If you ever go in doubt about your gecko’s health, the first step you should take in this regard is to monitor your Leo’s poop.
Usually, feces, their shape, color, structure, and frequency can tell a lot about your pet’s health.
Regarding leopard geckos, poops can be a great indicator of their overall health. They can help you estimate what might be going wrong in their diet and environment.
In this article, we will delve deeper into some of the common poop concerns of leopard gecko owners such as diarrhea, black and white poop, and parasite poop. So read on further!
What Should a Healthy Leopard Gecko Poop Look Like?
A healthy leopard gecko poop will have the following traits:
|Shape||Sausage-shaped, long, and well-formed|
|Color||Dark brown, black bottom, off-white tip (urates), and liquid pee|
|Smell||Very mild smell that dissipates after some time in the enclosure|
|Frequency||Once a day. Or 3-4 times per week.|
Let’s discuss in depth what a healthy leopard gecko poop looks like.
Usually, a healthy leopard gecko poop is dark brown at the bottom which constitutes the most part, and the top one-third is yellowish, off-white, or white which is called urates.
A healthy leopard gecko poop has three main parts: brown poop, off-white urates, and liquid pee.
Moreover, leopard gecko poop has a very mild smell and usually dissipates after some time. A smelly poop can be indicative of a health problem.
Leopard Gecko Poop: List of Unhealthy Types
Now that we have given you an estimate of what healthy leopard gecko poop looks like, let’s now have a look at poop types that can be potentially concerning for your Leo.
Here is a chart for leopard gecko poops that are unhealthy.
|Not pooping||Impaction, dehydration||Cold temperatures, unsuitable diet|
|White poo||Ingested substrate||Feeding on shed skin|
|Green poo||Ingested substrate||Moss, bacterial infection, dyed sand|
|Undigested insects in poo||Impaction||Parasites, an overdose of vitamins.|
|Yellow poo||Mineral overdose/ Dehydration||Irregular diet|
|Grey poo||Ingested substrate||Feeding on substrate|
|Watery poo||Diarrhea||Worms, parasites, stress, viral infection|
|Worms in poo||Possible parasite infection||Caused by unhygienic enclosure|
Now, that you have an idea of what unhealthy leopard gecko poop looks like, let’s have an in-depth analysis of each of the conditions and what you can do to combat them.
Leopard gecko owners often find their Leos pooping white or grey poop. This happens when your Leo feeds on the shed skin.
A lot of times, your pet will feed on the substrate that contains shed skin. In this case, the leopard gecko will end up excreting greyish poop.
Sometimes, geckos also end up ingesting the substrate itself. And if the substrate is bright and light colored like sand, then the poop will also be whitish.
Usually, green poop is a sign of ingested substrate. If you see green poop, then this means your gecko might have ingested dyed sand, moss, paper roll, substrate, etc.
Another reason could be dietary modifications. If you recently made some changes in your gecko’s diet, then this could take a while before Leo adapts to it. During this dietary transition, your gecko may not be able to digest the food properly which can result in diarrhea.
Diarrhea means that there will be bile secretions in the lizard’s poop because proper digestion has not taken place, resulting in the poop turning green.
Yellow poop in leopard geckos can be caused due to overdose of vitamins and minerals such as calcium. A mineral overdose is the most likely cause of yellow poop.
If the urate part of the stool is also yellow then the likely cause of this condition can be dehydration.
Usually, black poop should not be a cause of concern if there are other parts of the poop present such as urate and liquid pee.
The black color usually comes from the digestive bile. This bile changes the color of the fecal matter as it passes down the lizard’s body, turning it brown or black.
And sometimes, the poop tends to be black because of what you are feeding your Leos. Certain insects and live feed tend to cause black poop.
So, as long as your lizard is behaving in a sane manner, but is excreting black stool, it isn’t a matter of concern.
Milk Grey poop can be indicative of ingested substrate or feeding on shed skin.
It is not a surprise that when Leos eat something unusual, it generally shows in their fecal matter. Therefore, leopard gecko poops can be a great indicator for their owners to figure out various health issues.
If your pet is excreting milk grey poop, then it might have ingested the tank substrate, or might even have ingested a paper towel that might be present in the tank.
Moreover, if your Leo has shed skin recently then there are chances it might have ingested that.
Undigested Insects in Leopard Gecko’s Poop
There can be instances when you spot undigested insects in your gecko’s poop.
This mostly happens due to impaction and parasite infections. In this case, you need to monitor the tank temperatures and if they suit your pet or not.
Cold temperatures can result in various health problems for geckos. This is why it is highly advised to supply proper heat to your geckos and invest in an effective heating setup that keeps your gecko warm.
