Leopard Gecko Calcium Sacs: What is it? 5 Important Things You Should Know

It’s always nice seeing your Leo thriving, cheerful, and lively. The attention and level of care you give your pet dictate what it is today.

Many people understand the need for properly caring for their Leo and gladly regard this demand without compromising. With many different issues arising in leopard geckos, calcium sacs cause many people anxiety.

Like who wouldn’t be astounded waking up and finding a mysterious lump that has developed on your Leo overnight?

Leopard gecko calcium sac is something asked by many people in all corners of the world. It’s now the time to be cognizant of Leo’s calcium sacs and drop all its hiking worries. Read on for more!

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Cute Reptiles as Pets

What Are Leopard Gecko Calcium Sacs?

The term calcium sac may be unfamiliar to you, but the condition itself is well-known. Many people have noticed swollen bumps or small air sacs in the armpit(s) of their Leo but didn’t have an idea what they were.

Some gecko owners look for calcium sacs to tell if their Leo is overweight, which is allowed, and it’s a good move. In other words, calcium sacs are those air bubbles that occasionally appear in the armpits of leopard geckos.

Both male and female Leos are vulnerable to these white air bubbles resulting from a combination of reasons. Primarily, calcium sac is a sign of overweight and high calcium intake.

However, leopard gecko calcium sacs are not dangerous and will not hurt your beloved Leo. They’re not painful, upsetting, and cannot explode, so don’t try to pop them. Your lizard is not in trouble, so stop worrying about it.

Sign of Leopard Gecko Calcium Sacs

Since calcium sacs are primarily a result of overfeeding, your gecko’s weight is the first thing to think of when you see them. Overweight Leos occasionally develop air bubbles, but they are temporary.

So, one common sign of calcium sac is small air bubbles or blisters-like in one or both armpits of a leopard gecko. Sometimes the sacs can pass from one armpit and stay in the other armpit.

Leopard gecko calcium sac
Leopard gecko with calcium sac

Calcium sacs can emerge overnight and pass after two or three days; however, at times, they remain for weeks or even months. The bubbles can vary in size from one gecko to another.

Calcium sacs are seen in healthy leopard geckos; it’s not a condition of underweight or malnourished Leos. The gecko has sacs but appears to be very normal and comfortable.

Are Calcium Sacs Bad for Leopard Geckos?

Calcium sacs will not kill or hurt any leopard gecko. Actually, the leopard gecko calcium sac is a clear signal that your Leo is storing something in the body. So then, don’t worry so much about your gecko; it’s not dying.

More often, calcium sacs are things that come and go. They do not affect how your Leo is eating or its health condition. They only uglify the physical appearance, but the good thing is that these sacs aren’t permanent.

Interestingly, some people smile seeing their Leos with calcium sacs; they take it as a positive sign to prove that their geckos are getting adequate calcium. Typically, Leos don’t egest extra calcium but store it in calcium sacs.

3 Cause of Calcium Sacs (Armpit Bubbles) On Leopard Gecko

Armpit bubbles are completely normal in some Leos and pose no threat, especially if the gecko is bouncy and healthy. A Leo with armpit bubbles is trying to communicate something that needs readjustment in the body.

A couple of reasons are behind calcium sacs on leopard geckos. Usually, if two leopard geckos have armpit bubbles, it won’t be justifiable saying they’re both overweight or getting a lot of calcium.

One could be due to weight issues, another calcium issues, and so forth. So, why does your Leo have armpit bubbles, and how can you prevent them? I have explained three causes below!

Signs of an Overweight Leopard Gecko

Some of us are very smart at buying ideas from our neighbors or friends and duplicating their feeding schedules. We even get extra careful not to make any mistake regarding feeding our dear Leos and strictly adhere to these ‘feeding schedules.’

All the strictness in following the schedule and offering a diverse diet convinces us that our geckos are safe and open to no health issues. However, I’m afraid this is not true. You could actually be overfeeding your Leo unknowingly.

