Ulcerative stomatitis, otherwise known as Leopard gecko mouth rot is an inflammation of the mouth and gums usually caused by a bacterial infection or a parasitic infestation. Leopard gecko mouth rot is a very serious condition which can ultimately cause the creature to be unable to feed or lead to cancer or severe jaw deformity.
The symptoms of Leopard gecko mouth rot are various and quite easy to spot. Bleeding gums, swelling of the mouth, blackened teeth and a yellow discharge appearing between the teeth are the major ones and of course, left untreated, the animal will lose his appetite.
The main cause of Leopard gecko mouth rot is a dirty aquarium or whatever living space your pet has. An unsuitable feeding regime or too low a temperature can also cause this disease.
If the disease has not progressed too far, you can treat your pet at home by ensuring that their enclosure is scrupulously clean with the temperature appropriately regulated at all time and that food is of the right sort as well as administering dilute antiseptic solutions such as iodine or medication prescribed by your vet such as antibiotic cream. However, if the condition has progressed to the extent of your pet becoming lethargic, being unwilling to eat and his mouth and gums reddening, swelling the yellow discharge appearing, then take him to the vet straight away. Once the infection spreads to the bones and deep tissue, your vet may have to surgically remove some of the infected parts and administer a fluid diet until such time as your pet is able to eat again unaided.
As with all diseases, prevention is better than cure so to prevent Leopard gecko mouth rot occurring at all, make sure that your pet’s living quarters are always clean. Remove faeces, bits of uneaten food and any other foreign bodies and line the tank with paper towels which are cheap, easy to remove and won’t be eaten by your pet, causing further problems. A wipe round with dilute antiseptic is also a good idea from time to time.
Ensure that the food you provide is appropriate for the size and weight of your pet and make sure that he has access to a calcium supplement at all times as well as plenty of clean fresh water.
Make sure that you examine your pet regularly for any abnormalities, not only around the mouth but the abdomen too where you might notice an impaction or other change.
If you follow these guidelines, then hopefully your pet will never develop Leopard gecko mouth rot but if he does, act straight away and take him to your vet.