Problem with Lizard Constipation

Problem with Lizard Constipation

by Richard
(Riverside, CA)

Reader Question Regarding Lizard Constipation

Lizard: Alligator
Had in captivity: 12-15 months

Aquired size: 5-7 inches long including tail. approx. size of pencil in diameter.
Current size: approx. 15 inches long including tail and estimating 2-3 inches in diameter. Very healthy and can be seen from his plump tail!

Living environment: Currently only a 10 gal tank with both heat lamp and UVB lamp. Looking for a 20 gal tank with large surface area.

Past history: Up until a month ago, I also had a pet Blue Belly (western fence lizard). He also was found in the house and just a juvenile. I had him in captivity for about 12-13 months. He was very active and liked to hang upside down under the heat lamp. I had noticed that one of the lizards had runny stools. And then a week later I found him inside his water bowl. I looked up online and assumed it was possibly parasites that had caused this.

Current Issue: My alligator up until this point has been eating and going poop as normal and his poops are very large! But this week I have noticed he had not gone poop! Today I handled him once he came out of his little burrow area and took him outside to have some natural sunlight. As I was handling him outside, he went poop... but the poop was about the diameter of a pencil (which was normal) but the total length was about 4 inches long (not exaggerated). Any ideas I can do or try? I can provide pictures if necessary.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.


Suggestion from our Vet

Hi Richard,

Constipation in reptiles can have many different causes including dietary factors (e.g., blockage resulting from the shells of insects, hair, sand, gravel, or other items they may ingest from their environment), dehydration, lack of exercise, intestinal parasites, and inappropriate environmental conditions (e.g., improper temperature gradients).

If this was a one-time event, everything has subsequently returned to normal, and you are sure you are providing a proper diet (including supplements) and environment, you probably have nothing to worry about.

If, however, your reptile is not thriving and/or you have any questions about how to care for it, make an appointment with a veterinarian who specializes in reptile husbandry and treatment. You should also make sure that keeping the species in question in captivity is legal in your locality.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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