Hi JoanI wonder if you could help me?I've had a male leopard gecko for about 1 year now, i think hes around 2 years old, and was in good conditon when i got him from a friend.However hes not a very sociable gecko and is pretty much always hiding, so about a month ago i got him a female companion, but they nipped at each other quite a few times and theres a lot of tail shaking going on, but i thought this may have been quite normal seen as they were "getting to know" each other...but they still seem to be doing this a month on, and they always make sure they're in seperate hides fom each other...its like they cant stand each other!But ive just noticed tonight that they both have what i can only describe as small white patches on their skin, kind of like they both have dry skin...and ive also just noticed tonight that shes started digging for the first timeFirstly, im worried that either the small white patches might be due to stress if they're not getting on well, or perhaps they're dehydrated? Or even worse, parasites!and secondly, im worried that if shes pregnant she'll also get stressed and may impactThey have 3 hides...1 on the cool side, 1 in the middle and 1 on the hot side, although im just about to change the cool hide for a moss filled plastic box so its easier for them so shed, or if she lays eggs. I also mist the viv when i see that they're shedding.Im using very fine play sand, supply a small dish with calcium supplement, a large water dish and have the temp usually about 88/90 fahrenheit. i feed them gut loaded crickets, and waxworms (but not too many waxworms - although they LOVE them!)Do you have any advice on if their tail shaking/biting behaviour towards each other is normal? What the small white patches may be? And also if shes digging that she might be pregnant?Any advise that you could possibly give me would be greatly appreciated, as web research always seems to be so contradicting, and i obviously just want the best for my leos!Thanks in advanceFaye
You need to separate the Leos. A male and female should not be housed together. The male will breed with her too much and this will shorten the life span. It sounds as if she is gravid now, if she is digging. You need to set up a lay hide. Use a glad ware container filled with Vericulite and spaghnum moss. Keep this lay box moistened and cover with a 1/2 log, so when she lays the eggs, the container can be moved into an incubator. Make sure you have a dish of plain calcium available for her at all times. I am going to give you my care sheet and have you read it. It does have instructions on making a moist hide. This should help you quite a bit. The white spots sound like retained she that needs to be removed, but first we need to see if she is going to lay her eggs. After she lays, you can give her a soak in some warm water and take a q-tip and gently rub over the white spots. this should help remove the retained shed. Joan
Please read it and then hit reply for further help.
http://homepage.mac.com/exoticdvm/reptile/PhotoAlbum181.html Sand Impaction
Leopard Gecko Care Sheet
The Leopard Gecko is originally from Pakistan, India, and a few other countries in Asia. They actually live on hard rocky outcrops and they are nocturnal (active at night). They prefer temperatures between 82 and 88 degrees all day and night. They grow to between 8 to 11 inches. Leopard Geckos are available in a wide range of colors and patterns which are the result of selective captive breeding. These include albino, ghost, striped, jungle, Leucistic and high yellow. These colors have been made possible through selective captive breeding. Leopard Geckos make wonderful pets for almost any age person. Leopard Geckos also make good long term pets. They can live over twenty years. Never grab by tail it will break off. Leopard Gecko Housing: A male Leopard Gecko should never be housed in the same cage as another male leopard gecko because they will fight and possibly kill one another. A male can be housed with several females without any problems. I do not advise housing leopard geckos in the same cage with any other reptiles. A single Leopard Gecko can be kept in a ten gallon tank. For a male and a few females a twenty gallon tank or larger should be used. The cage should have a screen lid on top of it to prevent any escapes. Leopard geckos need places to hide and sleep during the day so you must provide a couple of hiding spots. They need a warm hiding spot and a cold humid hiding spot. Just put one hide box on the side with the heat light and put the humid hide box on the side that does not have the heat light. I actually prefer an under the tank heater for heat source rather than a light since the geckos are Nocturnal. For the humid hide box, Paper Towels work well and easily replaced inside a hide box. You can make your own humid hide box from a small plastic shoe box or from a margarine conatiner. Cut a hole in one end of the container and place moist paper towel inside it. The humid box should be cleaned out every week and re moistened. A humid hide box is needed so that the gecko can go in it when it needs to shed. The humidity helps the old skin come off. Substrate: There is an abundance of products on the market that claim to be safe substrates. All Loose Substrates (Please note the link above) however are not safe to use. A substrate is what you put on the bottom of the cage for the lizard to walk around on. If a Leopard Gecko ingests any of the substrate accidentally, the