Vitamin A For Leopard Gecko


Vitamin a for leopard gecko is one of the most popular reptile pets in the world. They’re also one of the easiest to care for, making them a great addition to any home. vitamin a for leopard gecko leopard. Geckos are one of the most popular reptile pets in the world. They’re also one of the easiest to care for, making them a great addition to any home.

The subject of animal nutrition is highly important and a science in itself. It can be intimidating for anyone to find out information on the different types of feeds, necessary nutrients and vitamins required by animal.

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Vitamin A For Leopard Gecko

Vitamin A Deficiency in Lizards

                Several species of captive lizards that eat a diet consisting of only insects may be prone to a deficiency of vitamin A which can lead to health problems.  Affected species commonly kept as pets include leopard geckos, chameleons and anoles.  Wild lizards and those who eat both plants and insects are less likely to have this deficiency due to a more varied diet.

                Insectivorous lizards may be unable to produce their own vitamin A, and diets may be lacking if the pet lizard is not receiving a multivitamin containing vitamin A or is eating feeder insects such as crickets that are not fed a diet rich in vitamin A.  There is often misconception that vitamin A is toxic to some reptiles.  While it is true that very high levels of vitamin A may be toxic to the liver, lack of proper amounts of vitamin A in the diet is much more of a concern than too much.

                Why do certain reptiles need vitamin A?  Vitamin A is essential to proper growth of immature epidermal or skin cells.  Lack of vitamin A causes excessive growth or thickening of cells (hyperkeratosis). May also cause cells to change shape from a cuboidal or columnar shape into a flat (squamous) cell.  The cells or organs most commonly affected include the eyes, respiratory, gastro-intestinal systems.

vitamin a for leopard gecko

                Symptoms include dull skin color, decreased appetite or difficulty catching insects, excess tear production and squinting of the eyes.  Affected lizards also have trouble shedding their skin. May develop buildup of thick cellular material under the eyelids covering the eyes. They may experience temporary or permanent blindness.  Affected patients are diagnosed based on dietary history and clinical signs as blood tests are often inaccurate. Other causes for disease must be ruled out.


                Treatment consists of supportive care such as feeding calorie supplements and administering fluids. Removing any debris from around the eyes and applying antibiotic ointments to the eyes. Of course, adding vitamin A supplements to the diet. Feeding a diet consisting of as many different insects as possible. “gut-loading” insects used for food with diets high in vitamin A and calcium. Dusting insects with calcium and using multi-vitamin supplements containing vitamin A twice a month.  Prognosis is poor for those lizards who have advanced clinical signs or who have been affected for more than six months. If caught early and the diet corrected, most will recover.

vitamin a for leopard gecko

                If you have a captive insect-eating lizard, talk to your vet about proper diet and nutrition to help prevent vitamin A deficiency.

                This blog is brought to you by the Patton Veterinary Hospital serving Red Lion, York and the surrounding communities.

How do leopard geckos get calcium in the wild

If you’re the owner of a pet Leopard Gecko, then you’ll already be aware of their dietary needs while in captivity. But what about their eating habits in the wild? Are there any variations between the two? How do Leopard Geckos get all the nutrients they need in the wild to survive? And how do these fascinating lizards go about capturing their prey?

Table of Contents

  • Vitamin D3 and Calcium in a Leopard Geckos Diet
  • The Hunt
  • Eating To Survive
  • Round up

Although Leopard Geckos often dine on the same type of foods in the wild as in captivity. Their natural habitat offers them substantially more insects and other creatures to enjoy.

The Leopard Gecko will eat mostly anything in the wild as long as it can be easily overpowered. This includes crickets, small spiders and rodents, and grasshoppers. Just as they do in captivity, these Geckos will also devour on locusts, mealworms, and wax moth larvae in the wild.

Vitamin D3 and Calcium in a Leopard Geckos Diet

Leopard Geckos need calcium supplements in captivity because of the high prosperous content in many of the common insects they are fed, such as mealworms and crickets. Unless you use a UVB light in your vivarium, vitamin D supplements will also be required.

Vitamin D3 is essential to a Leopard Gecko as it allows him to store and use calcium, which is an essential mineral for ensuring good bone density. So how do Leopard Geckos ensure they get enough of both vitamin D3 and calcium in the wild?

It has been suggested that Leopard Geckos in the wild get both calcium. Vitamin D3 from the various insects, spiders, and ants that they consume. Although these lizards don’t particularly like direct sunlight, they will benefit somewhat from the ultraviolet rays that can help them synthesize their own vitamin D3.

Because calcium is detrimental to a Leopard Geckos’ survival. Any chance they get to fulfill their calcium needs in the wild is jumped upon with great gusto. This essential mineral can be obtained from eating hard-shelled insects. If they do require extra help, they will use their long tongue to lick the minerals of the environment.

