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    Default Four years old Female Leopard gecko has not eaten for 3 months


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    Hello, we have a female leopard Gecko named Elvira that we bought 1 year ago, she was then three years old. The previous owner had only fed her zoophobas worms, and we continued with that. She was active and alert and quickly ate 3-4 worms a couple of times each week. During the winter she ate less, about 1-2 worms and perhaps only once a week, otherwise she was not interested. In March she stopped eating completely and had become less active during the late winter. 13 April she weighed 68 grams. 21 April I took her to the vet where she was examined and x-rayed. They did not find any apparent problems with her, and I explicitly asked them to look for signs of egg binding that had been fatal for our previous leopard gecko that died last spring. The x-ray revealed objects around the liver and an enlarged liver, and the diagnosis, in view of the food, was that she suffered from liver fattening (no signs off egg binding), and we were to give her lactulose and try to feed her crickets and also feed with Carnivore Care food substitutes if she did not eat the crickets. I gave her the lactulose according to prescription, and fed her with Carnivore Care since the crickets did not attract her attention at all. Nothing happened, and I never noticed that she ate any crickets. 27 May I went back to the vet and Elvira was examined again, but the vet (a new one this time) could not find anything wrong and supported the previous diagnosis. We were advised to try dubia instead of crickets and continue with lactulose for a couple of weeks, but discontinue with the Carnivore Care. She looks at the dubia but is not interested in them, I have not seen her eat any one of them. Today, 26 June, she weighed 58 grams and the tail has become slightly smaller. During this time, I have tried to feed zoophobas worms occasionally as a test, and she ate one of them once, but is otherwise always uninterested. Interestingly, since April she has become more and more active and curious, often walking about in the terrarium and often coming when I open the terrarium door. But she does not eat.
    Elvira lives in a 90cm*40cm*50cm terrarium, pictures are enclosed. We have changed the bottom material from sand to tiles, at the warm side (about 1/3 of the bottom surface) there is about 30-35 degrees Celsius, and at the cold side about 25 degrees Celsius, she has a moist “cave” partly on the warm side where she likes to spend time. Although she does not eat, we find faeces 1-2 times a week, and she sheds regularly without problems. I am very grateful for any tips regarding how to continue. Best regards Jonas
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    I have a lot of leopard geckos. Some of them don't eat for months. My record is a super snow I had for 12 years that sometimes didn't eat from November till May and would lose 20 grams, but by summer he'd be up in the high 80's. Many of my females don't eat much around now. I posted a picture of one of them enjoying her first meal in at least 2 months. She still looks pretty good. If she's active and curious, I recommend continuing to offer regularly and be patient.

    Aliza

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    Thanks för the helpful reply, I just wait and see for a little while and hope that she starts eating again.
    The vet was of the opinion that I should hold Elvira in a towel and force-feed her with crickets or dubia, but I am doubtful if that will help her get the appetite back. I also think it would be a quite upsetting procedure. The vet also recommended a faeces analysis to search for disease and parasites, perhaps that is the next step if she does not start to eat. Best regards Jonas

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    Hello, I have one more question. Wherever I read about leopard geckos, it is always stated that they have no special interaction and are not happier if there is more than one in the terrarium. I wonder if Elvira could be triggered to hunt end eat if we get one more leopard gecko, and she sees the new leopard gecko hunt and eat. Anyone has any experience of this?
    Best regards Jonas

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    I have had a few rare experiences where a leopard gecko seemed to benefit in some way from another one in the same enclosure. Most of the time (I do keep many of my leopard geckos in small groups) they pretty much ignore each other. I think it's more likely that putting a new gecko in there (after the 1 month or more quarantine) will stress your current gecko.
    I know the vet suggested force feeding. Another approach is what I call "assisted feeding" where I hold the gecko and gently poke a feeder at its mouth. A few of my geckos seem to need to be fed this way all the time and they are doing quite well. If your gecko will tolerate being held and you're comfortable with this, it's not as aggressive as "force feeding" and may be worth a try.

    Aliza

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    Thanks again, I will not try to introduce a new leopard gecko then. What do you mean by "feeder"? When I have given Elvira "Carnivore Care" food substitute, I have used a syringe without a needle and gently pressed the food into her mouth, a drop at a time. Is that what you mean?
    Best regards Jonas

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    By "feeder" I meant a bug or worm that you feed the gecko. I forgot you're using the carnivore care. You might consider getting a few crickets or mealworms, squishing them so the guts come out (sorry if that's too graphic) and then seeing if you can get them to take it as I described above. This is helpful because it's a step to keep the gecko from becoming too dependent on puree foods.

    Aliza

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    Hello and thanks for the clarification. The last days Elvira has started to eat after more than 4 months without eating, and has eaten 3-4 dubia. I hope this is a god sign, and that she will continue eating as she used to.
    Best regards Jonas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas Sandstedt View Post
    Hello and thanks for the clarification. The last days Elvira has started to eat after more than 4 months without eating, and has eaten 3-4 dubia. I hope this is a god sign, and that she will continue eating as she used to.
    Best regards Jonas
    What GOOD news, Jonas! I hope those dubia will jumpstart Elvira's appetite.

    Thanks for sharing.
    "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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