Reptile

Have Reptile Veterinary Questions? Ask a Reptile Expert.

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Reptile

I have a leopard gecko that hasn't eaten in two weeks.

Customer Question
Before that the appetite went...
I have a leopard gecko that hasn't eaten in two weeks. Before that the appetite went way down to one worm a day or one cricket a day. The gecko is in a major molt now with a armor like sheath on his head. I am really worried that he may not pull through this.
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: Reptile
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Reptile Question
Answered in 9 hours by:
8/2/2010
Reptile Expert: Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist replied 7 years ago
Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11,581
Experience: Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
Verified
Hello,

I'm sorry to see that no one has responded to your question earlier. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online and saw your question. If you still need help, some additional information will be useful.

What temperature do you maintain in the cage?

What substrate is on the floor?

Has the gecko been passing normal droppings?

Do you have a humid hide box for him?

Thank you.

Anna
Ask Your Own Reptile Question
Customer reply replied 7 years ago
The temperature is 70 degrees to 77 degrees depending on what time of day it is.

The substrate is a reptile carpet.

the gecko has been passing normal droppings but fewer and farther between than normal, normal being everyday.

I do not have a humid hide box but I do have a fiber mat that I mist twice a day as well as a ball of moss I keep in the cage for his that is moistened. I could make a hide box with his log and put the mat on the bottom and moss inside. What do you think of that?
Reptile Expert: Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist replied 7 years ago
Thank you for getting back to me. Your idea for making a hide box is fine. I'm going to give you a couple of other steps to take right away. Start by raising the temperature. The temperature right now is way too cold. That leads to both shedding problems and decreased appetite. Leopard geckos do best when the temperature is kept between 82*F and 88*F day and night.

Next, start giving your gecko some special soaks. Buy some unflavored Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak your gecko for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Be sure to supervise closely. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes and fluids through their vents, so make the water deep enough to cover the vent. Make sure the hard skin on the head gets wet.

Try the increased temperatures, the soaks, and the addition of a humid hide box for a day or two. Continue to hand feed. If the skin doesn't start coming off and the gecko's appetite doesn't pick up, it would be best to see a reptile vet. If you'll give me your zip code, I can locate one for you.

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 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 container. 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
Ask Your Own Reptile Question
Customer reply replied 7 years ago
I have my gecko in a tank that is 40 gallons, 16"" high and 36" long what wattage of bulb do you think would work for this tank?
Reptile Expert: Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist replied 7 years ago
You'll probably have to experiment. I would start with a 60 watt. The metal clip-on lights sold in farm stores to keep baby chicks warm, and in hardware stores as work lights work well. They can take many different sizes of bulbs and the fixture can be moved up and down to adjust the temperature. They only cost a few dollars and take ordinary incandescent bulbs. Start with a 60 watt and monitor the temperature. If it's a bit too cool, lower the fixture, but not so low the gecko could be burned by it. If it's too warm, raise the fixture. If the temperature remains too cool with the 60 watt bulb, go up to a 75 watt one, and so on. Between different size bulbs and lowering/raising the fixture, you should be able to obtain the right temperature range.

Anna
Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11,581
Experience: Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
Verified
Anna and 87 other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Anna Your Own Question
Anna
Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11,581
11,581 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.

Anna is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Thank you so much. Great knowledge of reptiles! Will use JustAnswer again if further problems arise.

StephanieKY

I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there.

Alice H.Jacksonville, Fl.

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Anna

Anna

Reptile Expert, Biologist

11,581 satisfied customers

Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.

Joan

Joan

Veterinary Technician

7,965 satisfied customers

35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.

PitRottMommy

PitRottMommy

Veterinary Nurse

206 satisfied customers

15 years experience in veterinary medicine, special interest in reptiles and arachnids.

Dr. Dan

Dr. Dan

Reptile Veterinarian

57 satisfied customers

12 years private, wildlife and zoo experience with reptiles, PLEASE rate my service when satisfied.

