.

I’m sorry if this is jumbled or if I missed something, I’m super tired :sleeping:. The main thing I mean to get across is that your little bud needs to go see an exotics vet. It’s always a good idea to take a new pet in to see a species-appropriate veterinarian as soon as possible after adoption/purchase, so as to be sure that it’s free of obvious problems and establish a baseline to compare to in event of future illness.

He’s super cute!

Find a vet via ARAV

Find a vet via Kaplan’s website

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Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. I’ll make sure to be as specific as possible and I’ll write down all the details in a note so I don’t forget anything. He is continuing to look better and is still active and eating.

My first introduction to Leopard Geckos was when I was about 12 I took in an unwanted leopard gecko. I fostered him for a bit until I was able to pass him on to one of my cousins who has reptile experience. I loved doing it and I knew that eventually when I got older and able to support a gecko that I definitely wanted to do it. Almost 8 years later it’s finally happened! I researched and prepared for 3 months before I got this little guy. His name is Wheatley. I’ve been trying very hard to get everything right, but mistakes do happen. I care a lot and I want to do the best that I can for him.

The specifics for the things you mentioned:

When cleaning I use a zoo med reptile safe cleaner. For the carpet I give it a good soak in hot water, rinse it thoroughly, and hang to dry (I’ll try putting it in the dryer like you mentioned). The cloth hide I just made for him after I did the deep clean. I made it to replace temporarily a wood hide on the cool side, (the wood hide I got from a pet store). I wanted to replace all my wood items in case it was mites. The only thing I ever got used was that branch with two cave hides. The branch was the only thing in his tank that was used. The hides I got to start collecting for a new setup. Everything else I had gotten new over time, from our local pet stores and some online from Amazon.

This was my first time giving him superworms. I wanted to try them out and see if he liked them. I know they are more fatty so I would only use them for an occasional treat. I had them in a dish, but I underestimated the little Houdinis. :laughing: The mealworms and crickets are gutloaded with potato, apple, and carrot slices. I dust them with reptile calcium each feeding and every couple weeks I dust them with a reptile vitamin mix. I just started my own mealworm farm recently! It’s pretty exciting to see how they go through their life cycle. Two beetles just hatched and I have 13 pupa.

I have a probe thermometer on both sides. The warm side is usually set about 85 - 88°F with a thermostat to regulate it. The cool side hovers at about 75°F, but sometimes goes lower. I’m going to look into ways to raise it slightly.

Sorry for the long post. Thanks again! I’ll be checking into local vets.

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Wheatley is an adorable name, and that’s such a cool story! I got my first leopard gecko when I was about the same age as you are now. Look out, they are addictive! My oldest turns 18 this year.

I know exactly what you mean about wanting to get everything right. For years I fed my leos a diet that was too high in fat, though I didn’t know it. I wasn’t a vet yet and wasn’t corrected by my guys’ exotics vet at the time. Fast-forward 10 years, and some of my older guys started developing sometimes fatal diet-related cholesterol tumors that affect their nervous and reproductive systems. I only figured it out on my own, as a then just-graduated vet, because I always have my guys necropsied if they pass away inexplicably.

I beat myself up about it when I finally put all the pieces together, and I still do to a certain extent. But ultimately I came to the realization that mistakes happen, just as you mentioned, and that there’s no way I could have reasonably been expected to know any better at the time. My intentions were the best, and I did the best I could to educate myself, and that’s the best anyone could ask for, right? Though I do think I didn’t take it seriously enough that imbalances in husbandry are almost always behind most pet reptile illness.

Since you just have Wheatley, I agree with your assessment- it might not be a bad idea to replace his wooden hut with a plastic one, at least for the time being (some wooden huts are small enough to carefully boil in a pot on the stove- just don’t use ‘for people’-dishes/pots/pans). I still have a ton of wooden huts and cage furniture, and they are almost impossible to thoroughly disinfect, so I recommend a switch early-on, before you’re up to two dozen geckos. heh.

I’d say that giving mealworms potato, apple, and carrot is more like giving the mealworms the food they need to live. Gut-loading them means feeding them something that will correct their inherently not-so-nutritious nature, especially with regards to their calcium-phosphorus balance. Leos need a diet with a 2:1 ratio of Ca:P, and the common feeder insects have way too much phosphorus. To properly balance an insect will vary depending on species (e.g. roaches need be fed low protein diets ONLY, mealworms are super high in fat and shouldn’t be the solo food item longterm, etc.). I would not personally recommend dusting insects with calcium powder at every feeding, especially not calcium powder with D3, but many people would disagree with me. I totally feel you about watching life cycles- I’ve grown rather fond of silkworms and silkworm moths in particular.

Honestly, you sound incredibly caring, knowledgeable, and devoted to the health of your little man- he is lucky he found a home with you!

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