My gecko has stopped eating, she has lost weight and is laying in her water bowl. I bought a light for vitamin D. My

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Customer: My gecko has stopped eating, she has lost weight and is laying in her water bowl. I bought a light for vitamin D. My husband and I just forced fed her two crickets. She just shed and didn't eat that either. Her cage stays at around 85 during the day. What am I doing wrong? She is about three years old.
Answered by Jav917 in 30 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,

Can you tell me about your set up?

Substrate?

Hides? Moist?

Temps?

Humidity?

Supplements?

Fecal Done?

Joan

Customer
She lives in an aquarium 20" x 10" and 12" high. No substrate, has the green carpet. She used to hide in her rock, but not lately. She has a bowl of water which she has been laying in sometimes. He aquarium is around 85 to 90 degrees during the day and around 75 at night. I coat her crickets with ReptoCal and she has been pooping, but not much. She did eat and swallow the crickets which we force fed her this morning.40128.8724330671

Hello,

Sorry to take so long to get back to you. I was called out on an Iguana Rescue. Can you tell me if the weather has been getting cooler where you are? How long ago did this start? Joan

Customer
I took her to the vet Sept 26, 2009 because of her eating and that her tail was getting smaller. She told me about the extra light for Vitamin D (which I bought that day) and that I should try the little piglets (which I did, but Lucky will not eat them). She gave me a perscription Ciprofloxin to give to him. He started eating again, but now he has stopped and getting in to her water bowl seems really strange.

The weather has started to get cooler here, but the high today is 60 degrees.
Hello,

Joan and I work together, and she has asked me to help you.

It sounds as if Lucky is wanting to brumate (hibernate). Geckos sometimes do that in response to shorter days, cooler temperatures in the room, and other factors unknown to humans. However, it's not a good idea to encourage brumation because too many things can go wrong during that time, and especially so with a gecko who has lost weight.

I have a few recommendations for you that may help. Start by adjusting the temperature. It's best to keep it between 82*F and 88*F day and night.

Next, begin giving Lucky some electrolyte soaks. Buy some Pedialyte (made for human infants and available in discount stores and pharmacies), or if you live in the UK, pick up some Lectade in the pet shop. Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 Pedialyte and 1/2 warm water. Supervise closely. Soak Lucky for 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. This will help with dehydration more than plain water will.

Force feeding isn't a good idea because it's so easy for food to be aspirated into the lungs. Instead, get some plain chicken baby food. Drop a small dollup on the end of Lucky's snout. Most of the time, they will lick it off.

Try these measures along with what your vet has recommended. If you can get a sample of fresh droppings, take them to the vet to check for parasites. Parasites can also cause the symptoms you're seeing. I'm also going to send along a care sheet written by Joan. You can use it as a checklist to see if any other changes are needed. If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope Lucky will be fine.

Anna

I’m also sending along a care sheet, courtesy of Joan, another of our experts. You can use it as a checklist to make sure all the conditions are right. If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your grandson’s gecko will reach a full recovery.

Anna

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




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