Since day one, no matter how many times you’ve cleaned the cage and changed the water, your Leopard Gecko still refuses to poop. This is a common problem for beginners who are just getting started with their first pet lizard. The good news is that there are several reasons why this might be happening, and it’s not always because your gecko isn’t feeling well or doesn’t like his food.
If your leopard gecko is not pooping it may be dehydrated, constipated, impacted or just not be eating enough food. You should take it to a reptile vet as this condition can turn deadly.
Below we will get into the many reasons your leopard gecko may not be pooping and what you can do about them.
Why Your Leopard Gecko is Not Pooping
Tip: Make sure your Leopard Gecko is really not pooing. Check that it is not eating its own poop and cleaning up the evidence which geckos have been know to do from time to time.
Some of the most common reasons include:
1. Your leopard gecko is dehydrated
Its organs are too compressed to poop. Make sure your gecko always has fresh water available, as well as a moist hide where he can go if he feels like taking a dip. This will help prevent dehydration from becoming a problem.
If your leopard gecko hasn’t pooped in a while, immediately check the size of his tail. If it’s very small or shriveled up, then he might be dehydrated and really needs to go. Hold your gecko over a warm moist paper towel for 30 seconds so that he can poop if this is the case.
Your leopard gecko might be constipated if he isn’t pooping and is straining while trying to go. If this is the case, give your gecko some time alone in his humid hide for a while so that he can pass the waste on his own without you observing it and potentially stressing him out even more.
You can also try feeding it a mixed diet of crickets and mealworms as well as water from a syringe every other day. This will help soften the stool so your gecko can pass it more easily. Dehydration is a common cause of constipation. Check that your leopard gecko is actually drinking water.
3. Your gecko’s diet consists mainly of crickets
Feeding your Leopard Gecko a varied and balanced diet, which includes mealworms and other insects, as well as vegetables and calcium supplements, will help him pass waste more easily. Crickets are very hard to digest, and their outer shells don’t break down easily.
4. Your leopard gecko is shedding
His skin might be blocking feces from reaching the vent, where it is passed. The way to solve this problem is to make sure that he sheds completely by moistening his skin with warm water for several minutes, removing the shed using tweezers, and then drying him off with a towel.
5. It is Scared
If your leopard gecko is always trying to hide or feels threatened by you when he’s in his tank, this might prevent him from pooping because he feels scared. Make sure not to overhandle your gecko, as it can make him nervous if done too often. Also, be gentle with his tank, clean it in the evening when he’s inside so that you don’t mess up his environment. One indicator that your leopard geckos is scared is that it might scream.
If your gecko’s tank is too cold or too hot, he may not poop because his organs don’t function properly when it’s that warm or that cool. Try to maintain the tank at around 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and at 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night if possible.
7. Your leopard gecko is young
Sometimes, if your leopard gecko is young or still growing, he will not poop because his organs can’t handle the size of the waste, and it becomes lodged in the abdominal area. Keep an eye on this and if you notice that your gecko’s abdomen starts protruding more than normal, then take him to a reptile veterinarian as soon as possible.
8. Its tank is too small
Another possibility is that your Leopard Gecko’s tank is too small, which means that he isn’t getting enough exercise and his poop might become stuck to him. Make sure your gecko has a 15-gallon tank with a 10-15 gallon hiding area for him to rest in, as well as a dry towel or reptile carpet so that he doesn’t have to lay directly on the substrate.
Related: How to check that your leopard gecko is dying
How Long Can a Leopard Gecko go Without Pooping?
Leopard Geckos can go several days without pooping as long as they are still eating. Suppose your gecko is not defecating for more than three or four days. In that case, you should take him to a qualified reptile veterinarian to avoid any digestive problems that could occur if feces become lodged in the abdomen.
Symptoms of Constipation in Leopard Geckos
In addition to not being able to poop for a while, Leopard Geckos will show other symptoms if they are constipated. They will also stop eating or have a decreased appetite, start pushing on their vent area, try desperately to defecate, and become lethargic.
What Do I Do if My Leopard Gecko Isn’t Pooping?
If you suspect that your leopard gecko is suffering from constipation, then you should take him to a reptile veterinarian because it’s a very serious problem.
If left untreated, the waste can move up into his intestines and block the passage of food. In addition, waste can also cause bacteria or internal parasites that affect his health and can eventually lead to death. A vet will give your Leo an enema with a saline solution and expel any feces that remain inside his system.
Impaction in Leopard Geckos
If your leopard gecko is constipated, then he might become impacted. This means that the feces becomes wedged somewhere in the digestive system and prevents the Leopard Gecko from pooping or passing gas.
How do I know if My Leopard Gecko is Impacted?
Impaction is usually easily diagnosed because your Leopard Gecko will stop passing gas, which causes his stomach to become hard. He will also stop eating and start trying to pass the poop out of his system by pushing on his vent. If the feces is located there, you might see a bulge in his stomach area.
What Will Happen if I Do Not Treat My Leopard Gecko’s Impacted Stomach?
If you ignore an impacted bowel or intestine for too long, then your leopard gecko will most likely die. This is because feces and gas toxins build up in the stomach and intestines and poison the rest of his body.
How to Treat an Impacted Leopard Gecko
You can take your gecko to a reptile veterinarian, who will probably give the patient an enema with mineral oil. A dose of oral medication typically follows this for two weeks. Your leopard gecko should completely recover in around three months, provided that it doesn’t become impacted again.
What Can I Feed my Leopard Gecko to Prevent Constipation and Impacted Stomachs?
It would help if you fed your leopard gecko a healthy, low-fat diet of crickets and mealworms or silkworms, as well as some green veggies such as collard greens and mustard greens. The leafy greens contain fiber and water, which help your gecko poop.
What else can I do to Help My Leopard Gecko Poop?
Here’s some other ideas you can try if your leopard gecko won’t poop:
1. Make sure that your leopard gecko has a large enough tank with plenty of places to hide. It should have a dry towel or carpet in its tank so it doesn’t have to lie directly on the substrate.
2. To stimulate your gecko’s natural urge to defecate, you can place a bit of Repashy SuperPoo in front of him and see if he will eat it. This supplement is rich in electrolytes and helps draw water into the colon to make feces easier to pass. However, only give this to your gecko once in a while because too much SuperPoo can harm the kidneys.
3. You could also try a little bit of canned pumpkin or a teaspoon or two of canned pureed peaches or pears. The sugar content helps stimulate the intestine to work faster, and the fiber from these fruits softens any stool that remains inside your gecko’s system.
4. Apply a few drops of liquid paraffin or olive oil on your gecko’s anus and surrounding areas to stimulate bowel movements. However, only do this once every few weeks because too much of these can cause diarrhea and dehydration.
5. Use a dropper or syringe to feed your gecko water on the top of its mouth, which will help it drink. This way, your gecko can absorb some of the fluid through its system and swallow any fecal matter still inside his stomach.
6. Try massaging and lightly scratching your gecko’s stomach area. This should stimulate the intestines to push out feces and gas.
7. Add a few drops of apple cider vinegar on your leopard gecko’s food to stimulate the bowels. Be careful about adding too much because this might make your lizard’s stomach hurt.
Leopard Geckos are not naturally prone to constipation or impacted bowel movements, so you have to take good care of your pet. Feed it a healthy diet, provide enough space inside its enclosure, and administer any supplements one at a time so you can monitor the effects they have on your gecko’s health. You can prevent constipation and impacted stomachs in your leopard gecko by taking these steps.