Leopard Gecko not eating

I

Inverted

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I have a Pastel Leopard Gecko that was purchased from a reptile show. It's a girl and she does not want to eat anything. I force fed her today and she waited until I put her down and she shook her head and flung the food out of her mouth. She does drink and shed recently but I have had her for over a month and I have never seen her eat. The crickets I put in her cage just die and the giant mealies I put in her dish never get touched. I don't know how much longer she can do this before she dies. I am worried and am wondering if anyone can shed some light on the problem or tell me a way to feed her that will guarantee she actually has to swallow. Her fat stores on her tail are getting pretty small.
 

william

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keep the cage clean may be parisites.you can buy jump start at the pet store may help id go see a vet if she gets to skiny and small tail
 

Hedorah99

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I have a Pastel Leopard Gecko that was purchased from a reptile show. It's a girl and she does not want to eat anything. I force fed her today and she waited until I put her down and she shook her head and flung the food out of her mouth. She does drink and shed recently but I have had her for over a month and I have never seen her eat. The crickets I put in her cage just die and the giant mealies I put in her dish never get touched. I don't know how much longer she can do this before she dies. I am worried and am wondering if anyone can shed some light on the problem or tell me a way to feed her that will guarantee she actually has to swallow. Her fat stores on her tail are getting pretty small.
She may have a disease known as Cryptosporidium. Its fairly common amongst leopard geckos. you will need to bring her to a vet ASAP.
 
I

Inverted

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The cage has brand new super fine grain calcium sand and she is older than 6 months so I am sure she has no compaction issues (besides she never eats). She always has fresh water and a dish of Sticky Tongue Miner-All without vitamin D3 as a supplement. The only plant in the terrarium is a fake plant that was completely washed by hand with a mild dish soap and then hot water rinse and dried. I know a local vet that has herp experience and I will call him in the morning to see if he will look at her.
 

Mushroom Spore

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The cage has brand new super fine grain calcium sand
Get that crap out of there. Calcium sand just encourages them to eat it, and it is NOT safe. The packaging is lying to you. Plenty of people have lost their pets to that junk, just ask any forum, particularly one with vets or vet assistants posting on it.
 

Freddie

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Errr... like the Mushroom Spore said - get that crap out of there.
And secondly; if the gecko looks fine and healthy and she's not skinny, don't worry. They don't eat all the time. My female gecko may fast several months and then eat again - and she's still fat.

Hope you have tried feeding after the lights have been switched off - sometimes even that is enough.
 

Nich

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Errr... like the Mushroom Spore said - get that crap out of there.
And secondly; if the gecko looks fine and healthy and she's not skinny, don't worry. They don't eat all the time. My female gecko may fast several months and then eat again - and she's still fat.

Hope you have tried feeding after the lights have been switched off - sometimes even that is enough.
Youve got a third here.
Ive had adult females go for months without eating. Remove the heatlamp, as it is raising her metabolism and shes not gettign calories to fuel it....and keep her at room temp for 2 weeks. REMOVE ALL HEAT SOURCES unless your room is less than 60 at night. they can tolerate ranges from 30-110....look at thier natural range. Get her on some paper towels or a bare bottom. Most people kill thier incredibly hardy DESERT geckos with kindness and attention.
 

Pink_tarantula

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she is probly inpacted. force feed her: mineral oil ,baby food (only meat) and hidration medicine. I breed geckos.
 

Taceas

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I agree with the others, that calcium sand is the worst stuff ever invented! They have a habit of licking stuff anyway, and too much of that stuff is deadly.

If she's losing weight in her tail and still isn't eating, I'd say an impaction is more than likely. Get her to a vet to see if they can give her an enema to loosen it up, or tube feed her some mineral oil to help pass it along.

Personally I wouldn't force feed her anymore than possible as its very stressful on them. Have the vet show you how to tube feed from a syringe, you could water down meat baby food into a slurry and tube it into her stomach where she shouldn't be able to regurge it from.

You might also try to see if you can get her to drink Ensure that you've squirted on her lips. It's got some pretty good nutrients for emergencies. I actually keep it in my emergency food supplies in the basement.

I house mine on that repti-carpet stuff. Paper towels just look tacky to me. ;)
 

ragnew

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I'm probably going to be hearing it for this but, I'm going to state some of my own opinions...

