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  1. #1
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    Default Should I put my Leopard Gecko on a diet?


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    Hey, everyone. Thankfully, there's no urgent situation this time. I just want some opinions about Lore's (my female) feeding schedule and if I should cut back. But first, some info!

    Basic Information

    Species of lizard: leopard gecko
    Gecko's name: Lore
    Morph: Hypo Tangerine Carrot Tail
    Gender: Female
    Age: unknown
    Weight: 50 grams (as of 12-16-2015)
    Enclosure: 20 gallon tank
    Substrate provided: Repticarpet
    Thermometer: Craftsman 500 digital thermometer
    ground temperature in warm dry hide: 93-95 F
    air temperature on warm end ~4 inches above the ground: 85 F
    air temperature on cool end ~4 inches above the ground: 75 F
    UTH: Flukers 11x11 under tank heater on a vivosun thermostat

    Food

    Insects and worms, list type: mealworms and phoenix worms
    Regular gutload diet fed to the worms: Zoo Med Adult Natural Bearded Dragon Food and Flukers Calcium fortified Cricket Quencher, Phoenix Worms not fed anything as per care instructions
    How often do you feed your gecko? Every day
    Supplements: Zoo med reptical with D3 (given once a week on a biweekly basis), Herp-cal Calcium without D3 or phosphorous (in a lightly dusted dish, available in tank at all times), Zoo med reptivitamin (given once a week on a biweekly basis)
    If your gecko is sick, please describe the signs and how long your gecko has been showing these signs: I donít think sheís sick, but I think she might be getting a touch overweight

    Additional Information

    General

    Gecko's total length: 7.5 inches
    Length of your reptile when you first acquired it: 6.5 inches
    Source (pet store, breeder, previous owner): Petsmart
    Captive bred or wild caught: captive bred

    Heating

    Ventilation space for your UTH by elevating the tank above the shelf (some UTHs come with sticky feet for the tank corners): yes
    Are you using a thermostat(s)? Yes, vivosun thermostat
    Which hide does she/he spend most of her time? Equally spread between warm and cold; only uses moist hide for sheds
    Is the temperature decreased at night? I donít decrease the UTHís heat, but the ambient air temp does decrease by about 2-3 degrees at night

    Humidity

    Is the humidity measured? Yes
    Humidity range: I live in Florida, so itís always 70% or higher outside and 40%-60% in the tank (rain depending)

    Diet

    Please list any recent additions/changes in the diet: Phoenix Worms about a month ago

    General Health

    Is your geckoís general activity level normal, decreased, or increased? Normal
    Is your geckoís appetite normal, decreased, or increased? Decreased
    Have you noticed any of the following?
    Weight (loss or gain): Steady gain of about 3-4 grams a week
    Discharge from the eyes or nose: no
    Increased breathing rate or effort: no
    Change in the droppings: no
    Urates
    ---white or yellowish: white
    ---size of urates as compared to size of feces: quarter to half
    Abnormal skin color or shedding: Normal Skin and no issues shedding
    Parasites on the skin or in the feces: none
    Weakness: none
    Regurgitation: none
    Previous problems and/or illnesses: None

    Other Critters in Same Cage or in Household

    List other animals that are kept in the same cage: none
    Recent acquisitions (new pets within the past 6 months): none
    Are any of your other pets ill? No



    Ok, so I've noticed her tail getting to be quite chunky as of late (earning her the affectionate nickname "fluff-butt" from my mom), and I'm wondering if maybe she's at the point where I should start feeding every other day. She normally gets 20 gutloaded mealworms some days of the week, and other days she gets 10 gutloaded mealworms and 10 Phoenix worms. (I'm still getting parental consent for a discoid roach colony, root for me on that front!). I dust one time a week with the Zoo Med Reptical with D3, and then the next week I dust one time a week with the Zoo Med Reptivite (thanks again, @JessJohnson87).

