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    Default Suddenly Lost Ability To Move...


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    I was hoping to connect with anyone who has experienced similar symptoms in their geckos. I have filled out the entire care sheet and will attach it below. Thanks for the time and any information.

    SYMPTOMS: I have 8 leopards and although I check on them often, I make sure to take them out of their tanks and handle them weekly to check for any stuck sheds, eye issues, scrapes, etc... So I know for a fact that last week, Malcolm was a typically squirmy gecko. Saturday, I noticed he was just outside his hide which is unusual for him. I didn't want to bother him yet in case he was seeking more warmth as he is still quite skittish. I took him out in the evening and noticed how wrong something was. He lost all ability to move. His tail went very rigid and hard to the touch, the tip is kinda pink and sticks up a little. I keep planted tanks for all my healthy geckos so I immediately took out everything and replaced it with paper towel. He has no ability to lift his body off of the ground. His hind legs just kind of lay there, he couldn't pull them under himself. He also experienced tremors. I have dealt with MBD many times but have never seen it some on so quickly. Have any of you? It is Monday now and he is doing considerably better. I'm continuing my treatment (outlined below) but am still stumped as to what caused it. He can keep his head lifted off the ground now. He can get around a little, but still struggles to lift his body off of the ground. I see no issues with his bones, nothing is bending funny or swallow. When he gets his feet under himself, the structure is all there. His spine is straight as well. No trouble breathing and he is eating from a syringe very well. No problems with the jaw bones either. Could it be something neurological from bad breeding practices that has kept him from growing and thriving? If it is MBD, has anyone seen it present this fast and with no apparent affect on the bones? Dehydration perhaps?

    HISTORY: I would guess Malclolm to be around 8 months. I bought 2 leopards from a pet store 4 months ago. The pet store has so knowledge of exotic animals and their shipments often arrive quite sickly. I can't help but bring them home when passing through the area. Malcolm and Maisey did originally cohabitate. As they got older, Malcolm wouldn't stray from his hide, not even to poop so I moved him to his own tank. He still wasn't much for exploring. He won't eat on his own. He will eat from the tongs, but not as much as his sister. His appetite has declined over the last few months. He has barely eaten this last month (and hasn't been pooping). His sister, Maisey, is strong and healthy and looks to be the size of a grown gecko whereas Malcolm still resembles a baby.

    TREATMENT: Just to be clear: I am treating the little fella for dehydration, MBD and constipation--simply put, because those are things I can treat for. I am giving him plenty of fluids with electrolytes and calcium, and feeding him crested gecko diet. He is eating well--no issues swallowing--which is a nice change for me. (Many of the rescue geckos I end up with have such severe cases of MBD that I am forced to tube feed the poor fellas.) His breathing is also completely normal. I have been giving him warm baths with belly massages and he finally pooped today, yay!

    There are no vets for me to take him too. I live in a small town and we have vets for dogs, cats and large livestock. There is a vet clinic 2 hours away that specializes in smaller animals. They were great with our ****atiel. My brother recently took his bearded dragon in and the first thing the vet told him was that she knew absolutely nothing about them. So a whole ton of money later and no answers from the confused vet, we did our own research, changes the diet a little, and vola, a healthy dragon. So vets are unfortunately not an option.

    ----------------------------------------------Care Sheet---------------------------------------------

    Basic Information
    Species of lizard: Leopard Gecko
    Gecko's name: Malcolm
    Morph: Stripe Bell Albino
    Gender: Male as far as I know. I have an easier time sexing them as they get older.
    Age: 8 months far as I can tell.
    Weight:*30g. He was 4g when I bought him 6 months ago. I have not been happy with his weight gain. His housemate, who was same size/age at time pf purchase, is 41g. I take them out of tank to feed so it is not a case of one hogging or dominating the food.

    Enclosure dimensions (length x width x height): 30x12x12
    Substrate provided: Soil-planted tank. Currently using a towel-removed dirt this morning. Used paper towel for first 4 months.

