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  1. #21
    Senior Member Freshman WulfSC's Avatar
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    Thanks. Same here. And, maybe I'm just a pessimist, I'd say it's all three.

    I'm trying my best to make him (could be a her...much too little to tell right now) comfortable and happy. So far, it appears to be.
    0.3 dogs, 2.0 cats, 0.1 hedgehog, 0.1.2 crested geckos, 4.4.2 leopard geckos, 1.1 cockatiels, 1.1 parakeets, 1.0 Sunday Conure, and 10 fish in a 55 gallon tank.

  2. #22

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    Thanks for this thread -- my elderly leopard gecko was ignoring food, his tail was getting thin, and I was getting worried. Put a couple of waxworms in front of him and he snapped them right up. He's still not going for mealworms or superworms but I'm just glad he's eating.

    Aaron

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Autonerd View Post
    Thanks for this thread -- my elderly leopard gecko was ignoring food, his tail was getting thin, and I was getting worried. Put a couple of waxworms in front of him and he snapped them right up. He's still not going for mealworms or superworms but I'm just glad he's eating.

    Aaron
    Hi Aaron,

    While many are opposed to feeding waxies, I say it is a MUCH better alternative than letting a gecko waste away and die.....feed it waxies until you stimulate the feeding repsonse again...maybe a few days....then drop a mealie in front of it. Do that until you transition it back onto mealies.

    You don't want to feed your leo waxies exclusively, and they can be addicting, but they are actaully pretty high in nutritional content, albeit somewhat high in fat as well. But if your gecko is getting thin, a little fat ain't such a bad idea anyway. Nutritionally, waxies are about the same as supers, believe it or not. See this chart from Grubco: http://www.grubco.com/Nutritional_Information.cfm

    Generally, I say give em what they want. Some geckos love supers and hate mealies. Some love crix and hate supers. Some love dubias and many hate them. Each gecko has its own favs. Find out what each gecko likes, and make sure they are well gutloaded. Waxies of course do not require any gutloading. They must be kept at 60-70 degrees. 60 is best. NEVER put waxies in the fridge like stores do or they die! Buy your waxies online from a reputable feeder supplier. Well worth the shipping fees because they are all alive!

    Let me know if you need further info.....we're here to help.
    Last edited by Designer Geckos; 05-09-2011 at 04:54 PM.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Designer Geckos View Post
    Let me know if you need further info.....we're here to help.
    I hate to clog up the thread with posts saying thanks, but -- thanks!

    Posted another thread on caring for my elderly leopard gecko, and if you want to chime in, I'd really appreciate it:

    http://geckoforums.net/showthread.php?p=638624

    Thanks again --
    Aaron

  5. #25

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    OK this is an awesome thread for one..but what if all of this has failed then what is the next step...I have been to vet and all that but her not eating now for a week has been stressing me out big time!

  6. #26

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    Hey never mind....I am posting to all threads that I started (started a few because I was so worried).

    Our Lizzy (I know not a very original name, she is actually named after Elizabeth Bennet) ate a waxie right in front of me today. I made her a little bowl of legless crixs, mealies and waxies and when I was checking her hide temp decided to block her hide opening (we have a rock cave that has an opening on the top) with the bowl of breakfast. For the first time in a week, she eyed a waxie, and gobbled it up right in front of me, licked her lips and decided that was all she wanted. So I let her go to her room to digest.

    YAY!! I know it is only one, but maybe it will be enough to wake her gut up.

    Thanks everyone for sticking with me, I really hate when I feel responsible for an animal's health and there seems to be nothing I can do.....we are stewards for all living things in my opinion. Also, I wanted to teach my son that pets are not disposable and you have to try everything. Let's hope she perks up.....

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Designer Geckos View Post
    We get this question often, especially around this time of year when leos are in more of a dormant phase. The experienced leo folks know all this, but here's some info on our method for the newbies out there struggling with a leo that is off food and losing weight.

    First off, the usual comments about temperature, good husbandry, etc....I won't address again now, but it is very important of course.

    If your gecko is healthy and was eating well but all of a sudden stopped eating....
    We are not advocates of force feeding. While it can have its place and can be effective, many cannot master it easily, and it can be very traumatic on the gecko as it struggles in your hand while you try to cram something down its throat. Force feeding can tip the scales dramatically on an already stressed gecko, and you can do far more harm than good if you are not an experienced keeper.

