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  1. #1
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    Question Eyeball my leopard gecko for healthy shed and weight?


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    Hi all -

    Attached are two pictures of Scooter. I've had her for about two months now and things seem to be going fine, but I wanted to check in about a few things. I also included her health sheet at the bottom of this post.

    1. Just from appearance, does she look like she's at a healthy weight? Which leads me to...

    2. Is there a specific scale that people recommend for weighing leos?

    3. I often will notice some whiteness near her toes. Is this stuck shed, or is it common for toes to look like that? If it is stuck shed, it's hard to see where it breaks off from the rest of the her body. In the pictures below, she had just recently shed.

    scooter on my leg.jpg

    0929152008.jpg

    I feel like at this point I have very little to add to this forum, but I always love reading what other people's geckos are up to. Thanks as always for the pointers!!!

    Health information:

    General Information
    Species of lizard: Leopard Gecko
    Gecko's name: Scooter
    Morph: Normal
    Gender: Female
    Age: 2 years
    Weight: Not sure
    Total length: About 7 inches
    Length of your reptile when you first acquired it: Recently acquired
    Source (pet store, breeder, previous owner): Previous owner was my mother, who bought her from a non-big box pet store about 18 months ago
    Captive bred or wild caught: Captive bred

    [/u]Vivarium[/u]
    Enclosure dimensions (length x width x heighth):12x12x30
    Cage (type, size): 20 gallon long glass aquarium
    Substrate provided: 90% tile, 10% paper towel
    Types of hiding places provided: Warm hide, cool hide, moist warm hide
    Is there a humidity hide? location?: Yes, warm side
    Please describe any other furnishings: Fake plants
    List recent changes in the environment, if any: None

    Lighting
    Artificial lighting
    Incandescent (“screw-in” bulbs): wattage(s): None
    Fluorescent (tube bulbs):
    Access to ambient daylight from a distant window: Yes
    Note: I live in a studio apartment, meaning if I have the lights on at night, Scooter will see it. I try to reduce the lighting at night and point it away from her cage.

    Heating
    Do you have a thermometer(s) in the cage? Yes
    What type and brand of thermometer (digital with probe, temperature gun, LCD strip, analog (circle), combo digital thermometer/hygrometer, stainless steel aquarim type, other): I have two Jumpstart Hydrofarm digital probes. The one inside her warm moist side is set to 91, and is connected to the UTH. The other measures her cool side, is not currently connected to anything.
    What is the ground temperature right on the substrate under the warm dry hide: 88 to 92ish.
    What is the air temperature on the warm end about 4 inches up from the ground: Not sure, need to get an air thermometer.
    What is the air temperature on the cool end about 4 inches up from the ground: Room temperature, so 75ish
    What device(s) are used to maintain the temperature (Under Tank Heater, heat light, ceramic heat emitter, Flexwatt heat tape, hot rock, other): Medium (made for 30-40 gallon tanks) UTH from reptitherm.
    Ventilation space for your UTH by elevating the tank above the shelf (some UTHs come with sticky feet for the tank corners): Yes, also going to add some tiles, don't want my apartment to catch on fire!
    Are you using a thermostat(s)? Yes, one for UTH.
    Which hide does she/he spend most of her time? Recently she rotates between her cool hide and her warm dry hide when she's sleeping. When she's more active will hang out on top of a hide/
    Is the temperature decreased at night? by how much? Right now no.

    Humidity
    Is the humidity measured? No, need to get on that!
    Humidity range: Unknown

    Diet
    Insects and worms, list type: Dubias are her staple. I add in meal worms, horn worms, and butter worms for variety.
    Regular diet fed to the insects and worms: Total Bites, which is a cube supplement for moisture + vitamins.
    Are the insects and worms formally “gutloaded” 1-2 days prior to feeding off to your gecko? If so with? For the refrigerated mealworms, I take them out about 12 hours before feeding and put them in a container with turnip greens and oatmeal. The dubias have the Total Bites gel supplement.

    How often do you feed your gecko? Every other day - every three days
    Please list any supplements (with brand names) used. How are they given and how often? Right now I'm dusting all insects with 50% calcium, 50% RepCal with D3.

    What calcium brand are you using? with D3, without or both? Unbranded, got at local reptile store
    Is the calcium in the tank with D3 or without? No
    Multivitamins (include brand name)? RepCal with D3.
    Please list any recent additions/changes in the diet: I gave her butter worms for the first time last week.

    General Health
    If your gecko is sick, please describe the signs and how long your gecko has been showing these signs: Currently not sick
    Is your gecko’s general activity level normal, decreased, or increased? Normal
    Is your gecko’s appetite normal, decreased, or increased? Normal
    Have you noticed any of the following?
    Weight (loss or gain): None
    Discharge from the eyes or nose: Nope
    Increased breathing rate or effort: no
    Change in the droppings: no
    Urates
    ---white or yellowish: White
    ---size of urates as compared to size of feces: Roughly the same
    Abnormal skin color or shedding: no
    Parasites on the skin or in the feces: no
    Weakness: no

    Previous problems and/or illnesses: Scooter went through a period about six months ago (while living with her previous owner, my mom) when she was wasn't eating and became very skinny. My mom reexamined the husbandry and gave her something (an antibiotic? Don't remember) with a stopper, and now she's back to having a nice, healthy tail.