    What type and brand of thermometer (digital with probe, temperature gun, LCD strip, analog (circle), combo digital thermometer/hygrometer, stainless steel aquarium type, other):* Exoterra thermometer plus a temperature gun.
    What is the ground temperature right on the substrate under the warm dry hide:*(My brother has temperature gun so I can't check at the moment.)
    What is the air temperature on the warm end about 4 inches up from the ground:*90F
    What is the air temperature on the cool end about 4 inches up from the ground:*70F
    What device(s) are used to maintain the temperature (Under Tank Heater, heat light, Ceramic Heat Emitter, Flexwatt heat tape, hot rock, other): Under tank heater on one side of tank, heat lights

    Insects and worms, list type: Mealworms are staple. Crickets every now and then. Waxworms as treats, not very often.
    Regular diet fed to the insects: Lettuce and various veges, bran and fishflakes.
    Regular diet fed to the worms: I'm not gutloading meal worms at moment. Stopped a while ago because all my geckos were older and seemed nice and healthy.

    How often do you feed your gecko?*As a baby everyday, and then I cut back as they get older. I feed my healthy adults once a week, 5-20 mealworms depending on size. (Charlie's on a diet...) Sometimes I will leave a smalldish with mealworms during the week. I've attempted to feed Malcolm whenever I would catch him out of his hide, which is not often.
    Please list any supplements (with brand names) used. How are they given and how often? When I fed everyday: Exto Terra. Alternate between Calcium and Calcium with D3, Multivitamins on weekends. Otherwise I use a mixture I made from all 3.

    If your gecko is sick, please describe the signs and how long your gecko has been showing these signs:* Sunday he spend the day just outside his hide which is unusual. I didn't want to bother him if he was just seeking warmth. When I checked on him in the evening, I could see right away that there was something very wrong. He cannot lift his body off of the ground. His tail appears short and is very stiff and sticking up a little. I gave him some water and some crested gecko diet and he is able to swallow fine. He seems to have tremors randomly, like he is seizing. He can drag himself a little but it almost appears like his hind legs are paralyzed.

    It happened quite suddenly. I check on my geckos often and I handle them every weekend to check on any shedding issues or eye problems, etc... I have 9 leopard geckos, most of them rescues. I have dealt with too many cases of MBD due to people thinking these exotic animals make good pets for beginners, and in severe cases, I do have the means to tube feed. I have also successfully removed a retained eye cap from shedding issues. I also have a leopard gecko who lost a leg and tail because someone decided to house a bunch of different kinds of lizards in the same tank.

    All the information on sick leopard geckos out there focus on MBD. But it doesn't seem to fit. I've never seen MBD come on this quickly. His spine and legs are not misshapen at all. He has not eaten in about a month. He stays inside his hide but this is not usual for him. I moved him to his own tank because I worried he was staying inside due to the other geckos in the enclosure. The move didn't seem to make a difference. He is not skinny but he hasn't really grown much, compared to the others.


    Information

    General
    Gecko's total length: 7”
    Length of your reptile when you first acquired it: 3”
    Source (pet store, breeder, previous owner): Pet store I tend to buy lizards from because they are given inadequate care.
    Captive bred or wild caught: Captive bred

    Vivarium
    Number of hides: 6 (He was housed with same age gecko I bought at same time from same store)
    Location of hides: Hot side, cool side, in between.
    Is there a humidity hide? Location? It was planted tank so they use the plant and moss when they are molting. Seems to work well. I haven't had any problems with molting in my planted tanks.
    Please describe any other furnishings:*Water dish. I have been keeping a mealworm dish in center of tank because he has not been eating from me.
    List recent changes in the environment, if any: I added a cardboard Christmas tree....

