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    Default Male leopard gecko eating very little for months - helpful hints appreciated


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    Hi, we took over a three year old leopard gecko (male) that we named Legolas about three months ago. He moved home to us in his existing terrarium with lamps and decor. The previous owner explained that he used to feed with 1-2 dubia roaches every third or fourth day, the gecko had not liked mealworms and had not been able to track down crickets. With us it has been about 36-39 degrees C in the warmest part and about 23-24 degrees C in the cool part during the days and room temperature at night. During this time, he has in total eaten a few (at least three) dubia roaches and rarely shows up during the day. We have presented dubia roaches, flour worms and crickets, and he is completely uninterested (except for the three times we have seen him take a dubia roach). During this time we have provided several dubia roaches that we either put back in their containers immediately when he was uninterested, alternatively found them alive and happy several days later. He might actulally have eaten one or two of these that we have lost track of, but not many.
    The tail that was relatively thick from the beginning is getting narrower. He defecatates 1-2 times a week (in the same corner every time). He has a water bowl where we change water every day, we have moist moss in a container he seldom visits, and we shower water into the terrarium at least once a day. We have felt his stomach, and it seems soft and fine, but. We tried to bath him a few times as suggested by a local pet store, but this seems to be very stressful and did not help, so we have stopped that, and we handle him quite sparsely (perhaps once a week) since that also seems stressful. We have tried to read a lot both in books and at the Internet, but without finding a suggestion for the reason of the present lack of interest in food. Eating so little food also leads to that he also gets very little extra calcium since we put calcium powder on the dubia roaches that he does not eat.
    The terrarium is about 90cm*40cm (bottom surface). Pictures of Legolas and his terrarium (from yesterday) are enclosed.

    IMG_1788.jpgIMG_1789.jpg

    We are worried that he is not eating and also seems inactive, does anyone have any tips?
    greetings Jonas

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    With us it has been about 36-39 degrees C in the warmest part and about 23-24 degrees C in the cool part during the days and room temperature at night.
    Welcome to Geckos Unlimited, Jonas!

    1. Are these air temps or ground temps?
    2. How are you heating Legolas' enclosure?
    3. Do you have a thermostat?

    Your cool end sounds just right, but your warm end is way too hot. Please adjust your warm end temps to match this chart.

    Temperatures - A temperature gradient from warm to cool maintains your leo's health. Here's a temperature guide for all leopard geckos as measured with the probe of a digital thermometer or a temp gun (and controlled by a thermostat set at 91*F/32.8*C).

    Place the thermostat's probe and a digital thermometer's probe together right on top of the substrate underneath the warm dry hide. If you use a UTH + a CHE you'll need 2 separate thermostats, because ground and air temperatures are substantially different.

    • Warm dry hide ground temperature: 88-92 F (31.1-33.3 C) inside a leo's warm dry hide.
    • Warm humid/moist hide: Also place the humid hide 100% on top of the heat mat. Keep temperatures similar to the warm dry hide.
    • Cool dry hide ground temperature: 70ish-75 F (21.1-23.9 C) Usually the cool end ground temperature matches the room temperature where the enclosure sits.
    • no greater than 82ish F (27.8ish C) air temperature - 4 inches (10 cm) above ground on the warm end
    • no greater than 75 F (23.9 C) air temperature - 4 inches (10 cm) above ground on the cool end

    Leave the heat mat/UTH on 24/7. If you wish, during the night turn off overhead lighting/heating (~12 hours on and ~12 hours off) unless ambient room temperatures drop lower than 67ish*F (19.4*C).
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 05-05-2020 at 04:29 AM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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    Thanks for the quick reply! These are ground temperatures, where the warm temperature is at the ground, inside the hide at the warm side. We thought he liked the temperature, because he often remains there during the day, but perhaps it is so hot he does not act normally. He has a heat mat on the warm side that is turned on at 24/7 and an adjustable heat lamp that is turned on 12 hours a day, but no thermostat. We have now turned of the heat lamp to see what happens and where the temperature settles, and we will slowly rise the heat if necessary. Thanks again, I will come back with updates.
    best regards
    Jonas
    Thanks Elizabeth Freer thanked for this post

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas Sandstedt View Post
    Thanks for the quick reply! These are ground temperatures, where the warm temperature is at the ground, inside the hide at the warm side. We thought he liked the temperature, because he often remains there during the day, but perhaps it is so hot he does not act normally. He has a heat mat on the warm side that is turned on at 24/7 and an adjustable heat lamp that is turned on 12 hours a day, but no thermostat. We have now turned of the heat lamp to see what happens and where the temperature settles, and we will slowly rise the heat if necessary. Thanks again, I will come back with updates.
    best regards
    Jonas
    During this time we have provided several dubia roaches that we either put back in their containers immediately when he was uninterested, alternatively found them alive and happy several days later. He might actulally have eaten one or two of these that we have lost track of, but not many.
    You're welcome.

