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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18544
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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Hi Joan, I have a leo who is about 2 years old. She has

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Hi Joan,

I have a leo who is about 2 years old. She has done very well until about 2 weeks ago she started to get thinner, and then started regurgitating her food about 5 days ago. also no poop in the last 5-6 days. I took her to the vet 2 days ago (who specializes in reptiles), and they did an enema and checked for impaction. She said no impaction, but since no fecal sample they could not test for parasites. The vet gave me critical care food, a probiotic, and bene-bac pet gel. I was able to give her a bit of the food yesterday, but she has NO interest at all in her crickets anymore (which was all she used to eat), and just closes her eyes and turns away when I try to give her anything. Today, I was able to give her a bit more of the food but again not much and I am afraid she is just so weak and lethargic. I told the vet this and they said she needs more time...I am not 100% comfortable with that. This is a totally different gecko from just 3 weeks ago. Any advice?


This is Joan and I a Vet tech with special interest in Reptiles and reptile Rescue. Thank-you for requesting me. I would like to ask a few questions about the husbandry.

Can you tell me about the housing?

What type of substrate do you use?

Temps in the enclosure and the heat source?

Has diet been strictly ccrickets?

Any changes in the home?

Did the Vet do an abdominal X ray?

State where you live in case 2nd opinion needed.

Is Sammy taking the critical care?




Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Joan,


It's a 20 gallon tank and I was using calcium sand for 2 years with no issues, but the vet told me 2 days ago to switch to reptile carpet or slate so I changed to slate. I have a heating pad under the tank, and a dual light on top which I was using UV bulbs on, but switched 2 days ago to a one bulb heat lamp (with a red bulb and dimmer). It is cooler where I live so it's necessary to use various heating sources. I try to keep it between 80 and 90 on the warm side and 75-80 on the cooler side. She has a moist hide over the heating pad, and a cave on the other side, with a water dish, a catcus (which she loves to sit under), and now a feeding dish with some wax worms and meal worms in it, although she has NEVER liked worms...just crickets. Always crickets. We were away a few weeks ago and had a neighbor check in on her every day. At one point, the tank had gotten cool - down to 70 but not for long and they turned the lights on to warm it up. I don't think she enjoyed the enema very much - who would! She was actually eating and seemed interested in eating until I took her to the's just that she was vomiting every time she would eat.


The vet did not do an xray, but said to try this first as an xray could be very traumatic to her.


State where you live in case 2nd opinion needed. NY


Is Sammy taking the critical care? It is VERY difficult, but she does eat some of it off the dropper and I was able to actually squeeze some into her mouth. Once she starts (like last night) she almost seems to want to keep going but I think she's pissed because I'm feeding her. It was a bit more challenging this morning - I did get a little bit in her but she just closes her eyes and looks so sad when I try to give it to her.


The Cali Sand is one of the worst substrate possible. It hardens like concrete in the intestinal tract and causes partial and full blockages. What I would like to do is add some first aid to what you are doing. We can start with a hydrating soak of 50/50 Pedialyte and warm water in a snallow dish. While in the soak, genetly massage the abdomen from snout to vent. Once this is done, you can add the critical care to some chicken baby food, BeneBac and to this you can find Royal Jelly at the health food store and open the capsule and add it to the slurry mix. The chiclen baby food and the mixture should help with getting some nutrition into Sammy. The Royal Jelly is a high potency supplement and will help increase the appetite. Hopefully this will start to stimulate the appetite again and get Sammy eating. If you can get some of this slurry into Sammy, we eventually can try some baby food prunes and then wait an hour or two and try the soak to see if we can stimulate a bowel movement. If Sammy does not respond in a day or two I think a second visit or anothe opinion may be needed hands on. I will give you some links for Herp Vets in NY. Laurie Hess is one of the better ones, so if you had seen her, you are in good hands.

Please let me know if you need further clarification or if you have questions. I am here to help you until I give you 100% Excellent Service. Joan


Joan and other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Joan - I really want to thank you for your wonderful advice. Sammy pooped right after the bath - in my hand nonetheless! I've never been so happy to be pooped on-lol. I also gave her the baby food and royal jelly and she is eating it and doing much better.Thank you again!


I am so glad to hear Sammy is doing better! She had a good nurse.

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