    Lighting
    Artificial lighting No.
    Incandescent ("screw-in type bulbs): wattages: Daytime light is 100W, night time is 75W.
    Fluorescent (tube bulbs): No.
    Access to ambient daylight from a distant window: Yes.

    Heating
    Ventilation space for your UTH by elevating the tank above the shelf (some UTHs come with sticky feet for the tank corners): Little more than 1/2”.
    Are you using a thermostat(s)? No.
    Which hide does she/he spend most of her time? He likes a rock hide I have. He'll use it wherever I move it. It's been in the middle.
    Is the temperature decreased at night? by how much? Not under the lights.

    Humidity*
    Is the humidity measured?*Not anymore.
    Humidity range:*Because my tanks are planted, there tends to be a moist area where the plants and moss are. I increase the humidity by misting when they are going through a shed. I currently am not using moist hides because no one has been having shedding issues with this method.

    Diet*
    Are the insects and worms formally “gutloaded” 1-2 days prior to feeding off to your gecko? If so with? I gutloaded my meal worms and crickets when they were young. A variety of veggies and fruits, oatmeal, bran, calcium and crested gecko diet.
    What calcium brand are you using? with D3, without or both? Exoterra and I use both.
    Is the calcium in the tank with D3 or without? Not anymore. I used to have dish of plain calcium.
    Multivitamins (include brand name)? Exoterra
    Please list any recent additions/changes in the diet:*None except he hasn't eaten.

    General Health
    Is your gecko’s general activity level normal, decreased, or increased?*His activity level was high when I got him, which seems normal of baby geckos. It has decreased over time. He rarely comes out of his hide.
    Is your gecko’s appetite normal, decreased, or increased?*His appetite was healthy when he first came home but has decreased over time. He has not eaten over the last month (with the exception of 1 or 2 meal worms—I cut them in half so he could lick the guts first. Hasn't worked in the last couple weeks at all.)
    Have you noticed any of the following?*
    Weight (loss or gain):*No weight loss but the not gaining weight is what concerned me.
    Discharge from the eyes or nose: None.
    Increased breathing rate or effort: Seems normal except when it looks like he's seizing.
    Change in the droppings:*I realized I haven't been doing a good job monitoring it. He used to poop in his hide but I don't think he has been pooping. I tried giving him a warm bath yesterday and massaged his belly to see if it would help him poop.
    Urates*
    ---white or yellowish:
    ---size of urates as compared to size of feces:
    Abnormal skin color or shedding:*No issues shedding but I think it was over a month ago.
    Parasites on the skin or in the feces:*
    Weakness:*YES! His front hands flap when he wants to move but the legs don't lift his body or appear to move at all. His back legs appear to be paralyzed.
    Regurgitation:*I don't think so.

    Previous problems and/or illnesses* Failure to thrive? He's still tiny compared to the rest of my leopards.

    Other Critters in Same Cage or in Household
    List other animals that are kept in the same cage:*A leopard gecko bought at same time. My other tanks are 34x19x19 and I tend to house 2 geckos together depending on personality. With adequate food and shelter, I have not had any issues.
    Recent acquisitions (new pets within the past 6 months):*Nope.
    Are any of your other pets ill? Nope. His former housemate is completely healthy.
    Thanks Elizabeth Freer thanked for this post

  2. #2
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    I feel so bd for him but for him getting better, I reaserched and it looks like you are doing the right treatment, the site I looked at said that constipation was usally the cause, but keep on treating like you are if he is getting better.
    Thanks DanielleK thanked for this post
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    Constipation can cause hind limb weakness in some species, when the colon fills with hard stool - esp if the stool can't pass through the pelvis, it puts pressure on the nerves that control the rear limbs. Also being that stopped up can be painful, make them feel lethargic, can even cause decreased appetite and vomiting.

    Hopefully clearing him out will help with the weakness, and it is not something serious.

