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07 Green Anole Dying Signs

Is your green anole showing signs of ailment, and you suspect that it could be dying? “Green anole dying signs” is the article you need to remedy the situation.

Green anoles are hardy little lizards. However, people may lack the right knowledge on taking care of their green anole. This could result in various health conditions and ailments and the eventual death of your beloved lizard.

In this article, we find out the various green anole dying signs, how to treat your green anole at home, and proper care of your green anole.

Let’s get into it!

This article has been reviewed by Dr. Dilber. Read more about our knowledge control process here.

7 Signs to Tell If a Green Anole is Dying

07 green anole dying signs
07 green anole dying signs

Firsts off, note that the green anole is a hardy lizard. They rarely have health issues. However, they can get sick and die when not given the right attention and care. Some signs to watch out for that could signify that your green anole is dying include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen joints
  • Hard breathing
  • Discolored skin
  • Runny stool and sometimes bloody stool
  • Nose, eye, and ear discharge
  • Smelly stool

Always check your pet lizard’s substrate and ensure you feed them the correct diet.

Let’s take a more in-depth look into how you can tell that your pet anole is sick and is dying and what you can do to prevent illness.

How to Tell If your Green Anole Is Sick?

When you notice your anole is sick, the problem may have existed for a long time. This is because, unlike mammals, lizards often do not show signs of illness until it is too late.

Spending time with your green anole can help identify what is normal behavior. In case there are changes in your pet lizard’s behavior, you will be quick to notice.

If you notice anything odd such as changes in skin coloration, weight, breathing, movement and activity, and even eating habits, then you should take your green anole to the vet.

5 Signs of a Sick Green Anole

There are multiple ways to tell that your green anole is sick.

Loss of appetite

The most obvious way to tell there is something wrong with your green anole is a loss of appetite. Generally, lizards love to eat. Green anoles, in particular, are carnivores and will not pass on the chance of a tasty bug.

However, if you notice the lizard remains disinterested in the bugs you put in their terrarium, then you should take your green anole to the vet.

Reduction in droppings

Fewer dropping will often go hand in hand with a reduction in appetite. Your pet anole’s stool will have two parts—a white section, which is uric acid, and a brown section which is the stool.

If you realize that the brown section is reducing, then it could be that your anole is not getting enough food, is not consuming the bugs you are feeding it, or is constipated.

Take your pet anole to the vet for a checkup. The quicker the problem can be fixed, the faster your lizard can go back to living a full and happy life.


Green anoles are active lizards. They are hunters, after all, and are quick to respond to movement. They will also lift their legs up, ready to move at the sight of anything interesting.

They will climb on rocks or branches that you have placed in their terrariums and will seek out sunlight to warm their bodies.

However, a sick green anole may remain stationary for extended periods of time and will not respond to movement. If you also notice that when they move, they tend to slither away on their belly like snakes, then it’s time to get your green anole checked by a vet.

Sunken eyes

A healthy green anole lizard has bright and full eyes.
A healthy green anole lizard has bright and full eyes.

Sunken eyes occur due to dehydration and sticky saliva is due to the production of mucus in response to infections and foreign pathogens.

Healthy lizards have bright and full eyes. Their gums and tongues should be moist. If you notice sunken eyes, sticky saliva, or retained shedding, then there is a high chance that the lizard could be dehydrated.

There are several reasons behind the dehydration of your green anole. First off, they may not be getting enough moisture in their food. The climate in the terrariums could also be dry, causing them to lose moisture.

Finally, there could be an underlying cause of the dehydration brought about by the ailment. Due to intestinal infections or ulcers, green anole is unable to absorb the water from ingested food. As a result of this, runny diarrhea also occurs.

Lizards absorb moisture through the food they eat as well as through their skins. Try placing the lizard in fresh water and providing them with clean water to drink.

Also, check for folds of skin. Your green anole should not have folds of skin on the sides of their bodies as this could indicate either a loss of weight or dehydration. A healthy green anole should be plump and have tight skin around the body.

Loss of weight

This is a tricky one. It is not always easy to tell when your lizard is losing weight, as they can go for months without eating.

By the time your green anole begins to show signs of weight loss, it is usually too late as the ailment causing the fat loss has advanced and the lizard has become too weak to fight it off.

Often lizard owners aware of this fact wait it out, hoping that things will get better over the coming days. Of course, they may never get better and will end up dying.

If you are quick to detect signs of weight loss, such as thinning of the tails where the green anole will mainly store fat, showing rib cages or a prominent skull, it is best to rush your green anole to the veterinary.

Can You Treat a Sick Green Anole?

If the ailment hasn’t progressed to a point where it is reversible, you can treat your sick green anole.

The first thing to do is to ensure the living conditions in your green anole terrarium are ideal. It should be clean, and the temperature should be just right. This allows you to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria that may cause your lizard to get sick.

Remove old food matter, fecal waste, and dirty bedding daily. Every week, make sure to clean the whole terrarium with a disinfectant.

Ensure that the cage has two separate areas with two different temperatures—a warmer temp and a cooler one. This allows your green anole to decide which temperature is ideal at any one moment.

Secondly, provide your green anole with access to clean and fresh water. Dehydration is a leading cause of ailments with reptiles and lizards. You may be able to reverse your green anole ailing condition by just rehydrating it.

Make sure to get your green anole checked by a vet. It is best to choose one that specializes in reptiles, known as a herp vet. They will perform checks on your green anole and find out the exact cause of the problem.

