Proliferative thyroid lesions in three diplodactylid geckos: Nephrurus amyae, nephrurus levis, and oedura marmorata

Catherine A. Hadfield, Leigh A. Clayton, Meredith M. Clancy, Sarah E. Beck, Lisa M. Mangus, Richard J. Montali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over a 5-mo period, three diplodactylid geckos housed at the National Aquarium were diagnosed with proliferative thyroid lesions: a rough knob-tail gecko (Nephrurus amyae), a smooth knob-tail gecko (Nephrurus levis), and a marbled velvet gecko (Oedura marmorata). Clinical signs included an intraoral mass or ventral throat swelling (or both), oral bleeding, and weight loss. Both of the knob-tail geckos died. The histologic diagnosis for the rough knob-tail gecko was thyroid carcinoma with metastases to the liver and lungs, and thyroid carcinoma with no metastases was reported in the smooth knob-tail gecko. A thyroidectomy was performed on the marbled velvet gecko with a histologic diagnosis of adenomatous hyperplasia. Postoperative weight loss and bradycardia resolved following oral supplementation with levothyroxine. The animal is in normal health 10 mo post-surgery. Five other diplodactylid geckos in the collection remain unaffected, giving a 38% prevalence of proliferative thyroid lesions (3/8). The etiology remains undetermined. This is the first report of a cluster of proliferative thyroid lesions in geckos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-140
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012


  • Adenomatous hyperplasia
  • gecko
  • levothyroxine
  • reptile
  • thyroid carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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