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The Hunt

Leopard Geckos are nocturnal, so they will hunt their prey at night when they are less prone to attack by predators. Such as snakes, rats, larger reptiles, and birds of prey. And because they are carnivore insectivores. They are designed to eat and digest meat, which they primarily get from the many insects they eat.

During the night in the wild, these nocturnal lizards will stalk and eat many insects, including centipedes, giant spiders, crickets, small locusts, grasshoppers, mealworms, and even nesting mice and smaller lizards.

The vast majority of food that Leopard Geckos consume in the wild is live. If they come across a dead insect, they may not know that it’s food, so they are likely to leave it alone and move on.

The strong sense of smell and sight that a Leopard Gecko possesses in the wild allows them to detect and find food easier. Once they have found their prey, a somewhat peculiar yet fascinating ritual takes place.

Just like a cat hunts in the wild, the Leopard Gecko will begin to swish its tail back and forth. And if they’re satisfied with its find, it’ll strike and make a meal of its prey.

Eating To Survive

One of the stranger things that Leopard Geckos eat in the wild is their own skin. Although this may sound a little odd, the reasoning behind it plays a large part in the survival of the Gecko.

There are two reasons for a Leopard Gecko devouring its own shredded skin, although the second one is yet to be proven. Firstly, by consuming its skin, a Leopard Gecko won’t leave any tracks that a potential predator could follow. Secondly, it’s believed by some zoologists that the skin contains calcium. Essential nutrients that Geckos would not otherwise get from their prey in the wild.

Round up

As a carnivore, a Leopard Gecko does not possess a functioning cecum, which is the part of the body that helps to digest cellulose. A substance found in fruit and vegetables. These lizards also have a short alkaline digestive tract, which is why they don’t eat fruit or vegetables. In the wild, these lizard species thrive on a diet of various insects obtained through their prowess as nocturnal hunters.

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Importance Of Animal Nutrition

Minerals are chemical elements of growing importance thanks to studies that have revealed their functions. Previously they were considered minor dietary components. However, it is now recognized that they are fundamental for the correct functioning of the organism. These elements are present in all body cells to fulfill different metabolic functions.

Minerals in animal nutrition are obtained through the feed. For this reason, a correct balance of the percentage of macro and microminerals that each animal requires must be made.

In ruminants, minerals are obtained through forages and feed. The number of minerals present in these forages is variable, so they should be supplemented according to this mineral composition. The type of pasture and soil change the composition of minerals supplied in the diet.

In poultry and swine, minerals are mainly obtained in the feed as it constitutes their main source of food. This feed must be of high quality to ensure a correct balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and minerals. In addition, salts are available to supplement the diet to ensure that poultry and swine ingest the recommended amounts of minerals.

Importance of macrominerals

Macrominerals are the group of mineral elements most needed by animals in their diet to fulfill a myriad of physiological functions.  Deficiencies of these elements cause various pathologies or dysfunctions that must be promptly corrected. Moreover, depending on the animal species (poultry, swine, or ruminant), the signs and effects may vary.


It is the most abundant macromineral in the body of animals since it constitutes the essential material to form structures such as bones and teeth. In addition, it fulfills cellular functions of great importance in multiple organs such as the heart, intestine, and muscles.

Calcium deficiency is characterized by decalcification and rickets in animals, predisposing them to bone weakness, fractures and in laying hens it causes a decrease in laying.


Phosphorus is a macromineral commonly associated with calcium since they are found together in bone structures. In addition, phosphorus is involved in many metabolic processes in animals.

Phosphorus deficiency is associated with bone problems, decreased growth and appetite, and reduced productive performance.


Potassium is the third most important macromineral in animals and is the most abundant cation (positively charged ion) at the intracellular level. It has important functions at the cellular level related to energy generation.

Potassium deficiency is associated with muscle problems such as weakness or tetany, as well as changes in feed intake habits (pica).


Magnesium is a macromineral closely related to calcium and phosphorus. For this reason, about 70% of magnesium is in bone structures and the rest in soft tissues. Magnesium plays an important role in energy generation.

Magnesium deficiency can cause acute neuromuscular problems, characterized by incoordination or convulsions.


Sulfur is a macromineral whose importance lies on the formation of amino acids and some vitamins. Proteins are indispensable molecules for life made up of amino acids and are the beginning of animal production. In pigs, broilers, and meat ruminants, protein is the basis for muscle formation; in hens, it is fundamental for egg formation.

Sulfur deficiency in the diet leads to disturbances in protein formation. Therefore, production performance is significantly affected in cases of deficiency.


Sodium/chlorine (NaCl) can be found in common or cooking salt. These minerals regulate the amount of water at the cellular and body level and are therefore involved in almost all organic processes.

In animal nutrition, it is constantly supplemented, and its deficiency is not common. However, the excess is a frequent problem since it generates salt intoxication, especially in pigs and poultry. However, ruminants can also be affected.

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