substrate must pass through the digestive system. Trust me they will ingest substrate, sometimes on purpose. If it does not easily pass through the digestive system compaction will occur. Compaction is an extreme blockage of the digestive tract and is often fatal. Some substrates that I consider unsafe because they can cause compaction are: sand, bark, Calci sand, crushed walnut shells, lizard litter, gravel, aquarium gravel, and coconut fiber. The safest substrate is using paper towels or plain newspaper, non-stick shelf liner , cage carpet or ceramic tile. For any leopard geckos that are younger than six months I advise using paper towels or plain newspaper until they are at least six months old. Calcium sand is not fully digested no matter what it claims. The stuff just does not break down completely. . Leopard Gecko Heating and Temperature: The cage should be between 82 to 88 degrees all day and night. There is two basic ways to heat the cage. One is to use a under tank heater like heat tape. The other is to use a black, or blue night incandescent heat light. I prefer to use a heat light. For a 10 gallon tank a 60 watt bulb should work depending on room temperature. Place the heat light on one end of the cage. By putting the heat light on one end of the cage it keeps that side warmest and allows the gecko to move to the warmer side with the light or to the colder side without the light as needed to regulate body temperature. NEVER EVER USE A HOT ROCK, HEAT ROCK, OR ANY SIMILAR PRODUCT. Hot rocks heat unevenly and are notorious for causing terrible thermal burns. Do not buy a hot rock and if you know anyone who uses one, tell them to throw it away. Leopard Gecko Feeding: Leopard Geckos will do very well on a diet of mealworms and crickets. I like to provide some variety in feeder insects to create a more balanced diet. Feeder insects I use are silkworms, mealworms, roaches and crickets with the legs on one side of the body pulled off. Crickets will bite your geckos while they sleep, these bites are prone to infection, so if you pull off one side of their legs then they cannot move around the cage and get to the gecko and also this prevents the crickets from climbing out of the cage. Gut load feeder insects for at least a day before putting them in with the gecko. Feed geckos insects that are not larger than the width of the head of the gecko. Adults can be fed superworms, though I advise only feeding a couple superworms at a time. Leopard Gecko Vitamin/Mineral Supplement: For young geckos dust the feeder insects every other feeding or place a small feeder dish with supplement in it and some mealworms in the cage. For adults and babies place a shallow dish or a plastic lid in the cage with a teaspoon of calcium powder on it. The gecko will lick the calcium powder as needed. You still need to dust feeder insects every other feeding though with a vitamin supplement for young geckos. Adults use vitamin supplement once a week. Leopard Gecko Water: Use a shallow water bowl, fill with water as needed. Remove bowl from cage and clean out weekly.
Do Not Feed Pinkies
Hi Joan, thanks for your reply, much appreciated.Firstly, I have set up a moist hide in the cool area of the viv, and have used moist paper towels until i can get some moss/vermicide. But unfortunately its the male that seemed to use it last night/this morning, and so because of this perhaps the female couldnt get in! Do you think i should set up a second moist hide so they can both have their own?Secondly, I thought it was safe to house a male and female together? Or is it only safe if you have 2 females to 1 male, so he has more choice to mate, and the females get less stressed? I dont particularly want my geckos to mate, but i guess thats just nature!Thirdly, the white spots are not leftover skin from shedding...its more like tiny white patches all over their body, which i guess looks a bit like dry/dandruff type skin. I hope this isnt a parasite, as they both have it?Also, when you say "Keep this lay box moistened and cover with a 1/2 log, so when she lays the eggs, the container can be moved into an incubator"...what do you mean cover with a 1/2 log?I had originally read your Care Sheet, and found it useful, however at the moment I'm a little worried about these small white patches on BOTH of their skins, and as they both have bite marks on them, that they're stressing each other out too much. And of course, if she is going to lay eggs then I want to have the hide set up so she can do so.As always, grateful for any assistance you can offer!Faye
I will only house two females together. A male will continously breed and shorten the life span of a female. I never house a male with a femal unless I intend to breed. If you can psot a picture of the white spots that would help. This may be a fungal issue, but mites would not cause the white patches. You can use the tree icon in the tool bar . I acyually use half of a coconut shell over my lay box, but the Pet stores sell a half log that can be placed over the lay box,(AKA gladware container). The Bite marks can be treated with some plain Neosporin. I do suggest housing the male separately as even with one breeding she can lay all season and this depletes the calcium in the body. They are actually very solitary animals, and do not need companionship. I would set up another moist hide without the moss using the paper towels. The moss can be ingested and also cause a blockage. I hope this helps. Joan