    Here's a few pics of her, so you all can judge. Like I said previously, she's ~7.5 inches long and at ~50 grams. The first one is her in "flat mode" as I call it (when she's absorbing heat), the second and third ones are close-ups of her legs, the fourth one is her mid-turnaround, and the last one is her judging me for taking pics of her with the flash on (hence that evil glare). Please let me know what you all think!

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  2. #2
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    She does look a little fluffy around the mid section. I still say to cut back the amount of food and try out every other day and get her out for some exercise a couple of times a week. Unless she's gravid, still not sure at what age/weight they start becoming gravid.
    "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." ~ Winston Churchill

    ďIím being extremely clever up here and thereís no one to stand around looking impressed! Whatís the point in having you all?Ē-The 11th Doctor.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gossamer View Post

    Food

    Insects and worms, list type: mealworms and phoenix worms
    Regular gutload diet fed to the worms: Zoo Med Adult Natural Bearded Dragon Food and Flukers Calcium fortified Cricket Quencher, Phoenix Worms not fed anything as per care instructions
    How often do you feed your gecko? Every day
    Supplements: Zoo med reptical with D3 (given once a week on a biweekly basis), Herp-cal Calcium without D3 or phosphorous (in a lightly dusted dish, available in tank at all times), Zoo med reptivitamin (given once a week on a biweekly basis)
    If your gecko is sick, please describe the signs and how long your gecko has been showing these signs: I don’t think she’s sick, but I think she might be getting a touch overweight
    I also feel that Lore is ready to eat 3x per week. She will continue to grow and lengthen until she is about 18 months old. Let her "stretch out" some.

    I would lightly dust half her mealworms with ZM D3 Repti Calcium 1x every week. On alternate weeks I'd also dust half her mealworms with ZM plain (no D3) Reptivite 1x only.

    I'd add either crickets or dubia to her diet. When you do, dust those instead of the mealies. They hold the dust better.

    Is she licking any of the plain calcium from her dish? Too much calcium is undesirable.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 12-18-2015 at 06:07 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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  4. #4
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    She lives in Florida so that's why she's shooting for a Discoid roach colony.
    "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." ~ Winston Churchill

    ďIím being extremely clever up here and thereís no one to stand around looking impressed! Whatís the point in having you all?Ē-The 11th Doctor.
    Thanks Elizabeth Freer, Gossamer thanked for this post

  5. #5
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    @Elizabeth Freer

    She does lap up some calcium on occasion, but it's not a frequent occurrence (from what I can tell, at least). I'll try to get crickets or discoids into her diet, but parental restrictions do apply. I might be able to convince dad to let me keep discoids or crickets in the garage, but even that might take some serious sucking up. (I might have to get sneaky and start hiding them in my room, if push comes to shove).

    If I can't get a colony going, would just once a week for the crickets/roaches be ok? I could be able to swing that. And if so, about how many crickets/roaches should be fed? Should they be fed in conjunction with the mealies?

    Also, I've noticed her acting a little odd (eating less or not eating some days, sleeping on the warm side outside of her hide on occasion, little things like that), but we just had a massive cold front blow through this week, in addition to 3 solid days of rain. So, I've been chalking it up to that plus the fact that she needs to go on a diet. XD

    Now, just to summarize what you all are saying...

    Feed 3 times a week (expect some weight loss, but not a lot)
    LIGHTLY dust HALF her 20 mealworms once a week with ZM D3 Calcium
    LIGHTLY dust HALF her 20 mealworms once every OTHER week with ZM Reptivite as well

    Now, if all this is right, would I be able to apply the dusting schedule to my dork Lavi? He is still growing (6.5 inches, 31 grams as of 12-12-2015), so I want to make DOUBLY sure he gets proper supplementation.

    And her legs (gait? posture?) looked alright (for a fluffly leo)? No weird bends or anything I might have missed?


    @JessJohnson87

    Thanks for clearing that up before I could get on and explain myself. These wacky Florida laws I have to work around! :P
    Last edited by Gossamer; 12-18-2015 at 11:05 AM.
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  6. #6
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    I feed 3 Dubia roaches per feeding and about 6-8 crickets. It all depends on his appetite. Once a week should be find if you can't get a colony going, I've been debating on letting my dubia breed.