Always keep in mind your gecko isn’t the same as your neighbor’s or friends. Giving excess foods because you aim for a fat tail in your gecko isn’t a good thing at all.

Overfeeding your Leo creates room for more fat, and then armpit bubbles develop trying to store up the excess fat. I don’t see the reason why you would proceed with doing something that you know is bad.

Overfeeding leads to calcium sacs in leopard geckos
Overfeeding can lead to calcium sacs in leopard geckos

Signs of An Over Calcium Leopard Gecko

Your beloved Leo can develop calcium sacs if the calcium level in the blood exceeds the typical requirement. It’s a prevalent problem and results from over-supplementation with food.

Anyone can over supplement their pet with food, as some brands of reptile vitamin supplements in the market today are overloaded with vitamin D3.

Therefore, if you spot calcium sacs in the armpits of your leopard gecko, there is a high chance you could be over supplementing it. These bumps can appear from time to time whenever there’s over-supplementation.

The only way to confirm if a gecko’s air bubbles emerged due to excess calcium is to take the lizard to an exotic vet. The vet will analyze the level of calcium in the blood. Otherwise, this is not something to judge with the eyes. 

Signs of Other Health Issues

The armpit bubbles in geckos don’t only develop due to overfeeding and over-supplementation. Some Leos with different problems also tend to have these bubbles.

Sometimes you can quickly distinguish the armpit bubbles from a gecko with any health issue. The bumps are huge and can appear in different sizes on one leopard gecko.

Moreover, the bubbles appear under, on top, or on the side of the armpit or in a different location. So many reasons can cause this problem, including;

  • fluid buildup,
  • abnormal cell growth,
  • During ovulation, the female Leos get a bubble on the side of the body, behind the leg. The bump transpires from the swelling of the endolymphatic sac involved in calcium transport during this time,
  • Lymph stasis,
  • The swelling can come from burns or bites from live foods, e.g., crickets.
  • In some cases, the sac is a sign of impaction, which occurs if the gecko has consumed something it cannot digest.
  • It’s also common for bubbles to emerge when a female gecko’s follicle matures and during its first pregnancy period.
  • Lymph stagnation is also accompanied by bubbles forming on the body of a gecko. This problem usually arises when it’s very hot in the enclosure.

Leopard Gecko Calcium Sacs Treatment

In most cases, calcium sacs on geckos don’t need an intervention and disappear themselves after some days or weeks. In some Leos, these armpit bubbles can occur severally and only once in some geckos.

We still have leopard geckos that don’t get these sacs at any time. Sometimes you might suspect that the swelling on your gecko isn’t normal, and the lizard is uncomfortable. In such a situation, liaise with your veterinarian.

The vet has a good insight into your pet’s health history, plus he will examine the current condition. After perceiving the problem, the vet may advise you to reduce your gecko’s amount of food or calcium intake.

There are times he can tell you to reduce the amount of gut-loaded insects in your gecko’s diet. Crickets and other live foods can bite a gecko and cause abscesses, which closely resemble a bubble.

However, abscesses are painful and require you to bring your Leo to a vet for treatment. Any calcium sac you doubt in your leopard gecko, never hesitate to go to a vet.

How To Prevent Leopard Gecko Calcium Sacs

I always regard the saying, “prevention is better than cure.” Prevention saves you money, time, and losses. Keeping off everything that can cause calcium sacs on leopard geckos is necessary.

Since you own a Leo, welcome to the journey of caring for these reptilian companions. And please, make your vet your best friend, and you will have no problem raising these pets. 

Preventing leopard gecko calcium sacs is as easy as 1-2-3; anyone can do it and at any time. Note down the following preventive measures of the Leos calcium sacs; they’ll help you.

Develop A feeding Schedule

A good body is built by proper dieting and living comfortably. Even leopard geckos need to eat well to look healthy. Without a proper feeding schedule, there’s a high possibility of overfeeding your leopard gecko.

Most importantly, observe how the lizard responds to your feeding and report any suspicious thing to your vet. Young geckos eat more food and more often than adults. See the general feeding schedule for geckos below.

