Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 38

Thread: Leopard Gecko - Fostering

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    380
    Thanks
    32
    Thanked 12 Times in 11 Posts

    Default Leopard Gecko - Fostering

    I was recently approved as a foster for a reputable reptile rescue in my area, and my first foster is a cute little leopard gecko. He is in rough shape, though, and I’d like some advice. I have only had the little guy since late Friday night, and he hasn’t been in the rescue’s care for long before that. The rescue has already taken him to see their exotics veterinarian, and I am following their instructions.

    Husbandry:

    He is in a 10 gallon, standard size (rescue approved this due to his small size). Newspaper as substrate. Shallow water bowl, a few toilet paper/small cardboard box hides, and a humidity box made of tubberware (hole cut out) with damp sphagnum moss.
    92* F on the hot side, 76* on the cool side.
    I weighed him when I first got him, and he is 18 grams. No idea on age, but since I can clearly see pores I’m assuming at least 6 months.
    He ate about 5 small gutloaded crickets yesterday, but refused them today, I suspect due to stress. I feed him in a separate container so I can keep track of his eating.

    Now, for the questions:
    1.) He has some concerning stuck shed, particularly around his eyes and one of his elbows. I have started to give him saunas once daily, but the shed is still really hard to get off; it seems thickened and not easily removed, even after a sauna. He had more shed when I first got him that easily came off after a sauna, but what is left feels really, really stuck, like I would rip off skin with the shed. SHOULD I continue trying to peel off shed, or should I let it come off naturally? If I NEED to get it off immediately, how should I do that? I really want to get the shed off from at least his elbow because I am concerned about his circulation, but even with saunas and with the help of a moistened q-tip, it appears to hurt him so I’ve left it alone. He is NEVER in his humidity box. He is extremely stressed when I mess with the stuck shed around his eyes.

    Name:  faceshed.jpg
Views: 20
Size:  40.8 KB

    Name:  elbows1.jpg
Views: 17
Size:  46.3 KB

    Name:  moreshed.jpg
Views: 17
Size:  42.5 KB

    2.) Any suggestions about his eyes? I suspect he is partially or completely blind. I have been instructed to give him eye ointment once daily (Neobacimyx), but with the condition of his eyes I don’t think the ointment is actually going IN his eyes, just over top of them. Applying the medication is extremely stressful for him, any tips?

    Name:  lefteye.jpg
Views: 19
Size:  58.6 KB

    Name:  righteye.jpg
Views: 17
Size:  57.3 KB

    3.) I have some powdered ‘Carnivore Care/Critical care’ on hand, would this be safe to give to him to help get his strength up?

    4.) He has weird white bumps on his elbows. I was told that the vet said these were calcium deposits due to him being fed crickets dusted with pure calcium with no phosphorus, and that his body couldn’t absorb the calcium without the phosphorus so it has deposited on his elbows. I was told to dust his crickets only once a week with the correct powder (mine is from Reptical and has D3, phosphorus, and calcium) and to give him a UVB light. I’m confused, because all my research says that they don’t need UVB, and he got stressed and hid when I put a light on him. Does he need UVB because of the calcium deposits? He is nearby another cage with UVB light on a timer, so it’s not directly over him but provides a day/night cycle. Should I provide the UVB light, or just a light cycle? What else can I do for his calcium deposits, if anything?

    Name:  elbows2.jpg
Views: 11
Size:  46.7 KB

    You can see the stuck shed on his right elbow, and the calcium deposits are clear on his left, but he does have the deposits on his right elbow also, underneath his stuck shed.

    5.) Any other general suggestions for this guy? I’m following the rescue/their vet’s instructions and I’ve researched a lot about leopard geckos. I just want him to 100% recover and find a wonderful family.