    Please don't "recycle" uneaten insects. Recycling insects could spread potential disease. It's simply not worth it.

    Legolas has a wonderful size home: 90 cm = 35.4 inches!
    1. What size is his heat mat as compared to his 60 x 40 cm enclosure?
    2. What substrate are you using?
    3. Legolas is hefty. He's in no immediate danger. He could lose some grams and still be a good size.
    4. What powdered supplements do you have for Legolas? I understand no eating = no supplements.

    It's important to control the heat mat with a thermostat. Overhead heat requires a second independent thermostat or at least a rheostat/dimmer.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 05-05-2020 at 01:49 PM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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    Thanks, we would like to make it more interesting with regions where he can climb, but we want him to start eating first. The heat mat covers 30cm of length, that is 1/3 of the terrarium floor. Although I turned of the heat lamp earlier today, the heat has continued to rise, now to over 40 degrees Celsius, so I have turned of the heat mat - it should keep a steady temperature that is much lower and might have broken. Have to check this.
    We use sand that was provided by the previous owner. The local pet shop recommends an eatable substrate that should be harmless, but we have not bought that yet. You are correct, no eating, no supplements. We placed supplements on a small plate in the terrarium and hoped he would get into contact with it and possibly eat some of it, but that was perhaps not a good idea. The supplements are calcium+D3 and multi vitamin from Exo Terra.
    best regards Jonas

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas Sandstedt View Post
    Thanks, we would like to make it more interesting with regions where he can climb, but we want him to start eating first. The heat mat covers 30cm of length, that is 1/3 of the terrarium floor. Although I turned of the heat lamp earlier today, the heat has continued to rise, now to over 40 degrees Celsius, so I have turned of the heat mat - it should keep a steady temperature that is much lower and might have broken. Have to check this.
    We use sand that was provided by the previous owner. The local pet shop recommends an eatable substrate that should be harmless, but we have not bought that yet. You are correct, no eating, no supplements. We placed supplements on a small plate in the terrarium and hoped he would get into contact with it and possibly eat some of it, but that was perhaps not a good idea. The supplements are calcium+D3 and multi vitamin from Exo Terra.
    best regards Jonas
    Can you buy a thermostat to control ANY heat mat -- this heat mat or a new heat mat? A thermostat will keep heat mat temps as set. A thermostat will NOT allow the temps to climb much above or below that set point.

    Exo Terra's multivitamins aren't very good. Have you access to VetArk's Nutrobal and Pro Rep's Calci Dust (a pure calcium carbonate powder)?

    Exo Terra multivitamins
    • no vitamin A acetate
    • only beta carotene
    • fall short on vitamins
    • missing B12
    • lack much calcium
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 05-25-2020 at 02:55 AM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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    Thanks again, will buy a thermostat and look for other supplements tomorrow.
    best regards
    Jonas
    Likes Elizabeth Freer liked this post

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    Hello,
    Unfortunatlety this did not end well, and I want to share what happened to possibly help others.
    We managed to get very good temperatures in the terrarium, but there was no change. We therefore took Legolas to the vet, and after X-ray and ultrasonic examination it was concluded that it was a female (!) and that she had egg binding, and unfortunately she did not make it. There was internal organ tissue death (necrosis) due to a bacterial inflmmation following the egg binding. With grief we have buried Legolas at home, and can only hope that she suffered as little as possible.
    best regards
    Jonas

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas Sandstedt View Post
    Hello,
    Unfortunatlety this did not end well, and I want to share what happened to possibly help others.
    We managed to get very good temperatures in the terrarium, but there was no change. We therefore took Legolas to the vet, and after X-ray and ultrasonic examination it was concluded that it was a female (!) and that she had egg binding, and unfortunately she did not make it. There was internal organ tissue death (necrosis) due to a bacterial inflmmation following the egg binding. With grief we have buried Legolas at home, and can only hope that she suffered as little as possible.
    best regards
    Jonas
    I'm sorry that it was too late to help Legolas, Jonas. I really appreciate the details you've shared. May Legolas rest in peace.

    Here's a rose to ease your pain.

    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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