First off, yes the calic-sand can cause impaction, but that doesn't mean it will. I've kept Leopard Geckos for the last 15 years (was a pretty big breeder in my area a few years back) and for the first 10 of those years, I used nothing but a variety of sands (repti-sand and the calci-sands when they were introduced), and I've never once had anykind of an impaction problem. I think that the majority of the impaction problems come from animals that are very, very calcium and vitamin deficient. I used Rep-Cal twice a week, and supplimented that with Herptivite twice a week as well (hatchlings and juvs a bit more often). In all honesty, the only reason I switched from sand substrates was because it was no longer cost effective. With 200+ hatchlings the paper towel became a bit more then welcome.. :)

Another thing that I wanted to point out is that Cryptosporidium isn't quite as common among the Eubs. as it was 6 or 7 years ago, the majority of the animals that had Crypto were coming from breeders that were also breeding several different species of herps. Though if it is Crypto, well, that's pretty bad. The animal can (and many do) live throughout it's life time, but it's always going to be a carrier for the parasite, meaning that it will never be able to interact with anything else or the psite will spread. This might have changed since I left the Leopards, but I don't think so... Also, 99% of the time Crypto is identified by necropsy, so that can be quite pricey.

The parasites I'd be looking into would be ones that are a bit more main stream, and alot easier to get rid of. The most common would be Coccidia, it's pretty treatable with Albon or another Sulfa based drug, but I believe you have to have acid-fast stains done to have this protozoan uncovered. Then there's also nematodes and such (worms and others) that can be easily treated with Fenbendazole (panacur) and Metrondizole (Flagyl). Though all the above should be ID'd through fecal exams.

I wouldn't recommend taking the heat lamp off of an already ailing Leopard Gecko if it was me, or that'll only stress the beasty out a bit more...

I'd put her on paper towel (mainly for ease of cleaning), keep her warm (you can use a 60 watt red light 24/7) and get some fecals checked out and go from there... You might even want to talk to the breeder that it was purchased from if you have the info still.

Just my two pennies on this one.
 

Nich

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Another simple problem blown way out of proportion....
Inverted, just get it off the sand that hasnt been on the market for more than 8 years...lol, and give it a while before force feeding. The force feeding bit is the PETCO approach, give it a few weeks before force feeding. Calcisand and reptisand with calcium is bottom line horrible. If you breed leos and reptile and have done your research youll know that the chemicals used to bond the "sand" with the calcium are absorbant by nature, they literally dessicte the intestines when there is an impaction. Impacton is caused by afew other factors, but onc the calcisand is introduced (even in small quantites) it further the problem by dring out the already dry impaction. Sorry to be so frank but realigned Ive never seen you on fauna or KS, do you alias?
 

ragnew

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Another simple problem blown way out of proportion....
Inverted, just get it off the sand that hasnt been on the market for more than 8 years...lol, and give it a while before force feeding. The force feeding bit is the PETCO approach, give it a few weeks before force feeding. Calcisand and reptisand with calcium is bottom line horrible. If you breed leos and reptile and have done your research youll know that the chemicals used to bond the "sand" with the calcium are absorbant by nature, they literally dessicte the intestines when there is an impaction. Impacton is caused by afew other factors, but onc the calcisand is introduced (even in small quantites) it further the problem by dring out the already dry impaction. Sorry to be so frank but realigned Ive never seen you on fauna or KS, do you alias?
I've done more research then I could tell you. I even agreed with the fact that Calci-sand could cause impaction. But the Leopards I had for so many years were living proof that it doesn't always. I still think that over ingestion of any substrate is caused by bad supplementation on the owners behalf (again, just my thoughts). As for my alias, try looking up ragnew on Fauna. I still post in the T's and Scorps section (sometimes), but haven't done so with the Leopards since I stopped breeding them a few years back. As for KS, not for many, many years.
 

roach dude

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I've done more research then I could tell you. I even agreed with the fact that Calci-sand could cause impaction. But the Leopards I had for so many years were living proof that it doesn't always.
NO.... their living proof that you can get lucky... and now their living proof that mabye one will eat some and get impacted! Just take it off that stuff. Its like saying, if i run across a motorway i might not get hit by a 16 wheeler,! Think about it
 

ragnew

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NO.... their living proof that you can get lucky... and now their living proof that mabye one will eat some and get impacted! Just take it off that stuff. Its like saying, if i run across a motorway i might not get hit by a 16 wheeler,! Think about it
Lucky ...with each and everyone of them that was on it? For like a 6 - 8 year span? I don't think so. Roach Dude, have you ever did research on Leopards and impaction? If so what were the results? 99% of the theories out there lead to impaction coming from bad supplementation, and I, for one, believe that. So give me a comparison that's a little more intune then one that involves a person jetting across the highway and not being turned into a hood ornament.
 

roach dude

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Dont you think is safer not to risk thingy.. weather your right or not its better not to risk it...

