I just bought a leopard gecko from someone that did not know how to take care of. She was living in a 40 gallon aquarium

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Customer: hi There,
I just bought a leopard gecko from someone that did not know how to take care of. She was living in a 40 gallon aquarium with a normal light bulb of 100 watt. She has been very sick for 4 months. Her eyes were closed for 3 months. Myself i think that she is blind but not sure at 100%. She is eating without any problem now. We got it last week. How do i know if she is blind or not? when we put the worms in the aquarium she comes to it and my feeling is that she feels it but dont see it really as sometimes when grabbing it she miss.
Answered by Anna in 39 mins 11 years ago
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Anna
30+ years of experience
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17,044 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hello,

Some additional information will help me to answer your question.

When the gecko opens her eyes, do they look like they have a white film over them?

What substrate do you have on the floor? What substrate was used in her previous home?

Is there any discharge from the eyes?

Thank you.

Anna
Customer
no discharge from her eyes she keeps licking her eyes i guess that is normal and the substrack is not sand or something similar. Thats the simple little mat they sell at petstore. When she got sick before she had sands so she got stomach problems as well they did not put a humidity corner for her to shed so she got problems too as she could not shed properly. The little film in the eyes there is on one eye. Myself i think she see from the other eye but my son say that she is blind as she miss when trying to grab the food. As well there is no reaction at all if we move our finger on her side. I mean she is not watching at all but for sure there is a reaction. Needless to tell you that her tail is skinny. She is just recovering from a bad time she got
Did the gecko have a difficult time shedding last time?

Would it be possible to send a photo of the eye? If so, you can upload one by clicking on REPLY, then click on the paper clip in the tool bar at the top of the field where you type.

Thank you.

AnnaMsAM40589.9157579861
Customer
no picture but is there another way to know if she is blind? I mean would she be able to eat while putting worms on the ground? seems she see it but maybe she only go by the vibration or the smell or another sense. What would be the comportement if she was blind? and I dont know if she and when was the last time she shed. She got problem in september for sure but the owner doesnt know if she shed after that or not. When do they shed by the way? every 3 months 6 months every months?
I suspect that your gecko has a retained eye cap. That's when a shed doesn't go quite right (common in lizards that aren't properly cared for), and the skin over an eye doesn't come off. Don't use any force to pull off the eye cap. That can result in damage to the cornea.

Here is one thing you can try: Soak your gecko for 15-20 minutes in a warm bath. Then, use a Q-tip to dab some mineral oil (available in any drug store) on the eye cap. Leave it over night. If the eye cap is still retained after this treatment, try VERY GENTLY brushing your finger across the eye. That may cause the eye cap to move partially off the eye. If you can get an edge to come off, you can just take hold of it and remove it. If it turns out that what you see isn't an eye cap, this gentle treatment won't hurt anything. A lizard can see a little through the eye cap, which would mean she'd have partial vision in that eye. There is no way to be certain that she is blind unless you have a vet examine her. However, that si what I recommend you do. The more you've described to me about her condition and previous care, the more I suspect that more than one thing is wrong with her. I suggest that you make an appointment and have a reptile vet examine her thoroughly, do blood work, and check a fecal sample. This link will take you to a directory of vets:

http://www.triciaswaterdragon.com/canrepvt.htm

I'm also going to give you a first aid measure to take as soon as you can. Buy an electrolyte solution. In the USA, that would be unflavored Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). In the UK, it would be a product called Lectade, which is sold in pet stores. In Australia, it’s a human product called Dioralyte. Any of these may eb available in Canada - you'll have to check and see. Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 electrolyte solution. Soak your gecko for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes and fluids through their vents (where droppings pass out), so make the water deep enough to cover the vent.Be sure to supervise closely. This will help until you can get to the vet.

As for shedding, there is no schedule. A healthy gecko sheds whenever it outgrows its skin. when growing rapidly, that might be every couple of weeks, or it could be several months. Unhealthy geckos might have abnormal sheds at any time. The skin won't come off properly; it will take weeks on end, etc.

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

(If you find my answer helpful, please click on the green ACCEPT button. Thank you.)


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 (28* to 31*C) 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


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