100% Leopard Gecko Care Sheet - Geckos Unlimited

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Elizabeth Freer

Active member
#21---Cryptosporidiosis: disinfecting, Mail Order test, + links

"Vets should now be able to test for crypto via a swab of the vent which makes it unnecessary to provide fresh feces."

"If you're concerned about crypto 'here's your best bet: take him to the vet to be tested for crypto. In 2 months, have him re-tested. There's no absolute guarantee, but it's likely that if he's negative both times, you may be OK.'

"I know crypto is contagious (I have a houseful of crypto positive geckos), but if you consider the number of geckos in pet stores that are crypto positive, where the pet stores don't decontaminate properly, and the fact that the gecko that probably brought the crypto to my collection was sold to me by a reputable breeder, if it were 100% transmissible, there would probably not be any geckos in captivity that didn't have crypto."

"If the gecko had watery stools, lost (considerable) weight, and died very skinny, it could have been crypto."

Aliza (December 2017 & April 2019)

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Ammonia and bleach should never be mixed. That combination will emit toxic fumes which are bad for both you and the animals.

"If you want to be absolutely sure when disinfecting, use ammonia. Ammonia is the only thing effective at killing crypto, giardia, and coccidia oocysts."​
---Thanks to Mardy (10 July 2013)​

However, even ammonia does not totally eradicate ALL oocysts. Even at the highest concentration of ammonia, a small fraction of viable oocysts still remain.

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For detailed Cryptosporidiosis information click: Cryptosporidium for Birds and Reptiles

"Animal Genetics offers PCR testing for Cryptosporidium in both birds and reptiles.
Cryptosporidium does affect many other animals including humans.

Animal Genetics Inc.
USA: 800-514-9672
Email: contact@AnimalGenetics.US
Click: Avian Services Center: DNA sexing and disease testing for all species of birds.

/\ Does crypto testing by mail

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Use ammonia to sterilize a glass tank. Bleach does not kill crypto. Toss the cage furniture.

"I want to explain the reason why I think it is best to just throw everything out. I have read several of these and the results varied.
---Thanks to cricket4u

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Can anything help cryptosporidiosis?
 
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Elizabeth Freer

Active member
#22---*** GU's Admin Hilde on Calcium, Vitamin A, & D3 interactions, et cetera ***

Hilde's reply to Leopard Gecko Banunu's thread: origin of flap under Banunu's chin---
"That skin flap under her chin is one of the signs of a Vitamin A (and possibly Vit D) shortage in at least the mother, if not both parents.

You mentioned they claimed to have had a 'bad batch' of leopards, and you also suspect she has poor vision. She had a bad shed to the point where she lost some toes. This all adds up to a Vit A/D shortage in her, and in the parents which then affected their offspring. By any chance, did you notice if any of the geckos in that 'bad batch' had nicked/split eyelids?

VITAMIN A:
: Promotes bone growth, teeth development.
: Helps form and maintain healthy skin, hair, mucous membranes.
: Builds body's resistance to respiratory infections.
: Essential for normal function of retina. Combines with purple pigment of retina (opsin) to form rhodopsin, which is necessary for sight in partial darkness.
: Necessary for proper testicular function, ovarian function, embryonic development, regulation of growth, differentiation of tissues.

  • 19 March 2016: "The vitamin A from animal sources is called retinol, while plant source vitamin A is carotenoids, such as beta-carotene.

    "Animal sources of retinol are bio-available, the gecko can use it 'as is', no extra processing needed. The vitamin A from plant sources has to be converted to retinol before it can be used.

    "This is what the geckos have trouble with - they don't absorb beta-carotene very well, so they don't have enough to convert to the 'finished' vitamin A. Some species also seem to have trouble converting it to pre-formed vitamin A (retinol).

    "You can increase the beta-carotene rich content of the gutload as much as you want, but it won't benefit the geckos any. They still can't convert it properly, no matter how much you stuff into a cricket."
VITAMIN D:
: Plays a key role in the absorption of calcium for bone and tooth development.
: Affects cardiovascular health, immune system, cancer prevention
: Has a major role in muscle development & strength
: Key role in mental health and depression avoidance

VITAMINS A & D interaction with other substances:
: Calcium decreases absorption of fat-soluble Vitamins A, D, E and K.

You can't see the Vitamin A shortage easily, except for possibly poor vision and/or aim when hunting. Rough skin is usually shrugged off as a 'bit of a bad shed' and hope it works better next time. If not.... well, we'll just remove the stuck skin with a cotton pad.

Lethargy and weakness might be chalked up to many things including boredom or brumation, never a thought that it could hint at a Vitamin D shortage.

CALCIUM - excess:
Excess calcium in the digestive tract can hinder absorption of vitamins A and D (we won't worry about E & K here). MBD is often considered to be caused by a shortage of calcium, but can happen even though there is ample calcium available. If there's not enough Vit D available, either stored in the liver or absorbed via food/supplements, then there won't be enough calcium absorbed. If you suspect a calcium shortage, it's easy to increase the amount available by dusting more often, even to the point of 'icing' the bugs with calcium, all of which just puts more calcium into the intestines but allowing less and less Vitamin A & D to be absorbed.... a vicious circle. The result is a gecko with possible MBD (even if it gets a calcium supplement), and a severe shortage of Vitamin A & D.

