Lost Appetite in Leopard Geckos
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What do I do if my leopard gecko isn't eating?
Reptiles can stop eating for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is due to something we have done or cultivated in the past and other times it is due to illness.
If your leopard gecko has suddenly stopped eating but is still active, there are things you can do at home before taking him to your vet's office.
Why do leopard geckos stop eating?
Leopard geckos can lose their appetite for a number of reasons. Most can be resolved with proper care or a quick visit to the exotic vet. Some, however, are more difficult to handle.
The main reason leopard geckos stop eating is because they are too cold. Maybe your heat bulb has burned out, the heating mat has stopped working, maybe there's a draft in the cage, or maybe you've never had a heat source for your leopard gecko and it's too cold now.
The change of seasons from fall to winter often brings many anorexic geckos to the animal clinic, but most of the time, a simple correction to room temperature will cause them to start eating again.
If your leopard gecko's metabolic rate drops due to temperatures dropping below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, it will likely stop eating.
Extra heating is needed if you don't keep the room your gecko is in at around 80 degrees Fahrenheit and not many people keep their homes that warm.
A heat mat works well, but it won't heat the air as well as the floor of the cage, making it difficult to control the temperature where your gecko is sitting.
It is much better and cheaper to have a simple heat lamp in the cabinet. In this way, you can properly control the temperature in the sun and ensure that it is not too cold in your leopard gecko's cage at night.
If your leopard gecko hasn't defecated recently, it may be affected by fecal matter. This fecal impaction could be due to a recent heavy or hard food your leopard gecko ate, such as super worms, or garbage that was accidentally ingested.
Urate plugs can also block stool. If your gecko has these problems, try soaking it in a warm bath twice a day. The water should be deep enough to cover your gecko's hips.
While your gecko is submerged, you should gently massage its belly. If this does not help your gecko to evacuate his feces and urates, you should take him to a vet. Your vet may need to give your leopard gecko an enema, or he may discover that he has intestinal parasites or needs other medical attention.
If your leopard gecko has recently gotten cold from a draft or its ambient temperature has dropped, it may have a respiratory infection that caused it to stop eating.
Respiratory infections are the most common medical reasons why reptiles do not want to eat. If your leopard gecko is sick in some other way, there may be a different reason why you are inattentive.
Your exotic vet can diagnose growths that affect or block the intestinal tract, mouth ulcers, and other conditions. If you think a disease is a reason your gecko is not eating, see your exotic vet for help.
If your leopard gecko has an injury or is in pain due to an injury, it can stop eating. Abscesses, eye injuries, tail and toe problems can be quite uncomfortable and make your gecko not want to eat. If you know your gecko has an injury, be prepared to not want to eat until his pain is under control and he is feeling better.
The skin left over the eyes can block your gecko's ability to see its food, especially if it is trying to catch a cricket. This usually occurs after an incomplete shed and is often due to a lack of moisture in the cage. Other eye problems include corneal ulcers and retrobulbar abscesses that would cause your gecko to stop eating.
The best approach to dealing with a lack of appetite in a leopard gecko is to examine your pet's environment, behavior, and physical appearance and make your best guess about the problem. Ask:
- Is my gecko behaving normally or suffering from an infection, injury, or illness? If your pet is sluggish or has other symptoms, a visit to the vet is a good idea.
- Is there a problem with my gecko's vision? If this is the case, a visit to the vet is the only way to solve the problem.
- Is my pet defecating correctly? If not, try the hip bath and the described massage method; If you can't resolve the problem, see your vet.
- Can my pet be cold? If it's cold and you haven't installed a heat lamp, now is the time to do it. Check the temperature regularly. You can fix the problem in just a few hours.
Of course, your gecko may have stopped eating for a reason other than the one listed, so if you've tried all of the above tips without improving, be sure to schedule a visit to your exotic vet so they can help you understand.
How to prevent poor appetite in leopard geckos
While it is not possible to absolutely prevent loss of appetite, these steps can help.
- Make sure your pet's enclosure is warm and free of items that can be accidentally ingested.
- Avoid foods like super worms that can cause digestive problems.
- Handle your gecko with care to avoid injury.
- If you see any signs that your leopard gecko is not doing well, take him to the vet sooner rather than later.
Enjoy The Video Tutorial about 5 Reasons Your Leopard Gecko Isn't Eating
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