    I would recommend gutloading the mealworms with pro gutload or crushed zoomed adult bearded dragon food. One of the members on here recommended that for me to ensure my bugs were getting adequate nutrition for the leos. There is also a supplementing schedule on here that I don't know how to link, hopefully someone will so you can be sure your guys are getting enough and not overdosing.
    Nature is the best teacher, learn by observing
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielleK View Post
    Insects and worms, list type: Mealworms are staple. Crickets every now and then. Waxworms as treats, not very often.
    Regular diet fed to the insects: Lettuce and various veges, bran and fishflakes.
    Regular diet fed to the worms: I'm not gutloading meal worms at moment. Stopped a while ago because all my geckos were older and seemed nice and healthy.

    How often do you feed your gecko?*As a baby everyday, and then I cut back as they get older. I feed my healthy adults once a week, 5-20 mealworms depending on size. (Charlie's on a diet...) Sometimes I will leave a smalldish with mealworms during the week. I've attempted to feed Malcolm whenever I would catch him out of his hide, which is not often.
    Please list any supplements (with brand names) used. How are they given and how often? When I fed everyday: Exto Terra. Alternate between Calcium and Calcium with D3, Multivitamins on weekends. Otherwise I use a mixture I made from all 3.
    Hi Danielle ~

    How is Malcolm doing now? It sounds like he was backed up from something.

    Malcolm's right arm is bowed. I can't tell about his left arm. That could be MBD.

    I hope you'll make all these changes right away for the health of all your leos.

    1. Spread out reputable supplements throughout the week. Exo Terra multivitimins are inferior and quite low in added calcium! Switch from Exo Terra multivitamins to Zoo Med's Reptivite multivitamins.
    2. Feed all Malcolm's mealworms and other bugs 24/7 as long a your gecko is alive. Otherwise their guts are empty. Malcolm is what he eats.
    3. Bran and fish flakes are inadequate diets for your mealworms and bugs. Fish flakes are way too high in protein! Bran is too high in phosphorus! Instead use what SpottedDragon mentions: ProGutload Diet or finely ground Zoo Med's Natural ADULT Bearded Dragon Food as your 24/7 insect and mealworm dry diet.
    4. What size (dimensions) is Malcolm's heat mat?


    Weekly Schedule 124 for Leopard Geckos 0-12 months old
    (without UVB)

    Crickets or dubia >> Monday - lightly dusted with Zoo Med Repti Calcium with D3
    Mealworms >> Tuesday
    Crickets or dubia >> Wednesday - lightly dusted with pure precipitated calcium carbonate (Zoo Med's Repti Calcium or NOW human brand calcium) without D3
    Crickets or dubia >> Thursday
    Crickets or dubia >> Friday - lightly dusted with Zoo Med ReptiVite multivitamins without D3
    Mealworms >> Saturday
    No food or free choice >> Sunday

    Future weeks:
    Continue on since all weeks are identical. . . . . .

    For 77 click: Gecko Multivitamins


    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):
    • 88-92 F (31.1-33.3 C) ground temperature right underneath a leo's warm dry hide
    • no greater than 82ish F (27.8ish C) air temperature - 4 inches above ground on the warm end
    • no greater than 75 F (23.9 C) air temperature - 4 inches above ground on the cool end

    Leave the heat mat/UTH on 24/7.


    Sexing Leopard Geckos -- Leopard geckos become sexable at about 6 months old. Males can be distinguished from females by a distinct /\-shaped row of pores above the vent and by two hemipenal bulges below the vent. To see their vents, potential male pores, and hemipenal bulges gently press their bodies up against the glass. They'll squirm if you try to turn them over.


    In my signature click Table of Contents for a huge leo care sheet. There you'll discover 152 linked articles relating to leo care.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 12-19-2018 at 06:57 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 a vivarium <===

    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)
    Thanks DanielleK thanked for this post

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    Could someone have dropped him? A compression fracture to a vertebrae can cause this as well. Could he have some type of infection, parasites causing malabsorption?Unfortunately guessing is not going to help him.

