My leopard gecko is lathargic dosent appear to be eating/drinking. eyes mostly closed, moving around the tank a few

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Customer: my leopard gecko is lathargic dosent appear to be eating/drinking. eyes mostly closed, moving around the tank a few steps then stopping in this place for about 15-20 mins before moving a few more step, tail is very slim. lifts her her and can see her throat making what looks like she is swollowing more than usual. then few moments ago i found her layed on her back, she dosent feel cold and i cant see any injuries their are no swollen areas to her abdomen, i think she has recently shedded her skin before i noticed she dosent look right as she has dry skin remaining on her toes she is 3 yrs old and lives with her sister who looks well
Answered by Jav917 in 3 hours 10 years ago
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Jav917
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27,324 satisfied customers

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

Hello,

I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just came online and saw your question. I'm sorry to hear your gecko isn't doing well. Some additional information will help me to answer your question.

What is the temperature gradient in the cage?

Has the gecko been passing normal droppings?

What substrate do you use on the floor?

Thank you.

Anna
Customer

exo terra desert sand red, this is the third application from the same bag, had no problems with either gecko after cleaning the tank previosly, temerature is 22 oc/70 f and hygrometer 44 . not sure if it has been passing normal droppings as there are two geckos in the tank, i have not seen her go lately, they usually deposit in the same place. and there seems to be a lack of droppings in this area at present and some scatterings of white droppings without the black in it various parts of the tank. but when i noticed she wasnt right i looked on the internet for advice, which said each gecko should have its own house, mine have shared since babies so i changed the tank round slightly to accomidate for two houses, but now she isnt going in any of them. i can pick her up and turn her over without her hardly attempting to turn back, i noticed in the healthy gecko her lower part of her under belly moves up and down, but in the other gecko there seems to be little movement and she dosent feel as warm as the healthy gecko

Hello,

Since you have two females housed together and they are sisters, that should not be an issue as long as the tank is a min 20 gallon long.

 

We do have a serious issue with the sand you are using. Sand can be deadly to reptiles. It is sold as a safe edible substrate but in reality, the sand hardens like concrete in the abdomen and causes a blockage. This causes lack of appetite, inability to pass stool, weight loss, lethargy and other serious issues. You can see some visuals about Sand here: this shows the X rays: http://www.herpcenter.com/leopard-gecko-sand-impaction-xrays.html The sand can also cause corneal ulcers and skin problems. I suggest paper towels, tile, slate or cage carpet for the bottom of the tank, but get rid of the sand.

 

You need to keep a dish of plain calcium in the tank at all times and dust all prey with calcium as this prevents Metabolic Bone Disese. Even if you are feeding the crickets with a calcium supplement it is not enough.

 

At this point we can try some first aid by giving a soak in 50/50 warm water and plain Pedialyte. Mix the solution in a shallow dish and soak for 20 mins. This will help with dehydration. You can mix some plain meat flavored baby food with some clacium powder and drop on the snout and allow the Leo to lick it off. We do not force feed because it can cause aspiration into the lungs. If the Leo does not start responding I would have it into the Herp Vet. I will be happy to locate a Herp Vet for you with a Country.

 

We may also be dealing with a parasite issue compounding the weight loss. This would have to be checked with a fecal and acid fast stain.

 

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. 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



 

 

Customer
thankyou i will try the bath and baby food/calcium advice

Hello,

If you need a Herp Vet, please supply a country and I will try to locate one for you. I hope it helps, but you may need hands on help. Joan

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