AgeFeeding frequency
Hatchling & Baby geckosEvery day
5+ months juvenile5-days a week
18+ months adults2-3 days a week
Best feeding schedule for geckos

Exceeding this frequency of feeding to juveniles and adults exposes the lizard to over-supplementation and obesity. And you know if there is obesity, armpit bubbles can develop anytime.

Cut Down on Supplements

If you notice you were over supplementing your gecko, or the vet told you so, then you have no option but to cut down the supplements.

A helpful rule of thumb is that you alternate the different supplements on different days. Never feed one supplement consecutively. Here is a leopard gecko supplementation regime.

Hatchings And Babies Between 0-4 Months Supplement Regime

Dust their food with supplements as follows: on the 1st dayCalcium+vitamin D3; 2nd day-pure calcium, 3rd dayCalcium+vitamin D3; 4th day-multivitamin; 5th day-Calcium+vitamin D3; 7th day-pure calcium.

Give an allowance of about two days before feeding multivitamins to the babies or provide it once a week; they only need an occasional multivitamin.

Juveniles (5-18 months) Supplement Regime

The supplement schedule for juveniles includes 1st feeding Calcium+vitamin D3; 2nd feeding-multivitamins, 3rd feeding- Calcium+vitamin without D3; 5th feeding- Calcium+vitamin D3.

Adults (18+ months) Supplement Regime

Dust the adults’ food (18+ months) with Calcium+vitamin D3 on day one, then another day with pure calcium. If you feed the adult 3-times a week, don’t trust the third day.

Visit Your Veterinarian Regularly

It’s never in vain to regularly visit and have a talk with your vet more often and have your pet checked up for any issues.

For instance, your feeding schedule might need some adjustments. The vet is in the best position to determine your lizard’s performance and know the proper adjustments.

Many people would try all their possible means to avoid including a veterinarian in their pet’s life in the name of saving something, but believe me, it is not a good thing.

It is an open truth that our vets have more detailed backgrounds about our pets than we do. So then, kicking the vet out should never be your thing unless you’re a vet yourself.

Likewise, your exotic veterinarian can clearly tell when a leopard gecko has an armpit bubble or it’s something resembling the bubbles.

FAQs

What do I do if my leopard gecko has a calcium sac?

The two common causes of calcium sacs in leopard geckos are overfeeding and over-supplementation. If you are doing a lot of supplementation, you need to cut down the supplements.

In case of obesity, the only solution would be to put the lizard on a diet, but make sure to do it under your vet’s guidance. For best results, it should be done gradually.

Should I leave a bowl of calcium in my leopard gecko tank?

Leaving a bowl of calcium in your gecko tank allows the lizard to have as much calcium as it wants; it’s offering this mineral at free choice. Leopard geckos don’t need calcium every day; it can lead to hypercalcemia.

Never leave any bowl of calcium with your leopard gecko. Always control the amount of calcium you give your gecko.

Can my leopard gecko eat too much calcium powder?

Leopard geckos show great interest to lick calcium powder anytime they need it. When exposed to calcium powder ad libitum, they can lick excess amounts of it.

The best thing is to keep this mineral out all of the time from your Leos cage. Too much calcium is dangerous and can even cause death. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, leopard gecko calcium sacs are very common among geckos with obesity and those that are over supplemented.

Most of the calcium sacs appear only for a short time, usually about two or three days, and then disappear. But some may take even longer than a month, and this requires you to see an exotic vet.

Calcium sacs develop in the armpits of leopard geckos as bubbles, but they are typically not painful. Calcium sacs can appear in both male and female leopard geckos.

A gecko can get calcium sacs due to other health issues such as fluid buildup, enlargement of a lymph node, lymph stagnation, abnormal cell growth, or even a burn from heat rocks.

Calcium sacs are preventable and can be treated as well. Note that a leopard gecko cannot die because of a calcium sac; this is only a temporal problem, and the gecko is back to normal.