Leos Are Sick

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Leos Are Sick

Post by ShawnFennox on Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:09 pm

Hey guys.

My Leopard geckos are a year and a half old now and they have lived in crushed walnut substrate ever since they got big enough ( I didn't put them on it the man who I adopted them from has used it and never had troubles ). I have 4 in a 50 gallon long terrarium with a heating pad under 1/3 of it and a day / night lamp on each side of it, it stays around 86 - 92 depending on where you put the thermometer and which side your actually on.

Recently I noticed none of them are eating.
My three females were loosing weight fast but one of them seems to be getting a LITTLE better and is gaining weight again, but the other two females and the one male are still loosing weight. Out of all of them the male is the most ( close to death ) situation there is. He is WAY skinny and isn't eating anything, I had to force squished meal worms that I bought today into his mouth ( my vet sci. teacher showed me how to do it without hurting them ) and he simply spat it back out, made his objection noise and squirmed, I started to pet him and he laid still and closed his eyes as I did. He loves attention now. I have been bathing all of them ( not at once ) in warm water and they move around so much more and made cute little noises and look up at me with their head tilted in curiosity, but after I take them out and dry them off they just all go into their hides and fall asleep, even at night they don't move around, my male never moves unless I chase him out with a spoon and then he will drink a lot of water. All of them drink a lot lately, but wont eat. Only one of them is keeping regular poop patterns and they're normal, so I think she is getting much better, but the male doesn't even poop, and when he does, its not even poop, its the urine and then it drags on after him, then he licks himself to break it away from him, he has this little Orange... yellowish thing sticking out of his entrance when you push the skin back some, it wasn't there before. He is so thin that when you pick him up you can feel his ribs and his stomach, I am so worried about him the most, he's went from a healthy gecko to a almost dead gecko in literally one week!

Please, help me.... even if I'm not liked here for using the substrate I use I want to save him. I can't take him to a vet because no one around here does stuff with reptiles, the closest one is LITERALLY 5 hours away and I wouldn't even do that for a dog ( don't get me wrong, I love animals.... but I don't have the money to spend over 80$ on gas plus all this vet bill stuff )

I can post pics tomorrow if you want, I have to go to bed. I have been staying up till 4am every morning watching to see if they do anything ( with all the lights off and only their night bulb light on ) so I need to get more sleep. Crying or Very sad

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Re: Leos Are Sick

Post by Mardy on Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:41 pm

This is going to be hard, because I remember someone warning you about using loose substrate, but you didn't take the advice. Now not only are your leopard geckos sick and exhibit behavior that may indicate they are impacted, you are saying you can't afford to take them to a vet. Neutral

So instead of rehashing what we all already know, I'll attempt to help you. But you really need to listen to advice given by others on the forums. Otherwise you are not "rescuing" the geckos by taking it off someone else who can't take care of them, you are doing the same and giving them poor care yourself. I know some of what I'm going to suggest are things you probably either won't do or can't do, but I'm going to suggest them anyway for the good of your geckos.

First, take out the loose substrate. There's no reason to be using it when everybody has paper towels at home. It cost literally nothing, I'm sure you have a roll of paper towels in the kitchen. Take all the loose substrate out, and put paper towels in there. If you can afford tiles, that would be even better. But paper towels work just fine. This is a must, you have to do this as your geckos are exhibiting behaviors that may indicate they are already impacted. Not wanting to eat, losing weight, lethargic, etc.. are all indications that they may be impacted.

Second, you will want to look into isolating the geckos somehow, either via dividers or other smaller tanks. One of the biggest problems with housing so many geckos in the same tank is that if one gecko is infected with parasites or disease, there's a good chance all of your geckos will get infected with them. Right now since you have 4 geckos in the same tank, you have no way to tell who's sick and who's not. Since your geckos are rapidly losing weight, that's a good indication they may have parasites. Right now a fecal exam is probably the only way to know for sure if they have parasites or not.

