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quick question

Post by wolfbane468 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:37 am

i was advised today that i have to check if my leo has had mealworms before as if they i risk impaction due to hard exoskeleton is this something i should worry about or is she blowing wind thanks guys
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Re: quick question

Post by Kodieh on Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:13 am

Blowing wind, mealworms make a good staple insect with changing it up to a different insect once in a while. thumbs up
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Re: quick question

Post by wolfbane468 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:17 am

thhanks kodieh
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Re: quick question

Post by Kermit on Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:35 am

Just to expand a little on this...yes the chitin in the shells of mealies can constipate your leo IF your floor temps are too low and not providing opportunity for proper digestion however if your temps are between 88-96*F you should avoid that problem. also feeding appropriately sized feeders such as supers instead of mealies, supers have less shell to meat ratio also, they will eat less which will decrease your chances of constipation. You might want to check the sticky supers versus mealies in the feeding section stickies for more info on this.

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Re: quick question

Post by wolfbane468 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:33 am

thanks kermit
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Re: quick question

Post by LeopardGex on Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:36 am

Another thing containaing supers... Do you have to cut their heads off when you feed them to your leo? I was toled you had too.

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Re: quick question

Post by kathstew on Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:13 am

No, you don't have to cut the supers heads off. That comes from the myth they can eat through a leos stomach. But that is completely FALSE. They can't eat through a leos stomach.


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Re: quick question

Post by LeopardGex on Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:19 am

Are you completely posotive b/c if anything where to happen to my leo id be mad!

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Re: quick question

Post by kathstew on Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:31 am

Yes, I am positive.
Generally the worst that can happen is the superworm bites the leo. This has happened once or twice to my leos, but it caused no damage.
I feed supers to my geckos regularly and they are all fine.

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Re: quick question

Post by LeopardGex on Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:35 am

Ok thanks so much. that was so helpfull. Smile

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Re: quick question

Post by asianpersuasion on Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:49 am

The bite of the Leo is strong enough to kill the super before it even enters the stomach of a leo, and if the super does happen to still be alive the acids and fluids in the Leos stomach will kill it once into the stomach. There is absolutely no worries of a super or any feeder for that matter being able to eat through your leos stomach.

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Re: quick question

Post by Mardy on Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:33 am

I'll be doing a write up soon about superworms, but since it has been brought up here, I'll be brief. Superworms may not be able to chew through a stomach, I have no proof of it either way. But I know for sure superworms are capable of doing internal damages to leopard geckos, and cause massive internal bleeding.

I have a gecko who recently ate a superworm, didn't crunch its head, and within 12 hours she regurgitated the superworm and passed out massive amount of blood through her vent. The bleeding went on for almost 2 weeks, every single day. Surprisingly she's still alive, as the vet told me he was sure she would not make it due to how horrific the bleeding looked.

Currently she's not bleeding every day anymore, but I can't really feel good about anything until she becomes completely normal again. And that means her wanting to eat, defecate without blood, and becomes active again. The good news is she's still alive, she's not bleeding every day anymore, and she doesn't seem to have lost much weight.

Now this is the super giant mack snow raptor female I have, a massive female that knows how to eat, as a video I posted recently showed. In the haste of her eating this worm, she got too excited and just swallowed the worm without crunching its head. We don't know the extent of the injuries inside, but with the amount of blood she lost, even the vet was surprised she didn't die.

I don't know how rare of an occurrence this is, I don't know if others have experienced this but just never mentioned it, or mass breeders that saw their gecko die but have no idea why or care to know why. But I can say for sure superworms can cause damages and it could potentially kill a leopard gecko depending on the injuries it cause to the gecko internally.

I rode the train that thought superworms are completely safe, I mean everybody said it's a myth and superworms are completely 100% safe. But I experienced otherwise. Maybe I just hit that bad luck %? Maybe this isn't as rare as people say as tons of leopard geckos die from owners that don't ever care to find out why, or mass breeders that don't even look at a gecko for more than the time it takes to dump feeders into their bins. All I can say is, no matter how rare this may be, if it happens to you, you would feel like absolute crap and feel horrible because maybe you could've done something to prevent it. I'm speaking from personal experience here, and I'm by no means trying to change anybody's mind about superworms. But I feel it's important for me to raise awareness just so at least people know there's potential risk.

So again, I'm not here to tell you to stop feeding superworms. We still use superworms here, but we do pinch the heads now before feeding them. I mean what are the odds of a second gecko swallowing the superworm without crunching its head? Well the odds aren't that bad it seems, because 2 weeks after this happened another gecko violently regurgitated a superworm shortly after she swallowed it without crunching the head. She didn't bleed, no internal injuries I'm hoping, but that's twice in 2 weeks where I could've lost 2 very dear pets.

Oh and I should mention that the stomach acid of leopard geckos are not that strong. So it's false to think if a gecko swallows the superworm whole, that the worm would die and get dissolved by the stomach acids right away. They would die eventually yes, but if you've ever held a superworm or pinched it, you would know superworms don't give up even when they are bleeding out. The problem is what the superworm would do, if swallowed in whole, before it dies.

For now we're using dubia roaches and mealworms as much as possible, with superworms only being fed after we pinch their heads. I'll have a more detailed write up with pictures to back up my story later, after I find out whether my gecko will live or not. She's my favorite pet out of my whole collection and this really put me in a deep depression lately. It's one of those things where you think you could trust what others say, or what the books say, but in real life you experience something different.

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Re: quick question

Post by LeopardGex on Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:41 am

Wow so glad you said something before I fed em with heads still on! Thanks sooo much.
Sorry about your Gecko. She'll be fine b/c she's maade it this far.

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Re: quick question

Post by Mardy on Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:50 pm

Remember I'm not suggesting you need to pinch their heads, or that something bad will happen to your gecko if you don't. This is often a touchy subject and from what I've been reading, anybody that ever brings up superworms potentially injuring a gecko gets shot down and get treated pretty badly on forums.

Luckily for me personally, I don't really care what others say about me as I don't lie, and a superworm did cause internal bleeding to my favorite pet. So no doubt when I do a write up later, I'll be met with people that will say "but I've bred thousands of geckos and fed supers for 50 years and never had a problem".

Well guess what? It happened to me, and it could happen to others. I just want to raise awareness that's all, as nobody ever told me there could be dangers if a gecko swallowed the super whole. Everybody always shot anybody down that tried to suggest superworms could cause injuries to a gecko internally. But I guess I found it the hard way, I almost lost my favorite pet due to it.

This is sort of like the whole issue with sand, or moss. There are people that have kept their gecko on sand successfully for years without problem, also a lot of people used moss as their gecko's moist hide & laybox without a problem. But yet over the years you read more and more reports of impaction problems from sand & moss, you start to think to yourself if it's worth the risk or not.

They are your pets, you can do whatever you choose to do with them. But it still doesn't erase what others have experienced Smile

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Re: quick question

Post by Kermit on Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:40 pm

The problem you experienced mardy likely happened from feeding an inappropriately sized feeder to a too large leo that was able to swallow it whole without needing to chew it.. the combination of an overzealous eater and undersized food can cause issus on more than 1 level, regurge, hostile feeder causing internal damage, constpation from eating too many undersized feeders... this would be the 1 in a 1000 rule at play here, and I feel badly you had it hapen twice but it is the rare exception to the rule. I always suggest pinching the head on supers, but not to the point of killing it as leos feeding reflex is triggered by movement so the bug needs to move. Eros has bee on supers foreverr and (knock on wood) usually always grabs them by the head or the middle, chomps them twice them swallows. Feeding smaller more frequent meals can help resolve the problem of an overzealous eater and obviously feeding food appropriately sized for your herp is best. Remember food should be no bigger around tha the space between your leos eyes, so I believe in feeding the largest bugs my leo can handle. His supers are nearly 3 inches long. No one is going to jump on you for speaking out against supers but don't be an alarmist either. Be sure to mention you've been feeding supers for x amount of time and these were th only 2 incidents in that time so newbies aren't. Totally tweaked because in all actuality ANY reeder can harm your leo but it is unusual circumstances that usually end this way.

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Re: quick question

Post by Mardy on Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:10 pm

The supers I fed to both geckos were the largest in the bin, they were as large as superworms can get. The problem is when I fed it, I saw how she picked the worm up and didn't chomp on the head. I was honestly worried right away, but once a worm was inside, there wasn't much I could do.

I went to sleep thinking to myself, "well all the forum posts say it's fine, stomach acid will dissolve & kill the super right away, any issues are a myth as most people say, breeders having bred thousands of geckos and fed supers forever never had any issues...."

Of course next day around noon, I found her up and about, which was unusual at the time. Then looked and saw the superworm in full regurgitated, and she bled out massive amounts of blood. I don't think there was anything I could've done short of either pinching the mandibles (which I do now), or simply fed her dubia roaches which is what she prefers anyway. Size wasn't an issue unfortunately, she just doesn't seem to chomp on her food much before swallowing. A gecko can swallow a superworm without chomping much, and that in my opinion is why it's dangerous. But then I've never, ever, read any warnings about this anywhere. It boggles me honestly.

The second gecko in question, who didn't bleed and appear fine, is not a giant so the superworm I fed was really large compared to her size. But while she did chomp it a couple of times while swallowing, I also noticed she missed chomping the head, and the worm went in head first. I really don't think size would've prevented this.

Anyways I'm totally not wanting to be an alarmist, but there's not a whole lot I can do without sounding like one. I'm sure there's a happy medium somewhere, but right now I'm having a hard time deciding which is worse... an alarmist or people that say superworms are 100% safe and everything else they've heard or read are a myth. I do find it very strange people have always been shot down when they brought up about superworms potentially injuring a gecko internally. It has been brought up before by others, but they were accused of lying, called names, called alarmist, etc.. It wasn't anything I read on this forum, but it's just strange to me as I thought superworms were 100% totally safe as it's been touted to be. But then as I brought up earlier, I never read 1 warning about moss causing impaction either until someone had their gecko die due to it and posted about it.

So I guess I just happen to hit the unlucky percentage. I do believe this happens more than people think, as most people don't bother with necropsy when their gecko bleed out and die. And honestly I also think a lot of people are given wrong prognosis when they take a gecko to a vet. The vet I went to (an exotics animals pet) really couldn't tell me much I didn't already know. He had no suggestions for treatment other than prescribing me with Metronidazole Sol (antibiotic), and Carafate (like a pepto bismol). He thought maybe she had a parasite infection which caused the bleeding. Of course I refused to just give her antibiotics for no reason so had the fecal exam done, and it came back negative, no parasites. I wonder how many people saw their vet thinking they had parasites, given some drugs, then called it a day never thinking superworms could cause injuries inside a gecko.

Annnyyyways, don't be alarmed folks, I'm not here to scare anybody or tell anybody to stop feeding superworms. I'm just wanting to raise awareness, it's one of those things you don't read about or hear about often, at least not without a lot of debate and arguments. Of course, when you are hit with that bad luck percentage, no matter how rare it is, it's just horrible, no words can describe it.

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Re: quick question

Post by herp625 on Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:05 pm

Thanks for sharing. Sorry this happened to your gecko, but I am not surprised to here it. Similiar problems have occured to geckos belonging to friends and I have tried to warn people in the past, it was not taken seriously. Hope to hear your gecko is completely well soon.

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