When your once-calm leopard gecko starts to tremble, it can be rather unsettling. Is there a major sickness present? Is stress the only factor? Is there anything you can do, most importantly, to stop it from shaking?
Leopard geckos’ shaking may be brought on by stress, eating, socializing, or shedding behaviors. If a leopard gecko has the metabolic bone disease, which makes the bones pliable and stretchy, it may also be shaking. Frequently, a lack of calcium is the underlying reason of this.
We’ll discuss several causes of shaking in your leopard gecko in this article. Usually, this behavior does not indicate that your Leo has a sickness, so do not panic just yet. At the same time, we are going to discuss the things you can do to prevent this from happening.
What Are The Causes Of Leopard Gecko Shaking?
Leopard geckos’ shaking may be unavoidable or brought on by simple environmental changes. If other, more serious explanations are not dealt with right away, it could be fatal. If you are unsure of the source of the shake, it is always preferable to see an exotic vet.
Here are some of the main causes of shaking and some tips for coping with them.
- Your Leopard Gecko is stressed
When under stress or protecting themselves, leopard geckos frequently flail their tails and may even squeal. Occasionally, novice gecko owners could mistakenly interpret this tail-wagging as a shake. Leo’s tail can wag enthusiastically and cause his entire body to tremble and shake.
- Your Leopard Gecko Is Shedding
Leopard geckos can shed as frequently as weekly or biweekly as juveniles, and they do so every four to eight weeks.
For your Leo, losing hair can be stressful because it can make their skin feel itchy and uncomfortable. The dry skin on your leopard gecko may cause them to tremble when walking, or it may just find movement uncomfortable.
- Eating issues
Your Leopard Gecko may be having problems swallowing food or choking after ingesting something unusual if you see it vigorously shaking and pointing its head upward. With the exception of choking on the loose substrate or foreign items, adult Leopard Geckos rarely choke.
Due to its small throat opening, a juvenile leopard gecko is more likely to choke. Offer only smaller baby roaches, crickets, or soft, easily assimilated mealworms to your younger geckos.
As a general guideline, only give your leopard gecko food that is wider than the distance between their eyes. They won’t experience any swallowing issues as a result of this.
Leopard geckos that are adults should have no issue eating food because they have teeth. Only when foreign things enter the enclosure or loose substrate causes impaction might there be problems.
- Leo is communicating
A tail-wagging gecko trying to communicate may be difficult to distinguish from a gecko shaking its body for other reasons, especially for novice Leopard Gecko owners.
At times, Leopard Geckos can shake their tails so violently that it might seem as though their entire body is moving. Leo typically uses tail waving to court females or to signal other geckos of its existence. When hunting or feeding, younger Leos may even wave their tails with joy.
- Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)
Unfortunately, Metabolic Bone Disease, a frequent bone condition in confined reptiles, is brought on by a lack of calcium, an excess of phosphorus, and insufficient vitamin D3 levels. Tremors and weakness in the legs or throughout the body are the initial symptoms of MBD, but it can also cause fractures, jaw deformities, deformed vertebrae, anorexia, constipation, and even gut rot.
- Enigma Syndrome
Another less frequent illness linked to shaking in Leos is Enigma Syndrome. The symptoms of this illness in Leopard Geckos include circling, head tilting, stargazing, and flipping onto their backs. They also lose control of their muscles and shake when trying to stand or move around and even develop seizures.
How To Prevent Calcium Deficiency In Leopard Geckos?
- Provide a balanced diet: Leopard geckos require a diet that is high in calcium and low in phosphorous. This can be achieved by feeding them a diet of insects (such as crickets, mealworms, and super worms) that have been dusted with a calcium supplement. It is also important to provide a variety of insects to ensure that the gecko is getting a diverse range of nutrients.
- Use a calcium supplement: In addition to dusting insects with calcium powder, it is also a good idea to provide a calcium supplement in the form of a block or dish. This can be placed in the enclosure for the gecko to access whenever it needs to.
- Provide access to natural sunlight: Leopard geckos require exposure to natural sunlight or UVB lighting in order to properly absorb calcium. Make sure the enclosure is placed in a location that gets natural sunlight or provides a UVB light source.
- Regularly clean and maintain the enclosure: Keep the enclosure clean and free of waste to prevent the build-up of harmful bacteria that can interfere with calcium absorption.
- Monitor the gecko’s health: Regularly check the gecko’s overall health and look for signs of calcium deficiency, such as lethargy, weakness, and deformed bones. If you suspect a calcium deficiency, consult a veterinarian for treatment options.
How Can I Help A Shaking Leopard Gecko?
If your leopard gecko is shaking, it is important to try to determine the cause of the shaking. Here are some steps you can take to help a shaking leopard gecko:
- Check the temperature and humidity in the enclosure. Leopard geckos are native to desert regions and require a specific temperature and humidity range to thrive. If the enclosure is too cold or too dry, the gecko may be shaking due to stress or discomfort.
- Observe the gecko’s behavior and overall health. If the gecko is lethargic, has diarrhea, or appears to be in pain, it may be suffering from an illness or injury and may need medical attention.
- Consult a veterinarian. A veterinarian with experience in reptile care can diagnose any potential health issues and provide treatment recommendations.
- Consider any potential stressors in the enclosure. Leopard geckos may shake due to stress from too much handling, overcrowding, or loud noises. Try to minimize these stressors and provide a calm, comfortable environment for your gecko.
- Ensure the gecko is getting enough food and water. Leopard geckos require a diet rich in protein and calcium. Make sure the gecko has access to fresh food and water daily.
- Check for parasites. Leopard geckos can sometimes be affected by external parasites, such as mites, which can cause discomfort and shaking. If you suspect parasites, consult a veterinarian for treatment options.
In conclusion, leopard geckos may shake their bodies for a variety of reasons, including to shed their skin, to rid themselves of parasites, to communicate with others, or as a form of defense. It is important to observe and understand the specific behavior of an individual leopard gecko in order to determine the cause of the shaking. Proper care, including a clean and appropriate enclosure, a varied diet, and regular handling, can help prevent any negative consequences of shaking behavior in leopard geckos.