And so it continues.... more calcium, less vitamin A & D.

The next big worry is the next generation. Vitamin A and/or D imbalance can affect the young - offspring might hatch tiny, maybe shorter than normal tails, missing or deformed eyelids, a pouch-like flap of skin under the chin (looks like a tiny dewlap), weak, poor vision or even blind, weak or even deformed bones, including skull. It gets shrugged off as one of those things, after all, even in the wild they don't all hatch perfect.

Who would have thought that it could be traced to excess calcium?

Some people shy away from supplementing with pre-formed Vitamin A. It's been proven that geckos need it, they can't convert beta-carotene well enough to make do with just that. If the parents of your gecko were only supplemented with beta-carotene, no pre-formed Vit A, then they were prime candidates for a Vit A deficiency, and their offspring suffered the consequences. At the very least, add some pre-formed Vit A to the supplements a few times a month. Most can be beta-carotene, but the bit of pre-formed A will tide them over until they get enough beta-carotene converted."

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Related post #48 here: Can plain calcium carbonate be overdosed? Check link from post #5 onwards......
http://www.geckosunlimited.com/comm...leos-having-health-issues-setup-question.html
 
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Elizabeth Freer

Active member
#23---Cricket Guidelines -- February 2021 (update)

Click: https://www.geckosunlimited.com/community/threads/68574 Leopard Geckos Food Feeding Issues - cricket guidelines

~ Hassle-free Cricket Care ~
Geckos Unlimited

February 2021 (update)​
  • Reduce the frequency of powdered supplements if you feed your insects and worms a high quality dry diet 24/7 like Zoo Med's Natural Adult Bearded Dragon Food, (Albers' All Purpose Poultry Feed), or Purina Layena Crumbles.
  • Exceptional gecko thirst could be a red flag that you are overdoing the multivitamins and/or the vitamin D3.
    [*] Gecko urates should be pure white. Yellow urates indicate some problem.
Strive for a ratio of 1.5-2.0 calcium:1.0 phosphorus from the foods we feed insects and subsequently feed our geckos.

Dry Insect & Worm Diets/Bedding: A 24/7/365 dry insect/worm diet should contain (~16% protein, less than 5% fat, moderate fiber) + vitamin D3, vitamin A acetate (retinol), & vitamin B12! Keep the dry diet DRY! Remove or mist the paper towel to dampen. :)

Good 24/7 Dry Cricket/Worm Diets:
Finely grind all these pellets in a Krups coffee/spice grinder or place the pellets in a plastic bag & pound them with a hammer.
  • *** Zoo Med's Natural ADULT Bearded Dragon Food *** . . . . . . (Thanks to GU's Geckologist.tj in October 2013)
  • OR Aliza (GU's acpart) uses this already ground Professional Reptiles' Pro Gut load(1-775-359-1085) for her mealworm/superworm bedding as well as for her insect & worm food.
  • OR (Albers' All Purpose Poultry Feed)
  • OR Purina Layena Crumbles -- 800-457-2804
  • Albers' Dealer Locator Animal Feed & Supplements l Purina Looks like Albers' is available in western USA including Alaska, Hawaii, & Guam.

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By following these tips it's very easy to keep your crickets alive & thriving 1-2 months past purchase:

Take a suitably sized container, for instance, an extra large Kritter Keeper or a 56 quart Sterilite bin. Place finely ground Zoo Med's Natural ADULT Bearded Dragon Food, Albers' All Purpose Poultry Feed, or Purina Layena Crumbles on the bottom of the cage. Vitamin A acetate is an important ingredient of the dry food. Add your crickets. Next cover with a double layer of egg cartons. On top of the egg cartons place a paper towel. Keep crickets between 70 F & the mid 80s. They will grow faster if warmer, but do fine at 70ish * F. Ideal temperature for raising crickets = 78*F. [See Liam Sinclair's 2021 research: Linked Gecko Care Articles Link 172.]

IF
you wish, add high calcium/low phosphorus veggies off to the side like collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, & dandelion flowers/greens.

Place 2 layers of Scott's Blue Shop Towels over 4-5 vertical half egg flats within a 56 quart Sterilite bin. Thoroughly wet paper towels under the faucet once a day. Then wring out excess moisture. Lay wrung out paper towels on top of your vertical egg flats.

General Mills' dry cereal whole grain TOTAL can be used in a pinch.

Do not feed insects dog food, cat food, or fish flakes. Those are way too high in protein & fat. Those foods could potentially cause hepatic lipidosis & gout. Foods containing high purine & high alkaline levels should be limited. Those foods fed in excess can increase uric acid & make your reptile more susceptible to gout as well.

