Goodbye Aeris my girl


New Member
United States
Hello all. It has been some time since our Leopard Gecko Aeris passed away. It’s taken this time for me to be able to talk about Aeris without getting real emotional. I would like to share her story.
Aeris came to us in 2002 as a hatchling. She grew up quickly and was very at home in her 20 gallon tank. She loved to stay in her warm hide and always knew when it was dinner time. She knew the sound of the crickets being dusted and she scampered out of her hide in anticipation of some tasty morsels. Those crickets did not stand a chance when Aeris was around! She also was fond of moths and could snatch them right out of midair! Aeris always had great vet visits. Our vet told us that she was in great health. She even attained “celebrity status” when he borrowed her once to show her off at a seminar he was teaching on Leopard Gecko care. Right after the Christmas holiday 2013, I noticed that Aeris no longer wanted to eat. At first I thought it was because of the weather. We had an unusually cold winter this year where we live in New Jersey. But I began to notice that her tail was getting smaller and her color went from bright yellow to almost brown. We took her back to the vet at which time he discovered a mass, maybe two in her abdomen. He was not sure what it was but we did some research on line and from what we could tell they were called Xanthomas. From what we read online it was a type of tumor composed mostly of fat tissue. Our vet told us that the chances that she would survive were “guarded at best” The vet gave us some powdered food which we made into a slurry and fed her with a syringe. He also gave us some Metacam. (Gecko Motrin he called it!) for the pain. She appeared to be doing well and I hoped against hope that she was going to make a full recovery. I refused to believe that she would die, I mean she always was so very healthy. Every night when I would come home from work, my wife and I would give Aeris her food, and then follow it up with a warm bath to help her digest. Then we would take turns holding her. It seemed to bring her comfort being held by us. It was strange but I think she knew that her time was short and she wanted to be with us as much as she could. The nights were the worst. She would lay on the cool side of her cage outside the hide near the corner of the tank. She would look like she was barely alive. When we would pick her up she seemed to perk up! On Feb 28 I came home from work and after we had dinner we gave Aeris her food and her bath as we always did. Then we took her upstairs to our bedroom where she stayed . We took turns holding her. I held her for a while and passed her off to my wife. She held her for a bit and then noticed that she had stopped breathing. I refused to believe it. “She always breathes shallow when she is asleep I cautiously suggested” but I knew. Aeris did indeed stop breathing and she died in our hands that night. I was devastated. Our girl, who had survived so much, including a cage accident that cost her primary tail, several amputated digits, and many bad sheds, she could not possibly die. Our vet did a autopsy on her and removed the mass. He said that it did indeed looked like a Xanthomas fatty mass. I made a “gecko coffin for our beloved Aeris and we had a funeral and buried her in the back yard. Could I have done more for you my girl? I am thankful that during the last 2 weeks of her life, my wife and I both had the chance to bond with her like we never had before. Goodbye Aeris my girl. My heart will never be the same. I will miss you and we will see you again.

Ralph and Lynda


Ridgewood, NJ
Gosh what a touching story and a lucky gecko! She definitely had the best of homes and owners and I think you did everything that was humanly possible to do for her. So sorry for your loss.