Sufficient warmth can ensure that your gecko remains healthy and lives longer. It can prevent health problems like impaction which is one of the most common causes of death in Leos.
Other than improper temperatures, undigested insects in poop can also result from a parasite infection. If your gecko has a parasite infection, it will have noticeable lethargy, loss of appetite, and inactivity.
If it is a case of parasite infection, then it is best to seek a vet’s advice as soon as possible.
Leopard Gecko Diarrhea: Soft, Watery Stool
If your lizard is pooping soft stools that are watery and shapeless, then this means it has diarrhea.
Diarrhea can result from many causes, some of them harmful, while others potentially concerning.
A change in diet can cause a significant burden on your little pet’s digestive system. Switching from one type of live feed to another can take some adjusting for your lizard.
In this case, the gecko will eventually adapt to the new diet in a matter of few days and the poop will become well-formed.
But if your gecko has a considerable decline in its appetite, is losing weight, and is pooping soft stools for a few days now, then this can potentially be due to a parasite infection.
How Often Do Leopard Geckos Poop?
It depends on the age. A healthy leopard gecko should poop at least 3-4 times a week, if not every day.
Fun fact, on the other hand corn snakes poop 1-2 times every week.
This is the case with mature, adult Leos. However, in the case of baby geckos, they tend to poop several times a day and that is completely normal.
It also depends on Leo’s diet and general digestive capacity. Some adult Leos poop every day, while some only poop a few times a week. But as long as they are healthy and active, and harbor a healthy appetite, it shouldn’t be a cause of concern for their owners.
But generally, if your Leo hasn’t pooped in a few days, and is usually unlike its toilet habits, then you should seek medical advice.
If a gecko is not pooping, there could be a variety of reasons involved but some of the most common ones are dehydration, impaction, and inappropriate tank temperatures.
However, the frequency can vary from gecko to gecko depending on their age.
Baby geckos tend to eat more, so they can even poop several times a day, but adult geckos should poop at least once every day.
What to Do if Your Gecko is Not Pooping?
When it comes to leopard geckos and pretty much every other creature on this planet, excretion tells a lot about their overall health.
In leopard geckos, a healthy toilet routine is a must for their health and longevity.
So, as a leopard gecko owner, you should make sure that you regularly keep an eye on your gecko’s toilet habits.
Here are some of the reasons your gecko might not be pooping:
If you find that your Leo hasn’t pooped in a few days, then it is related to a serious gut condition called impaction. Gut impaction can be one of the fatal health conditions in leopard geckos.
Impaction can occur due to various reasons such as improper tank temperatures. If your Leo is exposed to cold for a long amount of time, its digestive process, assimilation, and overall metabolic rate will reduce considerably.
This is simply because geckos naturally belong to arid regions where they are habitual of extreme heat and ample amounts of sunlight. This is the ideal temperature for your geckos to thrive. So, if they don’t get this, their body will not be able to carry on their natural functions properly.
If it is a case of impaction, there might be other symptoms as well such as lethargy, inactivity, loss of appetite, black spot on Leo’s belly, etc.
What You Should Do:
- The first thing you can do is that you can do warm water compress on Leo’s belly in a very gentle manner. Doing this will help to make the bowels move. And will also be very comforting for your gecko.
- The next step you can take is to stop feeding your gecko! Yes, you read it right. Some may think that the lack of activity in geckos implies that they just need to be fed more. But inactivity in geckos can actually hint towards a lot of underlying issues such as impaction. If your gecko is impacted, stop feeding it more because there is still food sitting in its belly.
- You can wait for the problem to resolve on its own, but if it doesn’t, it is best to seek a vet’s advice as soon as possible.
It can be the reason why your gecko is pooping less frequently. In many geckos, dehydration starts without any noticeable symptoms but later develops into the form of wrinkly skin without any elasticity, lethargy, dull and dry skin, and difficulty in shedding.
If this is the case, then it is very likely your gecko is dehydrated.
Even though the gecko is a desert creature, it must have sufficient water to ensure digestive health. Water can help with digestion, assimilation, and the proper exception of food.
What You Should Do:
- When it is confirmed that your leopard gecko is dehydrated, refill the water utensil placed in Leo’s tank and make sure the water is fresh and clean.
- Keep a habit of regularly replacing the old water with new as old water can carry certain harmful fungi and viruses that can be potentially harmful to your gecko.
- Your gecko will eventually go back to being normal and healthy again after consuming ample water. But if you see do not see any positive result in the gecko’s health, then it is a sign that you should take it to a vet.
Another possible reason why your gecko may not be pooping is a parasite infection. These are most common in geckos who spend a lot of time in unhygienic conditions and with another infected gecko.