Do not feed freeze-dried or canned insects or worms to your geckos. All geckos need moisture from well-hydrated prey as well as the nutrients such prey provides.

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25 Feb 2013 - Hilde
"The only way to properly regulate vitamin and mineral intake, calcium in particular, is to only supply it via gutloading and dusting. Dusting is only secondary, the most important thing is to use the proper gutload."

2 March 2013 - Hilde
Captured from post #134, 27 Feb 2013, on "spoiled by crickets" thread in the crestie forum:
"If you feed the insects a decent diet full time, not just a day before feeding them off, you really improve the nutrients they'll provide - build a better body, not just fill the relatively short intestinal tract."

Scroll to the 3rd post in that /\ thread for suggestions about breeding crickets.

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"Light supplemental dusting" of crickets, Blaptica dubia, and mealworms is like a "sprinkling of powdered sugar upon a cake". Using a tall plastic deli cup add a pinch of the vitamin or calcium powder in the bottom, then add crickets, then gently swirl. A 1 tablespoon sized measuring spoon can be used to scoop crickets out of this container.

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"Gut loading" the Feeders 24-48 hours before feeding them off versus Feeding the Feeders 24/7/365
The term gut loading causes some confusion. Feed your geckos' insects & worms a nutritious regular diet all the time to build strong feeder bodies.
 
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Elizabeth Freer

Active member
#24---Calcium powders with D3 ONLY -- March 2021 (update)

Zoo Med's Repti Calcium with vitamin D3---phosphorus-free ***Highly RECOMMENDED***
38%-43% precipitated calcium carbonate

Vitamin D3: 22,907 IU/kg, 10,390 IU/pound

Zoo Med's Repti Calcium with D3 supplement is a phosphorus-free calcium supplement for reptiles & amphibians. We use only precipitated calcium carbonate which is white in color & is essentially lead-free. Pure calcium carbonate is white, not gray. Impurities in other sources of calcium carbonate (e.g. oyster shell calcium) cause the supplement to appear gray. The calcium carbonate particles in Repti Calcium have a unique shape, & an extremely high surface area per gram, resulting in increased calcium bioavailability. With Repti Calcium, you can take comfort in knowing that your reptiles are getting a highly bioavailable source of calcium carbonate that is free of harmful impurities. Reptiles maintained indoors may benefit from supplemental vitamin D3 in their diet. Our formula contains safe levels of vitamin D3 when used as prescribed.
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Rep-Cal's Calcium with vitamin D3---phosphorus-free . . . . . . :-( Extremely high D3 content & oyster shell calcium carbonate
35%-40% natural oyster shell calcium carbonate
Vitamin D3: 400,000 IU/kg

At 400,000 IU/kg of D3, Rep-Cal's calcium with D3 contains 17x more D3 than does Zoo Med's D3 Repti Calcium!
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Fluker's Calcium with vitamin D3---phosphorus-free . . . . . . :-( Extremely high D3 content
Click: Fluker's Calcium with D3
No less than 36% Ca from limestone flour, flavor
Vitamin D3 minimum: 100,000 IU/pound
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Exo Terra's Calcium with vitamin D3---phosphorus-free......:( Contains dextrose (sugar) & oyster shell flour

Click: Exo Terra : Calcium + D3 / Calcium + D3 Powder Supplement

1. North America

INGREDIENTS:
Calcium carbonate, oyster shell flour, dextrose, Vitamin D3 supplement.

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS:
  • Moisture (max) 12.0%
  • Calcium (min) 35.0%
  • Calcium (max) 37.0%
  • Vitamin D3 14,740 IU/pound (XXX IU/kg)
2. EU
INGREDIENTS:
Calcium carbonate (35%), ground oyster shells, salt.
Contains EU permitted additives.

EU TYPICAL ANALYSIS:
  • Calcium carbonate 35%
  • Vitamin D3 65 mg/kg ???
EU Typical Analysis:
Calcium carbonate 35%, Vitamin D3 0,81 mg/kg
????

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Here's what I know about Exo Terra's multivitamins. It's important for geckos to have a wee pinch of preformed vitamin A (retinol) in their diets at one feeding per week.

Exo Terra's multivitamins contain beta carotene instead of preformed vitamin A (retinol). Chances are geckos cannot metabolize beta carotene. So Vitamin A deficiency would result. Exo Terra multivitamins also fall short on vitamins and minerals, such as missing vitamin B12.

post 77---Reptile Multivitamins
Click: Exo Terra : Multi Vitamin / Multi Vitamin Powder Supplement

I recommend switching to Zoo Med's Reptivite multivitamins without D3 & Zoo Med's Repti Calcium with D3 (2 separate bottles).
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Repashy's Calcium Plus all-in-one multivitamins
INGREDIENTS:
Calcium Carbonate, Dried Kelp, Dried Brewer’s Yeast, RoseHips, Calendula Flower, Marigold Flower, Paprika, Hibiscus Flower, Algae Meal, Turmeric, Rosemary Extract, Natural Fruit Flavor, Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Manganese Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Copper Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Selenium Yeast. Vitamins: (Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Calcium L-Ascorbyl-2-Monophosphate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Beta Carotene, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement).

