Feeding Geckos with Health Problems

hannahs_haven

New Member
Messages
3
Hi! I'm new to keeping leopard geckos but have experience with keeping other reptiles. I took in three leopard geckos from someone that couldn't take care of them anymore yesterday. One female has some pretty severe MBD and has a very difficult time aiming to eat her food let alone catching. All three are quite weak as well as they are all severe underweight (getting weights on them in the morning to track their progress). All three have eaten butterworms and two gobbled them up as soon as I offered them. The female with MBD ate one this morning.

I tried offering 1/4 inch crickets tonight but it didn't go to well. I cut the legs off the crickets (morbid I know) so they would have an easier time eating them but it didn't work to well and they were still able to get away from the geckos. The male who is in the best condition ate two but it took a lot of help. The stronger female was able to get one but it took her about 15 minutes and it took a lot of help. The female with MBD couldn't catch any and when I immobilized them enough for her they didn't move enough to instead her, she is also terrified of me so I can't even help keep the crickets from getting away from her like I did with the others.

Ideally I wouldn't want to feed them crickets at all because they are awful feeder to keep alive but I live in Canada and dubia roaches are illegal here and I have to keep some for my fire bellies toads anyways. I also don't want to feed mealworms because of the impaction risk, the fact that I have to buy 100 at a time and then deal with the beetles, and many other risks that I have heard about them.

I have easy access to hornworms, butterworms, waxworms, sow bugs (isopods), phoenix worms, and sometimes silkworms. I also have night crawler earthworms I kept for my African Clawed frogs that I could feed as well but I heard many turn them done and there not to nutritious anyways. I could also start a culture of house or blue bottle flies as well as I have a friends who did it for some veryyyyy picky tree frogs.

Does anyone have any experience with special needs geckos and have any advice. Going to see my exotic vet as soon as she gets an opening and see what she says too. Thanks!
 

indyana

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,338
Location
Massachusetts, United States
I have previously squashed crickets with a kitchen mallet for extremely weak animals. If they have MBD, soft jaws can make it difficult to hold struggling feeders. You can also try Repashy Grub Pie.

Providing daily soaks in warm water (shallow, not over their knees) can help with hydration, as well as putting drops of water or Pedialyte on their mouth to lick off. Dehydrated animals often don't have an appetite, so getting them hydrated can often spark eating.

On your feeder list, silkworms and Phoenix worms are the most nutritious, but Phoenix worms have proven unpopular with my geckos and difficult to digest.

Mealworms are fine for leopard geckos, as long as you don't let them over binge. I would feel safe feeding to any animal that wasn't sick enough to be on a slurry diet. If you don't want mealworms for other reasons, that's fine, but they aren't considered an impaction risk for leopard geckos. Superworms are even used often in the hobby (although some keepers crush heads to eliminate possibility of a bite).
 

hannahs_haven

New Member
Messages
3
Thanks for the reply! I was worried about impaction because it's dangerous to feed them to my african clawed frogs and thought it might be a problem for them too but then again they do have a completely different diet.

The mealworms should be a good idea for the female with MBD especially because I can put them in a bowl to keep them contained. Dont think she'll touch the grub diet though but might give it a try if shes has some more difficulties with feeders.

Liked the idea of waxworms because they are high and fat but I heard they can also get obsessed with them. The butter and hornworms are high in calcium which I also liked the idea of.

Going to set up a monthly feeding schedule right now so I can account for variety, nutrition and supplements.
 

hannahs_haven

New Member
Messages
3
Oh and I've also been giving them daily soaks because they have so much stuck shed and I think its definitely helping them appetite now that you mention it didnt even put that connection together before that lol
 
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