The two most prevalent gecko parasites are; coccidia and pinworms. And even though healthy geckos can easily combat these parasites, the problem arises if your gecko is not healthy, is old, or is under stress. Under such circumstances, these parasites can hamper your gecko’s health even further.
If your gecko is infected, it can have symptoms like lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting, and weight loss. If these symptoms are persistent and recurring then it can be a sign of a parasitic infection.
What You Should Do:
- If the symptoms are mild and your gecko is healthy and young, it can recover on its own.
- However, if the symptoms get worse, it is important to take prompt action and take your pet to a vet because in that case, the condition can even lead to death.
How to Clean Leopard Gecko’s Poop?
Cleaning your leopard gecko poop depends on the following factors;
- Age of your gecko
- Substrate in the tank
If your gecko is young and is just a baby, it will tend to poop often and you will have to clean its tank several times a day to ensure the tank doesn’t get dirty.
Note that the tanks should be clean no matter what. Geckos kept in an enclosure are more prone to diseases because they have been kept in captivity. Dirty tanks will give rise to bacteria and fungi that may deteriorate the health of your pet.
In this scenario, you will have to look out for any poop and dirt in the tank and clean it right away to ensure a safe and healthy environment for your pet.
If your gecko is mature, it will tend to have one designated poop place and will only poop at fixed times. So you will know when it’s time to clean the tank.
Other than this, cleaning also depends on the tank substrate.
If you have towels in the tank then it will require frequent cleaning. But if there is a bioactive setup installed in the tank, it will decompose the poop itself and you will only have to wipe off the tiles.
Why is My Leopard Gecko’s Poop Stinky?
A healthy leopard gecko’s poop is not stinky. It has a very mild smell that dissipates after being left in the enclosure for a little while.
But if your gecko has been excreting stinky poop, then this can be a sign of a parasite infection.
A parasite infection can usually make the poop stink badly and the stool can also turn watery.
If this is the case, you should get your pet checked.
However, it should be noted that many times, owners can mistake a poop smell for something serious. If the tank has hidden feces, then it will stink. In this case, the problem is not with Leo, but with the tank’s cleanliness.
So make sure you clean the tank regularly to avoid any fecal matter buildup.
What is the ideal tank temperature for geckos?
When it comes to tank temperatures, they are the most responsible for your gecko’s overall health. Heat is crucial for geckos to thrive in any environment and when they are in an enclosure, it becomes even more important to supply them with an adequate amount of heat because they are not in their original habitat.
The ideal tank temperature should be between 77 degrees F to 95 degrees F.
Below 70 degrees, geckos’ bodies are not able to function at their best potential. Their digestive system becomes weak that ultimately can lead to impaction and their metabolic rates also go down considerably.
Therefore, you should use a tank thermometer to note the tank’s temperature at various intervals to make sure that the gecko is not exposed to cold for long durations.
You can use heating pads, heat stripes, and lamps that will keep the temperature of the tank stable throughout the day. Make sure you use a heating setup that also functions well during power outages.
During power outages, you can use a generator, or kerosene lamp, or can simply shift the gecko to another house where heat can be supplied.
Remember: Heat is like air, food, and water for leopard geckos!
Do Geckos poop in a fixed place?
Mature and adult geckos have a designated spot for pooping. They make it a habit to poop in one place.
If your gecko is trained, it will not poop anywhere else other than its designated spot. If they poop in one place, you will have a general idea of the place that needs regular cleaning.
Therefore, it becomes crucial for you to potty train them to ensure that the tank remains clean.
Even though adult geckos are well-mannered in this area, it can be a little problematic for new parents to potty-train baby geckos. Baby geckos usually have no idea what to do and what not to do in their new home. So, they will simply poop anywhere, and that too, quite frequently.
In this case, you will just have to look out for any feces in the tank from time to time, preferably, thrice a day, to ensure they are not any feces left in the enclosure for long durations.
Leopard geckos are pretty docile, manageable, and friendly creatures that make for great pets. But like any other pet, they also need to be potty-trained!
You not only have to train them well but also keep a regular eye on how their stool looks like because poops can be a great indicator of a gecko’s overall health and bodily mechanisms.
If your adult Leo has a brownish poop with white urates and a little amount of liquid pee and usually poops once a day, this is a sign of great overall health.
Anything other than this signifies a disturbance in the gecko’s body. If the lizard poops are different than normal, there could be an underlying condition.
If the condition is mild to moderate, Leo can recover on its own, given that it is a healthy gecko. However, if the symptoms persist for a few days, it is time for you to visit a vet ASAP!