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS:
  • Crude Protein min. .2%
  • Crude Fat min. .2%
  • Crude Fiber max. 4%
  • Moisture max. 8%
  • Calcium min. 17%
  • Vitamin A min. 200,000 IU/pound
  • Vitamin D min. 20,000 IU/pound
  • Vitamin E min. 2,000 IU/pound
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Sticky Tongue Farms Miner-All Indoor calcium/mineral supplement with vitamin D3
vitamin D3: 4,400 IU/kg

INGREDIENTS:
Calcium Carbonate, Dextrose, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Magnesium Oxide, D-Activated Animal Sterol (source of Vitamin D-3 Miner-All Indoor only), Iron Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Ethyione Diamine Dihydriod ide,Cobalt Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Iron Oxide, Natural Berry flavors

TRACE ELEMENTS (from aquatic naturally grown aquatic vegetation):
Sulfur, Aluminum, Silicon, Copper, Bromine, Barium, Tellurium, Yttrium, Sodium, Lanthanum, Uranium, Neodymium, 44 Cerium, Titanium, Vanadium, Niobium, Dysporosium, Gadolinium, Erbium, Ytterbium, Germinium, Praseodymium, Samarium, Thallium, Scandium, Rubidium, Nickel, Holmium, Tin, Thorium, Europium, Terbium, Palladium, Gallium, Chromium, Lutecium, Thulium, Tungsten, Antimony, Cesium, Bismuth, Rhodium, Tantalum, Rhenium, Osmium, Iridium.
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Nekton-Rep's calcium + D3 + (other nutritional additives per kg)

Nutritional additives per kg:
50,000 IU vitamin D3
, 600 mg iron (ferrous(II)-sulfate, monohydrate), 495 mg zinc (zinc sulfate, monohydrate), 250 mg manganese (manganese(II)-oxide), 155 mg copper (cupric(II)-sulfate, pentahydrate), 20 mg iodine (calcium iodate, free of water), 16 mg selenium (sodium selenite)
  • Ingredients:
    Contains 2 amino acids
  • Composition:
    Calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate
  • Analytical constituents:
    Ca 37%, Mg 0.02%, Na 0.02%

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Arcadia's Earth Pro Revitalise D3 Mineral & Vitamin Powder

Arcadia's Shed Support supplement
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
#26---Tony Perkins’ product links for his 4th grade class Leo Cleo

(~18 November 2012)
Hey all,
I finally have my setup the way that I am going to keep it, with the exception of a hanging vine or two for the back corners of the enclosure. I was doing some math to figure up how much money I have invested in all of this, and thought I would take a minute to share the products that I use and the cost associated with them.

When adding all the products together I have spent about $370.00, not including shipping and handling of the stuff I ordered online. The products that I am using and links to them are below:

Aquarium
Heating and Lighting
Background
Substrate
Furnishings
Vitamins and Supplements
 
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Elizabeth Freer

Active member
#29---Zoo Med's ReptiVite™ multivitamins with Scott Stahl, DVM

Zoo Med's D3 ReptiVite™ multivitamins
  • vitamin D3 = 22,907 IU/kg, 10,390 IU/pound
  • vitamin A acetate (retinol) = 220,264 IU/kg
  • calcium = 24.9% min, 28% max
  • phosphorus = 10.6% minimum
*** Zoo Med's plain (no D3) ReptiVite™ ***
  • vitamin A acetate =
  • calcium =
  • phosphorus =
+ *** Zoo Med's D3 Repti Calcium---phosphorus-free ***
  • vitamin D3 - 22,907 IU/kg, 10,390 IU/pound
  • precipitated calcium carbonate = 38%-43%

Lightly dust insects or worms with ReptiVite™ multivitamin without D3 @ 1 feeding per week, no more than that. Also lightly dust insects or worms with Repti Calcium with D3 @ 1 other feeding per week.
  • Do not exceed the weekly amount of ReptiVite™ multivitamins. Spread the total amount of dusted insects throughout the week. That provides a more balanced diet. Some of us are uncomfortable dusting as frequently as suggested. Instead feed insects & worms a high quality dry diet 24/7/365 to cover the basics. Add high calcium, low phosphorus, veggies to the side.
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Click: https://www.geckosunlimited.com/community/threads/79534 Cork rounds drying geckos feetsies

"Dr. Scott Stahl, the premiere reptile vet, highly recommends the Zoo Med product, ReptiVite™. Originally formulated for zoos, it seems to work better than any other product I've tried including Repashy supplements.

"My gut load mix includes paprika for Vitamin A. I also include carrot and dandelion greens for their moisture and other vitamins and nutrients. Plant-based vitamins and minerals are always more assimilable that manufactured supplements."