But if you have a gecko that seems to be doing fine out of the 4, quarantine them so the healthy gecko can live a healthy life away from other sickly geckos. Once you have them separated, observe them for a period of 60 days to see which geckos improve and which gets worse. Again if they are fading away rapidly, a vet exam really is needed. Or at least a fecal exam to find out if they have parasites or not. Some parasites are easily treated with antibiotics.

The male should have never been housed with the females unless you are looking to breed. By the sound of it, you are nowhere near ready to breed, and it's just all around a bad idea to mix male & females together year round. If any of the geckos make it, you still want to plan on separating the male from the females.

Some pictures will definitely help, especially pictures of their belly.

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Re: Leos Are Sick

Post by Kermit on Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:36 am

A little harsh mardy but I have to agree with most of it. Are you keeping calcium with D3 in their viv? The excessive drinking makes me think kidney issues which is a sign of D3 overload. Absolutely get them off the particle substrait and use the paper towels, they need a sanitary hospital set up. dividing them up will help you see who's eating what, who's pooing etc. def separate the male into his own space, he needs as little stress as possible. you are in a serious situation with your leos, if you don't do something soon you could lose all of them. You can dab a little mineral oil on your leos nose for them to lap off to help alleviate any blockage that may be going on in conjunction with the warm baths.

Just so you know shawn, no one here dislikes you, least of all because you use particle substrait. What we dislike is when we offer you the proper advice to take the best care possible for your leos and you won't listen to us, we can't help. You need to trust us, we know what were talking about and we are as concerned for your animals and just want to help so please listen to our advice, if you can't get your leo to a vet, we're your next best option at this point. Just so you know any vet near you can do a fecal exam, should cost under 20$ per fecal exam but you could just do one as a test for the group, not as accurate but can give you a good idea where their at. Thats what we do with our dogs but then again we do regular deworming 3x a year as a prophylactic measure.


Last edited by Kermit on Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Leos Are Sick

Post by ShawnFennox on Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:14 pm

I took all ya'lls advice except the substrate one.
I really did, I tried everything I could to get it perfect, I just also personally know a breeder / owner whose had his all on the substrate I have mine on and he's never once gotten impaction. I also go by his judgement.

Sandstorm died today, my male.
He had mouth-rot and practically suffocated himself to death on the mucus he had in his mouth, throat and lungs.
I took him into the vet after he passed away and he had no impaction, it was all because of the mouth-rot. ( my fiance got payed and he pitched in for all of the expenses. He got payed today, after my leo. was already gone. )

My others are doing much better, they're eating like pigs now!
The loss of my beautiful male is one that is hard to get over, but I will have to move on. I just wish I would've been able to save him. I will keep a VERY close eye on the others and will keep everyone updated..... and honestly Mardy.... you really made me think I was just the shittiest person ever when you said all that.... I do listen, I do try and do things like everyone else does, but I also go by the facts around me..... all leopard geckos are different.... just like every human....

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Re: Leos Are Sick

Post by Drip55 on Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:34 pm

what do u keep your leos on
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Re: Leos Are Sick

Post by peach75 on Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:46 pm

ShawnFennox wrote:I took all ya'lls advice except the substrate one.
I really did, I tried everything I could to get it perfect, I just also personally know a breeder / owner whose had his all on the substrate I have mine on and he's never once gotten impaction. I also go by his judgement.

Sandstorm died today, my male.
He had mouth-rot and practically suffocated himself to death on the mucus he had in his mouth, throat and lungs.
I took him into the vet after he passed away and he had no impaction, it was all because of the mouth-rot. ( my fiance got payed and he pitched in for all of the expenses. He got payed today, after my leo. was already gone. )

My others are doing much better, they're eating like pigs now!
The loss of my beautiful male is one that is hard to get over, but I will have to move on. I just wish I would've been able to save him. I will keep a VERY close eye on the others and will keep everyone updated..... and honestly Mardy.... you really made me think I was just the shittiest person ever when you said all that.... I do listen, I do try and do things like everyone else does, but I also go by the facts around me..... all leopard geckos are different.... just like every human....

