Leo body condition

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Leo body condition

Post by peach75 on Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:43 pm

Hey Everyone! My girlfriend force me to give everyone the heads up, not that I didn't want to but I know people get offended. When we last took our female leo for an exam the vet warned me, my gecko was overweight. My girl being paranoid wrote down all the vet said. The vet uses a 5 point body scoring method, 3 being the ideal weight. 4-obese, 5-severely obese. This is what the vet said.

The tail should be slightly rounded, but not huge and not wider than the body.
The stomache should not touch the ground unless laying flat.
From the chest to vent they should have a uniform appearance from above-rib cage and stomache almost being the same width.

Any bigger than this and your gecko is considered obese altho you might not think so. Hope this helps. thumbs up 2


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Re: Leo body condition

Post by Kermit on Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:06 am

Thanks for the info. It's often hard for us to notice when our own animals are overweight.

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Re: Leo body condition

Post by geckochick89 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:40 am

This is definitely good info. I always want to fatten my females up as much as possible especially if i am going to breed them, and that fattening can definitely be a bad thing. I'll keep these guidelines in mind thumbs up 2
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Re: Leo body condition

Post by Kodieh on Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:43 am

Since the tail is to store fat, I don't believe that the tail shouldn't be wider than the body.

I guess you could say my personal opinion differs from your vet, and that's fine. If we all agreed on everything we could all be doing something wrong. thumbs up

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Re: Leo body condition

Post by peach75 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:01 am

Kermit wrote:Thanks for the info. It's often hard for us to notice when our own animals are overweight.
NP. It is hard and I did not notice as well until I was told. Smile

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Re: Leo body condition

Post by peach75 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:08 am

Kodieh wrote:Since the tail is to store fat, I don't believe that the tail shouldn't be wider than the body.

I guess you could say my personal opinion differs from your vet, and that's fine. If we all agreed on everything we could all be doing something wrong. thumbs up
It's all good, lol We can't all agree on everything. I think about it this way, if the tail is overloaded the fat will end up having to move to places like the liver. It seems we feed them more than we should as it is. They don't need to pile up too much in the tail because we feed them often.

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Re: Leo body condition

Post by bashweeka on Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:01 pm

To be honest this info will even vary from vet to vet. I've worked for several and they have all differed on what the "ideal" body condition is. Even when they've worked in the same clinic!
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Re: Leo body condition

Post by gothicgurrrl on Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:35 am

What weight was your gecko? My exotic vet told me that a perfect leopard gecko weight varies, from 60g-90g. Thanks for the info Smile
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Re: Leo body condition

Post by peach75 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:30 am

gothicgurrrl wrote:What weight was your gecko? My exotic vet told me that a perfect leopard gecko weight varies, from 60g-90g. Thanks for the info Smile

She was 80 grams then. The way the vet explained it was just like humans some people are meant to have a smaller frame. So for example 70 grams might sound normal but if the gecko is not that long the weight will be too much to handle.

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Re: Leo body condition

Post by peach75 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:29 pm

I was browsing and I ran into this. Could it be true, lol

http://beverly-hill.suite101.com/keeping-a-leopard-geckos-as-a-pet-a100641
Many gecko owners avoid feeding their geckos giant mealworms due to intestinal injuries sustained by geckos that ingest partially killed mealworms. An undamaged mealworm can remain alive for several minutes and do severe damage to the stomach and intestines of a leopard gecko.

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Re: Leo body condition

Post by Kodieh on Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:25 am

There is no possibly biological way that a meal worm could:

1. Eat through a geckos stomach.
2. Survive the stomach acid of the gecko for more than a few seconds.
3. Survive very long from the crunching on by the gecko.


That is an urban legend, just like alligators in the sewer. Wink
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Re: Leo body condition

Post by Kermit on Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:53 am

Kodieh wrote:Since the tail is to store fat, I don't believe that the tail shouldn't be wider than the body.

I guess you could say my personal opinion differs from your vet, and that's fine. If we all agreed on everything we could all be doing something wrong. thumbs up


If your leo is storing so much fat, and isn't a breeder female, then it would be worth considering cutting the diet back a bit or changing the diet a bit so that there isn't so much fat in the diet. The tail really shouldn't be any wider than the head for the most part imo except for active breeders because they do tend to go off food and they will use a lot of their fat reserves during the breeding season not only for the off food time but for females for the whole egg making process.

We tend to greatly overfeed our herps, we feed a lot more than they'd ever have the opportunity to catch in the wild so obesity is a HUGE problem in captive animals of any kind. All animals should have a sleek sporty build that makes them look like they could haul ass at any minute with out any hinderance. I see so many obese dogs in my business I usually just want to shake the owner like "what are you doing man!!!"

Obesity, and the complications that arise from it, is the #1 killer of most domesticated/captive animal. Just think about fatty liver disease which is rampant in geckos (and other animals).

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Re: Leo body condition

Post by Kodieh on Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:58 am

And that's what the problem isn't. We aren't raising leopard geckos who have to compete with others for food nor run from predators. So, the more fat isn't going to hurt them. If you bought an import, or got one of the early leo's who were the first generations from the imports, then I could see more of this. But we've moved so far away from that, that micro-evolution has had to have taken place to compensate for the increased fat and food intake.

If we were talking about born in the wild/first generation of wild leopard geckos, you'd be completely right. But we're so far away from the wild leopard gecko that it cannot apply any longer.
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Re: Leo body condition

Post by Kermit on Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:51 am

It may not Kodie but fatty liver disease affects many leos, not just first generation wild caught leos, and the majority of that problem is from over feeding, too fat leos. The other problem is from leos taht go off food and are fed a high fat diet inorder "to put more meat on their bones" the liver can't process all that fat sufficiently enough with out being impacted. I'd have to say that at least 50% of captive leos suffer from fatty liver disease even if they aren't outwardly symptomatic yet. so wild caught or captive bred, fatty liver disease is a VERY real problem esp. when you're perpetuating the issue with line breeding, you're passing on the same genetic propencities whether it's color or genetic defect or disease resistance and the more you line breed the more you decrease the natural immuneity which is why all breeders should outcross every 3 generations or so, to maintain proper immunity and avoid genetic defect.

So feeding a well balanced diet between fats, fiber and protein really is the optimum way and no they don't have the natural exercise regemin that their wild counterparts do which is why it falls on us... your not gonna let fat uncle Joe just sit on the couch all day stuffing his face with twinkies and spare ribs, no you're going to try and get him out moving because we all know that obese overweight people are subject to a myriad of health issues from a higher fat diet and lack of exercise. Why should our animals be any different? We all have basically the same organs that are all impacted in similar ways by diet and exercise so while a bit more fat may not SEEM to be a BIG problem... a little higher fat over a greater length of time and coupled with lower exercise demands IS going to have the potential for HUGE impact later in your leo's life.

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Re: Leo body condition

Post by evilsloth on Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:50 pm

I wish this was my problem, not the opposite... This problem is a lot easier to fix. Sad

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