We have a leopard gecko that has seemed to have lost his appetite. His tail is 1/2 the size that it was a couple of

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Customer: We have a leopard gecko that has seemed to have lost his appetite. His tail is 1/2 the size that it was a couple of weeks ago. We feed it a dozen crickets every week or so (we leave them in the cage with the gecko). He was very active and aggressive when catching the crickets.   Recently, he has lost weight, is lethargic, and today had fecal matter hanging off of his cloaca and was licking the remnants of it from the anal opening, much like a dog would lick its rear.   We have a heat lamp, a heat rock, and change the water daily.   He shows NO interest in consuming the crickets that are crawling around in the cage beside him.
Answered by Jav917 in 12 mins 13 years ago
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Jav917
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Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hi,

I need info on your set up.

Substrate?

Diet?

Temps and how measured?

Last shed?

Age of Leo?

Joan

Customer
The substrate is an english walnut grind (Villa brand). He eats crickets, but has not been interested in them for the past few days. His tail was thick when we got him (4 weeks ago) and now it is very thin. We put fresh water in the tank daily. The light used is a red reptile light, along with a heat rock. The light is mounted to the outside top of the wire mesh cage cover. He appears to be a juvenile...about 4 inches long. He (or she?) has not shed shed in the time we have had him. The temp on the aquarium is measured by a mounted thermometer on the glass. It currently reads 78 degrees. The gecko's cloaca is red and irritated. My husband just gave him a warm bath and dried him off... as we read to do that in the event there were bowel problems.

Hi,

I am going to give you my care sheet. The walnut shell is horrible as well as the heat rock is very dangerous. After reviewing my care sheet, please hit reply and we can review what we can do to help your Leo. Joan

 

Hello,

I am concerned because you have a Male housed with a Female which can mean they have been breeding and the the other problem is the sand Vermiculite mix. Both of these can cause problems. The san can cause an impaction in Leopard Geckos and most reptiles (especially the type of sand that advertises safe for reptile) There is also another problem that looms and that is there may be a parasite issue which can occur when a Leopard gecko gets stressed. Being in with a male can stress the Female as well as she can become eggbound. I would suggest getting rid of the sand and separating the two Geckos. You can give the Female a soak in 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte or if you are in the UK Lectade. I would like to give you my care sheet to review and then after reading it, you can hit reply to further discuss this. Joan

 

http://homepage.mac.com/exoticdvm/reptile/PhotoAlbum181.html Substrate

Leopard Gecko Care Sheet

The Leopard Gecko is originally from Pakistan, India, and a few other countries in Asia. Leopard Geckos are terrestrial (they live on the ground) 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 responsible 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. For the humid hide box, put moist peat moss or moist sphagnum moss (Paper Towels work well and easily replaced) inside a hide box. You can make your own humid hide box from a small plastic shoebox. Cut a hole in one end of the box and place moist moss inside it. The humid box should be cleaned out every week and remoistened. 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 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, orchid bark, 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, 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!

 

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