    I don’t think feeding him crested gecko diet is a good idea. Pea protein isolate as the main ingredient at least in repashy. You need more like carnivore care. The problem with this is if this Leo’s problem is secondary to chronic renal disease(always a possibility), you can cause more damage yourself and I will try to explain a bit. My vet gave me precise water to product ratios. Too much protein will harm the Leo even more. The average person cannot monitor and calculate these things precisely. Blood calcium levels, hydration, etc The best thing for this Leo is to take him to a vet even if the vet is not a “qualified vet” and ask if he/she can call in a consult.

    You stated you mix all 3 supplements together sometimes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielleK View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to read all that! I did notice the leg bowing once I had taken the picture. Have you heard of cases of MBD where they lose the ability to walk so suddenly? Most cases I get are so far gone they are limping around on their elbows with fractured jaws (or at least the inability to close them). I've never seen the start of it. Out pet stores in town suck at carrying a variety of reptile stuff. There is a place about an hour away that might have a better variety. Otherwise I wonder if I can find it on Amazon. I will definitely start gutloading my mealworms again. My brother is only interested in keeping crickets and superworms. Again, I'll see if Amazon has needed mealworm diet. There is a lot of conflicting information out there so I appreciate your advice. Are there any fruits and veggies I should avoid giving to the mealworms? Any you have found work best? I can't remember size of heat mat. Thanks again for taking the time.
    You're welcome. Are you in Canada?

    How is Malcolm doing now? Can a local vet network with an exotics vet so that Malcolm gets good advice? We know that he is "sick".

    MBD develops gradually over time from a lack or an inadequate amount of vitamin D3. In its early stages MBD is reversible. Is the left front leg also bowed? Malcolm may also be suffering from the high protein of fish flakes and the high phosphorus of bran.

    What is the ground temperature of Malcolm's warm dry hide? *C are fine. How much of the enclosure's floor does the heat mat cover?
    • only the spot under the warm dry hide
    • less than 1/3
    • 1/3
    • greater than 1/3

    Stop feeding bugs or worms bran and fish flakes immediately! Can you get a chicken starter that's non-medicated, that does not contain diatomaceous earth? At least that's better than what you're feeding the feeders now. I finely grind Zoo Med's Natural ADULT Bearded Dragon Food for my crickets. Mealworms would probably eat that too.

    Can you buy any of these items through Amazon? The 24/7 feeder diet should also contain vitamin A acetate (retinol) or vitamin A palmitate.
    1. Zoo Med's Natural ADULT Bearded Dragon Food -- 20 ounce size
      91IdS7rL7tL._SL1500_.jpg
    2. Zoo Med's Reptivite multivitamins without D3 +
    3. Zoo Med's Repti Calcium with D3 +
    4. Zoo Med's Repti Calcium without D3 -- pure precipitated calcium carbonate
    5. OR Nutrobal all-in-one multivitamins +
    6. Vet Ark's Calci Dust -- pure precipitated calcium carbonate

    High calcium, low phosphorus, greens (collard, mustard, turnip greens and pesticide-free dandelion flowers/greens) work well.

    "If you opt for making your own gutload at home, here is a list of great ingredients to use:
    Best: mustard greens, turnip greens, dandelion flowers & leaves, collard greens, escarole lettuce, papaya, watercress, and alfalfa.
    Good: sweet potato, carrots, oranges, mango, butternut squash, kale, apples, beet greens, blackberries, bok choy, and green beans.
    Dry food: bee pollen, organic non-salted sunflower seeds, spirulina, dried seaweed, flax seed, and organic non-salted almonds.
    Avoid as much as possible: potatoes, cabbage, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, corn, grains, beans, oats, bread, cereal, meat, eggs, dog food, cat food, fish food, canned or dead insects, vertebrates."
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 12-21-2018 at 07:41 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 a vivarium <===

    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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