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Thread: Why does my leopard gecko occasionally emit a horrible smell?

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    Default Why does my leopard gecko occasionally emit a horrible smell?

    Hey all,

    New here! I have a question. I have a 16 year-old leopard gecko named "Stinky". Oddly enough, on rare occasions when I walk into the room that his tank is located in, there is a horrible odor. This has happened tonight, and I am currently airing the room out by opening the window and placing a fan in it. What I'd like to know is what causes this occasional smell?

    So you know, his cage is very clean right now, and there is no poop to be found anywhere at all. I use a soft reptile rug, and it's nice and clean right now, so it's not the rug and he hasn't pooped, so it's not poop smell...and it doesn't really smell like his poop at all. It's this horrible musty animal smell. I know somehow this smell is coming from him, as it has filled up his room right now, and is nowhere else in my home. This is not the first time I've noticed this (on occasion)...this odd smell is why I named him Stinky...because on the rare occasion he emits this horrible smell. I picked up his hide tonight just to make sure he was okay, and to make sure there was no poop in his hide. He looks fine and his hide floor was clean.

    So what do you think causes this smell?

    Do geckos sometimes emit a bodily odor?
    Can a gecko produce a fart that would fill the room with it's smell?

    The cage is clean...he looks fine...what could it be?

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    Not a clue! Can you localize where in the cage it's coming from? Is it coming from the gecko (if you pick him up and sniff, is the smell stronger?), the water, the hides, or just the tank in general?

    Aliza

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    I did not pick him up and sniff him, LOL. I only picked up his hide to check on him and he seemed fine. I did pick him up to move him so I could place the hide back in position, but he seemed normal. I did lean down over the tank to take a big whiff, but the smell was way more powerful in the room itself...but within the area of the tank, which is why I can't figure it out. It's like it originated in the tank, but moved out from there, as crazy as it sounds. I even checked to see if it was the cricket cage, but I had just thoroughly cleaned it and washed it out about 2 hours prior because I had just bought new crickets for him. The critter cage smelled like cricket food, LOL, but not stinky at all. I opened the window for about 10 minutes and ran a fan and the smell disappeared for good. I closed the window and it was completely gone. I had done absolutely nothing to the tank to make it go away. My gecko is kept in a spare bedroom that is used for storage. We always keep that door wide open. He's in a 10 gallon glass tank right near the door. It's clean. It NEVER smells in there (but only like this on rare occasion). I'm very consistent about keeping his tank clean. When he poops, and it's moist and fresh, there is a very small odor, but his poop smell is more "earthy" to me. This smell I am talking about is horrible. It is very, very musty. It pervades the entire room, and even flowed out into the hallway a bit.

    Just wondering, do geckos pass gas? Can they fart? Can geckos emit an odor to scare away a predator? I was in the room for a short bit rummaging around prior to this happening. I was wondering if me making lots of noise moving things around caused him to emit this smell?

    I have noticed over the last month that he has not been eating very much at all, but in the past he has often gone through these periods before (especially during the summer). But when it happens I always am a bit concerned. We have air conditioning and it goes into that room, but his tank lights are always on (daylight during day – infra red at night). Sometimes though, during the summer, that room does get a bit warmer because it's an upper floor and the sun beams against that side of the house all day. There might have been a couple days when I was not cognizant of that room warming up, and I neglected to check his tank temp. I am wondering if the heated up room stressed him and that's why his appetite slowed down. When he is subject to stress, it takes him about a month to go back to his normal self. But as I said, the room always has AC going into it so the temps are fairly even, and never vacillate too extremely.

    His poop is usually very normal looking, but I did notice a couple days ago he only pooped white, with no dark stuff mingled in (but this has happened in the past). And about a week back, right before he shed, he pooped, but dragged a long smudge of it across his carpet (but this has happened in the past as well). I cleaned it up though. For not eating that much lately, he's ignoring his crickets, but he will jump at waxworms, but I try not to give him waxworms unless he eats a cricket or two, as I want him to get his calcium nutrients. Crickets are his main course (he will not eat mealworms at all - and never has), but waxworms are his after dinner snack. He's been kinda calm and hidden lately. Usually, he will come out of his hide at night when I call him, like a little dog. He's really cute in that way. Sometimes I think he knows his name, LOL.

    He was not treated well before I took care of him and had really bad MBD. I nursed him back to health years ago and fattened him back up. He was emaciated when I first started with him...poor guy. He's a trooper though and is 16 now...an old man in gecko years I'm sure.

    But yeah, I'm not sure what this was about or why he's been a bit withdrawn lately. His weight looks fine. He looks normal.

    UPDATE: Just went to check on him and his head was peeping out of his hide. This is good! This means I want food now...feed me. Just watched him yawn. His mouth is nice and pink and healthy looking. I offered him a nice calcium coated cricket and he stared at it and ignored it...it's antennae tickled his faced and he turned away from it. Then I dropped 7 wiggly waxworms in front of him and he went crazy wild, voraciously gobbling them all. This is good as he hasn't been eating much lately...but not tonight, LOL. Maybe his stress period is finally ending...it has been about a month now. I would have liked him to eat his crickets, but he won't...glad he's just eating, period.

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    It's a mystery to me. Sometimes crickets can get under things and die and they really stink. That's all I can think of. Hopefully you are done with stinkies.

    Aliza

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    No crickets in his cage. The smell vanished as quick as it came. It had to be coming from my gecko. It happens only a couple times a year...if that, but it does occur from time to time. Yes, it is a mystery.

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