I'm sure you dont want to kill its so its best to get everything out of the equation...
 

ragnew

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Dont you think is safer not to risk thingy.. weather your right or not its better not to risk it...

I'm sure you dont want to kill its so its best to get everything out of the equation...
That's an answer I respect and agree with. I should also clarify, that I would never risk the sand factor with an animal under 6 inches. But after that, if the subadults - adults are properly supplemented, I don't see the risk being as great as everyone else.

Nice to see people here can have different views without "too much" whinning and crying. After all, that's what the forums are all about.
 

Taceas

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I have yet to find a herp vet that says calci-sand is okay, so I'd personally trust a veterinarian over a luck o' the century breeder. Just because I breed corn snakes doesn't make me an expert into every facet of their husbandry.

One funny thing I should point out, our local Petsmart refuses to use it and has info stuck to the vivs cautioning against using it. But yet they still sell it. ;)

I lost my first pet store purchased leo from sand impaction, way back in 1997 when it was my first herp pet. It eventually succumbed to it, despite some expensive veterinary bills to try to fix it. Granted it wasn't Calci-Sand, just really fine sand, but sand none the less. I've seen calci-sand in the presence of moist things and it sticks like glue, so I can just see the problems it would cause in the gut of an animal. Way back on the KS leo forum I remember a user doing analytical tests and it doesn't dissolve near as fast nor as completely as the manufacturer claims.

The makers of such products are going to tell you whatever you want to hear, they're in it to make money pure and simple.
 

AviculariaLover

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I was recently hired at a pet store that keeps their leopard geckos on sand (not sure if it's calcisand or not, I'll ask). The boss said if there was anything in the reptile room that I feel should be changed, just to run it by her first, and it should be ok. She just wants the cages to be clean and presentable to customers (and I must say the other animals look well and are well taken care of). She said she's never had a leo with an impaction, and realized the risks because of the sand, but we feed them in a little dish... but they could still get sand in the water, or lick it, or from crickets running around in the sand. And its really hard to keep clean and ends up looking nasty.

What should I suggest for the leos instead of sand?
 

ragnew

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I have yet to find a herp vet that says calci-sand is okay, so I'd personally trust a veterinarian over a luck o' the century breeder. Just because I breed corn snakes doesn't make me an expert into every facet of their husbandry.
If the "luck o' the century breeder" comment was aimed at me, I'd really love to see how some of you would handle someone with an opposing view in the "real world". Also to clarify, I never once claimed to be an "expert" at any level when it came to Leopards. But I did (and will) post my opinions on what I've learned from keeping them.

So in my opinion, I don't think the sand is as horrid as so many people think when it comes to larger sub-adults or adults, but for hatchlings and smaller juvs, yeah it can be a death sentence.

I've a feeling this thread could get a bit uglier then it'd ever need to, so with that, I've stated my opinion and feel content in doing so.

Good luck with your Leopard Inverted, it could be an impaction, but it could also be one of a million other things as well. Either way, I really hope the best for you and your little buddy.
 
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Mushroom Spore

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What should I suggest for the leos instead of sand?
If you have any of that astroturf or felt type reptile carpet, that would work well. If your leos have adopted the habit of only pooping in one corner of the enclosure, you can put down an extra square of carpet in that corner. You'll only have to take out that square when they poop on it, and the larger piece won't need to be cleaned/replaced as often.

Also, umm...tile? Some people use stone tile of some sort, but I doubt you'd already have that lying around in a petshop.

Props to you for doing this, I've been trying to inform my local exotics shop for years but they don't seem to give a crap. If you can talk to your boss about possibly no longer even carrying the sand, above and beyond just telling people not to use it, that would be AWESOME.
 
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