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    Exclamation Leopard gecko with declining health


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    Hello Everyone! This is my first post, and I am hoping to get some input on the situation.

    I have a female leopard gecko who I got in 2019. She was very skinny but otherwise seemed healthy. I managed to get her up to a healthy weight and then about six months ago, her appetite seemed to dwindle off a bit. Though, she was still eating about 1-2 times per week. She was also still pretty active and shedding as normal. She had fat deposits in her armpits and was seemingly healthy, so I didn't think anything of the appetite change.

    That is, until recently. About the middle of May I noticed she had one eye closed. After a quick google search, I concluded it was just a random thing she was doing and didn't think much about it. Then she started eating even less - maybe once a week. So I did some more google searching and thought maybe she had a minor eye infection. I got some zoo-med reptile eye drops (for turtles) and applied it to her eye using a q-tip. That was over a week ago. Now, both eyes are completely shut and she just sleeps on her warm side all day and night. Last night I put her in a separate container with just some mealworms, thinking maybe she would eat them. I checked on her about 15 minutes later and she had pooped (or peed?) a very liquidy matter. It smelled really bad. I concluded she wasn't going to eat any worms so I put her back in her tank. Then today, she ate one mealworm in her tank with her eyes closed after several attempts at grabbing it. But other than that, has not eaten in two weeks. I do see her drinking water still.

    For reference:

    Her name is Mango. I believe she is 5 years old, however I adopted her so this may be incorrect.
    She is in a 20 gallon long enclosure with a warm side/hide of 88F, a cold hide, and a moist hide with paper towel (was previously using moss, I just ran out recently). The moist hide is not on the warm side.
    She is (or was) eating mealworms, wax worms, butter worms, and sometimes crickets (she was refusing crickets most of the time).
    I dust her worms in Flukers Calcium with D3.
    The crickets were being fed carrots and some fruit but the worms were not gutloaded.
    She has a UVB bulb above the warm side (Thrive Desert UVB Bulb 13 WATT) that is on for 14 hours a day now that it is summer (6:30am to 8:30p.m - Alberta, Canada).
    Her substrate is ceramic tiles and a tiny spot with just paper towel (didn't have a tile cutter and only two whole 12"x12" tiles fit in the tank).


    After doing a bit of research I found that perhaps the calcium with D3 has been a bad idea as it is always available in her tank. Plus I haven't had a multivitamin, nor have I been properly gutloading the insects. I am now suspecting that Mango has a Vitamin A deficiency, and possibly an overload of D3? Is her UVB light even efficient? Is she warm enough?

    If anyone can please help that would be amazing. I am really worried about Mango. I have made an appointment at the vet but it is not for another two days and I wanted to get some opinions on here as well.
    Last edited by Mango2016; 06-22-2021 at 09:27 PM. Reason: edited to add the part about her stool

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    It's hard to tell since not eating and closed eyes could mean many things. When you take her to the vet be sure she is tested for the usual parasites and for cryptosporidiosis as well. Where did you get her from? A gecko can have "crypto" and be asymptomatic for years, until it's not. I know because my entire colony was diagnosed with crypto 4 years ago. Every year, a few of them stop eating, get really skinny and eventually pass away. Most of them are fat and healthy looking.

    Aliza

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mango2016 View Post
    Hello Everyone! This is my first post, and I am hoping to get some input on the situation.

    I have a female leopard gecko who I got in 2019. She was very skinny but otherwise seemed healthy. I managed to get her up to a healthy weight and then about six months ago, her appetite seemed to dwindle off a bit. Though, she was still eating about 1-2 times per week. She was also still pretty active and shedding as normal. She had fat deposits in her armpits and was seemingly healthy, so I didn't think anything of the appetite change.

    That is, until recently. About the middle of May I noticed she had one eye closed. After a quick google search, I concluded it was just a random thing she was doing and didn't think much about it. Then she started eating even less - maybe once a week. So I did some more google searching and thought maybe she had a minor eye infection. I got some zoo-med reptile eye drops (for turtles) and applied it to her eye using a q-tip. That was over a week ago. Now, both eyes are completely shut and she just sleeps on her warm side all day and night. Last night I put her in a separate container with just some mealworms, thinking maybe she would eat them. I checked on her about 15 minutes later and she had pooped (or peed?) a very liquidy matter. It smelled really bad. I concluded she wasn't going to eat any worms so I put her back in her tank. Then today, she ate one mealworm in her tank with her eyes closed after several attempts at grabbing it. But other than that, has not eaten in two weeks. I do see her drinking water still.

