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Joan
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 15350
Experience:  30+ years experience as veterinary tech and 15+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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My leopard gecko has not pooed in 9 days. He has eaten 6 crickets,

Resolved Question:

My leopard gecko has not pooed in 9 days. He has eaten 6 crickets, 2 silkworms, 1 mealworms and 2 waxworms during this time. He does not appear impacted, is quite active and has recieved one warm bath last night. Is it ever normal for a gecko to go this long without defecating?

He's in a 30 gallon tank, warm side 90 - 95, cool side is room temp (72- 74 at night, 76 during the day). He has an UTH and red bulb on warm side. He has 3 hides, one on each side and a moist hide in the middle. He spends his time on both sides. Humidity 40 - 50%.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 10 months ago.

Hello,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been a Vet Tech for 30+ years and I have special interest in Reptiles and Reptile Rescue. I will be happy to assist you.

Can you tell me what type of substrate you use?

Is Timbit active and willing to eat?

Have you checked all hides for stool?

Joan

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hi Joan,


 


He is on slate tile, I've check all hides for stool (he usually goes on one corner of the tank) and he's quite active. He was being fed daily until mid September, when his eating habits changed dramatically. He'd only eat a couple of mealworms a night, or 1 silkworm in 3 days. I started feeding him every other day, and that has seemed to perk up his appetite. Since beginning of October, he'd eat every other day, and I switch it up between mealworms, crickets, silkworms, and occasionally waxworms. He most recently had 2 waxworms last night (I know they're not great nutrition wise but I don't give it to him often, and he was very excited to get them), but didn't touch the mealworms I left in the tank.

Expert:  Joan replied 10 months ago.

Hi,

Thank-you for the information. The wax worms are a great treat and the silkworms are a great staple food which I highly recommend. Crickets, Phoenix worms and dubia roaches are also good feeders. He may have a partial impaction from the chitin in the meal worms. The fact he is eating some is good and we do see a slow down at this time of year with the change of seasons. Leopard Geckos do not brumate but will slow down activity as well as eating. We can try some things that usually work for me and see how he does. The soak is good, but an hour before the soak I would like you to feed a little baby food prunes. These are mild and should help get him going. For the soak we want to add some Pedialyte to the warm water and soak for about 10 mins gently massaging the abdomen from snout to vent. This can be repeated again on day two. Hopefully you will find some stool after this protocol. If this does not work, he may have to see a Herp Vet for an enema or some laculose to get things moving. I would be happy to locate a Herp Vet for you with a State. I would decrease the temps in the enclosure 84-86*F should be perfect. If too warm that can cause as much problems as too cool. I would also be careful with the red light, because they can cause thermal burns to the skin. Please let me know if you have further questions or clarification and I will be very happy to continue with you. Joan

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  Joan replied 10 months ago.

Hello,

I see you relisted on answer quality. What can I assist you with. All you have to do is ask me a question(hit Reply) to clarify anything that I may not have addressed. Please let me know I will be happy to continue with you. We are limited on what we can do not being able to see Timbit. Leopard Geckos can go for days without passing stool, but if concerned, I gave you some instructions on what can help. The baby food prunes, are very safe and effective. I have seen people dip prey in mineral oil, but that can cause several problems 1) it can be aspirated into the lungs and 2) it can cause diarrhea. I would also like you to check the Vent area for a seman/sperm plug. The plug can block the ability in a male Leopard Gecko to pass stool. We want to rule that out. This is a picture of a seman/Sperm Plug: http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y151/geckosmiles/Gel0926_01.jpg

Please hit reply so we can continue to work together to help Timbit. Joan

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hi Joan,


 


I appreciate the time you took to answer my question yesterday. I am a person that likes to get lots of people's opinions and advice which is why I had relisted the question. Everything I have researched tells me that leopard geckos are insectivores only, and I'm a little wary of giving him something that he wouldn't have in the wild. I'm afraid that my little guy could aspirate on the baby food as well. I did check the vent last night and there was nothing unusual about it. I think I can see a thin dark line on his tummy, where he must be backed up. It's worrisome because this is now day 10 of no pooping.


 

Expert:  Joan replied 10 months ago.

Hi,

I have used the baby food prunes numerous times to assist with this problem. What you do is drop a little on the snout and allow the Leo to lick it off. We never force feed. My own Leopard Geckos have lived well into their mid 20's. Oil can be aspirated, but the prunes should cause no problems. I just recently worked with someone who had the same problem as you are going through and used the same treatment with a good success rate: http://www.justanswer.com/pet-reptile/8165s-hi-joan-i-leo-years-old.html.

If you see a Herp Vet they will either do an enema or give Laculose which is paraffin and used to help with getting bowels to move. As I said I can locate Herp Vets for you, if you would like to see one. Joan

Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 15350
Experience: 30+ years experience as veterinary tech and 15+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
Joan and 2 other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

how much is "some pedialyte" to the warm bath?


 

Expert:  Joan replied 10 months ago.

Hi,

I use a 50/50 warm water and Pedialyte mixture. The electrolytes will help since they are absorbed through the vent area to aid with hydration. Please check the vent area, because male Leopard geckos as I said can have a sperm plug that can cause a blockage of the vent where stool cannot pass. You will want to check for that as well. I posted a link above to a picture of a sperm plug on a male. I hope the link from my other customer was helpful to see I have used this method and it has been effective. When in the soak, please support and monitor Timbit, because we do not want him to stress or jump out of the soak. The soak should be shallow and only midway up the legs.

I wanted to let you know I asked Anna who is another Reptile Expert to weigh in on this when she signs online.

Joan

Expert:  Anna replied 10 months ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. It's definitely worth checking for a sperm plug. The methods Joan gave you do work in many cases. The Pedilayte soaks with massage, and the baby food prunes are both safe. You're not using the prunes as a basic food item, but only as a first aid measure to get things moving. When first aid measures don't work, a vet's help is needed.

Anna
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hi Anna,


Thank you for responding. I checked his vent tonight and it doesn't appear abnormal. I gave him a few drops of baby food prunes and a 15 min warm bath tonight. Hopefully I'll see something in the morning! He has no interest in silkworms tonight, although I'm sure he's stressed by the feeding and bath.

Expert:  Anna replied 10 months ago.
You're welcome. Make sure you do the gentle underside massage for 10 minutes while he's in his bath. That can make all the difference. Did you try dropping the little dollop of prunes on his snout? That's not stressful and much less risky than syringe-feeding. It can't hurt to try.

Anna
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I did massage him while he was in the bath. I actually put the prunes on the side of his mouth, and let him lick it off. I was afraid of him aspirating it into his lungs so I avoided his snout.

Expert:  Anna replied 10 months ago.

I'm having internet trouble - referring you back to Joan since she was who helped you first.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hi Anna and Joan,


 


Timbit pooed all over my catcus this morning! :-) I'm so relieved! And it looks like he ate 2 silkworms too. Thank you both for your advice. Who knew what a little strained prunes could do.


 


 

Expert:  Anna replied 10 months ago.
Great news! Thank you for letting us know.
Expert:  Joan replied 10 months ago.

Hi,

Glad it worked and if you have further problems you can always ask for one of us to assist you. The Baby food prunes is a trick I have been using for years, since the are mild and along with the soak, work very well. Joan

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