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    Default Gecko not eating, constipated?


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    The beginning of this thread is copy and paste of a number of PMs I exchanged with Elizabeth Freer I apologize for it being disjointed.

    I may have a leopard gecko here with constipation, at least that's my guess, stopped eating quite a while ago did not appear to be having regular bowel movements, did have one semi-regular one and then recently one quite small one.
    While his belly seems swollen it does not necessarily appear solid if that makes sense and I don't really see any major dark spots. Do not have access to a reptile vet anywhere near me, could make three and a half hour drive into Calgary Alberta but would worry about keeping him warm and Calgary is riven with covid.
    I was hoping I could post a picture somehow so that someone like you could have a look and give me some advice. (originally sent as PM to Elizabeth Freer).
    For quite a while he was exclusively eating mealworms did not seem to be a problem.
    Last time he had what I would consider a full meal was February 10th when he had eight mealworms. Did not eat again until February 23rd when he had one mealworm same on the 24th and the 25th and he may have actually had one overnight last night or it escaped from the dish.
    I've done much reading on the internet but information often seems to clash in particular about how much you should be feeding them.
    You appear to be the most knowledgeable and consistent that I found so far do you have any suggestions?
    I have been giving him at least one and sometimes two warm water soaks and belly rubs a day I have put olive oil on his nose for him to lick it up and I also made an attempt at an enema using a clean syringe and warm water but I do not think I inserted the syringe far enough and that the water just flowed back out?

    -Warm end ground temp, 92F-96F
    Currently heating pad too small, when problem started and began research and quickly discovered importance of bely temp. checked, no longer sticking everywhere only one available in town was much smaller, larger one coming.
    -Cool end ground temp, Low 70s
    -Size of enclosure, L 30" W 12" H 12" so 18 us gallons
    -Supplements, Zoo Med's Reptivite Reptile vitamins with D3, sprinkled on the meal worms. I have examined him for the kind of issues and deformations talked about because of too much or too little does not appear to have any.
    ** During the 5 or 6 yrs my wife and daughters cared for him without my involvement no extra vitamins or minerals were administered
    ** His feeding was exclusively 12 crickets dumped in his tank about once a week.

    Thank you for your attention, I'm having difficulty using this forum on my phone I'm even having problems figuring out how to return messages. I'd like to be clear with you that my gecko does not seem to be in a bad state he's energetic at least when I'm handling him and appears to enjoy the soaks. While his stomach seems large to me, it is not solid so I wonder if he actually is blocked up, I will start the thread tomorrow. His life and health do not seem an immediate worry. My concerns mostly come from his lack of appetite and lack of defecation but I have also read in places that occasionally especially at this time of the year they will eat less for a long period of time. Much information on the internet about these creatures seems contradictory sometimes . We've had this creature for I think about 6 years but it's only recently that I've come to care for it my teenage daughters were acting like teenagers and it has become my responsibility. It passed from one daughter to another and my wife was kind of involved they were much more cavalier about it dumped in a bag of crickets now and then filled up his water and everything seemed fine. Since I've started to deal with it, approx. 6 months ago, I've been reading more trying more things including the vitamins and this is when suddenly something seems different and it is entirely possible that I'm overreacting. Thanks again for being concerned and I will have that thread started with all the information you asked for if I figure out even how to access all the messages all the time I'm sure it'll work better on my computer. I just wanted to let you know that there seems to be no immediate danger.

    I have been paying attention to the gecko however' he shed today for the second time in 2 weeks and I think the third time in around a month I wonder if that's because I've been giving him a hot tub twice a day or if i overfed him and he got too fat for his skin? I do believe the night before last ( night of March 11 morning of 12th) he ate one mealworm out of a bowl in his tank. Even with his lack of eating he still appears somewhat energetic and interacts with me. His stomach is not hard I'm starting to believe like my wife said that I was feeding him too much and he's just fat and maybe not impacted or constipated at all and there is another reason for his lack of interest in food.
    *I wonder if eating some of his shed (he hasn't eaten all of any of them) is one of the reasons he isn't eating.

    Another small execration recently, very small with a larger urine stalagmite.

    TY in advance for any advice

  2. #2
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    Hello ~

    I'm grateful for your post.
    1. Please share a recent photo of your leo.
    2. What are you feeding your leo's bugs & worms? We are what we eat.
    3. Does your leo have a simple on/off thermostat?
    4. What dimensions is the new heat mat you've ordered?

    For starters, 92-96*F is too warm for a leo's belly heat. ASAP please lower the temps to 88-92*F. I don't see any mention of a thermostat to control the temperature.

    In addition to Zoo Med's Reptivite multivitamins with D3 @ 1 feeding per week, he/she needs plain calcium carbonate @ 2 other feedings per week. That can be covered by purchasing the 12 ounce NOW human-brand calcium carbonate supplement from Amazon or by purchasing Zoo Med's Repti Calcium withOUT D3. Pure calcium carbonate NEVER expires.

    Weekly Schedule 124 for Leopard Geckos 0-12 months old
    (withOUT UVB)
    Adapted for your young leo
    Metabolic bone disease (MBD) symptoms include uneven (lopsided) gait, walking on one or both "elbows", bowed limbs, belly dragging, and an underbite. Difficulty chewing should be closely monitored.
    The Reptile Supply Company based in Lodi, California stocks Zoo Med's ReptiVite multivitamins withOUT D3.
    During this time your leopard gecko will be transitioning from daily feeding to feeding 3x per week. This all depends upon how fast your leo grows!

    Feed lightly dusted prey 3x per week.

    • Monday > > crickets or dubia lightly dusted with Zoo Med's Reptivite multivitamins with D3
    • Tuesday > > mealworms, superworms, or black soldier fly larvae (Phoenix worms) > > no dusting
    • Wednesday > > crickets or dubia lightly dusted with pure precipitated calcium carbonate withOUT D3 (Zoo Med's Repti Calcium or NOW human brand calcium)
    • Thursday > > mealworms, superworms, or black soldier fly larvae (Phoenix worms) > > no dusting
    • Friday > > crickets or dubia lightly dusted with pure precipitated calcium carbonate withOUT D3 (Zoo Med's Repti Calcium or NOW human brand calcium)
    • Saturday > > mealworms, superworms, or black soldier fly larvae (Phoenix worms) > > no dusting
    • Sunday > > no food or free choice > > no dusting



    For link 124 click: Weekly Feeding & Supplement Schedule 124 for leopard geckos 0-12 months old
    Please stick to these temps within your 20 long enclosure.

    Temperatures
    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. Set your thermostat at 91*F/32.8*C.

    Tape the thermostat's probe and a digital thermometer's probe together, but offset a little. Place them 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: 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) surface temperature - 4 inches (10 cm) above ground on the warm end
    • no greater than 75 F (23.9 C) surface temperature - 4 inches (10 cm) above ground on the cool end

    Leave your heat mat on 24/7 IF ambient room temperatures drop lower than 67ish*F (19.4*C). If NOT, during the night turn off overhead lighting/heating (~12 hours on and ~12 hours off)
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 03-14-2021 at 06:44 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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    the tank is 12"x30" i have read that the heat pad should be 1/2 to 1/3 the length of the tank, is that correct?

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    Likes Elizabeth Freer liked this post

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoich View Post
    the tank is 12"x30" i have read that the heat pad should be 1/2 to 1/3 the length of the tank, is that correct?
    Yes it's correct. I have a 20 long enclosure for my ~70 gram leo.

    The more ground area you cover with a heat mat, the more "belly" heat your leo will receive and the more comfortable she will be. No matter how warm the ground temp is underneath the warm dry hide, temps drop almost immediately once the leo exits her warm dry hide (IF the heat mat is too small). That makes the rest of the enclosure COOL. That's an iffy thermal gradient from warm to cool!

    The best under tank heat mat you can get = Ultratherm's heat mat. They are manufactured in Scotland. Can you get them in Canada?
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 03-14-2021 at 07:53 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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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoich View Post
    She looks GOOD! Here's a visual.

    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 03-14-2021 at 07:38 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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    as you can see his belly may not show a constipated gecko and no dark spots to hint at a mass. how about the thickness of his tail in the second pick to me I think it is shrinking?

    could his lack of eating be simply a normal part of his cycles?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoich View Post
    She could slim down in the middle a little. Wait for her tail to catch up.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoich View Post
    as you can see his belly may not show a constipated gecko and no dark spots to hint at a mass. how about the thickness of his tail in the second pick to me I think it is shrinking?

    could his lack of eating be simply a normal part of his cycles?
    You're correct. Some leos brumate during winter for extended periods. They go off food, but often maintain their weight.

    Your leo looks female!

    Sexing Leopard Geckos -- A leopard gecko's gender can be confirmed when that leo is over 5 inches in total length. That may happen when the leo is near 6 months old. Males can be distinguished from females by a distinct /\-shaped row of femoral pores above the vent and by two hemipenal bulges below the vent. To see their vents, potential male femoral pores, and hemipenal bulges gently press their bodies up against the glass. They'll squirm if you try to turn them over.
    "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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