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  1. #1
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    Question Impaction or starved?


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    I got a rescue 8-year old leopard gecko 10 days ago. It is clearly thin and although the tail shows some fat, the tail is thin also. I haven't had a leo before (I raise iguanas) but I did some online research and I promptly bought small meal worms and medium crickets. The leo was was clearly hungry and gobble up the mealworms and crickets. The previous owner did not know the last time it had eaten, but that its diet was small crickets. I found this out after I had purchased medium crickets. Anyway it was on wood chips substrate which I changed out for newspaper and paper towels, putting a short stack of towels in the corner it had used before for pooping. I was concerned because it had not pooped for days. Then day 3 it pooped a small yellow poop, obviously from the mealworms. That was 7 days ago. It has eaten several crickets but no more poops. The tail looks fuller though. So I thought about impaction and stopped feeding it, and gave it some 5-minute warm (85F) soaks and mineral oil. Still no poops. I'm wondering if because it was starving would it simply absorb all the crickets? I don't want to stop feeding it because it is clearly too thin and needs to eat, but there has only been one poop in the 10 days I've had it. Otherwise it is lively and happy and engaging - it will eat what I put in its tank. So what do I do? Continue the soaks and mineral oil? Continue feeding? How often does a leo poop anyway? Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    GeckoManiac91's Avatar
    GeckoManiac91 is offline Junior member
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    Hello and welcome to GU

    A leopard gecko needs belly heat to digest its food, are you using a heat mat controlled by a thermostat?
    Are you matching these temperatures when taken with a good quality digital thermometer, one with a probe should be used for surface temperature.
    Warm Side Surace Temp: 88-95
    Warm Side Air Temp (4inches above substrate): 80-85
    Cool Side Air Temp (4inches above substrate): 70-75


    What size of enclosure are you providing? Please attach photos of your gecko, it's belly and it's cage.

    When you have a moment you may want to check out Elizabeth's Leopard Gecko Care Sheet

    Leopard Gecko Caresheet (Eublepharis macularius)...demo video & 4 Jan 2013 update
    "When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too"

  3. #3
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    Default Thanks for the reply. And apologies for my late response.

    The day after I posted my concern about my new rescue Leo not pooping, he pooped. He has pooped consistently every 2-3 days since then. The poops are firm but not hard. I think he was dehydrated from not being fed for an unknown time. The leo is in his original 10-gal tank. I have a heating pad at one end at 93 deg. He is in a warm humid room with an iguana, and I have provided a moist hide on the cool end of his tank. I've checked out Elizabeth's care sheet. The Leo is 8 years old so he must be a hardy individual, but I think he's a little on the thin side. Since I took these photos last week, he's filled out a little. I did soak him for 5 minutes for three days, so he probably rehydrated. He rests comfortably during the day and can be handled, so I don't think he's in stress.

    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoManiac91 View Post
    Hello and welcome to GU

    A leopard gecko needs belly heat to digest its food, are you using a heat mat controlled by a thermostat?
    Are you matching these temperatures when taken with a good quality digital thermometer, one with a probe should be used for surface temperature.
    Warm Side Surace Temp: 88-95
    Warm Side Air Temp (4inches above substrate): 80-85
    Cool Side Air Temp (4inches above substrate): 70-75


    What size of enclosure are you providing? Please attach photos of your gecko, it's belly and it's cage.

    When you have a moment you may want to check out Elizabeth's Leopard Gecko Care Sheet

    Leopard Gecko Caresheet (Eublepharis macularius)...demo video & 4 Jan 2013 update
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Also the gecko changed his poop corner to another one. I placed a stack of paper towels on his old poop corner, thinking he would continue to go there, but he liked laying on the paper towels (he had been on bark substrate). So he changed his poop corner to another corner just outside his warm hide.

    Quote Originally Posted by CindyPriceOrbit View Post
    I got a rescue 8-year old leopard gecko 10 days ago. It is clearly thin and although the tail shows some fat, the tail is thin also. I haven't had a leo before (I raise iguanas) but I did some online research and I promptly bought small meal worms and medium crickets. The leo was was clearly hungry and gobble up the mealworms and crickets. The previous owner did not know the last time it had eaten, but that its diet was small crickets. I found this out after I had purchased medium crickets. Anyway it was on wood chips substrate which I changed out for newspaper and paper towels, putting a short stack of towels in the corner it had used before for pooping. I was concerned because it had not pooped for days. Then day 3 it pooped a small yellow poop, obviously from the mealworms. That was 7 days ago. It has eaten several crickets but no more poops. The tail looks fuller though. So I thought about impaction and stopped feeding it, and gave it some 5-minute warm (85F) soaks and mineral oil. Still no poops. I'm wondering if because it was starving would it simply absorb all the crickets? I don't want to stop feeding it because it is clearly too thin and needs to eat, but there has only been one poop in the 10 days I've had it. Otherwise it is lively and happy and engaging - it will eat what I put in its tank. So what do I do? Continue the soaks and mineral oil? Continue feeding? How often does a leo poop anyway? Thanks for any help!

  5. #5
    Conched's Avatar
    Conched is online now Junior member
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    I would discontinue the soaking in mineral oil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CindyPriceOrbit View Post
    The day after I posted my concern about my new rescue Leo not pooping, he pooped. He has pooped consistently every 2-3 days since then. The poops are firm but not hard. I think he was dehydrated from not being fed for an unknown time. The leo is in his original 10-gal tank. I have a heating pad at one end at 93 deg. He is in a warm humid room with an iguana, and I have provided a moist hide on the cool end of his tank. I've checked out Elizabeth's care sheet. The Leo is 8 years old so he must be a hardy individual, but I think he's a little on the thin side. Since I took these photos last week, he's filled out a little. I did soak him for 5 minutes for three days, so he probably rehydrated. He rests comfortably during the day and can be handled, so I don't think he's in stress.
    Glad to hear he finally pooped! He does look skinny but luckily not emaciated. Consistent feeding should get him to a better weight in a few weeks/months.

    Would recommend moving him to something a little larger (preferably a 20 gallon long) as 10 gallon tanks are a little too small for an adult leopard gecko.
    The Gecko Sanctuary
    A small-scale rescue dedicated to helping geckos in need within the New England area
    www.geckosanctuary.org
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