L. lugubris
Short Care Sheet
   >> Prevention
   >> Shedding Problems
   >> Rachitis
   >> Injuries
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I am no doctor, so here some general information only.
If your geckos get ill immediately consult a veterinary surgeon.


Lepidodactylus lugubris is one of the robuster gecko species. If they were bred in a terrarium the geckos usually are free of parasites. They are very unlikely to fall ill and if they fall ill this is mostly a result of poor keeping conditions which easily can be prevented.

If you follow this main advice it is unlikely that you will have any problems:

- sufficient food, minerals, vitamins, drinking water
- heating only a part of the terrarium (= different temperature and humidity)
- provide hiding places and do not overcrowde the terrarium
- clean the terrarium regulary

In small gecko species deseases often are difficult to treat and ill geckos die quickly. Prevention by good keeping conditions is most important.

Subordinate geckos are more likely to fall ill than dominant.
Therefore, do not overcrowde the terrarium even if the geckos seem to be amicable.

Shedding Problems >> top of page  

Shedding Problems often are the result of too humid or too dry terrarium conditions or poor nutrition (Henkel/ Schmidt, 1991). After correction of the keeping conditions the gecko sheds within a few days without further help. If there is no sign of shedding bathing in lukewarm water with Kamillosan may help (Henkel/ Schmidt, 1991).

Under no circumstances try to remove the skin manually.

As there is a high risk of injuring the dainty animals all treatments requiring direct touching are not suitable for Lepidodactylus lugubris and other small gecko species.

I made good experiences with lukewarm camomile tea for treating shedding problems at the feed:

- catch the gecko with a box of clear plastic (with holes for air supply)
- fill in a few millimeters of lukewarm camomile tea until the bottom is just covered (feed covered)
- the gecko should stay in the box approx. a 3/4 day long (shorter soaking times had no effect)

Back in the terrarium the gecko usually is able to remove any remaining soaked shed skin himself. The gecko I treated needed a several of this baths until success (one day recovery in the terrarium after every treatment).

Anyway, only consider bathing for treatment of shedding problems in the case of otherwise healthy geckos. If shedding problems occur as a result of insufficient nutrition the gecko already is weak and any further stress may be lethal. In such cases you first have to care for this health problem and wait until the gecko has recovered.

Rachitis >> top of page  

Rachitis is a deficiency desease leading to deformations of the sceleton: softening of the bones, shortening of the jaw, deformations of the spinal column and tail, shortening of the legs.
Rachitic Lepidodactylus lugubris often have terrible problems with their lower jaw (folding down,
sudden complete dissapearing).

Rachitis in Lepidodactylus lugubris often is lethal.

The desease is caused by a lack of vitamins (especially vitamin D3), a lack of minerals and a deficiency of certain amino acids (Henkel/ Schmidt, 1991), which also can be the result of stess caused by an overcrowded terrarium.

One mistake of keepers I unfortunately sometimes hear about is supplying vitamin D without offering suffient calcium. Vitamin D is important for resorbing calcium. But if you provide vitamin D without giving calcium calcium is decompositioned from the sceleton and rachitis is sure.

In all gecko species juveniles and females during reproduction season are most likely to fall ill with Rachitis (Henkel/ Schmidt, 1991). As Lepidodactylus lugubris reproduces throughout the whole year, it is very important to supply sufficient vitamins and minerals.

If rachitis is recognized in time, the desease usually is treated by providing sufficient vitamins, minerals and amino acids and giving multi vitamin supplement to the drinking water (Henkel/ Schmidt, 1991).

For prevention or also for quick improvement of a deficiency I made good experiences with baby food on fruit basis mixed with some mineral supplement.

Injuries >> top of page  

My geckos never had any injuries.

For treating wounds antibiotic ointments are suitable, for example Nebacetin (Henkel/ Schmidt, 1991).