    You're welcome, I'm surprised I remembered that lol.
    "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." ~ Winston Churchill

    ďIím being extremely clever up here and thereís no one to stand around looking impressed! Whatís the point in having you all?Ē-The 11th Doctor.
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  7. #7
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    PFF, ok. I know geckos will lap water from the walls of their humid hide, but this was just too funny for me NOT to post. Lore was on her new favorite heat spot (literally right next to the warm hide, no temp difference at all), and I came in and did the usual maintenance stuff. Rinsed her water dish and gave her fresh water, took the 2 out of ten mealworms she didn't eat out of her dish (both my geckos appetites have dropped to about 10ish mealworms this past week... again, I blame the stinking cold fronts), checked for poop (none, but I'm not expecting her to poop everyday): the usual stuff.

    Well, when it came time for me to mist her humid hide, I noticed her perk up and walk over to me, watching expectantly. I started spraying, and the next thing I know, she's lapping water off the sides of the hide! Granted, when I sprayed a little too hard (the bottle let out quite a hiss), she jumped, wiggled her tail at me, and scurried back over to her cold hide. I checked to see if she was able to get into her water dish, and she is, so I know she's got water available.

    Welp, at least I know she's drinking! XD
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  8. #8
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    Thanks for being flexible. There are too many details to cover via PM. I hope you understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gossamer View Post

    @Elizabeth Freer

    She does lap up some calcium on occasion, but it's not a frequent occurrence (from what I can tell, at least). I'll try to get crickets or discoids into her diet, but parental restrictions do apply. I might be able to convince dad to let me keep discoids or crickets in the garage, but even that might take some serious sucking up. (I might have to get sneaky and start hiding them in my room, if push comes to shove).

    If I can't get a colony going, would just once a week for the crickets/roaches be ok? I could be able to swing that. And if so, about how many crickets/roaches should be fed? Should they be fed in conjunction with the mealies?

    Definitely, once-a-week crickets/discoids will be much better than none. Perhaps you could get some silkworms occasionally for variety? Can you guys get hornworms?

    Also, I've noticed her acting a little odd (eating less or not eating some days, sleeping on the warm side outside of her hide on occasion, little things like that), but we just had a massive cold front blow through this week, in addition to 3 solid days of rain. So, I've been chalking it up to that plus the fact that she needs to go on a diet. XD

    Now, just to summarize what you all are saying...

    Feed 3 times a week (expect some weight loss, but not a lot)

    There should be no weight loss. She should keep growing. If you notice weight loss, then increase the number of worms/insects per feeding.

    LIGHTLY dust HALF her 20 mealworms once a week with ZM D3 Calcium
    LIGHTLY dust HALF her 20 mealworms once every OTHER week with ZM Reptivite as well

    /\ That's correct.

    Now, if all this is right, would I be able to apply the dusting schedule to my dork Lavi? He is still growing (6.5 inches, 31 grams as of 12-12-2015), so I want to make DOUBLY sure he gets proper supplementation.

    That same exact dusting schedule will work for Lavi too. It is based upon you feeding the mealworms the ZM Adult beardie food.

    And her legs (gait? posture?) looked alright (for a fluffly leo)? No weird bends or anything I might have missed?
    (Comments above)

    She looks fine to me. If you wish, you could share a video.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 12-19-2015 at 12:55 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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  9. #9
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    Oh no, thank you dear. You and Jess have been wonderful help. I'm glad to know that the once a week schedule will be alright for the crickets; I got shot down HARD for having either colony. I'll continue to monitor her weight and will increase food as necessary. But I've been lucky to get ten in her (and Lavi, for that matter) these past few days with the cold.

    Hornworms and silkworms are hard to come by in my part of the state. At least I can get them the roaches! And thanks for double and triple checking everything again. I greatly appreciate it.
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  10. #10
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    BTW, have you plain (no D3) Reptivite?

    You're welcome, Gossamer. If we don't ask, nothing is gained.

    Keep us updated.
    "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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