20 Dysecdysis in a leopard gecko
It is vital to assess the pet’s husbandry in cases such as this. Frequently, chronic suboptimal conditions present with lesions that are not immediately life-threatening. However, they may indicate underlying problems that may predispose to stress, immunosuppression and potentially increased susceptibility to infectious agents. Alternatively, the individual may suffer from chronic metabolic problems.
CASE PRESENTING SIGNS
BOX 20.1 Ecology of leopard geckos
The leopard gecko was housed with a con-specific in a Perspex enclosure measuring approximately 60 cm long × 30 cm wide × 30 cm high, with a ventilated lid. The substrate – calcium sand – was spot-cleaned daily and completely replaced every 3 months, at which point the vivarium was disinfected with dilute bleach and rinsed with tap water. Supplemental heating was provided by a heat mat along the back wall on the outside of the tank and a small ceramic heat bulb at one end. The heat mat was switched on 24 hours per day, while the lamp was on for approximately 10 hours each day. A UV light was provided, but switched on for only 6 hours daily (Fig. 20.1). A plastic mould provided a hide area.
The geckos were fed on a selection of invertebrates, mainly small crickets and mealworms. The invertebrates were fed on various fruit and vegetables, and dusted with mineral supplement before feeding to the geckos.