Hi, i have recently found that my leopard gecko has lost a lot of weight, is very lethargic, does not seem to want to eat, and really overall is not doing so well. She also will not open one eye. She just got over a bad bit of shedding, so I thought that could be part of the problem. So like everything says, i helped her a bit with that bit of skin with a cotton swab. It still will not open. I am really worried about her. She is about 3-4 years old and has only had shedding issues before. Nothing like this. The closest vet i could get to is two hours away. I don't think i have the money or the time to get there. Is there anything i can do for her?
Pet's Gender: Female
Pet's Age: 3
Warm soaks, and turning up the heat.
Helloand Welcome to Justanswer,
Can you tell me about the set up?
Has there been any problems shedding?
Do you have a moist hide?
The set up has a warm and cool side, with two hides (warm and cool). With a red hot lamp on the warm side along with a heating pad underneath. She also lives with another leopard gecko.They both eat meal worms and crickets 3-4 times a week. Fresh water everyday.Their substrate includes a layer of newspaper with a layer of paper towels. I have tried reptile carpet, but found they really did not like it and it got caught in their toes. They dont tear up and eat this either.Her last shed was about a week agoHeat sources are a heat lamp and an undertank heating padI do not think she is passing anything. I have not noticed her eating either.She has always had problems shedding. I have to soak her feet everytime she sheds or she looses toes and claws. Ever since she was tiny.I havent had a moist hide in there lately. The last one has broken
The first problem may be Ambient temps in the tank. We generally keep the Leos at 84*-86*F. If the go into the 70's or low 80's they will shut down and stop eating and slow down.
I suggest silk worms, phoenix worms, crickets, or dubia roaches as the best feeder insects. It is also important to have a dish of plain calcium available at all times beside dusting the prey.
We can try some first aid by doing soaks in a solution of 50/50 warm water and plain Pedialyte the infant electrolyte solution once a day. This aids with dehydration, because a Reptile absorbs fluid through the vent area.
Next we are going to make a slurry to feed. Please mix some meat flavored baby food stage 1 chicken or beef with some calcium powder and some Royal jelly(can be found in most health food stores). Mix the ingredients together and drop on the snout. Do not try to force feed becuase it can cause a jaw dislocation or aspiration into the lungs. She should willing lick it off for you. The Royal Jelly is high in nutrients and can also help increase the appetite.
I do suggest a Herp Vet visit because we may be dealing with a parasite issue or a vitamin deficiency. I would be happy to locate a Herp Vet that may be closer for you with a State.
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