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  1. #1

    Default New gecko with issue(s) (long post warning)

    So I picked up a young gecko on the 4th of this month. It was apparently healthy, looked to be in good weight and had good energy. Since I brought it home I have noticed a number of things that concern me about this gecko, the most pressing of which is that it will not eat. Since I bought it this gecko has eaten only a small cricket, and that was a week ago. Specs are at the end of the post but here is what I've noticed in the time I've owned this gecko:

    - It will walk (casually, not panicked) right off the edge of my hand without seeming to see the edge of it
    - It shows no interest in food. It does not appear to know when food is nearby and all attempts to tong feed, assist feed, etc have been unsuccessful
    - In the time I've had it, there has been no noticeable difference in this gecko's temperament, i.e. it is still just as wild as it was the day I brought it home
    - Prey items left in the tank overnight are not eaten, and there is no difference in success between feeding in the tank and feeding in a separate feeding box
    - When anything changes in the environment (taken out of the tank, hides removed in tank, etc) the gecko will only stare upward, and attempt to climb up and out of whatever it is in, even if it is in the regular tank.
    - Moving my hands in front of the gecko's face or on the sides has no apparent affect
    - It sleeps a lot, in the cold hide, on and around the warm hide. Very rarely goes inside the warm hide. I have played with the temps a bit to see if the warm hide was too warm, and no discernable difference in behavior
    - Eyes are closed most of the day, and within 30 seconds of moving it will close its eyes
    - The gecko will walk over and trample prey items in front of it without seeming to see them. Any prey items put in its face make it back away or run. Any prey item that approaches it makes it back away or run
    - The one and only time it ate a cricket, the gecko seemed to be able to see the cricket, and displayed normal hunting behavior. It did not miss and caught the cricket on the first lunge, however it seemed like if the cricket stopped moving even for a moment the gecko lost interest quickly. I think the gecko only ate the cricket because it did not stop moving.

    I'm not sure if this gecko is indeed blind but all the evidence thus far seems to point that way, although there are situations where the gecko appears to be able to see. I know geckos can go a while without eating without being a cause for concern, but this guy is tiny - 4 inches or less - and he just doesn't seem to have that much in reserve. Its tail has thinned in the time I've had it, but not terribly I think. I never had these issues with my other gecko, Toothless eats like a horse and weighs about as much I'm sure. I don't think it's an impaction (white belly, no bulges or distended areas) but I gave this gecko 2 warm water baths just in case. I will link a video of tonight's failed attempted feeding once it posts on YouTube. I tried an undusted cricket and roach today, in a separate feeding container, with no luck - just lots of staring and attempts to climb out.

    - Reptile carpet substrate
    - Warm hide, cool hide and moist hide in the middle that the gecko generally avoids
    - Warm side on carpet ~ 90, ambient 84 daytime 81 nighttime
    - Cool side room temp (this gecko spends most of its time on the cool side) 72 daytime, down to 66 briefly at night
    - Fresh water daily
    - One shed that I'm aware of thus far, required assistance
    - Have tried to feed very small crickets, small roaches, small mealworms, dusted and un-dusted, with generally unsuccessful results. One un-dusted cricket eaten since Dec. 4th
    - Have attempted feeding in the regular tank, leaving food overnight in tank, removing hides and feeding in tank, feeding in a separate container all generally unsuccessful. The one and only cricket was eaten in the regular tank, with hides removed, after I spent over an hour repeatedly chasing it right up to the gecko's face. Tong feeding and assist feeding have been unsuccessful
    - Handled once daily after an initial 2 days hands off when it arrived

    This gecko's behavior makes me think it's either blind or has a neurological issue, or both perhaps. I'm not sure what the problem is but something is not right. Any advice or insight would be appreciated.

    Thank you!

    - Kaifyre

  2. #2
    acpart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Somerville, MA


    I wish I had an answer. One thing you can try is if the gecko will keep its eyes open when you hold it, you can hold it near a light and see if its pupils get small, then move it away from the light and see if its pupils enlarge. If not, the gecko is probably blind. So it won't allow you to hold it and poke a feeder in its mouth? Did you get it from a breeder or a pet store? I produced hundreds of leopard geckos during the 13 years I was breeding and sometimes I'd get a gecko that just wasn't getting the feeding thing. The ones that would let me hand feed them often eventually got it and began to thrive. The ones that wouldn't usually didn't make it. I think you're doing just about everything you can, so the only thing left is to try feeding it the way I described above if you haven't already done so, and then keep offering and hope for the best.


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