    The key is to find out what the gecko might be enticed to eat willingly. All geckos have their preferences, but when off food, they may not even want their favs. Try mealies, medium superworms, nickel-sized dubias (tong-fed)....if those fail, then here's a tried and true magic bullet approach:
    Take 4 crickets of appropriate size for your leo, and remove the rear legs and one foreleg with a forceps so as not to injure/kill the crickets. The crickets survive just fine like this, kind of like crabs do. Take the delegged crickets and put them in a small glass petri dish or some sort of clear glass shallow dish so the gecko can see the crickets easily. (We use 60x15mm pyrex petri dishes that are available online.) Place the dish near the warm hide opening and leave it overnight...there's a good chance that after a night or two the leo will eat them. You can also try to tong feed delegged crickets at the opening of the hide, and sometimes the leo will grab them that way.

    If crickets fail, try dropping a butterworm (warmed to room temp) at the hide opening. If that fails, the final magic bullet is fresh waxworms dropped at the hide opening. Few leos can resist them. Once you get them eating "treats" for a few days, start to wean them off and get them back on to the staple you had them on previously. You don't want to end up feeding waxies, butters, or crix exclusively.....geckos can get spoiled, especially on waxies, and then you have the problem of getting them off the treats.

    What we are trying to do is to stimulate the feeding response and "jumpstart the metabolic process" as Ron Tremper says. When a leo goes a long time without food the stomach shrinks, stomach acid and enzyme production cease, and the gecko can go into a downward spiral of weight loss very quickly.

    We want to nip this in the bud ASAP or you can lose a gecko pretty fast as they start to go into shutdown mode and also lose the will to live. Now, in the wild geckos can go for long periods of time without food and water in the dry season. Even in captivity, leos can go for fairly long periods without food. But when they start to drop weight fast and their tail becomes thin, you must act fast or you risk losing your gecko.

    Feel free to contact us if you have further questions. Best of luck.
    What if all that has been tried but she still refuses to eat.
    Everything I tried worked for a day or two, then it would no longer work. her terrerium is set up correctly and temp of air and ground is fine. Is another way to help my girl?

  8. #28

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    I wish I had seen this thread earlier. I immediately went to health and medication and not feeding when my gecko stopped eating =/

    I got my gecko from +++++ - he seemed health. Clear eyes, decent size tail that seemed to be the original tail. For the first week he would eat whatever I put in front of him. Meal worms, wax worms, crickets...

    Then one day I found half digested worms. After that he stopped eating as much - he regurgitated a cricket and then stopped eating all together.

    I tried leaving wax worms in the cage, both in his dish and free near his warm hide that he stays in a lot. He doesn't touch them. They just crawl around there with him and nothing happens. His tail is starting to thin and its worrying me.

    I wish I could have tried the cricket trick before I tried gecko soup. But the past two nights ive force fed him gecko soup. He hates it. Last night i was able to trick him into licking it off his mouth. Today he did that for a bit and then just started wiping his head on my hand to wipe it off him.

    Hopefully I didn't irreversably traumatize him... Im going to pick up some crickets tomorrow and take their legs off and see if that trick works. If hes not eating wax worms though i don't know what hes going to eat.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Designer Geckos View Post
    We get this question often, especially around this time of year when leos are in more of a dormant phase. The experienced leo folks know all this, but here's some info on our method for the newbies out there struggling with a leo that is off food and losing weight.

    First off, the usual comments about temperature, good husbandry, etc....I won't address again now, but it is very important of course.

    If your gecko is healthy and was eating well but all of a sudden stopped eating....
    We are not advocates of force feeding. While it can have its place and can be effective, many cannot master it easily, and it can be very traumatic on the gecko as it struggles in your hand while you try to cram something down its throat. Force feeding can tip the scales dramatically on an already stressed gecko, and you can do far more harm than good if you are not an experienced keeper.

    The key is to find out what the gecko might be enticed to eat willingly. All geckos have their preferences, but when off food, they may not even want their favs. Try mealies, medium superworms, nickel-sized dubias (tong-fed)....if those fail, then here's a tried and true magic bullet approach:
    Take 4 crickets of appropriate size for your leo, and remove the rear legs and one foreleg with a forceps so as not to injure/kill the crickets. The crickets survive just fine like this, kind of like crabs do. Take the delegged crickets and put them in a small glass petri dish or some sort of clear glass shallow dish so the gecko can see the crickets easily. (We use 60x15mm pyrex petri dishes that are available online.) Place the dish near the warm hide opening and leave it overnight...there's a good chance that after a night or two the leo will eat them. You can also try to tong feed delegged crickets at the opening of the hide, and sometimes the leo will grab them that way.