    For reference:

    Her name is Mango. I believe she is 5 years old, however I adopted her so this may be incorrect.
    She is in a 20 gallon long enclosure with a warm side/hide of 88F, a cold hide, and a moist hide with paper towel (was previously using moss, I just ran out recently). The moist hide is not on the warm side.
    She is (or was) eating mealworms, wax worms, butter worms, and sometimes crickets (she was refusing crickets most of the time).
    I dust her worms in Flukers Calcium with D3.
    The crickets were being fed carrots and some fruit but the worms were not gutloaded.
    She has a UVB bulb above the warm side (Thrive Desert UVB Bulb 13 WATT) that is on for 14 hours a day now that it is summer (6:30am to 8:30p.m - Alberta, Canada).
    Her substrate is ceramic tiles and a tiny spot with just paper towel (didn't have a tile cutter and only two whole 12"x12" tiles fit in the tank).


    After doing a bit of research I found that perhaps the calcium with D3 has been a bad idea as it is always available in her tank. Plus I haven't had a multivitamin, nor have I been properly gutloading the insects. I am now suspecting that Mango has a Vitamin A deficiency, and possibly an overload of D3? Is her UVB light even efficient? Is she warm enough?

    If anyone can please help that would be amazing. I am really worried about Mango. I have made an appointment at the vet but it is not for another two days and I wanted to get some opinions on here as well.
    Please share a current image of Mango. Also share a 60 second video of Mango walking around on some solid surface like a carpet. That will help us see whether her gait is normal.

    For starters please do these things:
    1. At Mango's vet app have a fecal test done to check for parasites & maybe a crypto test. Eye issues are definitely best handled by experts.
    2. Remove Fluker's calcium with D3 from the enclosure! Vitamin D3 is best lightly dusted on feeders at ONLY 1 feeding per week.
    3. Relocate her humid hide to the warm end -- right next to the warm DRY hide. Ground temps on the floor of the warm dry hide should = 88-92 F (31.1-33.3 C).
    4. Purchase a multivitamin without D3. I highly recommend Zoo Med's Reptivite multivitamins withOUT D3, because they also contain pre-formed vitamin A acetate (retinol). A wee bit of a multivitamin containing retinol is required to prevent eye and skin problems.
    5. Her diet is super high fat! Eliminate waxworms except for maybe 2 per month. Why butterworms? I recommend gutloaded mealworms if Mango won't eat crickets. Can you buy her a couple silkworms per month? Silkworms contain retinol.
    6. See my PM to you.


    IF you can't find Zoo Med's Reptivite multivitamins withOUT D3 in Alberta, Canada, settle for Zoo Med's Reptivite with D3 (also contains retinol) + Zoo Med's Repti Calciium withOUT D3 (plain calcium
    carbonate) instead.
    • Lightly dust with ZM Reptivite with D3 @ 1 feeding per week +
    • Lightly dust with ZM Repti Calcium withOUT D3 @ the other feeding per week
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 06-24-2021 at 05:00 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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    Hi Elizabeth,

    I have removed the calcium with D3 from her tank and relocated her moist hide to the warmer side of the tank. I purchased zoo med calcium without d3 and reptivite with d3. I also got her some silkworms as I was finally able to find some. I offered her 2 silkworms last night and she seemed interested but did not eat them. She took a poop overnight on her paper towel where she always goes.

    Her appointment is in a few hours and they said the fecal matter could not be more than a few hours old so I hope she poops on the way there! I am really worried about her.

    I put the eye drops on a q-tip last night and rubbed them on her eye and she seemed extremely bothered by this. She shook her head and then rubbed her eye on the side of her tank. She did open her other eye after that (one that I did not put drops into) and it looked very dark (it used to look very light greenish grey). I have not put the drops in today.

    Here is a video of Mango walking around about 15 minutes ago. There are the two silkworms I have taken out of her food bowl and offered her again but she seemed even less interested this time. I am also just showing her tank and how it is laid out. Her warm hide has been removed for the video because she was inside of it but it goes where the paper towel is/where Mango is.



    Here are the new vitamins and calcium:

    Vitamins.jpg

    Here is the moss I am using and also the UVB bulb which I have now removed because I thought maybe the light was bothering her.

    Moss.jpg

    UVB.jpg
    Last edited by Mango2016; 06-24-2021 at 11:34 AM. Reason: to add info about vitamins
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    Great work getting all these supplies so quickly!

    Mango's body size is not worrisome right now. She doesn't have the "stick tail" that's often a sign of cryptosporidiosis.

    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.
    Mango's gait seems strong. Please redo the video with better lighting and in an area where Mango can walk in a "straight" line. What I'm especially looking for are unusual bends/curves in 1 or both her front elbows that cause her gait to be lopsided -- leaning more to one side than the other from MBD (metabolic bone disease). MBD can be caused by not enough vitamin D3 or too much vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is fat soluble. That means that a single dose sticks around in a leo's body for about 1 week and metabolizes ALL plain calcium carbonate that a leo consumes that week.

    Vitamin A acetate (pre-formed vitamin A -- retinol) is also fat soluble. Be exceptionally cautious about the amount of retinol Mango gets per week. Please ask your vet for advice about light dusting with Reptivite + silkworms (if she begins to eat them) + ZM Turtle Eye Drops.
    "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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    How did Mango's vet app go? I've been thinking about her all day long.


    PS:
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 06-25-2021 at 11:40 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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