    Other Critters in Same Cage or in Household: Just me
    List other animals that are kept in the same cage: None
    Recent acquisitions (new pets within the past 6 months): None
    Are any of your other pets ill? Nope
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  2. #2
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    She's on the beefier side of things, but visually appears healthy.

    As for a scale...if you have a Harbor Freight where you live, stop by it for one of these.

    Digital Pocket Scale

    It has an accuracy of ± 0.1 gram with a max of 500 grams, currently on sale for $13.99.
    Chris Cirrincione
    Herpetofauna of New Mexico


    Leann & Greg Christenson regarding Phelsuma, "By giving them the best possible captive care, they have rewarded us with their great personalities and stunning appearance." Day Geckos in Captivity

    A concept, an idea, a philosophy that I'd like to think I and others live by for the captive animals we care so passionately about.
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    I'd say she is a little too plump. Maybe just feed less at each feeding?
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    Thank you Russell and Chris - I had a feeling that was the case, but I wanted someone else's opinion.

    Thanks for the tip about Harbor Freight, I'll go and pick up a digital scale today and give her a proper weighing. From there I'll work on how to scale back a little at feeding time.

    Scooter can't talk, but whether she realizes it or not she's grateful for all the help we get on this forum!
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    Okay, so I was able to weigh her today, and she comes in at 69 grams. She's about 8 inches long (including tail), and is about 2 years old. Combined with her visual appearance, should I be scaling back her food?

    Right now I offer her up to about 4 medium dubias, three times a week. (The dubias are sometimes substituted with butterworms or meal worms for variety)...should I be lowering this to more like 3 dubias or equivalent insects per feeding?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by muffin_song View Post
    Okay, so I was able to weigh her today, and she comes in at 69 grams. She's about 8 inches long (including tail), and is about 2 years old. Combined with her visual appearance, should I be scaling back her food?

    Right now I offer her up to about 4 medium dubias, three times a week. (The dubias are sometimes substituted with butterworms or meal worms for variety)...should I be lowering this to more like 3 dubias or equivalent insects per feeding?
    I vote for cutting back Scooter's food some. Butterworms and mealworms are probably higher in fat than dubia, depending upon what you feed them.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 10-03-2015 at 03:47 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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  7. #7
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    Comments from your thorough Health Questionnaire report!

    Lucky Scooter! He has a nice mix of bugs and worms.

    1. Are you doing pretty good keeping Scooter's warm moist hide moist 24/7?
    2. I can't see the toe whiteness you have mentioned.
    3. Room humidity 40-50% is good. I would not worry at all as long as Scooter sheds well. I live on the NW Oregon coast. My living room humidity runs about 47-50%.
    4. So something is elevating your enclosure to give your UTH ventilation? Have you added the tiles now?
    5. As long as room temperatures drop no lower than ~68*F during the night, it's OK to turn off the UTH for 8-11 hours.
    6. A digital thermometer's probe will measure air temps.
    7. Urates are usually about 1/3 the size of the feces. Good that Scooter's are white.
    8. Rep-Cal's calcium with D3 contains more D3 than any other like product on the market. That is not a good thing. I'd use it no more than 1x per week. When you run out, how about Zoo Med's Repti Calcium with D3 instead?
    9. Consider adding a multivitamin. I like and use Zoo Med's plain (no D3) Reptivite multivitamins. However, maybe Scooter is "covered" with his varied diet?
    10. Turnip greens are great, high calcium and low phosphorus! However, they are very high in vitamin A. I don't know if that's a problematic level. For a veggie significantly lower in vitamin A than turnip greens, check out collards. Play around with the USDA link: Foods List
    11. Total Bites is very low in protein with more than 3x the fat. It's extremely high in fiber. I like to use feeder food that contains about 16% protein and 3-5% fat. Click: Nature Zone Total Bites for Feeder Insects: Reptiles Feeder Insect Diet
    "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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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    Comments from your thorough Health Questionnaire report!

    Lucky Scooter! He has a nice mix of bugs and worms.

    1. Are you doing pretty good keeping Scooter's warm moist hide moist 24/7?
    2. I can't see the toe whiteness you have mentioned.
    3. Room humidity 40-50% is good. I would not worry at all as long as Scooter sheds well. I live on the NW Oregon coast. My living room humidity runs about 47-50%.
    4. So something is elevating your enclosure to give your UTH ventilation? Have you added the tiles now?
    5. As long as room temperatures drop no lower than ~68*F during the night, it's OK to turn off the UTH for 8-11 hours.
    6. A digital thermometer's probe will measure air temps.
    7. Urates are usually about 1/3 the size of the feces. Good that Scooter's are white.
    8. Rep-Cal's calcium with D3 contains more D3 than any other like product on the market. That is not a good thing. I'd use it no more than 1x per week. When you run out, how about Zoo Med's Repti Calcium with D3 instead?
    9. Consider adding a multivitamin. I like and use Zoo Med's plain (no D3) Reptivite multivitamins. However, maybe Scooter is "covered" with his varied diet?
    10. Turnip greens are great, high calcium and low phosphorus! However, they are very high in vitamin A. I don't know if that's a problematic level. For a veggie significantly lower in vitamin A than turnip greens, check out collards. Play around with the USDA link: Foods List
    11. Total Bites is very low in protein with more than 3x the fat. It's extremely high in fiber. I like to use feeder food that contains about 16% protein and 3-5% fat. Click: Nature Zone Total Bites for Feeder Insects: Reptiles Feeder Insect Diet
    1. I spray her moist hide down once a day. Right now this hide is a yogurt container, and there's sphagnum moss inside. I could do it more often, but I don't want to disturb her more than that?

