For the public

"Stick Tail" in Geckos

"Stick Tail" is a common term used to describe a leopard gecko that loses weight until the tail fat disappears leaving behind a thin boney tail.  "Stick tail" also affect fat-tail geckos, tokay geckos, and other species of geckos with robust tails that can store fat.  A similar wasting disease is known in crested geckos and other Rhacodactylus, and many other geckos.

Cryptosporidiosis in Leopard Geckos

Cryptosporidiosis is a common intestinal infection of leopard geckos caused by the one-celled parasite Cryptosporidium varanii (also know in older references as Cryptosporidium saurophilum).  Cryptosporidiosis is a very common reason that a leopard gecko will lose weight, and as the tail fat disappears all that remains is a thin boney tail, a condition herpetoculturists often call “stick tail”.

Basic Care: Leopard Gecko

Leopard geckos popularity as pets is easy to understand. They are small, cute, typically friendly and easy to handle. They come in a variety of color morphs are require less space than many larger reptiles. They're relatively long lived, many living into their late teens and early twenties. They breed easily in captivity. However, they are prone to problems with their eyes, skin, and skeleton if not cared for properly. 

Box Turtles: Common Problems

Box turtles are hardy and long-lived if cared for properly.

A common mistake is feeding a diet too low in vitamin A, calcium, or other nutrients.  Depending on the nutrients that are missing, a malnourished box turtle will suffer from dry flakey skin, overgrown beak and toenails, and deformed shells.  Once affected, some box turtles may require special calcium supplements, injections of vitamin A, special diets, and assist-feeding until they are doing well.

Diarrhea: Lizards

Bearded dragons may get diarrhea from a number of causes such as stress, parasites, bacterial infections of the intestine, atadenovirus infections, spoiled food, malnutrition, dirty water bowls, unsanitary cages, and inappropriately cool or excessively high temperatures in the cage.

Basic Care: Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are social, active lizards that need proper heat, ultraviolet light, and the correct diet with necessary supplements.  Bearded dragons may not get along if crowded or territorial so caution with housing them together and ideally never have an adult with baby bearded dragons.


An adult bearded dragon needs a cage at least 3 ft long, 2 ft wide, and 1.5 ft tall.

Basic Care: Ball Pythons

Ball pythons are modestly sized snakes that range from 30-45" in length and rarely reach five feet or slightly longer.  They originate from west and central Africa with most of the wild-collected animals exported from Ghana, Togo, and Benin.

Most of the ball pythons sold in pet stores are wild-collected.  Babies are often exported from "ranches" where adult females are collected, kept in captivity until they lay eggs, and then the babies that hatch are exported to other countries.  These "ranched" babies are often much cheaper to buy than ball pythons that were captive-bred and born in the United States and may be more difficult to get feeding.  Wild-collected ball pythons are more likely to have parasites than true captive-bred and born ball pythons.

There are now many different color morphs of ball pythons.  Some of them, such as panda pieds and scaleless, may sell for thousands of dollars.