    Name:  faceshed2.jpg
Views: 9
Size:  48.1 KB

    Sorry about the bad cell phone photos, but hopefully they help shed light on the situation!
    May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Somerville, MA
    Posts
    1,278
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 186 Times in 166 Posts

    Default

    Congratulations on your rescue. I took in a pair of rescues through my local herp society in Jan. and recently adopted them out to someone in exchange for a donation to the herp society. The male had pretty bad eye issues and I also had eye ointment. The vet also suggested I soak him daily for a month. I would fill a small container with about 3/4" of warm water and put him in there. He would try to get out at first but would then calm down. Part of the vet's reasoning for soaking him is that he felt the gecko had developed his eye problems because he was kept at a high ambient temp and had essentially become dehydrated affecting the moisture in his eyes.

    If you soak him, you should eventually be able to loosen the stuck shed (when you said "sauna" I wasn't sure if you were actually soaking him or just putting him in a warm humid hide, but I think soaking is the way to go here).

    I would ditch the lights and depend on the D3 to help with calcium absorption.

    Aliza

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    380
    Thanks
    32
    Thanked 12 Times in 11 Posts

    Default

    What I'm doing for his sauna:

    I have a small tubberware container, and I'm filling with warm water about an inch (I plan to pick up some Pedialyte soon so it'll be a Pedialyte/water mixture), and I also have one or two warm, wet paper towels in there that I attempt to position so that the top of his elbow is covered.

    I also take some q-tips, wet them, and try to wet the shed around his eyes a little.

    He struggles a lot of for his sauna so I put a screen on top so he can't get out. I feel badly for him because everything seems to terrify him, probably because he can't see anything. I try to do his sauna, feeding, and eye meds all at once and not disturb him the rest of the day.

    Thank you so much for your reply, and I'm glad to ear about your own success stories!
    May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    380
    Thanks
    32
    Thanked 12 Times in 11 Posts

    Default

    Also, acpart, did your male's eye issues ever improve? It's hard to see from the photos but his eyes seem to have a black, hardened film over them, and one of them still appears to be swollen. I doubt he can even see out of his eyes, and I am not sure that his eyes will improve but we shall see.
    May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Somerville, MA
    Posts
    1,278
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 186 Times in 166 Posts

    Default

    When I got the male, both eyes were sealed shut and one was leaking a clear, slightly bloody liquid. When I soaked him I'd drip some water over his head to wet the eyes, and would occasionally dip my finger in water and deposit a drop on each eye (I've done this with hatchlings who have malformed eyelids with great success in preserving their vision). After about a week, a whole lot of crusty stuff came off one of the eyes. At the time that I rehomed him, one eye was open and the other eye would only open a tiny bit. I never really saw a defined pupil in the open eye, but it was clear to me he could see at least some because he would track crickets. I used to hand him a few crickets at each feeding time (if a cricket just brushed his mouth, he'd snap it up right away) and leave some in the cage. He was definitely hunting some successfully on his own.

    Aliza

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    380
    Thanks
    32
    Thanked 12 Times in 11 Posts

    Default

    As far as I can tell there is no discharge coming from the eyes. He was hunting crickets yesterday but I assumed it was mostly by scent. I don't think he could really see them, sometimes they were right in front of him jumping around and he did nothing, but if he stumbled upon them he ate them.

    Today I tried tong-feeding when he showed no interest, but even brushing them against his nose he turned them down.

    Hopefully after a week or so of saunas and more eye ointment his eyes will improve. Your story makes me hopeful! Thanks so much for your replies.
    May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    380
    Thanks
    32
    Thanked 12 Times in 11 Posts

    Default

    Update:

    I've been soaking him every day, and the last of his stuck shed on his elbow and toes has FINALLY come off. Still a small amount around his eyes.

    I've tried to keep everything in his cage the same, as he really can't see, so I'm hoping that he'll be comfortable moving around if nothing is re-arranged too much. Today he finally decided to try using his humidity box. Yay!

    He doesn't show any interest in hunting crickets on his own, but he's finally gotten the hang of tong-feeding. Past few days he averages about a dozen small crickets a day. I also pick out the dead crickets and put them in a shallow bowl, and they're always gone the next morning. I still feed him in a separate container to keep track of what he's eating.