Thanks to GU's billewicz (Michael)
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With vitamin D3: ReptiVite

Without vitamin D3:
ReptiVite? without D3
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"Zoo Med is proud to offer ReptiVite™ with D3, a complete vitamin, mineral, and amino acid complex specifically formulated for reptiles. ReptiVite™ is calcium based to ensure healthy bone growth with the correct 2:1 calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. Originally developed for the San Diego Zoo to correct soft-shell problems in turtles, it is now used by some of the most respected zoos and animal parks throughout the world. The first reptile vitamin to include the complete amino acid complex, an essential component in protein digestion. ReptiVite™ does not contain artificial additives or fillers like soy, yeast, or sucrose."

Guaranteed Analysis: Ingredients
Dicalcium Phosphate, Precipitated Calcium Carbonate, Maltodextrins, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Bitartrate, Magnesium Oxide, L-Leucine, Manganese Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid, L-Arginine, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, a-Tocopherol Acetate, L-Valine, L-Isoleucine, L-Threonine, L-Glutamine, L-Alanine, L-Glutamic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, L-Phenylalanine, Dried Kelp, L-Tyrosine, Lecithin, Ferrous Fumarate, L-Cystine, L-Histidine, Glycine, DL-Methionine, L-Serine, L-Aspartic Acid, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin A Acetate, Riboflavin, Cholecalciferol (Source of Vitamin D3), Thiamine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Moisture & Minerals
% or PPM
per kg
  • Moisture (max) 2.5 %
  • Calcium (min) 24.9 % 249,000 mg
  • Calcium (max) 28.0 % 280,000 mg
  • Phosphorus (min) 10.6 % 105,730 mg
  • Salt (min) 4.2 % 42,000 mg
  • Salt (max) 4.9 % 49,000 mg
  • Potassium (min) 1.7 % 17,621 mg
  • Magnesium (min) 0.26 % 2,670 mg
  • Fluorine (max) 0.01 % 100 mg
  • Iron (min) 450 ppm 450 mg
  • Copper (min) 225 ppm 225 mg
  • Manganese (min) 1,000 ppm 1,000 mg
  • Zinc (min) 450 pp 450 mg
  • Iodine (min) 2.15 ppm 2.15 mg
Vitamins & Nutrients
(minimum amounts)
per lb
per kg
  • Vitamin A (acetate) 220,264 IU/kg, 99,910 IU/pound
  • Vitamin D3 22,907 IU/kg, 10,390 IU/pound
  • Vitamin E 2,200 IU/kg, 1,000 IU/pound
  • Vitamin K (Menadione) 20.43 mg 45.00 mg
  • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) 1,406.2 mg 3,100.0 mg
  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1) 83.92 mg 185.0 mg
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 124.7 mg 275.0 mg
  • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) 861.8 mg 1,900.0 mg
  • Niacin 303.9 mg 670.0 mg
  • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) 30.4 mg 67.0 mg
  • Folic Acid 48.5 mg 107.0 mg
  • Biotin 12.2 mg 27.0 mg
  • Vitamin B12 3.04 mg 6.70 mg
  • Choline 848 mg 1,870 mg
Amino Acids
(minimum amounts)
%
per kg
  • L-Glutamine 0.24 % 2,400 mg
  • L-Arginine 0.36 % 3,550 mg
  • L-Isoleucine 0.26 % 2,550 mg
  • L-Threonine 0.24 % 2,390 mg
  • L-Tyrosine 0.18 % 1,760 mg
  • L-Valine 0.27 % 2,670 mg
  • Glycine 0.12 % 1,160 mg
  • L-Methionine 0.12 % 1,160 mg
  • L-Aspartic Acid 0.10 % 1,000 mg
  • L-Glutamic Acid 0.24 % 2,400 mg
  • L-Histidine 0.13 % 1,260 mg
  • L-Lysine 0.36 % 3,550 mg
  • L-Leucine 0.44 % 4,440 mg
  • L-Alanine 0.24 % 2,400 mg
  • L-Cystine 0.13 % 1,280 mg
  • L-Phenylalanine 0.23 % 2,290 mg
  • L-Serine 0.12 % 1,160 mg"
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
#30---Proven Trap for Catching Escaped Geckos . . . . . . Elizabeth Freer

This trap worked when a small tiger gecko (Pachydactylus tigrinus) darted underneath my kitchen cupboards.
  • Take an 8 x 8 inch baking pan
  • Add small water dish with pebbles
  • Cover pan & water dish with egg carton flat
  • Add small lid of mashed bananas or fruit baby food OR some small crickets as "bait"
  • Mostly cover the whole thing with a lightweight cotton kitchen towel
  • Set this under a desk lamp containing a 25 or 40 watt bulb
WAIT . . . . . .

After several hours you may find the gecko inside. Be prepared for the next step.
  • Have a deli cup or some other plastic container nearby as well as a flat cardboard cover
  • Trap gecko beneath the plastic container
  • Slide cardboard underneath as a lid
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
#31---Other Custom Leo Cage Furniture

HBK's playground thanks to shabbybird -- 17 Nov 2012:
 

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Elizabeth Freer

Active member
Last edited:

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
#33---Hornworm Guidelines

Buy very small hornworms. They will mushroom in size overnight, so only very briefly keep them at room temperature (70*F; 21.1*C). Then transfer them to either a Playmate picnic-type cooler or a wine cooler set at about 55*F (12.8*C). A basement may also be cool enough.

