What do you do with dead Leopard geckos?

Hey there! Dailywithpets contains affiliate links; if you buy something through one of these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but we’ll get a small commission that helps keep the lights on.

In the inevitable occurrence of the death of pet Leopard Gecko, most owners are often overwhelmed. The grief and confusion of losing a pet friend make planning and offering a decent send-off even more difficult. There being no standard send-off process, many owners wonder what to do with dead Leopard geckos. Read on to be informed.   

Do Leopard Gecko Play Dead?

Before we begin to address what to do with a dead gecko, we first must be in a position to confirm if the gecko is dead. Geckos are nocturnal creatures and tend to rest during the day and become active towards the end of the day. They are generally not active during the day and may not react to touch. Some geckos won’t respond to the touch and look like they are not breathing, but they are sick or just sleeping. 

How to tell if a Leopard Gecko is dead.

No Response to Touch.

Your gecko could be dead if it doesn’t wake up/respond while being handled or even in a few minutes afterward. For further verification, proceed with the following eye check. 


A gecko can be distinguished from a live gecko by its eyes. The eyes of a dead gecko are sunken in, and the gecko may appear to be staring at you. Shine a light in its eyes, and if the pupil reacts, it’s alive. However, be sure not to use a too-bright light or shine it too close to the eyes to avoid damaging the eyes if it is not dead after all.

Check for Breath.

Place your finger on the gecko’s ribcage. If you feel it move, it is breathing. However, if you don’t feel anything, check if the gecko has any movement under its throat. If the ribcage is rigid and the throat is not moving in any way, then your gecko may indeed be dead. 

Belly check.

Dead Leopard Gecko
Dead Leopard Gecko Bluish Belly

In dead leopard geckos, the gall bladder can no longer contain its bile. When this bile leaks and stains the adjacent tissues in a matter of hours, there will be a visible bluish-green dot at the bottom of the belly. This is yet another sure verification sign of a dead gecko.

A fatal physical injury.

Geckos are very delicate reptiles. Suppose an object falls on the gecko and gives it an injury, especially on the head or neck region. The gecko is likely to die if hit on delicate areas, even if the object is not too heavy.  

Other obvious graphic scenarios where the head, for instance, is separated from the body, are a no-brainer. 

Before deciding on what to do with a dead gecko, the cause of death must first be known. Knowing the cause of death ensures you prevent more deaths from occurring if you keep more than one leopard gecko. 

For example, if death is caused by heat, you will regulate the temperatures and help save the remaining geckos. If it were caused by poor diet, you would know and improve the diet to save the rest e.t.c. 

As a rule of the thumb, if you have other pets in the habitat where death has occurred, immediately remove the dead gecko and clean up the area thoroughly. 

What caused the death of my Leopard Gecko?

The sudden death of your Leopard Gecko can be confusing and traumatizing. Knowing the Common Causes of Leopard Gecko death is one way to ensure you pick the early signs of your gecko dying and intervene. 

How To Tell If Your Leopard Gecko Is Dying

Here are tell-tale signs that your Leopard Gecko may be dying.

Lethargy: Your gecko may be too weak to move around and remain in one spot for too long. 

Abnormal or no poop: This should be investigated quickly for an intervention to save their lives. 

Sunken Eyes: Sunken eyes could be a bad sign of dehydration. Attend to this by consistently providing clean drinking water to avert impending complications and death.

Not eating: Your gecko may be undergoing impaction, or temperatures could be too extreme. Check and ensure all is well. 

Weight loss: You will see this progress with time. Check if you are serving enough food and ask the vet to test for infections or parasites. 

There are a lot of reasons why a gecko can die. Some factors may lead to a slow body wasting, while others may lead to a quick death for a gecko.

Here are common causes of leopard gecko death:

High temperatures:

Leopard geckos have minimal capabilities in regulating their body temperatures. An unregulated and unmonitored heat source can cause the instant death of your leopard gecko. Always have a thermometer in their habitat to ensure the temperature is always within the optimum range.

Internal Bleeding:

When your Leopard geckos feed in their habitat, they are likely to ingest substrate or some sharp wood chippings. These materials can easily damage their delicate internal organs and lead to internal bleeding. 

Internal bleeding is a fatal emergency that can lead to the sudden death of your gecko.


Impaction I another relatively quick way a leopard gecko can die. When the digestive system of your gecko is blocked for whatever reason, the normal process will stop. The gecko will not pass stool and will seem to add weight suddenly. 

Other signs of impaction include a bloated belly and refusal to feed.

A keen observation of your leopard gecko can help you notice these developments in good time and be able to save him. However, if no intervention is done, your gecko will surely die.

Lack of vitamins or minerals:

One of the slow and sure ways for your gecko to die is malnutrition and starvation. 

Leopard Gecko Starved to Death

If your Leopard gecko doesn’t get enough to eat and a balanced diet, it will slowly grow weak, thin, and eventually die. Ensure you consult your local vet on what diet makeup can provide your gecko with all vitamins and minerals it requires.

Prolonged stress:

If your leopard gecko is under stress, its immune system will be suppressed, and its body will be unable to fight infections. As a result, your gecko will waste away.

Stress can be caused by various factors, including aggression from other pets, loud noises near their habitat, wrong tank setup, excessive handling, and more.

Physical Injury:

There is a possibility that your gecko’s habitat has objects that can easily fall on the geckos while trying to climb. It is also possible that your gecko wan fall from a high place and crush to death. 

If any of the above risks are observed, make immediate collective changes. 

Dead Leopard Geckos Necropsy:

If you cannot quickly figure out what killed your gecko, this is the last resort; necropsy. Necropsy is where the bodies of the dead leopard geckos are dissected and the internal organs examined by a professional to establish the cause of death. This can be likened to autopsy or post mortem in humans. 

What do you do with dead leopard geckos? 

Once the death has been certified and the cause verified, most pet owners will have a hard time deciding what to do with the dead body of their pet.

Here are alternatives to consider on what to do with dead leopard geckos;

Cremate the dead leopard geckos. 

Cremation is a popular way of disposing of dead pets. 

Here you will decide if you need the ashes for storage or even spread them at a favorite place. Private cremation will ensure only your pet will be cremated and the ashes collected. On the other hand, when many pets are cremated at a communal cremation,  you won’t get their ashes back. 

Bury the Dead Leopard Geckos. 

Burying your dead gecko will be ideal if you want to give them a permanent location in your backyard or a public pet cemetery. You will be able to visit later in remembrance from time to time if so desired. 

A buried leopard gecko will on average take 23 days to decompose.

Seek Veterinary Disposal Services.

You may be too traumatized to handle your dead gecko. There is an option of having your local vet dispose of the gecko body on your behalf.

This option is also ideal if you get a dead gecko or other reptiles on the road. It may be difficult to trace the owners, or the gecko might have been wild.

Contact Dead Animal Removal Services Authority.

Getting help from your local authority will be a good idea, especially if you do not know the dead reptile owner. This can be applied to any other dead animal or pet that you cannot dispose of safely.

Leave a Comment