As soon as you notice something is wrong with your green anole, you may consider calling a vet first and explain the symptoms. The vet will advise you if it is best to bring your green anole for a checkup.

How to treat your sick green anole at home before heading to the Vet. [source: Northern Exotics]

The Ill Symptoms That You Can Treat at Home

You can treat ailments at home and get your green anole feeling healthy and happy again.

Of course, it is always best to consult a herp veterinary. They will advise on whether to treat your lizard at home or bring it in for a checkup.  

Ear infections

You may notice that your green anole does not want to open the mouth and chew normally, or puss around the ears, or even protruding eardrums. These are all signs of an ear infection.

Infections in the eardrum of anole are due to the proliferation of bacteria. The bacteria divide and damage the inner lining of the eardrum and cause inflammatory reactions. Mucus is produced as a result of the anti-inflammatory response of the anole immune system to foreign pathogens.

Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are used to treat ear infections. Clean the area with an antibiotic. 

Also, ensure clean living conditions, adequate temperature, and sufficient water and humidity.


It is the most serious parasitic infection of reptiles cause by entamoeba. This is common in meat-eating reptiles such as green anoles.

Always start by isolating your infected green anole. Also, clean the fecal matter and disinfect the terrarium to prevent the spread of the disease. It is best to contact a vet immediately.

Mouth rot

Lesions and wounds in the mouth of your green anole are some of the signs of mouth rot. The main cause is poor living conditions, inadequate temperatures, as well as inappropriate humidity, and bad food.

The best way to treat mouth rot is to start by cleaning the terrarium. Ensure that the temperatures are optimized for your green anole and sufficient moisture.

Also, provide an insect-based diet and avoid feeding meat to your anole.

How to treat mouth rot in reptile lizards. [source: Animal1 Guy]

When Do You Need a Vet?

Most of the illnesses that happen to reptiles are mainly caused by poor living conditions. Lack of sufficient heat, humidity, light, dirty terrariums, and food are the major culprits.

By observing your green anole, you will notice changes in behavior, including becoming lethargic, loss of appetite, loss of weight, forced breathing, and physical signs such as folds of skin.

Take your green anole to the vet as soon as you notice any of these signs. Also, if you see visible lumps on the tail, body, and legs of your green anole, then a vet should check this immediately.

Note that not all veterinarians treat reptiles. This is why you should do thorough research beforehand to find the best herp vet within a reasonable distance. They will make the proper diagnosis and find out exactly what is wrong with your green anole.

At the vet office, provide as much detail as possible about your green anole, including living conditions, feeding habits, and temperatures. This will help the vet understand the cause of the ailment. They will then suggest how to improve your green anole living conditions for a healthier and happy lizard.

While treating your green anole at home is possible, always consult with your vet. What might seem like a mild ailment to you might actually be a major underlying issue. When your vet provides the green light to treat your green anole, only then should you do so.

Prevent Sickness for Pet Green Anoles

Always Keep Their Terrarium Clean

Reptiles tend to fall sick under dirty and unsanitary living conditions. This is why you should clean the terrarium at least once a week for your green anole. You need to disinfect the enclosure by using disinfectants that can be sprayed.

Use soap or detergent to clean the walls of the terrarium. Remove any residual food and fecal matter.

Proper Nutrition

Provide your green anole with 2 or 3 insects every day. When feeding, place the live insects in the terrariums where the anole can easily spot them and chase after them. This helps provide mental stimulation and exercise.

Green anoles need vitamins and calcium. Ensure that the insects you feed your anole are fed a diet rich in these, as they will then pass on to your green anole.

Buy Their Feeder Insects from Trusted Sources

Feed the green anole the right type of insects from trusted sources. These will feed their insects a nutrient-rich feed that will then pass on to your anole.

The right source also ensures the food is clean and sanitary and will not end up causing ailments in your green anole.

Garden insects may be contaminated with pesticides and insecticides which are toxic for green anole. So, it is recommended to buy insects from a store.

Proper Hygiene When Handling Them

  • Clean the hands after handling other reptiles and pets.
  • Do not share the bowls and drinkers among the pets.
  • Disinfect the common equipment you use for anoles and other pets.
  • Do this with a disinfectant to prevent contamination of salmonella.

Quarantine Your Green anole

Keep your green anole isolated from the rest of the other green anoles if you notice that it has an infection and could be ill. This will help prevent the infected anole from spreading the infection to others.

Proper Humidity and Shedding Care

Green anoles, like most lizards, need proper humidity to prevent dehydration. They can absorb the most through their skins.

Try spraying the pans or surfaces in the terrarium with water where your green anole will climb onto and absorb the moisture.

If you notice that your green anole is shedding, wait until the process is complete and remove the sheded skin.

Wrapping up

Green anoles make pleasant pet lizards. They are beautiful, quick on their feet, and require little maintenance, unlike cats and dogs.

However, always keep their living conditions clean, maintain the right temperature, and under the right humidity. After all, most ailments are caused by poor living conditions. Once you notice any dying signs, rush your anole to the vet immediately.

1 thought on “07 Green Anole Dying Signs”

  1. My anole has like a bump on her cheek. I am confused on what this is. Her other cheek is completely fine, but her other cheek has like a little bump, and then there is like a little white patch under on her chin kinda near where the bump is. I’m kinda confused on what to do!


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