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy

Medical Director

550 satisfied customers

2003 Graduate

Dr. Gary

Dr. Gary

Veterinarian

342 satisfied customers

DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

185 satisfied customers

15 years of experience in emergency, surgery and medicine

< Previous | Next >

Related Reptile Questions
My question is about my tortoise. So, when I pick him up he
So, when I pick him up he responds but not as much as before he also doesn't open his eyes … read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
7,965 satisfied customers
Swollen fore leg. Leopard gecko. Leo and he is only about
Leo and he is only about months old. He and his sister were treated by the vet about 1 month ago because they stopped eating and were diagnosed with intestinal worm. He seemed to be doing well since, even though his sister died. He's been hunting well. Just the swollen front leg and kind of turning purple. we have been doing warm soaks daily and using gauze to gently help shed and also applying a silver nitrate cream given to us by vet … read more
Anna
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
11,581 satisfied customers
My bearded dragon (10 years old) is eating normally when I
My bearded dragon (10 years old) is eating normally when I just fed him but I noticed he had some foam coming out of the side of his mouth and then his nostril … read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
7,965 satisfied customers
We got a bearded dragon 3 days ago. It was eating great and
We got a bearded dragon 3 days ago. It was eating great and now (day 3) not at all. She ate yesterday morning ok and nothing last night. She pooped twice yesterday. She has the eco mat, no sand. And w… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
206 satisfied customers
My bearded dragon discharged a yellow tinted liquid before
Hi my bearded dragon discharged a yellow tinted liquid before pooping ...the urate and poop looks normal but the liquid has me concerned … read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
7,965 satisfied customers
Several weeks ago our crested gecko had blood in his stool.
Hello. Several weeks ago our crested gecko had blood in his stool. We assumed it was from possibly eating the coconut husk at the bottom of the tank when he ate crickets. We removed the coconut husk a… read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
7,965 satisfied customers
Our female bearded dragon has turned yellow and black. She
Our female bearded dragon has turned yellow and black … read more
Yankmedic911
Yankmedic911
Wildlife Veterinarian
Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and
12 satisfied customers
I have a gecko lizard who is 15. Her tail fell off when she
I have a gecko lizard who is 15. Her tail fell off when she was little so she has always had a round bulbous tail. In the last month, her tail seems to be deflated and thin. She is eating, pooping and… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
206 satisfied customers
Both eyes closed and puffy and not eating. Turtle. Painted
Painted turtle. We found a baby one in our porch three years ago... just a size of a quarterback … read more
Yankmedic911
Yankmedic911
Wildlife Veterinarian
Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and
12 satisfied customers
I bought a painted turtle last week and he is not eating. He
Hello. I bought a painted turtle last week and he is not eating. He is about 4-5 inches long. I bought a 50 gallon kit with UV and heat lamps, water heater, filter and basking area. All he wants to do… read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
7,965 satisfied customers
My son's bearded dragon I'd lying under a log,not moving.
My son's bearded dragon I'd lying under a log,not moving … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
206 satisfied customers
He won't eat. Now her shaking and very weak. Leopard gecko.
He won't eat. Now her shaking and very weak JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What sort of animal are we talking about? Customer: Leopard gecko JA: OK. What is the Leopard gecko's name and age? Customer: Bo… read more
Anna
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
11,581 satisfied customers
My daughter has an aquatic turtle. Not sure of the exact
My daughter has an aquatic turtle. Not sure of the exact type. She has had him for about 6-7 years. She has noticed he is not eating, sleeping a lot and seems to be gasping for air. She said you can a… read more
Anna
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
11,581 satisfied customers
She is VERY pale and was lying at the bottom of the cage.
She is VERY pale and was lying at the bottom of the cage. Yesterday she was fine and even looked fat. … read more
Anna
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
11,581 satisfied customers
Are you going to charge me? Beardeddragon. She hasn't pooped
Are you going to charge me? JA: What sort of animal are we talking about? Customer: Beardeddragon JA: Maybe I'm confused. I thought you had a problem with a pet. Is that correct? Customer: Yes JA: I'l… read more
Yankmedic911
Yankmedic911
Wildlife Veterinarian
Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and
12 satisfied customers
My bearded dragon poop is watery and looks like blood is in
My bearded dragon poop is watery and looks like blood is in it … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
206 satisfied customers
My tortoise's head is swollen on the left side, and puss and
My tortoise's head is swollen on the left side, and puss and mucus are coming out. She seems out of it and has trouble moving the left side of her body. He head also has dirt but is too sensitive to r… read more
Yankmedic911
Yankmedic911
Wildlife Veterinarian
Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and
12 satisfied customers
My lil cham has an eye shut, just started a few days ago.
my lil cham has an eye shut, just started a few days ago. I'm using zoomed 60 watt combo pack, daylight blue & nightlight red. he keeps rubbing hid lil eye, he's very young, just a lil guy, I'm worrie… read more
Anna
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
11,581 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x