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Thread: Sick Gecko

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    Exclamation Sick Gecko


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    Please help me. My crested gecko, Starpower, is sick and I don't know what's wrong with her. I have two cresteds, they are sisters and I raised them both from eggs. They hatched 2 minutes apart and generally have the same habits. They are currently 2.5 years old. A few weeks ago Starpower's fingertips and toes started to twitch. She also started acting strangely. Normally her and Bibble (her sister) always sleep in these little tubes every day but she just started staying out on the plants and branches and even spent whole days laying on the substrate. She started staying up during the day and losing her balance. I took her to the vet and they couldn't find anything wrong with her and gave me some liquid calcium to make sure she was getting enough.

    So I took her home and have been giving her the liquid calcium twice a day through a syringe but she is only getting worse. She is very weak and lethargic and her toe-twitching has become whole body twitching at times. She's been sitting with her mouth hanging open and even ate a mouthful of dirt.

    A few days ago, while checking on her I noticed that she was a bit dehydrated because her skin would stay up when I pinched it a bit. I became extremely worried at this point and since then I have been keeping the humidity very high, misting every hour, and ensuring that she drinks. Also, because of her lethargy and weakness, she can't hunt crickets so I have been spoon-feeding her baby food just to get her to eat.

    Last night she was walking on a stick and fell down into a water dish. I was getting very worried.

    Today I was misting the terrarium and my hand came close to her and she had what looked like a seizure. Her whole body seized, her back legs stuck up very strangely and she made erratic twitching motions with her mouth hanging open and snapping shut rapidly and her head slamming side to side. When it finished she looked a little weaker than usual. I moved her to a separate terrarium from Bibble and placed paper towels on the bottom instead of substrate to keep her from eating it. I did not place any sticks in there because I don't want her falling down. Just low-lying false plants and a water dish and a small dish of baby food. I'm keeping the humidity high and after drinking a lot of water (thankfully) she curled up under a plant and went to sleep.

    I'm seriously concerned about her. Does anyone know what might be wrong with her? Despite not eating any crickets recently, she looks fairly plump, like she has. I felt for eggs but I cannot feel any lodged inside.
    What do I do?

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    Contact someone from the nearest Herp society and get the name of the vet they recommend. Many 'standard' vets aren't very well versed in reptile disease and treatment.

    I'm sure the vet you used did his best and had good intentions, but it sounds like something a specialist should see.

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    Unhappy R.i.p.

    Yesterday she dropped her tail.

    I was worried about her being able to heal it while being sick so I took her to the vet. After some stiches, antibiotics and such and picking up some fresh UVB bulbs she was starting to look up last night and this morning.

    Then today at 5:02pm... she died.
    I'm a wreck.

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    Hi sarahsunshine ~

    I am very sorry to hear that Starpower has passed on.

    You did all the right things for her. I think she was suffering from Metabolic Bone Disease which begins with small twitches which do progress to full-blown seizures just as you have carefully described. Liquid calcium would be the treatment of choice...maybe just too late. You moved her to a separate cage with a paper towel substrate, kept the humidity high, had food and water dishes.

    What type of baby food did you use? peach, banana, chicken for protein?

    Not that it would have made things different in the end, but you might have given her a plastic tub hiding place, a toilet paper tube, or a section of bamboo. My crested likes to hang out in his bamboo tube during the day.

    How is Bibble? Were the sisters similar in size? Are you dusting her crickets with a phosphorous-free calcium with vitamin D3? Rep-Cal is an excellent brand.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 01-05-2009 at 01:55 AM.
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    ===> URGENT: No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside a vivarium EVER <===


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    Elizabeth Freer's Avatar
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    Arrow PS

    Does your vet treat exotics? Just wondering about the dosage level of the antibiotics.
    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

    Click:
    Leopard Gecko Care Sheet
    Health Questionnaire

    ===> URGENT: No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside a vivarium EVER <===


    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Lygodactylus kimhowelli ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ P. tigrinus

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    Hi sarahsunshine ~
    What type of baby food did you use? peach, banana, chicken for protein?

    Not that it would have made things different in the end, but you might have given her a plastic tub hiding place, a toilet paper tube, or a section of bamboo. My crested likes to hang out in his bamboo tube during the day.

    How is Bibble? Were the sisters similar in size? Are you dusting her crickets with a phosphorous-free calcium with vitamin D3? Rep-Cal is an excellent brand.
    I was feeding her peach baby food supplemented with calcium and vitamin D3.
    There was a paper towel tube in the terrarium as this is what the pair always sleep in during the day (there were two paper towel tubes suspended from a fake bamboo piece in the original terrarium). There was also a vine and a hiding rock and a hiding log. There was plenty of stuff in there, just nothing high up for her to fall from.
    Bibble seems fine. They were pretty much the same size (50g) except Starpower was getting a little chubby just before she died and weighed in at 56g at the vet the day before she died despite not eating much. I dust the crickets with calcium and D3 (currently Zoo-med brand, I used to have Rep-cal but haven't been able to get out to the nearest place to get it which is out of town) .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    Does your vet treat exotics? Just wondering about the dosage level of the antibiotics.
    The vet I took her to specializes in exotics. I found him through the yellow pages but was later recommended to him by local pet stores as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    Hi sarahsunshine ~
    You did all the right things for her. I think she was suffering from Metabolic Bone Disease which begins with small twitches which do progress to full-blown seizures just as you have carefully described. Liquid calcium would be the treatment of choice...maybe just too late.
    I took her to the vet straight away when we first noticed her fingers twitching. I was given the calcium gluconate but she still got much worse by the next vet visit a month later. At the next visit the vet told me that she didn't appear to be absorbing the calcium due to an apparent D3 deficiency. She was being supplemented with it but for some reason was not getting enough of it. So he recommended getting some UVB bulbs over her to increase her D3 levels. I guess I just didn't get to that fast enough.

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    That's horrible to hear about your gecko. How sad...especially after 2.5 years. Hopefully Bibble stays healthy for you.

    Are you feeding any type of Crested Gecko Diet? Or are you just feeding the supplemented baby food? I'd suggest trying to get your other girl on some type of CGD diet and forget the baby food altogether. Baby food is mostly sugars, and even with calcium and D3 supplementation, it probably wasn't enough to prevent a calcium crash. I'd even suggest getting Bibble X-rayed to see how her bone structure is. Chances are, if Starpower had these issues, then Bibble could with the same diet.

    Also, I haven't ever found an conclusive evidence that UVB is beneficial to crested geckos. There has been a lot of debate about that, and most keepers and breeders of them only use lighting to simulate day/night cycles and not for D3.

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    im sorry sarah its tough when you lose a pet, try to stay strong

    my question is did you ever give her any mineral supplement in her bf along with her calcium and D3vitamin?
    eating dirt is a sign that an animal is not getting enough minerals, when the body doesnt have the minerals it needs to function, death may occur...

    either way, im so sorry for your loss. we are all here for you
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