My leopard gecko won't eat and its been about 3 weeks, she won't eat crickets and i made sure she was warm enough, i

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Customer: My leopard gecko won't eat and its been about 3 weeks, she won't eat crickets and i made sure she was warm enough, i don't know whats going on. please help me
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is the leopard gecko's name?
Customer: Tango
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Tango?
Customer: She's pretty young and very skinny
Answered by Anna in 4 mins 3 years ago
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Anna
30+ years of experience
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17,050 satisfied customers

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

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with over 20 years of experience keeping reptiles. I’m sorry to hear about Tango’s problem. Some additional information may help me determine the best steps for you to take.How long have you had her? Did she come from a pet store?What temperatures do you maintain on the warm and cool sides of the cage?Has she been passing normal droppings?Thank you.
Customer
I've had he for about 4 months and sh came from petco. i keep the tank at an average of 70 degrees, she has a heater on the bottom and sometimes a light on time, which isn't a heat light but it does provide heat. also she ives with Tango who is another female leopard gecko. and I'm not sure if she has because there is two geckos in the cage
Customer
sorry i meant tank
Customer
can we stick to talking over text?i can't afford anything else
Customer
hello?
Thank you for getting back to me. This isn’t an instant chat, so there maybe delays between responses. Just ignore the requests for phone calls- they are automated, not from me.
Customer
oh okay thank you and sorry
Customer
pleas take your time
It’s fine and thank you for the additional information. This site can be hard to figure out. I’ll go to work on some information for you now, and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience.
Customer
what do you mean post it? are you responding to me on here? sorry again

Yes, I'll be responding to you here. It will be just a few minutes. to make it easier for you, I'll give you parts of the information quickly. I'll start with a first aid measure. After not eating and getting skinny, Tango is dehydrated. You'll need to buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak Tango for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes and fluids through their skin and vents (where droppings pass out), so make the water deep enough to cover the vent. Be sure to supervise closely.

I'll be back with more.

Customer
Okay thank you so much!! and what do you think is wrong with tango? again take your time

I suspect you got your information on care from a pet store. Most people do. While we should be able to rely on such information, unfortunately, it is often wrong. They sell people the wrong lighting, advise the wrong foods, and often don't know the correct temperatures for the various reptiles. After weeks or months of things not being quite right, the animal becomes ill. Some of what you have been told is wrong, and I suspect that is why Tango is having so much trouble. Even though you have been trying so hard to keep her healthy, when you didn't have correct information to begin with, things are going wrong.

It's very possible that Tango is just too cold to be able to function properly. 70*F is very cold for a gecko. I'm surprised your other one isn't having difficulties, too. She may have just been stronger to begin with. Leopard geckos need 88*F on the warm side of the tank and 82*F on the cool side. An under-the -cage mat is adequate in some cases, but when it can't maintain warmth, we have to add additional heat sources. What is called a ceramic heat emitter is better than alight. These don't give off any light. since geckos are nocturnal, we don't want lights on at night, but we need to maintain those temperatures. Here are two sites where you can see what thse emitters look like, and order one if you want:

http://www.flukerfarms.com/ceramicheatemitter.aspx

http://www.bigappleherp.com/Big-Apple-Black-Infrared-Ceramic-Emitters

Once Tango has had a nice soak and has been warm enough for a few hours, you can try an alternate way of feeding. Buy some meat baby food (chicken, lamb, turkey, etc.). Drop a small dollop right on the end of her snout. Many times, reflexes will cause them to lick it off.

It's also possible that Tango has parasites. It's very common for this to happen with pet store lizards. Symptoms often include weight loss, runny droppings, and/or appetite loss. If she doesn't improve with warmth and Pedialyte soaks, it probably means she is either sick or has parasites. In that case, she'll need to be seen by a reptile vet. This site has a directory of them that will help you find one in your area:

http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlist

I'll be back once more.

Customer
Thank you so much!!!

You're very welcome!

Because pet stores give out so much incorrect information on care, I’m also sending along a care sheet, courtesy of Joan, another of our experts. She has many years experience with lizard rescue. You can use it as a checklist to make sure all the conditions are right. If you have more questions, just let me know. I'm glad to help. Many times, warmth and soaks result in a fast improvement. I that's what will happen with Tango.

Anna

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 after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. 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 (28*C to 31*C)all day and night. There are 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
Thank you so much i will try everything you've said. if it doesn't work how do i contact you again?
Just keep the link to these question. You can reply to it again, and I’ll be notified, so I can get back to you as soon as I come online.
Customer
Okay thank you so much!!
You’re most welcome.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Anna
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