How To Find Out If Leopard Gecko Is Fat: Top 4 Causes, Signs Treatment

If your leopard gecko is fat and you’re concerned about its health, you are at the right place to get all your concerns addressed.

Leopard geckos usually store extra fat in their tails in the wild for when there is food scarcity. This is why most leopard gecko owners try to fatten up their leopard geckos, especially to fatten up their tails. However, lots of them do this because they are unaware that they can overfeed their pet leading to obesity.

Although it is not common for leopard geckos to be fat with a proper diet, they can become overweight. Your gecko will become overweight if you feed them with many high-fat insects’ diet like wax worms or super worms.

In this article, you will learn how to find out if leopard gecko is fat. We will also highlight everything you need to know about how leopard geckos can become overweight, and the ways of treating it.

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Cute Reptiles as Pets

Overweight Leopard Geckos Are Different From Fat-Tailed Gecko

Leopard geckos and African fat-tailed geckos belong to the same subfamily, Eublepharidae. However, an overweight leopard gecko is quite different from a fat-tailed gecko. Leopard geckos are usually larger and longer than the fat-tailed gecko.

This article is about overweight leopard geckos and, in the sections, below we will talk more about signs, causes, and how to treat an overweight leopard gecko.

fat-tailed gecko
A fat-tailed gecko is by far different from a fat leopard gecko

How To Find Out If Leopard Gecko Is Fat?

Leopard gecko species usually have different body structures from one another. This means it can be quite difficult to determine whether your leopard gecko is fat. It is common for a leopard gecko to be overweight in captivity as many gecko owners try to fatten their tail.

The health of your leopard gecko will be affected when your gecko is overweight. Some of the ways to detect whether your gecko is overweight or not are stated below.

Right Weight Of Leopard Geckos

Leopard geckos are available in different sizes, so there is no ideal weight or growth chart for leopard geckos. Some leopard geckos species are smaller than others, while some are giants. However, a healthy adult leo usually weighs around 40-100g based on its overall body length.

Some adult leopard geckos can even weigh up to 110-120g. You can probably call your leopard gecko fat if you notice that it weighs more than that.

Note: it is best not to use the weight of your gecko as an indicator that it is fat. This is because some leos have small body structures and can be tagged overweight if they weigh over 60g.

Signs That Your Leopard Gecko Is Fat

Apart from weight, some of the signs to help determine that your leopard gecko is fat are stated below.

  • Presence of fat rolls around their belly area
  • Your leopard gecko has a tail wider than the head
  • Presence of air bubbles in your Leo armpits.
  • Presence of fat on your gecko’s legs
  • Your gecko’s stomach looks distended or bloated
  • Your gecko has a round belly when viewing them from the top
  • The presence of a very think tail base
  • Your leopard gecko is walking slower
  • Your leopard gecko always lays down and is not interested in any physical activity.
  • When feeding your gecko, it moves slowly instead of pouncing on its prey immediately.
Fat leopard gecko
Fat leopard gecko

Note: It is not recommended to assume that baby, and juvenile leopard geckos are overweight. This is because they need a lot of nutrients for their rapid growth, and you should avoid putting them on a restricted diet. Once they reach adult size, you can then evaluate whether they are overweight or not.

A Fat Leopard Gecko’s Appearance

Leopard geckos are not that active reptile which means they are susceptible to gaining weight. A fat leopard gecko usually looks chubby. They also have a fat tail as this is the place where leopard geckos store their fat reserve.

A fat leo usually has a wide tail that is even wider than its head. Furthermore, an overweight leo has fat rolls on their sides when they curl up.

Find Out If Leopard Gecko Is Fat
A fat leopard gecko

How To Distinguish Fat Leopard Gecko From Pregnant Leopard Gecko

It is hard to determine whether your leopard gecko is pregnant or fat. All you need to do is ensure the gecko in question is a female and then check for signs to help determine whether it is pregnant. For female geckos, you will also need to consider the age of the female, the season, their behavior, etc.

A female leopard gecko usually starts laying eggs as early as ten months old. You can also look out for breeding behaviors. Some of the breeding behaviors are anxiety, digging, etc.

The breeding season of leopard geckos is usually from February to October, and you should be able to see eggs in their belly.

Note: A leopard gecko will not become fat suddenly, and you should notice as a female belly grows because of eggs. Furthermore, leopard geckos can lay eggs without mating, but the eggs will not be fertile.

4 Causes And Treatment A Leopard Gecko To Get Fat

Some of the things that can make leopard geckos get fat are stated below.

Overfeeding

Many owners believe that feeding your gecko every time is important to help keep them happy and healthy. Overfeeding your leopard gecko can make them overweight.

Unless your leopard gecko is a baby, you do not need to feed them daily. You can feed adult leopards once or twice a week due to their slow metabolism. It is recommended that you feed them with around two insects per inch of your gecko.

You will also need to dust the feeder insect with supplements to help keep your gecko happy and healthy.

Too Many Treats

Another reason why leopard geckos become fat is if you are giving it too many treats. Although it is good to give your gecko a treat once in a while, some owners may want to give their geckos treats every now and then. Some owners use worms with a higher fat content as feeder staples for their gecko.

It is best to avoid many treats as leopard geckos easily get addicted to fatty snack worms and will then refuse to eat their usual food. This can then make you feed them more treats and can lead to excess weight and fat gain.

