Pale, lethargic leo

Setup: 40 gal viv, hot side temps 94-85, cool side 75, moist hide, dry hide available, free fed calcium, he gets repashi vitamins w/ vit D. I use a heat pad and a DHP bulb for him. Last time he ate was last night, his poos seem fine as far as I can tell. Fresh water every day. He’s currently on fluker’s canned crickets. He was on dried crickets/mealworms before that that he loved but went off them about 2 weeks ago. I switched to flukers and he likes them better but will only eat if I hand feed him. Not sure how much water he’s consuming.

I have a leo, he’s approx 3-4 years old. He’s a rescue so I don’t know his entire background, and I’ve had him about a year and a half. About 2 weeks ago he went off his food, but he’s done that before when he gets tired of the type of insect he’s been fed. So I changed it up and he’s eating still but only if I hand feed him. He’s pale and very lethargic. I thought perhaps he is getting ready for a shed because it’s almost that time, but his lethargy has me concerned. He has spent the last week in his humid hide, and yesterday he came out but he’s slow and moving seems like an effort. I scooped him up to check him over and no cuts, scrapes, abrasions, abnormalities that I can see aside from one very small flesh colored bump on his tummy. It has no discharge, bleeding, etc. Doesn’t seem painful to him that I can tell. He didn’t protest to being picked up which is weird, and just sat still in my hand. I gave him a warm electrolyte bath in case he’s dehydrated, but today he seems the same. I was hoping someone might have some experience and can tell me if he’s seriously ill or just having an extra hard shed? Thanks.

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I can’t comment on exactly what is going on with your gecko (other than to recommend a vet visit), but I can say that having hotspot temps that fluctuate over 10 degrees can cause serious problems. Wildly fluctuating temperatures are just as bad as temperatures that are consistently wrong. The hot side should be about 90 degrees with very little fluctuation. A thermostat is generally required to achieve stable temperatures.

I meant from highest to lowest point. I have a deposit bulb and a climbing rock so he can get as close as he wants. So at the highest point its 94 and ground level is 85. It remain stable. I have a thermostat.

While Leopard geckos do climb sometimes, they are not an arboreal species and should not have to climb to achieve ideal temperatures. There should be a spot on the ground level where he can be at 90 degrees.

Gave him another soak and his skin started peeling. So he’s very pale bc of the shed but that doesn’t explain the lethargy. I see no signs of impaction. He isn’t attempting to remove his shed.

Get him to a reptile vet asap, and keep him warm. Don’t stress him with more soaks for now. What kind of substrate do you have?

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Zoo med eco earth

Only thing I can think of is impaction or something else internally wrong. Either way a reptile vet is needed.


I’m a dog/cat veterinarian and I’ve kept leos for 20 years, and it’s obvious to me that your leo needs to see a qualified reptile vet immediately.

find one here

or here

or here (search for Reptile/Amphibian)