    The rescue recommended feeding mealworms also. I've read mixed reviews on mealworms and impactions, but the rescue said "All insects have exoskeletons, we've never had a problem, and we think variety is important". I bought some mealworms, but it makes me nervous, so I picked out a few that seemed recently molted and put them in his shallow dish. He seems to like them.

    I've also ordered some Phoenix Worms that should be here soon.

    His eyes haven't shown any improvement at all. I will continue soaking and applying the eye ointment, but I'm not sure if his eyes will ever improve.
    May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    364
    Thanks
    16
    Thanked 22 Times in 20 Posts

    Default

    I'm glad he's doing better and eating. I can't wait for another update.
    1.4.0 Leopard Geckos; 6.4.1.4 Crested Geckos; 0.1.0.1 Mourning Geckos; 0.1.0 Creamsicle Corn Snakes;
    0.1 Hedgehog; 0.2 Mice; 1.4 Felines; 1.1 Canines

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    380
    Thanks
    32
    Thanked 12 Times in 11 Posts

    Default

    So, he shed in my care and his eyes look 100% better! No longer does he have a black film over his eyes, I can see his eyes and pupils, and I'm fairly certain he can see now. He seems to be able to navigate his cage and doesn't seem to freak out as much when I pick him up, and he seems to be able to see his prey better (although he still refuses to hunt, and I am still tong-feeding). I saw him trying to eat some of his shed, but he didn't get it all completely off, and after a sauna I had to help him get a lot of the shed off, especially around his toes.

    Now that his shed is off around his eyes, I can see he has a small, odd, brownish bump near his left eye. It doesn't affect his vision. I brought him into the vet's office where I work and while that vet is not super experienced in reptiles, she concluded that it appeared to be a drying up/dried out cyst. It does not leak anything or appear to affect him in any way.

    So, have a few new questions if anyone has a moment to consider:

    1.) He had a LOT of stuck shed around his toes, and it was really difficult to get off even after a sauna. Is it normal for a leopard gecko to need that much help getting shed off around his toes? What can I do to get him to get shed off easier? He did spend a lot of time in his humidity box the day before he shed.

    2.) He absolutely REFUSES to eat dusted crickets. Is this an acquired taste? What can I do to help him accept dusted crickets?

    3.) He ate a few phoenix worms at first but now he doesn't seem to care for them. I got him some fruit flies also, and he ate one or two but now doesn't seem to care. Obviously I can't just feed him crickets and mealworms, I want him to have LOTS of variety. I plan to get him some dubia roaches at the next local reptile show. Any tricks to get him to accept fruit flies/phoenix worms? Is it just like feeding a picky child, where you have to offer it several times before they decide to eat it? I've stopped feeding the mealworms because I suspect he his holding out for them.

    4.) He still shows no interest in hunting. I'm hoping that it's just a lack of strength/not being able to see very clearly, but anything I can do to encourage him to hunt? I'm happy to tong-feed him but it takes literally shoving the cricket in his face and he really only eats the first one to get it to quit bothering him, then it's like a light switches on and he goes "Oh, this is food being dangled in front of my face, and I'm kind of hungry!".
    May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    DFW Texas
    Posts
    311
    Thanks
    43
    Thanked 41 Times in 37 Posts

    Default

    My suggestion would be that once he's figured out there's food on the tongs, pull them further away so he has to "chase" you. My chubby monster will hunt only if I hide the tongs, or if I make him chase me. Lazy stinker.

Similar Threads

  1. tiger gecko fedding (leopard gecko help?)
    By coldshadow in forum GECKOS AND OTHER LIZARDS
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 09-06-2009, 04:05 PM
  2. I got a new Leopard Gecko!
    By FastFoward5k in forum GECKOS AND OTHER LIZARDS
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-22-2008, 02:48 PM
  3. Leopard gecko.........
    By jadeboa in forum GARGOYLES AND OTHER RHACS
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 12-09-2005, 12:48 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •