vitamin a deficiency

emzzzmeow

New member
edit: posting this here because reddit is ignoring me

i just wanted to get some advice from other gecko parents. last friday, i took my 6 year old baby, cersei, to the vet following a difficult shed that left one of her eyes swollen shut. she had a bit of stuck shed removed from her eye and her nostrils and was diagnosed with a vitamin a deficiency. the vet ordered the repashy vitamin a supplement for her (it has not arrived, calling tomorrow to pester them) and ofloxacin drops for her eye to be administered x2 a day.

so far.... its not really working? i am guessing that the drops are helping to keep her eye lubricated/clean but the issue stems from her lack of vitamin a. i know i'm responsible for not ensuring she was getting the nutrients she needs. she's a very stubborn gecko... i'm wondering if for the time being i might have more luck getting her to take liquid vitamins and just plop a drop on her nose? i'm thinking either liquid vitamins or purchasing some grub pie, making it into a slurry, and giving it to her in a dish to lick up (hopefully, again, stubborn).

some quick husbandry stats:

she lives in a 55 gallon tank on her own

zoo med repti-calcium w/o d3 offered in small dish in tank at all times

food dusted with zoo med reptivite w/d3 about once a week (gonna do that way more once she's on food again. totally my fault, i haven't been willing to work with her as she usually refuses to eat dusted worms). u usually give the worms a couple of pieces of carrot to gutload.

paper towel substrate.

hot side 90F w/ ceramic heating overhead and under tank heater below set at 88F, cold side... give or take 77-75F. humidity currently is around 40%.

two moist hides, one with one of those ceramic bowls on top to encourage humidity. i haven't been using sphagnum moss because i'm scared of it irritating her eye, and paper towels are just cleaner when she's ill. the other moist hide it a tupperware lined with paper towels (her preferred place). both are misted daily.

cool spot hide as well as a cave that sits over the under tank heater. she loves it here when she's working on food.

very picky but typically a voracious eater. she was overweight before she began to brumate and became ill. her diet consists of mealworms as a staple, waxies as a treat (not so much as of late bc like i said, she was overweight). she will eat phoenix worms if offered, no crickets as she's not the best hunter.

she hasn't eaten in about 3 weeks, which is totally normal from her this time of year. she has, however, licked some dusted wax worm guts for me the day before yesterday and i've been keeping a dish of dusted live food in her tank.

before giving her any of her medicated drops, i always rinse her eye with flukers reptile eye drops. i moisten a qtip and rub it along her eyelid to try and encourage the eye to open a bit so more of her actual medication has a chance to make it to her eye.

she is drinking water and is otherwise not acting too sick aside from rubbing her eye after drops. she is making regular urates (just peed/pooped a bit last night). here is a picture of my girl that i took just after drops this morning . her bad eye is facing toward us. she's so swollen :(

i just want to keep her comfortable. is there anything i can do to help her through this?

how many months does anyone expect before she's healthier/no longer vitamin a deficient? i anticipate it's going to be a bit of an uphill battle at first, but she has such high spirits right now so i'm hopeful she'll be okay.

here is her a few minutes ago, she is beginning to look like she might shed again...

ffff.jpg
 
Last edited:

acpart

Active member
The Repashy Calcium Plus (which I use) has a form of Vitamin A that geckos can digest. I do wonder how the vet can diagnose a deficiency, but I guess that's why they're the vet! A drop on the nose works well usually. When you get the Repashy (I've seen it often at big pet stores) you can dust feeders with it (it's an all-in-one calcium, D3 and vitamins). You can also dip your finger in water, dip it in the Repashy and rub the paste on the gecko's nose. It will usually lick it off. Any changes may take awhile; it's not instantaneous.

Aliza
 

emzzzmeow

New member
The problem is totally my fault. She's not the best feeder and refuses to eat her dusted food 75% of the time. I definitely agree with the Vitamin A deficiency, and other than not eating/her eye she's acting like her normal self.

Since she isn't eating at the moment, would you suggest just dabbing some of the Repashy Vitamin A powder on her nose? I have a call with her vet later, I'm going to ask exactly what I should do because I'm scared of her overdosing. I'm also pretty certain she will need her abscess drained, which I'm actually looking forward to because I think it will provide her a lot of relief.

