Just being paranoid... I think.

Stripe

New Member
Messages
23
Location
Lago Vista, Texas
My AFT, Stripe, has been rather reluctant to eat live prey for a while now, and I've resorted to feeding her baby food, again. (More about that at http://geckoforums.net/f139-care-husbandry/98789.htm )
I'm going to try dubia roaches soon.
Now, the reason I started this thread is because stripe has been out of her hides all afternoon and evening. It isn't like her at all, and I'm getting worried. She's got her eyes closed but she's breathing. I'm assuming that she's asleep. She does look a bit skinny, though. Maybe her heat pad got a bit too warm for her..?

EDIT: I fed her and gave her a bath a little while ago. She sat in the bath for quite a while, and drank a good bit. Now I'm thinking that she's a bit dehydrated.
Also, her tail is really small and wrinkled. Her body size is just fine, but the tail concerns me. She's a bit dull looking as well, but I think she's shedding soon.

About your fat-tail:
- Sex: Female (I think. She has no bulge and small pores.)
- Age: Unsure of age (Fairly certain she was WC).
- Weight:
- I've owned her for around 7 years.
- Where was she obtained: ++++++++ (It's not great, I know.)

A) Health/History
- How often do you handle your fat-tail: Maybe 2-3 times a week.
- Is your fat-tail acting any different today? If so how does she normally act which differs from now.
Yes. She's been out of her hide all afternoon and evening, and appears to be sleeping even though there are lights on. (Normally she stays in her hides all day long.) She also looks somewhat shriveled and dehydrated. Her body looks fine but her tail is tiny.
- Has he/she had any problems in the past, if so please describe: She hasn't acted this way before. However, she's always had something against crickets. It's hard to get her to eat live prey, so up until recently she's been eating baby food. (More about that in the post I referenced above.) She's also had problems with unshed skin on her toes, but that's mostly been sorted out.

B) Fecals
- Describe (look any different than normal): I don't think they look very different, but that isn't something I normally keep track of.
- When was the last time he/she went: I'm afraid that I don't know. However, judging by the number of droppings I would say she's been going regularly.

C) Problem
- Please briefly describe the problem and how long it has been going on: (Just quoting here, as I already described my concern) She's been out of her hide all afternoon and evening, and appears to be sleeping even though there are lights on. (Normally she stays in her hides all day long.) She also looks somewhat shriveled and dehydrated. Her body looks fine but her tail is tiny.

Housing:
A) Enclosure
- Size: 20 gallon long.
- Type (ex. glass tank): Glass tank w/ metal screen lid.
- Type of substrate: Coconut fiber.
- Hides, how many, what kind: Two hides, one on the warm end, one on the cool end. The cool hide has peat moss and doubles as a humid hide.

B) Heating
- Heat source: Under-tank heat pad.
- Cage temps (hot side, cool side): I need to check...
- Method of regulating heat source: I put lots of bedding on the warm end and let Stripe burrow to whatever depth/temperature she wants.
- What are you using to measure your temps: Cheap wall thermometers (The circular ones).
- Do you have any lights (describe): I have one 18" broad spectrum bulb for the plants in the tank.

C) Cage mates
- How many (males, females): None.
- Describe health, or previous problems: None.

Describe Diet:
A) Typical diet
- What you're feeding (how often, how much): Poultry (either chicken or turkey) baby food mixed with squash baby food and calcium/vitamin supplement. (Fed 3-5 syringe-fuls every few days.)
- How are you feeding (hand fed, left in dish, ect): Hand fed via syringe. (The syringe has a rubber nipple on it so Stripe's teeth don't get hurt on the plastic.

B) Supplements
- (Describe how often): She gets supplements during every feeding.
- What vitamin/minerals are you using (list brands): Repashy Superfoods Calcium Plus
- What are you gut loading food with: Nothing at the moment, as the food isn't alive.
 
