Whether you’re new or old to keeping the popular living ornamental lizards, leopard gecko mouth rot is a real threat to your pet. The infection is not only a great discomfort to the animal, it can also cause complications, further health problems, as well as death! Keep your ornamental pet safe from this disease with these tips.
Leopard gecko mouth rot is also known as ulcerative stomatitis. It is an infection that can be found in the mouth and gums of the creature. The biggest threat this poses is that it hampers the lizard’s ability to feed and it can also lead to bleeding and further infection of the surrounding area. Remember that if the lizard becomes too weak, it may lose the ability to feed altogether. The disease is also known to cause blackening of the teeth and mouth, swelling, and yellowish discharge that can be found in between the teeth.
The principal cause of the condition is exposure to unhealthy or unsanitary living conditions. Clean tanks and living areas are usually a good first step in preventing this disease. The infection itself can be caused by viruses, fungal growth, or bacteria.
Key Tips to Prevent Stomatitis
The best way to ensure that your pet is safe from this kind of infection is to keep the tank well maintained and cleaned regularly. Whether you use a substrate or just the plain tank floor, you’ll do well to keep it clean. Try to remove any fecal matter or other debris like dead crickets or uneaten foods. If you use sand, you should replace the entire sand bed at least once a month. As you do this, try to clean out the tank with an antiseptic as well to keep any unseen trace materials from infecting the animals. Luckily, these lizards are known to be relatively neat and they will usually pick one spot in the tank to do their ‘dirty business’.
Treating the Problem
Should the disease affect one of your pets, it is best to consult the vet. Try to inspect your pets regularly. As with any kind of disease it is best to catch it early on. Remember that sometimes the infection won’t become immediately visible but one of the biggest signs is the loss of appetite.
Usual solutions would include employing some Betadine or Iodine solutions. Don’t use soap as this can further complicate things and your lizard may become more irritated. Topical agents or creams can also be used. Again, it is best to consult a vet before taking matters into your own hands. The vets will know which medicines are applicable and in what concentrations or amounts.
Should the problems reach the extreme (ie the infection starts to spiral out of control, threatening the life of your pet), you may have to resort to surgery and other special treatments. Surgery would usually involve the removal of some of the infected parts of the mouth. Special treatments like fluid diets and supplements and other nutritional aids can be used to keep your pet from starving during the time it takes for the infection to clear up or the pet to recover from the surgery.