Leopard Gecko Mouth Rot Explained


by Simon Griffiths


Did you know that pet lizards, snakes, and other reptiles can get oral infections? Well, turns out that mouth infections do not only affect humans but also leopard geckos. Yeah, you heard me right!


What is Leopard Gecko Mouth Rot?

Mouth rot, also known as infectious stomatitis, is a common condition in geckos and snakes. The good thing with leopard gecko mouth rot is that it can be easily spotted. As long as you bond with your gecko on a regular basis, you’ll notice something is amiss in its mouth.

In case you see some kind of discoloration around the gum area or something that looks like a wound, then your leopard gecko might be suffering from mouth rot.

This write-up will give you some insights into infectious stomatitis in leopard geckos, how to spot it, causes, prevention and treatment.

How Do I Know If My Leopard Gecko Has Mouth Rot?

Mouth rot is not a condition that can go unnoticed. Most of the signs and symptoms will be visible in the early stages. During this time, you should take a proactive approach to treat the leopard gecko mouth rot at home or else take him or her to the vet.

The first thing you need to check is whether your gecko has any cuts or swellings along the gum. You might even notice small bits of food stuck in between the leopard gecko’s teeth.

Sometimes mouth rot can be characterized by discoloration of the gum. The wound can become reddish or yellowish depending on the extent infection. Apart from mouth sores, you can also look for the following symptoms:

  • Pus around the sore and in the mouth
  • Reduced interest in food
  • Yellow plaques in oral tissue
  • Swollen face and hear
  • Too much inactivity
  • Thick saliva
  • Swollen gums

Once a combination of the above symptoms appears, you should start treating your leopard gecko as early as possible. Failure to do so might have detrimental effects on your gecko’s health.

What Causes Mouth Rot In Leopard Geckos?

Mouth rot is not a condition that just happens out of the blue. There is always an underlying cause that might have triggered stomatitis in your leopard gecko.

For starters, a leopard gecko can get injured when trying to subdue live feeder insects. Some insects such as crickets can fight back by biting the gecko’s mouth. It may seem like a minor injury, but it can easily result in mouth rot.

Oral injuries can also occur when the leopard gecko is trying to get rid of a stuck shed. This rarely happens but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

The other cause of leopard gecko mouth rot is poor diet. Failing to provide a diet with all the necessary nutrients will affect your gecko’s oral health.

Studies also show that failing to provide the right conditions in a leopard gecko’s enclosure can contribute to a weak immune system and consequently result in mouth rot.

Related Causes And Treatments for Leopard Gecko Impaction

How To Treat Mouth Rot At Home

Mouth rot is not a condition that should freak you out as long as it’s caught early. In fact, you can treat stomatitis at home without even seeking help from the veterinarian. The treatment process is quite straightforward and you can do it by yourself.

Improving the nutrition and husbandry of your leopard gecko is the first form of treatment you can administer. Remember that bacteria can worsen mouth rot and it doesn’t make sense to treat the mouth sores without cleaning and disinfecting the enclosure.

Once you improve the conditions, begin the actual treatment. This involves the application of Betadine on the affected part. The application should be done twice daily until the leopard gecko heals.

Always use a cotton swab when applying Betadine as it will help in getting rid of bacteria and plaque. Avoid using any topical solutions that can harm the gecko. Consult with a veterinarian if you are not sure about the best type of medication.

This procedure should be done carefully to prevent the leopard gecko from ingesting the solution. I always recommend holding the gecko with its head tilted downward so as to prevent any accidental ingestion.

Related Do Leopard Geckos Carry Salmonella?

How Much Does It Cost To Treat Mouth Rot

Treating mouth rot at home is quite cheap as you will only have to purchase Betadine topical solution over the counter.

15 milliliters of 10% Betadine solution should cost less than $15. Now throw in some cotton swab in there and the total will be around $20. The cost might vary depending on whether you are going to use antibiotics for mouth rot.

What if I decide to visit the vet? In that case, the treatment cost might shoot to an average of $100 to $200. This is inclusive of the consultation fee as well as the antibiotics.

Wrapping Up – Leopard Gecko Mouth Rot

That sums it up on today’s topic. I believe you are in a better position to spot leopard gecko mouth rot and treat it at home. This condition is very common in reptiles, but it can be prevented by improving the diet and husbandry. Make sure to keep your leopard gecko safe and healthy.


Simon Griffiths

Hi guys, my name is Simon, a fellow pet lover. I love everything about traditional and exotic pets so I am here to help you create a better home for your pets.