She's licking tiny bits of Grub Pie up as of last night . She's so stressed. She shed again last night as well and was particularly aggressive this time. Poor thing had it all over her feet and face (I did cleared off her face/nostrils right away with some warm water and Shed Ease on a qtip) even with shedding help come morning. She's getting a Pedialyte infused sauna later, after I give her some time to herself to rest up.

Thank you so much for your advice. I have OCD and get very anxious/obsessed with my sick pets so I appreciate your reply and talking me through it a bit.
 

Blush50

Member
Hello,

Always provide pictures of the enclosure when asking for advice.

Ofloxacin is an antibiotic(to treat infection)

Make a humidity hide with a smaller opening than what you have. This will help hold humidity better.

Cool side should be under 70-75f

Carrots will not give the insects enough nutrition. Feed something more nutrient-dense, perhaps Repashy Superload? If it contains preform A? For the record, I've never used it. Or someone else can give you recommendations. I used many things veggies, Mazuri, chicken feed, and high calcium feed in rotation which is too much of a hassle for many.

Mealworms and waxworms= fat on fat= a lot of fat. Best to feed something like crickets with some mealworms.

Grub pie- insect-based. Well right now you are trying to correct vitamin A deficiency and as we know insects are a poor source of Vitamin A. I would call the vet and ask, "do you think it's a good idea to give her Oxbow Carnivore Care(from whole egg and dried chicken)?" Just to give her some help. If the vet agrees ask how much is safe to give and for how long.

Wishing her a speedy recovery :)
 

acpart

Active member
The problem is totally my fault. She's not the best feeder and refuses to eat her dusted food 75% of the time. I definitely agree with the Vitamin A deficiency, and other than not eating/her eye she's acting like her normal self.

Since she isn't eating at the moment, would you suggest just dabbing some of the Repashy Vitamin A powder on her nose? I have a call with her vet later, I'm going to ask exactly what I should do because I'm scared of her overdosing. I'm also pretty certain she will need her abscess drained, which I'm actually looking forward to because I think it will provide her a lot of relief.

She's licking tiny bits of Grub Pie up as of last night . She's so stressed. She shed again last night as well and was particularly aggressive this time. Poor thing had it all over her feet and face (I did cleared off her face/nostrils right away with some warm water and Shed Ease on a qtip) even with shedding help come morning. She's getting a Pedialyte infused sauna later, after I give her some time to herself to rest up.

Thank you so much for your advice. I have OCD and get very anxious/obsessed with my sick pets so I appreciate your reply and talking me through it a bit.

If she's hardly eating, a dab of Repashy+water wouldn't hurt. Even though over- and under-supplementation can happen, these geckos are very hardy and if something is off in one direction or another for short periods, it's really OK.

Aliza
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
food dusted with zoo med reptivite w/d3 about once a week (gonna do that way more once she's on food again. totally my fault, i haven't been willing to work with her as she usually refuses to eat dusted worms). u usually give the worms a couple of pieces of carrot to gutload.
. . . . . .

two moist hides, one with one of those ceramic bowls on top
. . . . . .

very picky but typically a voracious eater. she was overweight before she began to brumate and became ill. her diet consists of mealworms as a staple, waxies as a treat (not so much as of late bc like i said, she was overweight). she will eat phoenix worms if offered, no crickets as she's not the best hunter.
. . . . . .

before giving her any of her medicated drops, i always rinse her eye with flukers reptile eye drops. i moisten a qtip and rub it along her eyelid to try and encourage the eye to open a bit so more of her actual medication has a chance to make it to her eye.

1. Are you using this OMEM terra cotta hide as one of her humid hides?
51j0v+DN4pL._AC_SL1001_.jpg
(click to enlarge)​

2. Have you thought about feeding her dubia roaches alternating with mealworms? Let me know if you can try feeding her small hornworms. I have a link that shows Hornworm Care to prevent them from getting huge overnight.

