Impaction in Leopard Geckos

Impaction is a more severe condition where the gecko’s digestive tract is blocked by a mass, which can be caused by ingesting indigestible materials or large prey.


  • Ingestion of Substrate: Eating sand, gravel, or other indigestible materials.
  • Overfeeding or Large Prey: Feeding prey items that are too large or too many.
  • Dehydration and Low Temperatures: Similar to causes of constipation.


  • Lack of feces for an extended period.
  • Visible mass in the abdomen.
  • Dragging hind legs due to abdominal discomfort.
  • Severe lethargy.
  • Loss of appetite.


  • Warm Baths and Hydration: Regular warm baths to help move the blockage.
  • Abdominal Massage: Gentle massage to try to dislodge the impaction.
  • Veterinary Care: If home treatments fail, a vet might need to administer fluids, laxatives, or perform surgery in severe cases.

Constipation and impaction are common digestive issues in leopard geckos and can have serious health implications if not addressed promptly.

Key Differences

  • Severity: Constipation is generally less severe and can often be resolved with simple home treatments like hydration and diet adjustment. Impaction is more serious and may require veterinary intervention.
  • Causes: While both can be caused by dehydration and improper diet, impaction specifically involves the ingestion of indigestible materials or large prey items that block the digestive tract.
  • Symptoms: Constipation leads to general bloating and lack of feces, while impaction often presents with more severe symptoms like a visible abdominal mass and dragging of hind legs.

Understanding these differences is crucial for providing appropriate care and treatment for your leopard gecko. If you suspect either condition, particularly impaction, consulting a reptile veterinarian is strongly advised.

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