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  1. #1
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    Default Is our little guy sick?


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    Hi all. I've had my Leopard Gecko for around 3 years now. We bought Fat Albert(my son chose the name) for my son's 3rd birthday. I've always been the caretaker for him so I know his habits forward and backward. He's always been an active and happy little guy. I'm a pretty careful guy when it comes to taking care of our animals so I can't think for the life of me what happened.

    Lately he started shedding a lot more. We moved about 5 months ago and since stress can cause this I wasn't worried. However, now he seems to be having issues with his eyes. He licks them quite a lot now and blinks constantly. They also look very dark and glossy(wet). I have to really look hard to see his pupils. He has not been eating as well as usual. I have to put the food right up to his face and he won't eat much when I'm feeding him. He doesn't seem like he can see it. He seems like he is having a hard time seeing anything in his tank but that may be because I'm looking for him to be having vision issues.

    He has a reptile mat, a moist hide with terrarium moss, a rock hide under the basking lamp. He has a regular diet of mealworks and waxworms which are always tossed in vitamins and gutloaded every 3rd feeding. His water is changed daily and his tank lightly misted whenever the humidity drops below 40%, which is checked daily. Then tells are kept perfect at 85-90 on the basking side and 75 on the cool(shedding) side. Trust me I wish I was cared for as well as this guy.
    Any advice would be great. My son would be heartbroken if his little buddy died.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to GU!
    Are the temperatures measured on the floor or in the air? If they're measured in the air, the enclosure is probably too hot and the eyes may be getting dried out. Since you're so concerned, I highly recommend finding a reptile vet in your area and bringing in the gecko with a fecal sample if possible.

    Aliza

  3. #3
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    The first thing that caught my attention after you talking about eye problems is the word basking, leos dont bask, they are are most active at dawn and dusk, but are more active at night than during the day. Basking lights are bad for leopard geckos and are highly recommend to not be used. They get heat through their bellies and need under tank heaters (UTH) instead of lights. You have came to the right place for the proper help, but the information you have gotten in the past is probably wrong based on what i read above. There is a lot of false information on the internet on how to care for leopard geckos, and one of them is lights. Bright lights can cause blindness and eye issues, which seems to be related to your problem. The first thing i would do is get rid of your basking light and buy a UTH if you dont already have one.

    The people here on GU are really great friendly people and will give you the proper living requirements for leopard geckos. Please dont feel like you are a bad owner though, there is a lot of misleading information on the internet. Although i can insure you we will give you the right information here at GU for caring for you gecko.

    The things in your post above that need to be changed are:
    Waxworms are horrible feeders, i recommend NEVER feeding wax worms.
    Never mist the cage, this can cause respiratory issues.
    Shedding should take place on the warm side, a cold wet gecko is not good.
    Bright lights should not be used over the leopard geckos tank.

    I know you want to be a good owner, and you dont think you were doing anything wrong. I also apologize for being so blunt about this... I just feel its best to get the information out there to help your gecko out, I hope you understand.

    Can we start with correcting you husbandry to get things on tract? Can you post a picture of the cage? Pictures can show a thousand words.
    1.0.0 Eublepharis macularius - Leopard Gecko
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    @kholtme makes all the right points above, I hope you post in response. As he wrote, waxworms are terrible! Mealworms are also not very good. Have you ever tried crickets and roaches? Hornworms are also great feeders, and probably the best way to get away from the waxworms, which are addictive to leo's.

    Todd
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    Well, Damn. I read a lot of info about these guys and now I find out it was all basically wrong. I seriously hope I haven't blinded the poor thing. I'll swap out the lamp ASAP for an undertank heater and make adjustments to his setup. However I spoke to a family member who work with these guys at a zoo and they said Waxworms are perfectly okay for a treat to feed them, which is how I use them. The main part of his diet is the mealworms. What am I supposed to believe with all the conflicting info I'm getting about these guys?

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    They are ok as an occasional treat, but that means using about 3 worms once a month. Mealworms are the most common feeders although they can be dangerous to your gecko. Their bodies (shells) contain a lots of chitin which can cause impaction and death. As amsdadtodd said, crickets and roaches (I prefer red runners) are great. Hornworms might be little difficult to get. By the way, lots of people recommend using reptile carpet. I think that thing is dangerous. I used to have it in my gecko's terrarium for a while and he stuck his teeth in it twice and couldn't get them out..

    Check this: Feeding Mealworms to Leopard Geckos...
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    I could be wrong, and if so I hope someone chimes in, but I would hesitate to change his whole life around in one big swoop. If he is ill, that much upheaval in his life could add more stress, put him off food, etc...? I would start with the light and heat source, that is most important in my eyes. Vet visit also just for a general check up/fecal. Worry about the diet later, he's doing fine on mealworms so stick with that and gradually add in maybe roaches or crickets, once he's taking other feeders well cut out the waxworms and decrease mealworms and just kind of slowly get him onto whatever you decide to feed him. And look through this forum, read read read, I have learned SO much since finding this forum. I am horrified by the way I almost set up and raised my little buddy based on information I had been told by certain people and sites, I can't believe people!!! Anyway. I hope your little dude turns around for the better
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  8. #8
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    Hi Stefulson ~

    A warm welcome to Geckos Unlimited.

    There is a huge amount of questionable information on the internet including YouTube. GU has helped many leopard geckos thrive.

    Maybe we can help your leo. What size enclosure does he have?

    I recommend using under tank heat mats (UTH) for belly heat as the primary heat source. Usually 1/2 the vivarium floor is best. For a 20 gallon long (30 x 12 x 12 inches) I suggest an 11 x 17 inch Ultratherm or Fluker's UTH. Stick the UTH underneath the vivarium with aluminum tape. It's also helpful to add overhead heat, especially during the cool months. For that I recommend a ceramic heat emitter (CHE). CHEs produce heat but no light.

    The diet you feed the mealworms will increase their nutrition. What do you feed them now?
    "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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  9. #9
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    Zimmer makes a great point. I would first start with changing the heating source. Start with a uth, get the warm side temps to 88-92, and the cool side around 70-75. Get a moist hide on the warm side and keep it moist 24/7 and also keep a warm dry hide as well. Waxworms arent going to kill your gecko just by feeding a few, they are just very addictive and can cause your gecko to not eat any other food but waxworms. They offer the nutrition value that can be compared to candy. Children would rather eat candy than any other food, but if you dont give them any good food how will their bodies be strong? You can offer waxworms as a treat every so often, i have just read so many horror stories about how people give their gecko one waxworm and they dont eat for weeks unless it is a waxworm. So its not worth the risk to me. My opinion, but if you wish to offer them as treats that is okay, just dont feed as a regular diet. Meal worms are okay feeder, but as stated above not the healthiest. I prefer red runner roaches and dubia roaches. Crickets are good feeders, just annoying and smell.
    1.0.0 Eublepharis macularius - Leopard Gecko

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