It is best that you offer treats to your leopard gecko occasionally or once a week or so. It is also recommended that you wait until your gecko is 5-6 months before you even consider offering them a treat to ensure they don’t have stunted growth.

Too many treats can make your leopard gecko become fat
Too many treats can make your leopard gecko become fat

Liver Issue: Sign Of FLD

Fatty Liver Disease is a health condition in leopard geckos caused by improper diet and when your gecko is obese. Your Leo can also have a fatty liver disease if you feed them with too many pinkie mice. Leopard geckos suffering from Fatty Liver Disease usually have an enlarged and darkened liver.

Some of the symptoms that your leopard gecko is suffering from this disease are lethargy, lack of appetite, pink color on their skin, swelling of the abdomen, sudden weight loss, and bloating. Once you notice these symptoms, it is best to take your gecko to the vet for diagnosis.

Your vet will also help treat your gecko accordingly and recommend a suitable diet for your leopard gecko.

Xanthomatosis

Xanthomatosis is a health condition in overweight leopard geckos where fatty deposits under their skin can damage their internal organs. Xanthomatosis is usually caused by an improper diet.

You can detect that your gecko is suffering from xanthomatosis when it starts to lose weight and the health deteriorates, but the fat stomach is still visible. Xanthomatosis can lead to the death of your leopard gecko if it is not treated immediately.

This means you should take your gecko to the vet immediately once you notice these symptoms for diagnosis. Your vet can then help treat the condition and recommend a suitable diet to give to your leopard gecko.

Prevent Overweight Leopard Geckos

Here are ways that you can use to prevent your leopard geckos from becoming overweight.

Leopard Gecko Diet

Diet is an important factor that can help ensure that your leopard gecko does not become overweight. The most important way to prevent your gecko from getting overweight is not to overfeed it. It is best to feed your adult leos 2-3 times per week.

However, some gecko owners feed their gecko once a week. Although leopard gecko loves fatty worms over crickets, it is best not to use them as their main food and only be used as a treat. Feeding them with fatty worms will make them addicted to it and will stop eating other things.

Another thing is that feeding your leos with fatty worms regularly can lead to obesity.

Facilitate Leopard Gecko Activity And Exercise

Although leopard geckos are not usually that active, it is important that there are several activities in and out of their enclosure. This is why it is best to house your gecko in an enclosure with plenty of room to move around.

You should also place hides, plants, rocks, and other accessories that your leo can explore in their enclosure. Once your leo is comfortable being handled, you can also bring your gecko outside of the enclosure. This will allow them to play and crawl on you and help them exercise to maintain their weight.

fat leopard gecko acting lethargic
A fat or obese leopard gecko is going to act lethargic and sleeps more often than usual

Provide A Healthy Living Environment

It is very crucial that you house your leopard gecko in a healthy living environment to keep them healthy and fit. You need to ensure you provide the suitable temperature, humidity, and lighting for your gecko to stay healthy.

Leopard geckos are cold-blooded animals and require heat to help digest their food and to help ensure their digestive tract runs smoothly. However, low temperatures usually slow down their metabolism and can lead to weight gain,

This means you need to ensure the temperature is optimal to keep them healthy and happy.

Extra Tips: Leopard Gecko Underweight? What Should You Do?

Leopard geckos can become underweight, and you can detect this early when you notice that the tail becomes skinny. The most common reason why leopard geckos can become underweight is poor feeding habits. This means your gecko will become skinny if you give it the wrong food or their food is not enough.

Some of the other reasons leopard geckos become skinny are stress, underlying health problems, parasites, or poor habitat conditions. 

It is best to take your gecko to the vet once you notice that it is experiencing extreme weight loss. However, you can also treat weight loss in leopard gecko doing some of these:

  • Ensure that the enclosure of your leopard gecko is set up correctly and the humidity, temperature, and basking light are at an optimal level.
  • Identify things that might stress out your gecko and remove it from its enclosure.
  • Ensure you provide a well-balanced diet for your gecko
  • Dust and gut-load your gecko’s diet with supplements before you offer your leos.
  • Ensure you feed a baby and juvenile geckos every day while adult geckos are fed every other day.
  • Take your gecko to the vet if the cause of the weight loss is parasites for diagnosis and treatment.
  • When keeping two or more leopard geckos together, quarantine the ill gecko from the others to avoid spreading the disease.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the armpit bubbles?

Armpit bubbles are one of the common indicators that a leopard gecko is fat. These bubbles comprise vitamins, fat, calcium, or protein, and other minerals.

Armpit bubbles usually look like there are small air sacs or blisters in the armpits of your gecko. You will find armpit bubbles behind one leg of your gecko and can occur to both male and female geckos.

Will a gecko stop eating when full?

Generally, leopard geckos usually stop eating after they are full. However, some leopard geckos have an insatiable appetite and will continue eating after they are full. This is why it is best to control how much food you offer your gecko to help avoid obesity.

How many mealworms should I feed my leopard gecko?

Your gecko’s size will help determine the number of mealworms that you can feed your gecko. It is recommended to feed your gecko with two mealworms for every inch in the total length of your gecko. That is, you will need to feed a 3-inch leopard gecko with eight mealworms per feeding.

Conclusion

Generally, leopard geckos are not that active and can easily become overweight if care is not taken. However, a healthy adult Leo should be around 40-100g. You can easily prevent your gecko from getting fat by providing them with a healthy diet.

This will help to prolong their lives and keep them happy and healthy for a long time.