Unusual Hatchling Deformity

Neon Aurora

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So another of my rainwaters hatched today. I thought it was a bit early at 47 days incubated at 81 degrees, so maybe that has something to do with it. Anyways, this hatchling has a pretty severe tail kink, one eye is smaller than the other (I think), and at least one of her nostrils is like a cleft lip in humans. I also wonder if she might have a cleft palate since cleft lips and cleft palates often come together. =( She also seems just generally a lot more sluggish than my other hatchlings.

What do I do? I've heard of notched eyelids and stuff, but I haven't heard of cleft lips and palates. How do I know if she is in pain? I had to move my incubator because of a fire evacuation. Did moving the incubating eggs cause this?

Here is the tail kink:


This picture isn't the best, but if you look closely, the eye on the left is smaller than the one on the right:


And here is the most concerning one, the cleft lip:


Any input would be greatly appreciated. I'm freaking out a little. All of my hatchlings so far have been perfect and this one seems pretty messed up. As I said, she isn't as active as the other hatchlings were when they hatched. I'm worried about whether or not she'll be able to eat (especially if she also has a cleft palate).
 
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acpart

Geck-cessories
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Sorry you're having problems. I've had seasons with a fair number of deformities. Sometimes it's the parents and sometimes it's spikes in the incubator. I have a really incredible incubator now and have not had problems (yet) in 2 seasons. The tail shouldn't be a problem. If the smaller eye can close, that should be fine. If not, keep it moist by putting a drop of water on it several times a day. As far as the eating goes, treat it like a normal gecko and see if it can handle it. There's no guarantee that it has a cleft palate (you could probably tease it a little to get it to open its mouth and then you can check by comparing the roof of its mouth to that of a normal hatchling). Sometimes these little guys with mild deformities do quite well. Hopefully there will be someone who's interested in adopting it. I placed one of my geckos with mild deformities about 5 years ago with a woman who does reptile shows for kids with special needs. I see her occasionally and she tells me how well the gecko is doing and how much the kids appreciate seeing a gecko that's different but still thriving.

Aliza
 

Neon Aurora

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Alright. I'll treat her like a normal hatchling for now and see how it goes. I was just watching her and I noticed she isn't walking normally. I can't quite tell what is going on, but she has a very lurch-y and unstable gait. I did notice that her left elbow is kind of red and I wondered if she was somehow injured. You can see it a little in the first picture. I guess I'll just keep an eye on her for the next few days. She doesn't look very good right now. Walking weird and pretty sluggish. But I will keep you updated. I hope the clutchmate stays in her egg for a while longer and comes out okay.

Her smaller eye works just fine, no notched eyelids or anything. It's just really small compared to the other one.

If I get another deformity from this pairing, should I assume that the problem is one of the parents? The first baby from this pairing is very healthy and robust with no problems. I did have to move the incubators, so there may have been some temperature fluctuations during that.

If she ends up surviving, I'm not sure who I could adopt her out to. I suppose I'll have to keep her if I can't find anyone who wants her.
 
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Neon Aurora

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The hatchling seems better today. She was quite active earlier and running around her tub. I've also seen her drink water. Maybe she'll be okay. I really hope it isn't genetic. I would feel terrible, as that's exactly the kind of thing I'm trying my hardest to avoid.
 

Neon Aurora

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The hatchling ate a worm by herself today, so I think she is going to be okay. I also found the cause of her awkward gait. Turns out she only has 4 toes on one front foot and two toes on each back foot are fused. But she doesn't seem to be in any pain and seems to eat okay on her own. Hopefully I'll be able to find someone who wants to adopt her. If not, I will keep her as a pet.
 

Neon Aurora

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This hatchling seemed to be doing better for a while, but she has stopped eating now and is displaying neurological symptoms similar to those of enigma syndrome. She waves her head back and forth repeatedly and I've witnessed her circling. I picked her up today after I noticed her circling in her tub and had her sit on my palm, and she went in about 4-5 tight circles in a row.

What's going on? I'm really confused. She's dropping weight and just not looking good. I'm considering euthanasia if she doesn't start to improve. I want to give her every chance at life, but I also don't want her to suffer.

I've also noticed that she never hides. I have her set up just like the rest of my hatchlings, but everytime I open her tub she is sitting on the heat tape but outside of her hide.

So far the pairing has produced four hatchlings. three of them are very robust and healthy but then there is this one. I'm tempted to think that it's not a genetic problem with the pairing because of how healthy the other hatchlings are, but I just don't know. What should I do?
 
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acpart

Geck-cessories
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Unless you can find someone reputable to euthanize it, I would recommend continuing to make it comfortable, feed it as tolerated and keep data on the rest of the offspring from that pairing. If this is the only one with defects, I'd say it's probably a random event.

Aliza
 

Neon Aurora

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She seems a little better today. I'm not seeing too much circling or other neurological symptoms this time. I assist fed her 3 worms. She wouldn't take any more after that. She seems capable of eating, but she struggles with it. It takes her quite a bit longer to finish eating a worm than any of the others and I have to feed her much smaller prey items.

We will see where it goes. Euthanasia would be a last resort, but I wouldn't be comfortable forcing her to live if she will just have a really bad quality of life. It seems like she might have the potential to have a good quality life, so I'm going to keep trying my best with her and see what happens.
 

Neon Aurora

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Time for an update. I haven't seen anything of the neurological symptoms since that first day. I'm not sure what was going on with that.

She does eat on her own. About 5 small mealworms a day. She doesn't grow, though. She is still 4 grams despite being more than 1 month old. I have hatchlings from the same pairing born after her that are twice her size. Her quality of life seems alright, though, so I'm going to continue to take care of her and just see where it goes.
 
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