I look at it this way..... anything that fits in the mouth can cause impaction and not worth the risk. Sorry for your loss and I really don't mean to be harsh but maybe you have to many and should rehome some if you had less you would have had enough money to take him sooner and he could had lived. All he needed was some medicine. I don't think mardy meant any harm. He was jut telling you the truth for the benefit of your geckos. we have all made mistakes but the thing is to learn from them thumbs up 2

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Re: Leos Are Sick

Post by Mardy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:20 pm

I'm sorry I made you feel bad, it's never my intention. But I'm a straight talker and I have to stop myself from posting sometimes. There are only so many ways to post "you were warned of crushed walnut substrate but you didn't change it". I only sound harsh when I see geckos not being treated well. Everything I say is only for the benefit of these cute lil geckos. But with all that said, I still apologize for making you feel bad.

I'm very sorry for your loss. Understand that mouth rot is a bacterial infection that can be caused by dirty living conditions. Crushed walnut substrate can be dirty, hard to clean, and I'm not sure how you clean their waste but geckos can defecate right through the substrate.

Crushed walnut shells are not ideal for leopard geckos. If you don't bump into impaction issues, you'll bump into sanitary issues, which could cause mouth rot and other bacterial infections.

Again, I have to apologize for making you feel bad, and am sorry for your loss. But I'm surprised you haven't changed out the substrate still.

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Re: Leos Are Sick

Post by ShawnFennox on Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:09 pm

Thanks Mandy.
I didn't know all that about the walnut shell substrate, we only use a sand sifter thing to clean it, and we take out a layer of the sand where they go once or twice a week.
My male maybe be gone but I looked in theit terrarium right as I woke up.
There are droppings that are just full meal worms, could that mean anything, only one of my geckos likes the meal worms so I know who's droppings it is.
Could undigested food mean anything? It is stubby that eats them.
There is also a dropping that looks almost just like liquid. I would post pics but I only have my cell to take pics on and I can't get it to post on here.

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Re: Leos Are Sick

Post by herp625 on Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:01 pm

ShawnFennox wrote:Thanks Mandy.
I didn't know all that about the walnut shell substrate, we only use a sand sifter thing to clean it, and we take out a layer of the sand where they go once or twice a week.
My male maybe be gone but I looked in theit terrarium right as I woke up.
There are droppings that are just full meal worms, could that mean anything, only one of my geckos likes the meal worms so I know who's droppings it is.
Could undigested food mean anything? It is stubby that eats them.
There is also a dropping that looks almost just like liquid. I would post pics but I only have my cell to take pics on and I can't get it to post on here.

Hello,

It sounds as though lots of changes need to be made. Your using substrates that are almost impossible to keep sanitary aside from dangerous. Mouth rot can also be caused by improper temperatures along with poor nutrition. Undigested food can be caused by parasites, bacterial infections or temperatures being too cold. I highly recommend for the health of your geckos health that you purchase slate tiles or similiar which are easy to clean. It would be very helpful in pointing out husbandry problems if you took a few minutes and fill out this questionnaire.

http://www.leopardgeckoforum.com/t134-please-read-and-fill-out-with-your-health-questions


Last edited by herp625 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:57 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Leos Are Sick

Post by Kermit on Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:20 am

Shawn droppings that look like meal worms are likely regurgitation and not poo. Could you please start a new thread with this new concern so it will get the proper attention it desirves. Also be sure to fill out the care questionaire... again... so that we know the husbandry for this particular animal.

Sorry for your loss, but just a side note, we are ALL experienced keepers/breeders/collectors, just like your friend who's advice you were taking. Sometimes it pays to look at a group of experienced people and go with the majority rules rather than take the advice of one person who may themselves been improperly taking care of their animal and passed bad advice to you much like petshops do when they recommend sand, waxworms as a staple diet, or improper lightng.

RIP sandstorm.

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