Lizard With Large Lump On Head

I have a one-year-old leopard gecko. I noticed last night when I was feeding her and cleaning her cage out that she has a very large lump by her ear. It goes from the bottom of the ear to the top of her head. Could this be a calcium problem? Will this go away on its own? Please help, as I am very worried.

I am very concerned about this large lump on your leopard gecko’s head. I sincerely doubt that this will go away on its own. I suggest that you contact your herp vet (and if you don’t have one, check in the archives, as I have given many suggestions as to locating one) to have your gecko evaluated by a herp vet. This could be an abscess, parasitic problem, traumatic swelling, fungal infection, tumor (unlikely) or a fluid-filled swelling (serum or blood). Because you don’t know how long the lump has been there or how long it has taken to develop, it makes it much harder for me to speculate about the origin of this mystery mass.

I doubt that this is a calcium problem. Leopard geckos are not prone to calcium-related metabolic problems, and even if hypocalcemia was involved, it usually presents itself as swollen, misshapen limbs, not a swelling on the side of the head.

Please don’t wait to see if the swelling goes down on its own. Find a qualified herp vet and have your little lizard checked out. Hopefully, it will be as good as new once it is treated!

Margaret A. Wissman, DVM, DABVP has been an avian/exotic/herp animal veterinarian since 1981. She is a regular contributor to REPTILES magazine.

Need a Herp Vet?
If you are looking for a herp-knowledgeable veterinarian in your area, a good place to start is by checking the list of members on the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarian (ARAV) web site at www.arav.com. Look for DVMs who appear to maintain actual veterinary offices that you could contact.

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