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  1. #1
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    Oct 2009
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    Default frequent mouth opening-yawn like, but not yawn plus other symptoms



    I haven't posted anything for many many years but I am hoping to tap this great resource for any ideas about a issue I am having with my gecko.
    My 10 year old male leopard gecko has always been in great health.
    He is on tile with an underground heater on one side plus a overhead heat emitter, both controlled by a thermostat. Generally, warm side set to 92 degrees and cool side is generally no lower than 75 but could be room temp-when the room is warmer than that.
    He is fed dusted mealworms a couple times a week alternating with repashy or a flukers calcium supplement to dust.
    He has three hides, one cool, one warm, and one moist hide (with sphagnum moss in a mesh filter bag) that is just on the boundary of the warm/cool side.
    We have had him for 10 years and he has been in excellent health until this past week, sheds well and is a bit of a chunker.
    (We also have an 11 year old female, kept in a separate room under similar conditions, also in excellent health.)
    He seems to be having an issue that I wanted an opinion on.
    1. In the last week he has begun gaping his mouth as the picture shows, several times an hour. He isn't yawning he just hold his mouth open for a few seconds.
    2. Last night he was "wall climbing" a bit in his toilet spot, which is how he acts when he wants to defecate. He suddenly fell over onto his back and was thrashing and "squeaking" hissing for less than 30 sec, before we reached in and righted him. He then was arching back to bite at his vent area, mouth gaping and acting very stressed for a minute. After that he was moving around, climbing and other than seeming a little agitated if we touched him, not in pain.
    He hasn't eaten in about 5 days, but that isn't unusual for him and he is quite well fed so skipping a couple days usually isn't worrisome.
    Couple thing I am considering:
    Warmer than usual in the room. The AC in that room hasn't been keeping up during this really hot weather we are having in our area and the cold side was probably in the mid 80s. Heat stress? Constipation, dehydration causing discomfort possibly due to warmer temps?
    We have since given him a bath, moved his cage to a different, better cooled room to make sure the temp gradient was as we want it, and gave him a drop of mineral oil and a couple drops of water. He is still mouth gaping but doesn't seem in pain and is climbing around etc. He hasn't pooped in several days (also hasn't eaten).
    Please let me know if any other info is needed or if you have any thoughts. Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Somerville, MA
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    All those behaviors together sound a little unusual. My living room today was 90F but everyone was OK. I'd recommend checking into a reptile vet visit. There are protocols for vets seeing animals that are COVID safe.


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