Is Your Pet Lizard Sick?

Have you recently adopted a lizard? Congratulations! More and more people are realizing that reptiles are both fascinating and beautiful. Of course, as with any other pet, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of illness or injury. Lizards aren’t as charismatic as dogs or cats, so it can take a practiced eye to spot warning signs. A Lexington, KY veterinarian lists some of them below.


In general, lizards are quite active and alert. Your tiny dinosaur should move around his habitat, exploring things and going from the warm to cool areas. If your little buddy isn’t feeling well, he may just sit listlessly in his habitat, or refuse to emerge from his hide. Your pet may also seem weak, and have trouble moving his legs.

No Appetite

It’s almost always a concern when an animal doesn’t want to eat. Although some reptiles do lose their appetite just before shedding, a general and/or prolonged lack of interest in food is a red flag. It’s worth noting that if you feed your pet live bugs, you’ll need to remove them if your reptilian buddy continues to show no interest. Otherwise, they could bite him.

Less Waste

We know, this isn’t the most glamorous part of having a lizard, but it is important for pet owners to know. Lizard stools are usually green or brown. Your pet’s waste should be consistent as far as amount, color, and odor. If your lizard isn’t passing stools, he could be dehydrated. Soaking him in fresh water, under supervision, may help, though a trip to the vet’s is still in order.

Weight Loss

Sudden weight loss is another red flag. This isn’t always easy to spot on lizards until the animal is quite sick. Often you’ll notice the tail becoming thinner first. With some, you may also notice more definition of the skull.

Sunken Eyes

With lizards, sunken eyes are also an indication that something isn’t right. Discharge or swelling are also warning signs.

Skin/Shedding Issues

Reptiles should shed their skins all at once, in one piece. If your pet has pieces of his old skin stuck to him, there may be something going on. Dull or discolored skin is also a concern.

Please contact us, your Lexington, KY animal clinic, with any questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care. We’re here for you!

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