    If crickets fail, try dropping a butterworm (warmed to room temp) at the hide opening. If that fails, the final magic bullet is fresh waxworms dropped at the hide opening. Few leos can resist them. Once you get them eating "treats" for a few days, start to wean them off and get them back on to the staple you had them on previously. You don't want to end up feeding waxies, butters, or crix exclusively.....geckos can get spoiled, especially on waxies, and then you have the problem of getting them off the treats.

    What we are trying to do is to stimulate the feeding response and "jumpstart the metabolic process" as Ron Tremper says. When a leo goes a long time without food the stomach shrinks, stomach acid and enzyme production cease, and the gecko can go into a downward spiral of weight loss very quickly.

    We want to nip this in the bud ASAP or you can lose a gecko pretty fast as they start to go into shutdown mode and also lose the will to live. Now, in the wild geckos can go for long periods of time without food and water in the dry season. Even in captivity, leos can go for fairly long periods without food. But when they start to drop weight fast and their tail becomes thin, you must act fast or you risk losing your gecko.

    Feel free to contact us if you have further questions. Best of luck.


    What if these treats aren't working. And her tail is real thin. She has not done this in 2 years and her habitat has not changed.

  10. #30

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Designer Geckos View Post
    We get this question often, especially around this time of year when leos are in more of a dormant phase. The experienced leo folks know all this, but here's some info on our method for the newbies out there struggling with a leo that is off food and losing weight.

    First off, the usual comments about temperature, good husbandry, etc....I won't address again now, but it is very important of course.

    If your gecko is healthy and was eating well but all of a sudden stopped eating....
    We are not advocates of force feeding. While it can have its place and can be effective, many cannot master it easily, and it can be very traumatic on the gecko as it struggles in your hand while you try to cram something down its throat. Force feeding can tip the scales dramatically on an already stressed gecko, and you can do far more harm than good if you are not an experienced keeper.

    The key is to find out what the gecko might be enticed to eat willingly. All geckos have their preferences, but when off food, they may not even want their favs. Try mealies, medium superworms, nickel-sized dubias (tong-fed)....if those fail, then here's a tried and true magic bullet approach:
    Take 4 crickets of appropriate size for your leo, and remove the rear legs and one foreleg with a forceps so as not to injure/kill the crickets. The crickets survive just fine like this, kind of like crabs do. Take the delegged crickets and put them in a small glass petri dish or some sort of clear glass shallow dish so the gecko can see the crickets easily. (We use 60x15mm pyrex petri dishes that are available online.) Place the dish near the warm hide opening and leave it overnight...there's a good chance that after a night or two the leo will eat them. You can also try to tong feed delegged crickets at the opening of the hide, and sometimes the leo will grab them that way.

    If crickets fail, try dropping a butterworm (warmed to room temp) at the hide opening. If that fails, the final magic bullet is fresh waxworms dropped at the hide opening. Few leos can resist them. Once you get them eating "treats" for a few days, start to wean them off and get them back on to the staple you had them on previously. You don't want to end up feeding waxies, butters, or crix exclusively.....geckos can get spoiled, especially on waxies, and then you have the problem of getting them off the treats.

    What we are trying to do is to stimulate the feeding response and "jumpstart the metabolic process" as Ron Tremper says. When a leo goes a long time without food the stomach shrinks, stomach acid and enzyme production cease, and the gecko can go into a downward spiral of weight loss very quickly.

    We want to nip this in the bud ASAP or you can lose a gecko pretty fast as they start to go into shutdown mode and also lose the will to live. Now, in the wild geckos can go for long periods of time without food and water in the dry season. Even in captivity, leos can go for fairly long periods without food. But when they start to drop weight fast and their tail becomes thin, you must act fast or you risk losing your gecko.

    Feel free to contact us if you have further questions. Best of luck.
    Although helpful, this information can be misleading for inexperienced keepers preventing them from seeking proffesional vet care if needed. The delay can lead to deadly consequences.

    My geckos have never went off food at any time of the year.

    How will they know if it's not due to temps, dehydration, parasites, impaction or other issues.

    What's concerning is that many times people wait too long and the gecko loses it's appetite and never eats again and die.

    When a leo stops eating for a long period of time it will use the fat stored in its tail. The fat from the tail hits the blood stream very rapidly hurting the liver in the process. The liver is unable to utilize this rapid influx of fat, and the liver becomes "fatty" called Hepalipidosis.

    I don't think it's wise to allow a reptile to go over a month without eating.
    Last edited by gecko4245; 09-14-2011 at 02:56 PM.

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