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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11459
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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My leopard gecko won't eat. It's been 4 weeks. No recent stools and I think his

Customer Question

My leopard gecko won't eat. It's been 4 weeks. No recent stools and I think his tummy looks swollen
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome. Thank you for requesting me. I apologize for the delay. I was not online at the time you posted your question, and I'm not sure why I was being shown as online. I just logged on and saw your question. I'm sorry to hear of your gecko's problem. It sounds like he is impacted.
I can give you some things to try. You'll need to buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants) and some prune baby food. We have to try to get some of the baby food into him. Drop a small dollop right on the end of his snout. Most of the time their reflexes cause them to lick it off. Then wait about 45 minutes. However, if he won't eat the prunes, you can go on to the next step without waiting. Prepare a shallow bath consisting of half water and half Pedialyte. It should be deep enough to cover the gecko's vent (where droppings pass out). They can absorb fluids through the vent. Soak him for about ten minutes. Then, with him still in the water, gently massage his underside from front to back for an additional ten minutes. This will often result in droppings being passed. You can repeat the process in a few hours if you need to.
There are also some conditions that can lead to this problem. If you use sand, crushed walnut, or another loose substrate, get rid of it. Pet stores promote these products, but they often lead to impaction and eye infections. Reptile carpet or ceramic tile are better choices.
Double check your temperatures. The warm side should be about 88*F and the cool side 82*fF. these temperatures should be maintained day and night.
If all conditions are right and the soaks/massages don't help, your gecko will need to be seen by a reptile vet. But give these measures a try and let me know how it goes. If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I hope your gecko will be fine.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you I will try this tonight when I get home. I use carpet substrate and always have since she was a baby. I will let you know how it goes.
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
You're welcome. I'm glad to hear you use carpet substrate. Sometimes a blockage is due to more serious problems, such as having eaten something they shouldn't have, or even a tumor or polyps. That's why a vet is recommended when simple first aid doesn't help. An x-ray has to be done to diagnose such things. If you need one, here is where you can find a reptile vet:

I wish you success with the first aid.


My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service only after you have all the information you need. Thank you!
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Polo. How is everything going?