Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 43
  1. #1

    Default What to do if your gecko won't eat......

    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.

  2. #2
    Lost in the Lizard World Junior Dog Shrink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    NW PA.
    Posts
    2,799

    Default

    Very helpful Ray esp. as of late with all the new posts about "my leo stopped eating". Thank you but one question is should you try to entice a leo to eat more than they want during the winter slow down or is eating say 1 super every week or 2 an acceptable amount during the winter months?
    "The Worst Sin to OUR Fellow Creatures is NOT to Hate Them... But to be Indifferent to Them...
    THAT'S the Essence of Inhumanity"
    ~George Bernard Shaw~

  3. #3

    Default

    I think every noob should read this someone should sticky this!
    1.0 Normal Leopard Gecko, 0.1 Abbott's Okeetee, 1.0 SMR Okeetee, 0.1 Pinkbelly sideneck, 0.1 Mississippi Map, 0.0.2 Dendrobates Leucomelas

  4. #4
    Long Island Geckos Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Mastic Beach, NY
    Age
    37
    Posts
    322

    Default

    I second the sticky motion!

  5. #5

    Default

    This was extremely informative and im sure would eliminate plenty of threads from being made if it were a sticky.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dog Shrink View Post
    Very helpful Ray esp. as of late with all the new posts about "my leo stopped eating". Thank you but one question is should you try to entice a leo to eat more than they want during the winter slow down or is eating say 1 super every week or 2 an acceptable amount during the winter months?
    Hi Dog Shrink et. al......We do lots of research and networking on many topics and this is a big one for many. Glad to help.

    As for how much to feed....many leos slow way down in feeding this time of year. You newbies need not be alarmed, as many of us struggle with this now and then, and in the winter especially. It is fine for your leos to eat less if they don't want to eat, as long as the weight loss isn't an issue. Come Feb, they all start to eat like pigs again as they sense Spring and breeding time approaching. But if weight loss sets in and the tail starts to get thin, you need to take action or the spiral begins and can be dramatic, ending in the loss of the gecko. Get a good digital scale and check weights routinely.

    If the weight loss is concerning, follow the feeding techniques to see if you can reverse it before it's too late. There are a few here who are good at assist feeding (HJ comes to mind if you haven't seen his video), but we have found that getting them to eat willingly is the best approach for us.

    Best wishes.
    Last edited by Designer Geckos; 12-21-2010 at 10:49 PM.

  7. #7
    Lost in the Lizard World Junior Dog Shrink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    NW PA.
    Posts
    2,799

    Default

    Thank you again for the clarification Ray. It's nice to see a breeder/enthusiast that does more than just take interest in the breeding aspect of raising herps but moreso the overall care and well being enough to expand their knowledge thru independant research and networking to better assist their herp friends achieve the best level of care they can in captivity.
    "The Worst Sin to OUR Fellow Creatures is NOT to Hate Them... But to be Indifferent to Them...
    THAT'S the Essence of Inhumanity"
    ~George Bernard Shaw~

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks for the kind words Dog Shrink. We are all family and help each other when we can.

    Happy Holidays.

  9. #9
    Lost in the Lizard World Junior Dog Shrink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    NW PA.
    Posts
    2,799

    Default

    You're welcome Ray... I calls 'em as I sees 'em hon

    One of these days I'm gonna be hitting you up for one of your giants as soon as finances (and my experience with leos increases) allows I think your giants are spectacular.

    Happy holidays to you to.
    "The Worst Sin to OUR Fellow Creatures is NOT to Hate Them... But to be Indifferent to Them...
    THAT'S the Essence of Inhumanity"
    ~George Bernard Shaw~

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sophomore prettyinpink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,838

    Default

    Good to see it made it as a sticky! I love how Ray makes an effort to help others out, for me I think that makes a great breeder

    Thanks Ray for the great info, and always loving your leos!
    ~*Erica*~
    Fae, Rose and Amirah

Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 10-31-2011, 06:02 PM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-31-2010, 08:04 PM
  3. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-12-2010, 01:06 PM
  4. Julie Bergman from Gecko Ranch and the Global Gecko Association!
    By Nigel4less in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-07-2009, 10:56 PM
  5. Jason from Gecko Genetics/The Best Gecko-A ++++ service and gecko!!!
    By nicolenadia in forum Business Inquiries and Reports
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 12-28-2006, 01:22 PM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •