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    Default Unexpected gecko rescue. Many Qs.


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    I have never had geckoes and have joined this site to learn how to care for one. Today I agreed to take in a (assumed) leopard gecko. A nine year old girl, that I've known since she was born, found a gecko at a yard sale for free. The owner didn't/couldn't care for it and the girl wanted it so she got it. She can't even take care of a dog properly, so I know she can't care for any type of reptile. She is a troubled girl with a big loss that is still fresh.

    I have two bearded dragons, Mushu is two and a half years old and Yoshi is a year and a half. I have Supplies for them. Fluker's repta calcium with vitamin D3 and phosphorus free, Rep-cal Herptivite with beta carotene: multivitamins for all reptiles and Amphibians, a
    30" x 12" x 18" 29 gallon tank with a tank topper, 65 watt heat bulbs, a clamp lamp and a few other used decorations. I use Zilla 24-Inch Desert 50 UVB T8 Fluorescent Bulb, 17-Watt for my dragons but I currently don't have any that aren't in use. I feed my bearded dragons crickets and always have them.

    This is all I can use for the moment since I don't live anywhere near a pet store. It would be quicker to order stuff online than it would be getting to a pet store.

    I have not personally seen the gecko and from the description it is a small leopard gecko. It is in a small plastic container about twice the size of a milk jug. They are calling it a him, I'll see about that when I check him out. He is not officially named, but she apparently called it a devil. He has no lights or heating pad. Nothing is in its cage. Absolutely nothing. I'm not sure about anything else.
    I should be getting him tomorrow.

    I have so many questions so I'm going to list them.

    1. What can I do when I get him tomorrow with what I have on hand?

    2. What should I order for him? Basic things that every leopard gecko needs.

    3. Should I keep him in the small container he is in already until I get stuff for the 29 gallon tank? I also have a 10 gallon tank that had a tank topper that I can't find at the moment.

    4. What's best for him when he gets to me?

    5. How do a make the transition to a good environment easy for him?

    6. Can I put the heat lamp on him until I get a heating pad?

    7. Will the 29 gallon tank be suitable for him for the rest of his life?

    8. Can he transmit anything to my beardies?

    9. Is quarantine needed? If so, how long?

    10. How should I clean the 29 gallon tank? It had one of my bearded dragons in it months ago and it just got rinsed out since I did not see myself using it anytime soon.

    I need everything I can get from more knowledgeable people. Any and all information and tips are welcome. Please help me help this poor little guy.

  2. #2
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    Welcome, and thank you for taking this on. You will find detailed answers to your questions if you google "leopard gecko care" and read some care sheets. Elizabeth Freer on this forum has a very detailed care sheet. Here's mine which I wrote a number of years ago and is not as detailed: https://geckcessories.wordpress.com/...ko-care-sheet/

    I will provide some very general answers to your questions, since I don't want to take a space here to write another care sheet:

    1. What can I do when I get him tomorrow with what I have on hand?
    Put him in your enclosure with paper towel or newspaper as a substrate. Use whatever light you have to provide some heat, though leopard geckos ideally need belly heat. Put the light on one side of the enclosure, since leopard geckos do best with a hot side and a cool side. Find something you can use for a hide so the gecko can feel safe. If necessary, it could just be a margarine container (empty, of course) with a hole cut in the side. Get a plastic sandwich container, cut a hole on the side or on top and put some moist paper towels in there so the gecko has a humid hide. Find a small water bowl. Give the gecko a day to settle down. Then, dust some crickets with the calcium powder and offer about 4-5 and see what it does. Don't worry if it doesn't eat right away.

    2. What should I order for him? Basic things that every leopard gecko needs.
    Here are the essentials (some of this you have or can make):
    ZooMed heat cable 14' or 25'. I recommend this instead of a heat mat because you can tape it to the bottom of the cage (get Nashua tape from Home Depot or equivalent) and then remove it and tape it somewhere else, as opposed to the heat mat which isn't really that good once it's been ripped off what it was adhering to).
    Repti-carpet or ceramic tile to fit the bottom of the cage
    Thermostat (check out Zilla or Alife or ESU --they're all about the same and less than $30) to regulate the heat cable (low 90's is good for temp)
    Reptile digital thermometer with probe or heat gun to spot check the heat
    **check the care sheets to see if I've left anything out

    3. Should I keep him in the small container he is in already until I get stuff for the 29 gallon tank? I also have a 10 gallon tank that had a tank topper that I can't find at the moment.
    When you say "tank topper" do you mean a cover?
    In any case, take him out of the small container and put him in the 10 gallon or the 29 gallon. Ultimately, he'll do best in the 29 gallon.

    I think I have answered 4,5, and 6 above.

    4. What's best for him when he gets to me?

    5. How do a make the transition to a good environment easy for him?

    6. Can I put the heat lamp on him until I get a heating pad?

    7. Will the 29 gallon tank be suitable for him for the rest of his life? Yes

    8. Can he transmit anything to my beardies? The worst thing a leopard gecko can have is cryptosporidiosis. It's unclear to me if he can transmit that to the beardies (note that my entire gecko population has been infected, though no one has shown symptoms for the past year and a half; I have 2 beardies as well). For safety sake, keep him as far from the beardies as you can. Attend to him last (though you'll be dealing with the beardies in the daytime and with him at night), wash your hands well after you handle him, and never let any crickets that have been in his cage get to the beardies.

    9. Is quarantine needed? If so, how long? I quarantine at least 1 month. If possible, have him tested for crypto when you get him and again after a month. If the vet is willing, there is a swab s/he can give you so you can swab the vent yourself and then won't have to bring him in

    10. How should I clean the 29 gallon tank? It had one of my bearded dragons in it months ago and it just got rinsed out since I did not see myself using it anytime soon.
    Here's what I do: spray with water and dry it. Spray with hydrogen peroxide, let it sit for a minute and dry it. Spray with vinegar, let it sit for a minute and dry it.

    Good luck with him.

    Aliza

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