Emaciated Gecko - Advice Needed


New Member
Mojave Desert
Hello all! I'm hoping that I can get some help here.

I'm no greenhorn with leopard geckos; while I'm far from an expert, I know how to properly care for and breed them. I've been passively keeping them for a little over a decade, and have been breeding for a few years now. Because I've been keeping properly, I've never had to do anything resembling intensive care. As a result, I'm a bit at a loss of what to do.

I sold this beautiful male (roughly) six months ago to an acquaintance who claimed to know what they were doing. She wanted him as a breeder, and having taken a look at her other two geckos, I thought she'd take good care of him. I was terribly wrong. This male went out in the picture of good health, and she finally reached out to me yesterday asking what was wrong. I was presented with a horribly emaciated gecko (see pictures).

I, of course, immediately offered food (fattened dubia). Because of his weakened state, I gave him two small dubia, and he ate with no real issue. As of this morning, it looks like he regurgitated what I fed him and there is very loose stool in the enclosure. I'm sure he is dehydrated, so he is currently in a smaller enclosure with two easily accessible water dishes to ensure he's able to easily find water. As of today, he is wholly uninterested in food.

The issue is that he's still active enough to refuse force feeding/watering. I've only had to do this a couple times in the past, and only on hatchlings. He's always been a skittish one, and the last thing I want is for him to drop a tail by forcing nutrition.

I'm looking for any help at all. If you can give advice, feeding techniques, food recommendations, anything, I'd greatly appreciate it.




Staff member
Somerville, MA
I think he and a stool sample really need to go to the vet (make sure they test for crytosporidiosis as well as for the usual parasites). If anything comes back positive, you should get the rest of your geckos tested and needless to say, so should your friend. Meanwhile, you could try something like Carnivore Care which is a puree that's supposed to be formulated for non plant eating reptiles.