Size fed: about 1.5 inches long (~4 cm) to my 70ish gram/9 inch female leo.
  • Approximate nutritional content of hornworms (source Mulberry Farms)
    • Protein: 9%
    • Fat: 3%
    • Calcium: 46.4mg/100mg
    • Calcium : phosphorus ratio is 1:3 [Phosphorus impairs calcium absorption. Lightly dust hornworms with plain calcium carbonate to rebalance the calcium and phosphorus to a better ratio.]
    • Moisture: 85%
Tobacco hornworms (Manduca sexta) are teal or green soft-bodied worms that grow rapidly when kept at room temperature. They are high in calcium. French hornworms go by: vers de goliath. These worms look like mini turquoise candy canes :roll:.

Keep hornworms in either a Playmate picnic-type cooler or a wine cooler at about 55*F. Otherwise they will double in size a few days after purchase! In January 2015 a hornworm breeder told me that 50*F is too cold, that 50*F makes the hornworm food too tough for the youngest hornworms.

Tips
When kept by the following method, it's easy to keep hornworms alive (and of edible size for many leopard geckos) for 4+ weeks. Make sure the company includes enough food. Keep any extra food in the cooler with the hornworms, not in the refrigerator. If you keep the food in the refrigerator the food will get too hard for hornworms to eat.

View attachment 35143
[Thanks to GU's lbanta for this photo]
  • Hornworms grow rapidly when kept at normal room temperatures!
  • When the hornworms nearly reach a good size for feeding, place them (in container) into a cooler (picnic-type, wine) to lessen rapid growth.
  • Add 1 solid ice pack replaced 2x daily......every 12 hours.
  • Keep the temperature inside the cooler ~55*F (12.8*C).
  • Turn the hornworm container upside down so that their food is on the top and the lid is the new "base".
  • Elevate the hornworm container with egg flats or a couple pencils for ventilation.
  • Don't let the hornworm container touch the ice pack.
  • Empty the hornworm poop once a day.
  • Serve the hornworms plain at first. Then try very lightly dusting them with pure precipitated calcium carbonate (without vitamin D3) to further balance their calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.
  • Should a hornworm get mangled, clean up its green juice right away. The green "juice" is difficult to remove when dry.
For more hornworm info:
http://www.mulberryfarms.com/Live-Hornworms-c51/
Great Lakes Hornworm Products

FAQ
Great Lakes Hornworm | America's Finest Source For Insects
Are these the things I see on my tomato plant?
Yes, but you cannot feed the hornworms on your tomato plants to your animals. Hornworms that eat tomato plants have toxins in their bodies that will kill your animals!

Feedback on Hornworms

  • from my female leopard gecko Cha: 🤤
  • from my mature crestie George: :scratchhead: ===> no interest in hornworms (accustomed to crickets)
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For additional hornworm details click: 05DecCaruthers [Thanks to Hilde]
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Keeping Hornworms
"Best to purchase a wine cooler.
65311_10151233448104333_2104279960_n (1).jpg

"Brand is Wine Enthusiast and costs $65 in Nov 2012. It's really quiet. Measures 20 inches front to back. 16" from side to side, and 14" from floor to top. You can see the temp on the front and can lower or raise the temp from the front. Mine is a 12 bottle, but it's a little cube.

"Set to 55*F to keep your hornworms alive till feeding. Being kept at 55*F really slows their growth!!!

"I take the racks out and lay the hornworm cups on their sides. Nice investment...and you should find some good deals at this time of year.

"This way hornworms can be kept at the proper temperature for your leopard gecko or other interested geckos. Got a batch of eggs and let them hatch then put them in. It works great for us folks who only have 1 lizard...(or maybe 2 someday) that want to keep food longer so it can be used up.

"Yes, the upfront cost is a bit, but the longterm ease and comfort is fabulous! If you are going to take care of lizards correctly and you need to keep hornworms around as a food source, then you need to the invest in a wine chiller. It is so comforting to know they are always at the correct temp and not growing really really fast!" [Thanks to Zena Reitano-Nesting, leo Prince Ali's mom]

..Ziggy.
View attachment 38348
JessJohnson87's leo

.....Rex..............Xena......
View attachment 21785 View attachment 21786
XoVictoryXo's leos
 
Last edited:

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
#34---Powdered Assist Foods: Oxbow's Critical Care CARNIVORE, Emeraid, & Repta+Boost

REHYDRATION INFORMATION
  • Do not attempt to feed an emaciated/dehydrated gecko until the gecko's hydration status has been assessed by a veterinarian. In order to prevent further damage to the kidneys or liver, let the vet rehydrate your gecko. Only then assist feed.
  • To entice any gecko to open his mouth brush a thin dowel, a stainless steel gavage needle (with a rounded tip), or your finger horizontally along his lips. Stroke gecko's lips, gecko opens mouth, then insert water, food, or medicine. You probably need to be QUICK! Be gentle. Never force the mouth open!

Click: Oxbow Animal Health | Oxbow Animal Health | Carnivore Care Professional Line |

800-249-0366
info@OxbowAnimalHealth.com

Amazon. com carries Oxbow's powdered all-in-one diets. As of April 2021 Oxbow Animal Health produces 4 separate diets.

  • Have your gecko evaluated by a reptile vet first.
  • For geckos mix Oxbow's Critical Care CARNIVORE with water into a consistency that's easy to draw up into a fat syringe.
  • Then syringe feed your gecko like this.
    30704648_10211062557068701_4317121622076030976_n.jpg
    (click to enlarge)
Click: How to Assist Feed a Leopard Gecko? - YouTube

Oxbow's Critical Care CARNIVORE is still in production as of 19 March 2022 as verified by Oxbow's rep Kristy Akister in the Reptile Rehabilitation & Emergency Care facebook group.

280199324_519586379635524_1545073805902097430_n.jpg
(click 2022 image to enlarge)​

Oxbow's Critical Care CARNIVORE is a premium all-in-one powdered food one mixes with water.

Once opened Critical Care CARNIVORE ONLY keeps 7 days in the refrigerator, because it contains no preservatives. To keep Critical Care CARNIVORE viable beyond 7 days Oxbow's vet and developer recommends:
  • Once opened FREEZE remaining Critical Care CARNIVORE for up to 3 months in its own pouch. Remove all air & seal. Place that pouch inside a Ziploc baggie or inside an airtight container. Then FREEZE it!
  • Take necessary amounts out of this container's frozen pouch directly from the freezer.
  • Then remove all air & reseal.
  • Replace Critical Care CARNIVORE back into the freezer.
For link 34 click: Powdered Assist Foods: Oxbow’s Critical Care CARNIVORE, Lafeber's Emeraid for Carnivors, & Fluker's Repta+Boost

Click: How to Assist Feed a Leopard Gecko? - YouTube

Directions for Use:
As a general guideline, mix 2 parts Critical Care CARNIVORE to 1 part warm water. The volume of water may be adjusted to obtain optimal feeding consistency. Amounts are general guidelines and should be adjusted based on patient condition. Divide into 2-4 feedings or as indicated by your veterinarian. Water should be available to the animal at all times.

Individual needs vary with age, genetics, activity level, and medical condition. Consult with a veterinarian for specific directions.

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Lafeber's EmerAid for Carnivors -- quite similar to Oxbow's Carnivore Care

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Fluker's Repta+Boost
Refrigerate product to extend shelf life. Do NOT freeze!

Analysis
  • Protein min 25%
  • Fat min 17%
  • Fiber max 2.5%
  • Moisture max 13%
  • Calcium min 0.60%
  • Phosphorus min 0.50%
Ingredients

  • Egg product, wheat flour, starch, isolated soy flour, corn oil, dried Brewer's yeast, dried kelp, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, pollen, dextrose, sodium chloride, potassium sorbate, (preservative), DL-methionine, lecithin, choline chloride supplement, potassium chloride, spirulina, manganese sulfate, mixed natural tocopherols (antioxidant), zinc sulfate, magnesium oxide, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene supplement, niacin, vitamin E supplement, copper sulfate, vitamin B 12 supplement, vitamin A acetate, calcium pantothenate, vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, ethylene diamine dihydriodide, biotin supplement, folic acid, sodium selenite.
 
Last edited:

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
#35---Cleaning Reptile Cages . . . . . . cricket4u -- March 2012

Cleaning Reptile Cages

From post #9
"If you google handheld steamers, almost everything that comes up has many bad reviews. Stuff like- it starts then you only get a little steam, or it just stopped working, or it just dribbles, or it only runs for one minute.

"I ended up getting one from Bed Bath and Beyond, and it's worked well for me. It's called the shark. The one thing I definitely wanted was a flexible hose instead of the type that has a rigid nozzle. You can really get in tight spots with the hose. Click this link: Amazon.com - Shark Premium Portable Steam Pocket Includes 5 Cleaning Pockets + 2 Quick Release Wands - Clothes Steam Generators

"If you sign up for BB&B's mailing list, they'll periodically send a 20% of coupon. I just waited for one and got a good deal." (thanks to pakinjak)
 
Last edited:

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
#36---Reptile Supply Company: "Wholesale Reptile Supplies & Feeders" -- April 2023 (update)

Click: Wholesale Reptile Supplies & Feeders - Reptile Supply Company

Reptile Supply Company, Inc.

Bonham, Texas
Use e-mail for customer service ----> info@ReptileSupplyCo.com
Phone number: 916-226-4089
Click: https://www.reptilesupplyco.com/8-products

Source for 20 ounce containers of Zoo Med's Natural ADULT Bearded Dragon Food & Zoo Med's Reptivite multivitamins withOUT D3!