    2 + 3. Good to hear! I'm still fairly new at this, and am trying to figure out what's normal. I live in the Bay Area. As long as I don't see stuck shed, I'll just continue to keep providing her a moist hide and assume all is well.

    4. Yes, it's elevated now - Scooter doesn't get free rent if my apartment burns down!

    5. Hmm...interesting, maybe it's worth getting a timer. The closer it gets to winter, though, the lower temperatures are going to drop. Also, lately I notice she mostly hangs out on the cool side. Not
    exclusively, albeit (she'll wander out, go into the warm hide for an hour, come out when she thinks it's food time). However right now the cool side is about 76 Fahrenheit. Warm side never gets hotter than about 92.

    6. I'll add a digital thermometer to the list! Do you have a recommendation?

    7. Good to know, and that sounds about right.

    8. Noted! If I'm not using the RepCal calcium with D3, is it okay if I dust with just plain calcium instead?

    9. Mmm...I try to give her a variety, but the truth is most days it's dubias, with butterworms or mealworms once a week. Regardless of how much variety, I'm assuming I should pick up a multivitamin?

    10 + 11. Picked up some collard greens at the grocery store tonight Er...I apologize if this is a question that gets asked a lot, but if I feed the roaches collard greens, do I have to also give them some form of pre-packaged supplement? (I keep the roaches at room temperature, and I'm never positive that they're eating).

    In terms of cutting back her food, would 3 insects/feeding be about right to start? Up until now it's been closer to 4-5. Also, although the mealworms are smaller, are they about equivalent in fat to dubias?

    I really appreciate you looking over my questionnaire! I've read a lot of your advice on this forum, and it's been really helpful.
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  9. #9
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    You're most welcome.

    1. Spraying the sphagnum moss 1x daily is good. Here's my leo's moist hide:

    DSC_0142.jpg

    3. Noticed on herpmomx7's thread that you live in the Bay Area.
    4. Keep Scooter's rent-free apartment safe!
    5. I have my leo on a time. I wonder why Scooter hangs out so much on the cool side.
    6. The yellow Zoo Med digital thermometer with probe ~$10.
    8. I would just dust with D3 Rep-Cal 1x per week. The 2nd time per week I'd dust with a wee bit of plain (no D3) Zoo Med Reptivite. If you switch to the beardie food, you probably should cut back Reptivite dustings to 2x per month. I would not dust with something every feeding.
    9. As far as I've seen, butterworms are as high in fat as waxworms.
    10. Good on the collards!
    11. I'd switch from Total Bites to Zoo Med's Natural Adult Bearded Dragon Food. It comes in 10 oz, 20 oz, and (50 lbs)! Crickets, dubia, and mealworms do well on it. Then offer a lid of chopped collards or pesticide-free dandelion flowers/greens off to the side. Keep the dry diet dry.
    12. Mealworms have more fat than dubia. I have heard that uric acid accumulation is a problem when dubia are used as a staple. That's why I use crickets as a staple and add dubia once in a while.

    I keep my dubia in a 10 gallon at room temps. I place an 8.5 inch dome clamp lamp on top with either a 25 or 40 watt incandescent bulb inside. Right now there is a 25 watt there. I still see dubia nymphs.

    Here's a link to kholtme's self cleaning dubia set-up: Self cleaning Dubia roach set up

    13. I'd try 3 insects per feeding and see how it goes.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 10-04-2015 at 03:22 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)

  10. #10
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    Just wanted to give an update. I've switched Scooter to 3 insects per feeding, 3 feedings/week. Two of those feedings are dusted with RepCal w/D3. Tomorrow my plan is to go to the pet store and pick up the Reptivite w/o D3 that Elizabeth suggested, and go down to only giving her the RepCal with D3 once a week. I took the Total Bites out of the dubia's cage and am now just feeding them collard greens.

    Scooter is still coming in at 69 grams, but she's not gaining weight either. (You could probably make a whole thread devoted to how to get a leo to sit still on a scale!!!) Lately she's been getting 1 dubia and around 2 horn worms, with occasionally a mealworm substituted in.

    Generally speaking Scooter is doing well, except she hasn't pooped for several days now and she's making her mom worried! Still happily eating, though, and no visible discoloration on her belly. I don't know if the horn worms (or something else) is making her constipated? If I don't see her poop by early next week, I'll take her to the vet. Her coloring suggests she's on the verge of shedding, in case that has any influence.
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