Thought I'd give an update. Having a few issues and not really finding anywhere to turn.
I don't know whether anyone saw an update I posted, but the littlest leopard died a couple of days after we got her. She was just too far gone, too small, and had no more will to live. We e-mailed the previous owner and she said she wasn't surprised
My confidence took a blow with that. I realized how grim these guys' prognosis really was.
When we were going to get them, we didn't actually know how bad they were. We found out that they were all kept in the same tank so were competing for food, and there was drastic size difference between siblings. All, however, suffer from MBD from some degree to another.
So we were left with the 1 male and 3 more females. I now have new concerns. 1 female, a bell albino, seems... off, to me. She appears to have suffered from MBD the least, having no visible growths on her bones and fully supporting her body weight. I witnessed her having a seizure once, though, so I know that she is far from healthy. Anyway, she squints a bit too much and walks strangely. Kind of like she is doggy paddling/swimming. She reachs out in front of her, and tends to look and reach upward. Kind of like she is stargazing, to an extent. I can't tell whether she can see, or to what degree. Other than that and being a bit skinny she is okay. I wonder if she is either having trouble seeing/blind or brain damaged.
I am concerned that the male may be impacted, but can't figure out how that could have happened. The previous owner didn't keep them on a loose substrate. All I can think of is that she fed only mealworms, so maybe she kept them too cold and the chitin built up? He had been eating pretty well for a while, but then we noticed we weren't seeing any poop in his enclosure and he was looking kind of round. One thing we have noticed is that he sometimes has a darkish swelling right in front of his vent. i have been giving him oil and stopped feeding him for now (was feeding protein baby food with calcium and pedialyte by pipette). I've also been soaking him in warm water and massaging his belly. Hasn't worked so far. He has become far less active, lying in the same place all the time. I feel like he will either live or die very soon.
Had an episode with one last night, and thought for sure she was dead. It was like she choked on the food I was giving her. She is way too small for her size and I am concerned that she doesn't eat enough. She is frustratingly stubborn and I felt that I had no choice but to gently open her jaws and force her to eat a little. I swear she is so stubborn that she wouldn't swallow. Why would a gecko have trouble swallowing? I'm pretty sure she isn't impacted. I just thought maybe she was used to hardly eating, and needed to start eating more and expand her stomach. I'm not sure what happened, but I set her aside for a break and then when I looked back, she had stopped moving and was barely breathing, and in a panic I held her angled downwards and pushed the food up and out of her mouth. I was afraid I was being rough with her in doing this (afraid to even touch geckos with MBD), but I knew she would die if I didn't do anything, and after I couldn't think of anything else to do (this whole ordeal probably lasted 20-30 minutes), I put her down in her tank under a bulb and she laid there lifeless for an hour or so. Slowly, she improved. She starting breathing more regularly, blinking, licking, and lifting up her head. Then she started walking. This is a MIRACLE. I will never make the mistake again, and I am completely ashamed.
Sorry for the extremely long message. I always think it best to leave absolutely nothing out.
I realize a trip the vet is really in order, but I have my opinions about that. I took these animals in from a woman who almost killed them, and I figured, between her or me, they were much better off with me, vet or no vet. I don't have the money to pay for a general checkup and then, on top of that, knowledge that I already have. Most vets that treat reptiles (at least around here, and there are only 2 and 1 openly admits that he only sees them rarely and he doesn't recommend bringing them to him) really don't seem to know more than I do and just spit out general care information. I have been flabberghasted in past experiences. Aside from some medications I can't get hold of, I don't feel like a vet can offer anything I can't provide at home. Anyway, at this point, all they could do for the impacted male would be cut him open, and I don't know how reasonable that would be for a tiny gecko. The only one I would really consider taking would be the female who might have trouble with her eyes, just because she is otherwise so healthy and has a good chance of living, and something like that might require meds, whereas an impaction wouldn't. I know it's risky posting about opinions about the vet, and I run the risk of looking like a real idiot. Any respectful responses are welcomed.
Any advice appreciated at this point.