Some pet owners may be tempted to use isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to clean their gecko’s wound.
However, these are not recommended as they may be drying or irritating.
Did your leopard gecko sustain a superficial cut from another gecko?
Does your gecko have a mild scrape from rubbing against his hide box?
You may wonder if it’s OK to apply an ointment like Neosporin for these types of minor injuries.
Neosporin is safe for leopard geckos as long as it is the original formulation without added pain relief ingredients. While Neosporin may be appropriate for mild injuries, it is ideal to consult your veterinarian if your gecko has a wound to determine the best treatment plan.
Multiple topical treatment options are available if your leopard gecko has a wound.
Keep reading to learn what topical treatments are available and the dos and don’ts of addressing your leopard gecko’s wound.
What To Do When Your Leopard Gecko Has a Minor Injury?
Whenever your leopard gecko has an injury or other health concern, consult a reptile veterinarian as soon as possible.
But you may wonder how to best care for your gecko’s wound until you can see a qualified reptile vet.
To initially clean the wound, quickly flush with a small amount of sterile saline, like this one found on Amazon.
Small and superficial wounds may gradually heal on their own.
In fact, leopard geckos are very special because they are considered “super healers.”
According to research, skin wounds in leopard geckos heal without scarring due to their ability to regenerate tissue.
Also, very superficial defects will eventually be addressed when your gecko sheds its skin.
Despite these lizards’ healing superpower, leopard geckos may sustain injuries requiring topical treatment.
A common ointment many people have in their homes is Neosporin.
What is Neosporin?
Neosporin is a triple antibiotic ointment containing bacitracin, neomycin, and polymyxin b.
Bacitracin is a polypeptide antibiotic.
It works by inhibiting bacteria’s ability to create cell walls.
This antibiotic mainly targets Gram-positive bacteria.
Polymyxin b is an antibiotic affecting the cell walls of Gram-negative bacteria.
The third antibiotic in Neosporin is neomycin.
Unfortunately, neomycin commonly causes allergic reactions like dermatitis or inflammation of the skin.
Can You Use Neosporin on Your Leopard Gecko?
Neosporin is labeled for human use, but there is no data on the safety profile in reptiles.
It is also important to note that several different formulations of Neosporin are available.
This includes those intended for wound care compared to lip care.
Furthermore, some formulations have extra ingredients to relieve pain (e.g., pramoxine).
No significant data is available on these pain medications in leopard geckos; therefore, they may be harmful.
We recommend avoiding formulations containing extra ingredients if you use Neosporin on your leopard gecko.
Rather, we recommend only using the original Neosporin as found here on Amazon.
If you choose to use Neosporin on your leopard gecko, do not apply it to the eyes, nose, or mouth.
Additionally, avoid using a large amount as only a thin layer is necessary.
While Neosporin provides topical antibiotic treatment, your gecko may also need systemic or oral antibiotics.
This is especially true for deeper wounds or more serious bacterial skin infections.
Additionally, inappropriate use of antibacterial ointment can lead to resistant infections.
This is why it’s critical to visit your vet.
They can help decide which wound treatment plan is best.
Alternative Treatments for Your Leopard Gecko
While Neosporin may have use for certain scenarios, there are other products you may want to consider to treat your gecko’s wound topically.
These topical treatments can provide multiple benefits, including disinfecting the wound and keeping it moist to encourage healing.
Additional topical treatment options for your leopard gecko:
This is commonly used in veterinary medicine to remove bacteria from the skin in preparation for surgery.
It is also used to disinfect minor wounds.
Silver sulfadiazine (SSD):
This is an antibiotic cream used to treat bacterial and fungal skin infections. It is also useful for treating burns.
Like Neosporin, this antibiotic cream will also help keep the wound moist.
This is a topical antiseptic designed to kill bacteria on the skin.
It is important to use an appropriate dilution because if the solution is too concentrated, it can irritate or damage the skin.
Veterinarians typically recommend a very dilute concentration of <1%.
Furthermore, do not use chlorhexidine for full-body soaks because this may be toxic to your gecko.
Honey has some antimicrobial activity and will keep the wound moist.
However, its high sugar content may not be the best choice due to its potential to attract ants or flies.
What Not to Do if Your Leopard Gecko Has a Wound
Don’t apply any bandages to your gecko.
While bandages certainly provide benefits and are necessary for certain types of wounds, they can, unfortunately, cause complications, especially if applied inappropriately.
For example, potential bandage complications include tissue death if a bandage is applied too tightly and infection if a wet or dirty bandage is left in place.
Therefore, if your gecko has a severe wound, it is especially important to consult your veterinarian.
How to Adjust Your Injured Leopard Gecko’s Environment
Any time your gecko has an injury, it is especially important to keep them in a clean environment, such as a hospital tank, to minimize wound contamination.
Clean paper towels are a wise choice of substrate and preferable to options like sand since the particles can get in the wound.
The paper towels should be changed frequently to avoid the accumulation of waste or food, which can foster bacterial or fungal growth.
We also recommend separating your gecko from other geckos and live prey, which may further traumatize its wound and delay healing.
Finally, maintaining an optimal humidity and temperature range for your leopard gecko will be especially crucial to facilitate healing and recovery.