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DrCarrotTail

Moderator
Messages
3,590
Location
Ridgewood, NJ
I have picked up about 10 AFTs in the last few months and can say a bit more from experience now! I keep mine exactly the same way as I keep my leos and they seem to do 100% fine. I have no shedding issues and they all snarf down anything I throw at them. They are definitely a lot more secretive than the leos and I think moving them to a new container every time I want them to eat would seriously stress some of them out and their appetites would be decreased or non existent in the new place. Most of mine are eating mealworms and tong fed roaches. All but one LOVE the roaches - the one is strictly a mealworm guy. I also have two that are totally not interested in the mealworms and insist on roaches but they will eat them out of a bowl or hunt them as well as grab them from tongs.

I know there are differing opinions on this but personally I don't like the idea of a planted tank. Bacteria can run amok since cleaning the nature of the substrate makes cleaning more difficult and it can be hard to accurately monitor humidity levels. If you have a bright light on the tank for the plants it will stress your AFT - not might, it WILL. I like my enclosures to meet my animal's needs but be otherwise simple. I think simplicity and sanitation is especially important if you're having issues with shedding and eating.

I know you mentioned a bit of this in your last post but filling out the following form and providing as much info as possible on her setup will help folks provide better advice: http://geckoforums.net/f130-health-medications/70912.htm
 

Stripe

New Member
Messages
23
Location
Lago Vista, Texas
Alright, I filled out the form. She's doing better now that she's a bit more hydrated. I'll be cleaning her tank tomorrow and have a few questions. Here's a diagram of what I'm considering:
layout.png
Can I leave the plants in pots of some sort and put the pots in the cage?
How deep would you recommend I make the substrate on either end?
I have this idea of creating a hide that spans about half the cage. It would be made of tile sitting atop PVC pipe segments. This would give Stripe a larger space to roam during the day, keep out bright light, and have a much larger temperature gradient than her current hide. Here's another diagram. The white circles are PVC pipe segments standing upright.
layout2.png

(Oh, and this is more a matter of opinion, but would you recommend using grapewood or mopani wood?)
 

Stripe

New Member
Messages
23
Location
Lago Vista, Texas
Here are a few pictures of her setup. (With the light off and without the bromeliad. I need to find a shorter flowerpot so I can set it on top of the platform.) Stripe's been spending most of her time under the platform. Oh, and she has a new water dish, which is big enough for her to sit in. She's about to shed, and I'm starting to wonder if that could be why she isn't eating much.
image.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpg
Edit: Sorry about the pictures with two copies. Not sure how to fix that.
 

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DrCarrotTail

Moderator
Messages
3,590
Location
Ridgewood, NJ
How long has she been on a diet of only baby food? It is not a good protein source for an insectivore and being fed an inappropriate diet for a long time may have consequences that are beginning to show. Will she not eat insects? She looks a bit skinny but not terrible. I might try to get her on a better diet of gutloaded mealworms, crickets and roaches and that may help her a bit. Whenever I see folks using lights of any sort on a cage I recommend they have at least a warm and a cool hide that are deep enough to allow the gecko to get 100% out of the light when they want to. These hides should be totally dark on the inside where the gecko is sleeping. No light should touch them. Might make her happy to have a place to get away. That would be my two cents on her enclosure for what it's worth.

7+ years is a fairly long life for a WC specimen. It may just be that she is winding down as well. I might suggest a vet visit if you are super worried.
 

Stripe

New Member
Messages
23
Location
Lago Vista, Texas
She's been eating baby food for quite a while... Maybe 6 years? She stopped eating crickets soon after we got her. Exactly how bad is baby food anyways? She'll eat some insects though. A few months back I got her on a diet of dusted mealworms, but eventually she lost interest. Last night I left her with 6 small dubia and two are missing. I don't know if she ate them or they escaped, but they were in a ceramic bowl and probably couldn't crawl out. I'll add walls to the underside of the platform to allow darkness, but I think the cool hide is dark enough.
I would take her to a vet but we have some problems with the cats and dog that need to be taken care of first, and we aren't the best financially. If things seem to get worse, I will.
 
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