In addition to many herp products, this company sells superfoods (ABCss) in bulk: alfalfa meal, bee pollen, chlorella powder, spirulina powder, & strawberry powder.
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
#37---Necropsy/Histopathology Protocol
Northwest ZooPath: Michael Garner DVM (Monroe, Washington) -- Does necropsies & histopathologies. Be sure to refrigerate your animal immediately after death; do NOT freeze it! Bring this animal to your vet ASAP for most definitive results. You may have to go through your vet to receive Dr. Garner's services.


Information provided by my nearby exotics vet
  • Refrigerate, DO NOT FREEZE, the deceased gecko in a ziploc bag immediately. (Gecko may be wrapped in a dry paper towel.)
  • Bring the body to your vet no later than about 36 hours after death to your vet who can forward it to a vet pathologist. The sooner the better!
  • Keep the body cool with cold packs while enroute to your vet. AGAIN, do not freeze.
  • The body will be preserved in formalin by the vet and then routed to a veterinary pathologist.
2013 "Local" Costs
necropsy

  • $29.00 - visual
  • $119.50 - up to 6 tissue samples, then $15 per additional sample

August 2015
histopathology
- ~$300
 
Last edited:

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
#38---Humidity too Low? Add a Layered Substrate to that Enclosure!

Layered substrates increase humidity within your gecko's enclosure. Create layered substrates with
* Eco Earth's Coco Fiber = top layer
* Weedblocker Cloth = middle layer
* Hydroton Clay Culture Balls = bottom layer

Periodically add water to this setup/hydroton to increase humidity. Add just enough water to re-soak hydroton. There should be NO standing water remaining after hydroton has soaked up it's share.


Please GOOGLE those 3 products for images & additional information on them.
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
#39---100% Pure/Plain Precipitated Calcium Carbonate Powders

  • NOW brand -- human grade pure calcium carbonate
    49151.jpg
    From my bottle's label --
    "NOW Calcium Carbonate is a basic calcium supplement that contains one of the highest concentrations of elemental calcium (about 40%), making it an optimal formulation for supporting healthy bones and teeth."

    NOW calcium carbonate compares with Zoo Med's Repti Calcium without D3.
  • Zoo Med
  • JBL Micro Calcium
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Exo Terra's "plain" calcium powder contains other ingredients. For those reasons I do not recommend it.

"The plain calcium should be plain, yet Exo Terra's contain extras such as copper, ferrous fumarate (great for constipation and toxicity) which should be in the multivitamin supplement. Then again it just says calcium powder supplement. Very confusing and dangerous for those not familiar with ingredients." cricket4u - 26 July 2013

"If this is the product you are leaving in the enclosure, I suggest that you remove it ASAP and buy Zoo Med Repti-calcium without D3. Exo-terra contains a few ingredients such as copper, iron, zinc, etc. Therefore not safe in the enclosure or combined with any other supplement." cricket4u - 15 September 2013
North America
Ingredients
Calcium carbonate, oyster shell flour, salt, calcium sulfate, potassium chloride, ferrous fumarate, magnesium oxide, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate.

Guaranteed Analysis
  • Moisture (max) 12.0%
  • Calcium (min) 35.0%
  • Calcium (max) 37.0%
  • Salt (min) 0.06%
  • Salt (max) 0.07%
  • Sulfur (min) 0.04%
  • Potassium (min) 0.04%
  • Iron (min) 240 ppm
  • Magnesium (min) 0.03%
  • Zinc (min) 9 ppm
  • Manganese (min) 5 ppm
  • Copper (min) 2 ppm
EU
Ingredients
Calcium carbonate (35%), ground oyster shells, salt.
Contains EU permitted additives

EU Typical Analysis
  • Calcium 35.0%
  • Sodium 700 mg/kg
  • Potassium 400 mg/kg
  • Magnesium 300 mg/kg
  • Copper (as Copper sulphate) 2 mg/kg
  • Sulfur 400 mg/kg
  • Iron 240 mg/kg
  • Zinc 9 mg/kg
  • Manganese 5 mg/kg
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JBL Micro Calcium
Description
  • Product: JBL Micro Calcium 100gr - Microfine calcium powder for sprinkling over food insects
Features
  • Optimum supply of calcium for all reptiles
  • Microfine powder form increases adherence to food insects
  • Fast absorption due to microfine particles with large surface
  • Pure calcium carbonate
Instructions for use
  • JBL Micro Calcium is a microfine ground calcium carbonate with exceptional physical and nutritional advantages for providing reptiles with vital calcium.
  • Due to the high electrostatic charge of JBL MicroCalcium, the powder adheres well to food insects of all kinds.
  • The microfine particles with a large surface area are rapidly and effectively adsorbed in the digestive tract of reptiles, even weakened ones, providing a reliable supply of vital calcium.
Use
  • Put the insects /food in a suitable container (eg CrickBox JBL) and add a tablespoon dose of JBL MicroCalcium every 5 to 10 insects feed (depending on their size). Shake well to spread the feed evenly. Repeat the dose if needed.
 
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