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    Default Leopard gecko trouble eating??


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    Hello!! I'm new to Geckos Unlimited, I have a leo who is about 6 years old, his name is Da Vinci. I adopted him from a local rescue about 5.5 years ago, and I have never had any issues until about a month or two ago. I noticed two sheds ago that he was not eating and removing all of the shed, he would do his body and maybe some of his tail and then give up and wait for me to help him (I put him in lukewarm water for a bath in a shallow pie pan and then rubbed/removed remaining skin with a needle nose tweezer and wet q-tip). I've also noticed more recently, within the past few weeks, that he's had difficulty eating. I have been feeding him mealworms lately, I usually do superworms but the local Petco is always out so I haven't been able to buy any. He's never had any issues eating before, he always had a huge appetite and has been healthy in all other aspects too (pooping, shedding, alert, etc). I've noticed that when he eats (I hand feed with a needle nose tweezer) he doesn't seem to open his mouth very wide, and when he does get a worm in his mouth he bites it once or twice and then it falls out. I have gotten him to eat enough to sustain him and his tail isn't getting any thinner, but I'm still worried that there's something wrong with either his jaw or something else. I don't know if the problem is enough where I should take him to the vet or not, so I wanted to see if there was anyone with more experience on here who could help me before I bring him to a vet for them to give me advice. I can provide pictures or videos or more information, and I appreciate if anyone can help me out!!

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    Welcome to GU!
    Many geckos slow down on eating at this time of year. It's possible that he bites the worm and then decides he just isn't interested. I'm assuming that you've been supplementing him with calcium and vitamin D3. If for some reason you haven't he should go to the vet for an MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease) check. You could try a few crickets just to see if he's any more interested. Otherwise, as long as he isn't losing weight or otherwise acting unusual, you could hold off for now.

    Aliza

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    Hi Aliza! Thank you for your advice!! I use a calcium supplement without D3, but that's what I've always used (over 5 years) and I never had any issues before now. I will switch to a supplement with D3 in it, but I also checked his bones out today for MBD by doing a pressure test on his arms and legs and his bones feel as strong as normal. He also hasn't changed any in his walking, I like to take him out every few days and let him scamper around on some squishy blankets (he's a big fan of plush things) and so he looks healthy in that aspect. I'll try to get some superworms for him, I know they're generally better nutrientwise when compared to mealworms, but I'll keep doing checkups on him to make sure he stays healthy. I had some thought that it could be the brumation/hibernation setting in, but I tend to always worry something is wrong so thank you for your reassurance!!

    Emily (and Da Vinci)

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    Welcome to GU Emily & Da Vinci!

    Generally speaking a leo should eat lightly dusted prey at 1 feeding per week with a calcium with D3 supplement plus 1 feeding per week with a multivitamin without D3 supplement. Supplement dust sticks less well to mealies and superworms than it does to crickets and dubia roaches.

    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.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 12-11-2020 at 05:46 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 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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    Hello! I do have a small bowl of the supplement I generally use in Da Vinci's tank, but it's without D3. He definitely doesn't have an underbite, and walks normally and smoothly. I have been closely monitoring his difficulty eating for the past few weeks, I think he's maybe not as interested in the mealworms as he normally is in the superworms, especially since it's been a few months since he's had superworms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emilymemmily View Post
    Hello! I do have a small bowl of the supplement I generally use in Da Vinci's tank, but it's without D3. He definitely doesn't have an underbite, and walks normally and smoothly. I have been closely monitoring his difficulty eating for the past few weeks, I think he's maybe not as interested in the mealworms as he normally is in the superworms, especially since it's been a few months since he's had superworms.
    Please let us know the name & brand of your supplement.

    What do you feed his mealworms and superworms?

    Leos need:
    • Calcium with D3
    • Multivitamin without D3
    • Maybe plain calcium too
    "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 calcium I use is ReptiCalcium from Petco. It has calcium but is D3 free, that's why I have a small bowl of it available for Da Vinci in his tank. The worms I buy come pre gut loaded, so I'm not sure exactly what they have, the packaging doesn't say specifics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emilymemmily View Post
    The calcium I use is ReptiCalcium from Petco. It has calcium but is D3 free, that's why I have a small bowl of it available for Da Vinci in his tank. The worms I buy come pre gut loaded, so I'm not sure exactly what they have, the packaging doesn't say specifics.
    Please share a photo of Da Vinci so we can recommend decent supplements and frequency. Without a source of vitamin D3, Da Vinci is at high risk for bone density issues!!!

    Based upon advice from both Aliza and me, Da Vinci needs additional supplements!!! It's super important to get him on a regular supplement schedule ASAP!

    Zoo Med's Repti Calcium is a good beginning.

    In order for plain calcium to be metabolized, it needs to have calcium with D3 at one feeding per week. He also needs a multivitamin withOUT D3. These:

    Even if worms come "pre gutloaded" that food is pooped out quickly! In order for Da Vinci's worms to be nutritious, it's important to feed them something like Repashy's Bug Burger every single day -- like a bedding of food.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 12-13-2020 at 05:32 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 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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    Hello, sorry for taking a while to reply. I hope I can get the photos I took of my little monster uploaded on this post. Some may be blurry, he was FULL of energy and didn't want to sit still so I did the best I could. I wasn't sure the angles you wanted, so I took a few different ones. As far as his bone density, he feels strong to me, and he doesn't have jerky walking or walk on elbows. When he eats it isnt like he has difficulty chewing, it's moreso that he forgot almost how to eat properly, and when a worm is put in front of him he sees it and bites at it but constantly misses. He has had this problem in the past, hence why I feed him by tweezers, but it was never this bad before. He misses almost 100% of the time now, when before it may have taken him a few tries but he would get the worm eventually. If that helps on 'diagnosing' his issues. I would also like to add that my fiancÚ and I have been shortening his days a bit, we usually have his light on for 8-10 hours, generally more toward the 8 hour side. Could that be impacting his eating at all? Also like I mentioned earlier, I have definitely not noticed any lessening in his energy levels, he seens more energetic than he's ever been, but that could be because we got him a new under tank heater a few months ago that regulates the temperature on his hot end better and allows for more of a warm/cool side difference now. I would also like to thank you for all your help again, I feel so happy to have experts on my side!!! Here goes trying to upload the pics, I also took a video of him walking (very quickly) so I can upload that too (or try to) if you want. Update, I'm on my phone right now and it isn't letting me upload, so I will go on my laptop and try that way.

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    Ok! I'm on my laptop now, here are three photos, one from the top, and one from both left and right sides. Please let me know if you want the pictures to be closer, or at different angles, I can provide bug 1.jpgbug 2.jpgbug 3.jpg

    Not sure why that one is upside down. I posted it right side up, so I don't think I can change that. I also will be purchasing some calcium supplement with D3 for feeding time from amazon, I have prime so it will get here in a few days, so I can start feeding him correctly! I've had him for almost 6 years and nothing so far has gone wrong, so I'm really happy that I have been getting such good advice!
    Last edited by Emilymemmily; 12-14-2020 at 08:04 PM.
    Thanks Elizabeth Freer thanked for this post

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