Leopard Gecko Dragging Back Legs [Causes + Treatment]

Your leopard gecko may be dragging its legs while it walks around for various reasons. If a Leopard Gecko Dragging Back Legs, there is probably a medical cause, so you should strive to learn as much as possible to identify the cause of the issue. To gauge the severity of the problem, keep an eye on a pet’s activity, food, and feces.

To keep an eye on the environment and spot any changes that might be causing problems, it is also advised to take regular recordings of the enclosure’s temperature, UV reading, and humidity. Your leopard gecko may drag its hind legs for various reasons, including.

  • Bone metabolic disease
  • Impaction
  • Constipation
  • Injury
  • Age
  • Aromatic Marking

Take your leopard gecko to a knowledgeable reptile vet immediately if it is immobile on its hind legs. Other indications that anything is wrong and that a vet is needed include:

  • Lethargy
  • Weight reduction
  • Appetite loss
  • Absence of feces

Why Does Leopard Gecko Dragging Back Legs?

A leopard gecko’s hind legs may drag for various reasons, from severe medical conditions that require prompt attention from a veterinarian, such as impaction, constipation, or metabolic bone disease, to perfectly typical and healthy behaviors like scent marking.

Leopard Gecko Dragging Back Legs 1

Investigate potential causes for your leopard geckos’ peculiar behavior to determine whether you need to take action. Additionally, we offer a decision tree at the end of this post to assist you in determining why your leo is dragging its hind legs.

Injury Causing Mobility Issues

The inability to use a limb is frequently one of the initial indicators of an injured limb in animals. Therefore, if your leopard gecko is moving around on one or both of its hind legs, it may have been hurt, and the limb is too painful to use.

There is a chance that your Leo could get hurt if it gets outside of its tank for adventures or if its enclosure has the wrong items. If your gecko falls from a height or something falls on it and smashes a limb, injuries like broken bones may result.

A head or spine injury that impairs the animal’s mobility and manifests as dragging of the back legs may also be present. Take your leopard gecko to a qualified veterinarian for an x-ray diagnosis if you suspect harm.

Leopard Gecko Slowing Down With Age

Animals kept in captivity typically live longer than their counterparts in the wild. This is because they can receive excellent husbandry when cared for by people, resulting in significantly less natural stress and pressure than would otherwise be in their surroundings.

Leopard Gecko Slowing Down With Age

Leopard geckos and other captive reptiles may experience age-related problems due to prolonged lifespans. Of these, arthritis is the most prevalent. Over time, the cartilage in joints deteriorates and can inflame, leading to persistent arthritis. This can be uncomfortable and the root of problems with the rear legs’ movement.

Constipation: Slightly Different Than Impaction

In reptile husbandry manuals, impaction and constipation are frequently used interchangeably. Although they have different underlying causes, the indications, symptoms, and treatments are generally the same. Food passes through the digestive system very slowly, resulting in constipation, which produces hard, dry feces.

An obstruction in the digestive tract itself may result from persistent constipation. The same swelling that impaction affects the spinal nerves might result from constipation, making your leopard gecko drag its rear legs. Dehydration, an overly chilly environment, or intestinal parasites are reasons for the leopard gecko’s constipation.

Paralysis Caused By Impaction

Leopard geckos experience impaction, internal blockage, and swelling when they consume anything that cannot pass through their digestive system. The most frequent causes of this are overeating live food or loose substrate, such as sand.

A Leo’s digestive tract swelling can exert pressure on these exposed spinal nerves, which can cause loss of function in limbs typically the rear limbs. You can examine your gecko physically to determine if impaction is the source of any problems with its hind legs. See whether you can feel a noticeable lump or enlargement by gently massaging the belly with your fingers slid under it.

Impaction can be treated at home if it is discovered early. A warm bath and a little massage are at-home remedies for impaction, as seen in the video below. Small amounts of natural oil can be syringe-fed to the digestive tract to help move the obstruction. However, keep in mind that oil can take a while to leave the system and will stop nutrients from being absorbed, so use it carefully!

Leopard Gecko Scent Marking Behavior

The weird action of your leopard gecko dragging his hind legs when he goes about may have a very different and entirely normal explanation if it is a male. The more prominent femoral pores underneath the hind legs are one of the most noticeable characteristics.

These pores are pheromone powerhouses, and male leopard geckos behave very similarly to how your dog may enjoy stopping at every fire hydrant and tree to leave chemical messages. To leave pheromone love notes (or cautions to rival males) for any potential mates, male leopard geckos would drag themselves in this manner while pushing their rear legs down, so the femoral pores rub on the surface below.

This could be the reason why the dragging of the limbs occasionally occurs rather than continuously. This fantastic activity may be sparked in your male leopard gecko, especially if he is exposed to other leopard geckos visually or olfactorily.

What Should You Do If You Notice That Your Leopard Gecko Is Dragging Its Back Legs?

Whether you see your leopard gecko dragging its feet, keep an eye on it to determine if it happens frequently. Check for symptoms of constipation, impaction, injuries, or metabolic bone disease if it is regular, but your Leo is still a small child.

Additional symptoms like swelling, bleeding, or malformed jaws are a constant symptom of these disorders. However, it’s a good idea to take your pet to the vet whether or not you find anything. After all, they are more qualified to determine what is wrong and how severe the condition is.

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I hope you understand all about why Leopard Gecko Dragging Back Legs. While occasional leg dragging in leopard geckos may be due to smell dispersion, persistently repeating this behavior can indicate various health conditions. To be safe, take care of this problem as soon as you see it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my leopard gecko not walking correctly?

A diet deficient in calcium and vitamin D3 can result in bones that are too fragile and stretchy to sustain the weight of your gecko. The main signs of this syndrome, known as metabolic bone disease/disorder (MBD), are deformed limbs and trouble getting one’s body off the ground.

Can MBD be cured in leopard geckos?

With dietary changes, calcium and vitamin D supplements, and more exposure to full-spectrum ultraviolet radiation, a reptile with the mild metabolic bone disease will typically recover.

How do I know if my leopard gecko lacks calcium?

Low energy levels, an absence of appetite, and twitching toes are early indicators of calcium inadequacy. Swollen jaws, swollen legs, bent spines, paralysis, rectal prolapse, and ultimately death are later symptoms of MBD.

What are the signs of an unhealthy leopard gecko?

Clinical symptoms include kyphoscoliosis, inability to lift their body off the ground, soft mandible and maxillae, blocked sheds, anorexia, lethargy, and reluctance to move.

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