3. Was your leo a picky eater prior to her eye problem?
17342539_1319514908116112_444175116466682477_n.jpg
(click to enlarge)​

4. Did your vet suggest rinsing her eyes prior to giving her the ofloxacin drops @ each dose?


Cautions re excessive Vitamin A actate (retinol) usage from that product's directions:

Repashy's Vitamin A Plus contains Retinyl Acetate @ 2,000,000 IU/lb!
INFORMATION: Preformed Vitamin A (Retinol) is an essential fat soluble vitamin that in nature comes from animal sources only. Plant sources of Vitamin A, such as Beta Carotene and other Carotenoids, must be converted into this active animal form to be utilized by the body. Carotenoids can be converted into Retinol by some species given optimal conditions, but it has been shown that deficiencies can develop if Preformed Vitamin A is not directly provided in the Retinol form. This Supplement provides Preformed Vitamin A in the form of a spray dried water dispersible Retinyl Acetate powder in combination with natural sources of Beta Carotene derived from algae.

INGREDIENTS: Calcium Carbonate and Cellulose Powder (as carriers), Algae Meal (Chlorella), Vitamin A Acetate, Rosemary Extract, Mixed Tocopherols (preservative).

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS: Vitamin A 2,000,000 IU/lb.

DIRECTIONS: This product contains high levels of preformed Vitamin A (Retinol). As a regular supplement, it should not be used more than once per week by “dusting” insects, or sprinkling on fresh vegetables at a level of one teaspoon per pound. Retinol and other fat soluble vitamins can build up in the body. Prolonged over supplementation can lead to toxicity and overdose or kill your specimens.
 
Last edited:

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
As Blush50 recommends above let's feed her bugs & worms a better diet, more than just carrots.

Professional Reptiles' Pro Gutload is sold in 1 lb bags. Pro Gutload also makes a good mealworm bedding. It's manufactured by Cody Castellanos 1-775-359-1085. You might phone him to see whether Pro Gutload contains vitamin A acetate (retinol).



PS: It would be helpful to know whether Pro Gutload does contain retinol.
 
Last edited:

Blush50

Member
As Blush50 recommends above let's feed her bugs & worms a better diet, more than just carrots.

Professional Reptiles' Pro Gutload is sold in 1 lb bags. Pro Gutload also makes a good mealworm bedding. It's manufactured by Cody Castellanos 1-775-359-1085. You might phone him to see whether Pro Gutload contains vitamin A acetate (retinol).


Good price.

Any idea how the OMEN Terra Cotta hide works? I'm curious as to how the water on top will add humidity inside? I feel like an idiot asking :blushing:
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
Good price.

Any idea how the OMEN Terra Cotta hide works? I'm curious as to how the water on top will add humidity inside? I feel like an idiot asking :blushing:

Thanks for asking.

Terra cotta absorbs moisture. Having a constant supply of water in the bowl above "is supposed to" provide superior humidity 24/7.

My earlier setup to measure this humidity wasn't too successful. Humidity rises & falls throughout the day dependent upon ambient temperature and available moisture.
 
Last edited:

icatsang

Member
Hi, i just read this email, hope that it is not too late to reply.
As the vet already said it is due to vitamin A deficiency, then i will not question about it further. My understanding is that face/eyes swollen, can be caused by other issues too , for example gout, or bacteria. Different problems will need to be treated differently.
i have invented a little tool to feed sick gecko, particularly when the time they need to eat liquid food. That is a modified drinking straw, (refer to pic), which is good to use with Grub Pie (in liquid form). you can easily feed your gecko with this tool. Please ensure the cut edge is not sharp so it will not hurt its month.

Apart from this, I learnt in a hard way. Please consider food diversication for feeding gecko directly and for insects gut load. I also use vetafarm synbiotic 180s probiotic quite often to keep my gecko healthy (pls note that some probiotic cannot be diluted with water and some can. so please check the instruction before you use). Vetafarm multical dust contains good vitamin a. There are some reptile supplement (wombaroo) and Fluker‘s repta +boost are for sick geckos (use when they r weak, but not for daily normal meal when they r well). Hope this information helps.
 

Attachments

  • EED02707-19B8-40E2-B37F-8683C548CB73.jpeg
    EED02707-19B8-40E2-B37F-8683C548CB73.jpeg
    893.8 KB · Views: 2
  • 2456B5EA-3E2D-4884-9825-1EFB2F4F6C42.jpeg
    2456B5EA-3E2D-4884-9825-1EFB2F4F6C42.jpeg
    1,001.8 KB · Views: 2
Last edited:

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
Hi, i just read this email, hope that it is not too late to reply.
As the vet already said it is due to vitamin A deficiency, then i will not question about it further. My understanding is that face/eyes swollen, can be caused by other issues too , for example gout, or bacteria. Different problems will need to be treated differently.
i have invented a little tool to feed sick gecko, particularly when the time they need to eat liquid food. That is a modified drinking straw, (refer to pic), which is good to use with Grub Pie (in liquid form). you can easily feed your gecko with this tool. Please ensure the cut edge is not sharp so it will not hurt its month.

Apart from this, I learnt in a hard way. Please consider food diversication for feeding gecko directly and for insects gut load. I also use vetafarm synbiotic 180s probiotic quite often to keep my gecko healthy (pls note that some probiotic cannot be diluted with water and some can. so please check the instruction before you use). Vetafarm multical dust contains good vitamin a. There are some reptile supplement (wombaroo) and Fluker‘s repta +boost are for sick geckos (use when they r weak, but not for daily normal meal when they r well). Hope this information helps.

Many messages & threads are still available from Geckos Unlimited's former software!

Many thanks for sharing your modified drinking straw feeding tool to use with liquid diets such as liquid Repashy's Grub Pie.

Did your vet say that vitamin A acetate (RETINOL) was missing from these geckos' diets? Retinol is an ingredient of Zoo Med's Reptivite multivitamins with & withOUT D3? Did he rule out both gout & bacterial causes of face & eye swelling?

Retinol is nearly impossible to get in a natural way except from silkworms. Silkworms are a good source of retinol.

In addition to dusting feeders @ 1 feeding per week with a retinol-containing multivitamin like Zoo Med's Reptivite, I recommend feeding those geckos' bugs & worms a powder that contains a balanced amount of retinol 24/7/365.


Years ago many of the Pachydactylus tigrinus I bred had cloudy eye issues. I sought help from a Seattle-area vet who was a reptile eye specialist. I don't recall she ever mentioned retinol.
 
Last edited:

icatsang

Member
Many messages & threads are still available from Geckos Unlimited's former software!

Many thanks for sharing your modified drinking straw feeding tool to use with liquid diets such as liquid Repashy's Grub Pie.

Did your vet say that vitamin A acetate (RETINOL) was missing from these geckos' diets? Retinol is an ingredient of Zoo Med's Reptivite multivitamins with & withOUT D3? Did he rule out both gout & bacterial causes of face & eye swelling?

Retinol is nearly impossible to get except from silkworms. Silkworms are a good source of retinol.

In addition to dusting feeders @ 1 feeding per week with a retinol-containing multivitamin, I recommend feeding those geckos' bugs & worms a powder that contains retinol 24/7/365.

Years ago many of the Pachydactylus tigrinus I bred had cloudy eye issues. I sought help from a Seattle-area vet who was a reptile eye specialist. I don't recall she ever mentioned retinol.
Thanks for the valuable informtion. Through the fluid extraction from my Aspers‘ swollen face and eye, the first one had gout due to high potient diet, and the second one was having bad bacteria which cannot be identified the cause.
My Aspers love moving crickets only. I did force feed them grub pie sometimes. Most of my aspers are aged 5-6 years old. I checked with breeders who believe that they had reached their max. life span.

May I know how to keep the silk worms? i find that it is hard to grow them well. They die so easily.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
Silkworms eat mulberry leaves from that tree. Mulberry leaves are the only food I know to feed them.

Right now my Silkworm Guidelines are not available. 😓 Our web designer is working to restore former links.
 
Last edited:

acpart

Active member
Most silkworm providers also have a reconstituted food that you can buy that's based on mulberry. They seem to do fine with this. I use silkworms only in the summer when I can get mulberry leaves from local trees.

Aliza
 
Top