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  • Pictus Gecko Problem

    Posting in a couple forums in search of possible information on a few changes that have taken place lately with our Pictus gecko.
    We purchased a pictus gecko when he was a baby. He is now around 7 years old. He has been our first and only gecko, and lately things have changed with him. He never had any issues through the years that we noticed, and I'm wondering if some of these changes are due to his age. I haven't had much luck finding information specifically on this topic for pictus geckos, and am asking if anyone who has personal experience with this type of gecko may be able to share information on any changes that took place as your own pictus gecko aged. I have seen their lifespan listed as "up to 10 years".
    In recent years he has been fed primarily on mealworms which are gut-loaded with carrots and dusted with calcium, and vitamins at other times. We never noticed any issues with shedding, and his appetite always seemed fine. We keep him on coconut fiber, provide him with three hides throughout his terrarium, one being the humid hide with the UTH under it, and a heat lamp overhead which is at times turned off. We also keep a large water dish in the terrarium as well.
    He has never shown any sign of problems until the past few months. He seemed to lose interest in food, though it could be due to being unable to see it, as he now seems to be unable to see, though his eyes don't noticeably show a visible change. His movement also seems slower, and perhaps more awkward (which may be due to his sight, if not something else). We noticed the loss of interest in food first, the vision after, but it may be that the vision was an issue in the first place.
    At first it seemed he simply didn't care when food was offered, and when trying to hand feed him, or use tongs, (which is the only way to get any food in him now, usually after mostly immobilizing the worms so they don't bump and disturb him while squirming), he often seems to want nothing to do with it, though I'm not sure if that is due to not seeing what's there. We've recently been able to get him to eat a bit more, with a bit of difficulty, and it's sometimes more successful than others. It seems if we can get him licking a bit, and patiently hold a mealworm very still in front of his tongue, he'll sometimes eventually bite it and eat it after licking for a while, at times taking it sooner than at others. During this process, he often turns his head away and tries to get away from whatever he senses touching near his mouth, and only with patience and continuing to try, will we be able to get him to eat.
    As for his sight, we only assume there's a problem because he doesn't seem to see his food, or any movement around him, nor his surroundings, as he looks as though he is guided by things he touches or runs into. When feeding him, we have to make sure not to let the food touch his face more than just enough to get him to start licking (which I often use a bit of water for, or sometimes he may do it if the calcium/vitamins get on his mouth), or he will only try to retreat from the touch, as he often does, and we just have to keep following him around and being patient until he starts licking and eats.
    If anyone with experience can share information, it may be helpful.
    Last edited by Shaska; 04-03-2016, 06:20 PM.

  • #2
    Other than suggesting a vet visit which would be the best thing to figure out whats going on. My experience with many other animals large and small usually starts off similar to what your dealing with when they hit a certain age. They don't move very well, they don't see well, or hear well in some cases. As sad as it may be it sounds like you may need to begin preparation to reach the end. That is of course just my experience with other animals mostly mammals and my personal opinion. Hopefully someone else can give you some insight as well but I'd be preparing myself for the end result because it always, ALWAYS hits me hard. (Just so you don't think I'm some weirdo, I do have geckos but they are no more than 8-9 months old each)
    1.2.0 Crested Gecko (Galaxy, Nanner, Haitachi)
    0.1.0 Leopard Gecko (Charley)

    Business starting in 2017 Awesome Surprises (facebook only atm) breeding Cresties and Gargs! May breed other reptiles and species in the future but for now just going to collect them all!

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    • #3
      Thank you for your response, kelby. I know a vet visit may be best. It isn't entirely my own decision, but I am willing to do that if it is decided. I thought for now, maybe someone with enough experience may be able to say they've seen this with age in these geckos several times, or that it sounds specifically like something else. I also have experience with other animals (mammals), but wasn't sure if these things may differ for a gecko, or, as I said, if it sounds like something else. I understand what you mean, about preparing for the end in case. Losing pets is sad for me as well. For now, I'll be glad each time he eats, and more so when he eats a good amount.
      Good luck with your geckos!

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      • #4
        Thank you and good luck with your kiddo. I have read stories that people post about older Leopard geckos doing similar things as they age, and since Leo's and Panthers are similar in care (although different sizes and life spans) it would be similar I'd like to think anyways.
        1.2.0 Crested Gecko (Galaxy, Nanner, Haitachi)
        0.1.0 Leopard Gecko (Charley)

        Business starting in 2017 Awesome Surprises (facebook only atm) breeding Cresties and Gargs! May breed other reptiles and species in the future but for now just going to collect them all!

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        • #5
          I have a young male Pictus and he seems to be thriving in nearly exactly the same set up as yours, so I feel like it just may be his age.
          From what I've read, their life span is typically 5-10 years. So I'd say your guy is definitely getting to be rather old.
          I too would recommend a vet visit. I hoping for the best for him.
          Kelly @ Tree Devil Geckos
          Producing Awesome Leachianus geckos and Gargoyle geckos since 2017
          http://www.treedevilgeckos.com
          http://facebook.com/treedevilgeckos
          http://www.instagram.com/treedevilgeckos

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          • #6
            Thanks for the reply, Yoshi'smom. Yes, he seems to have been fine in his set-up for years, it's just lately that things have changed with him. I'm looking into better thermometer/hygrometers, but we've not changed how we maintain temperature, and I don't know that anything's wrong in that area, or that if it were somewhat off, it'd cause the specific things going on with him.
            I haven't found a lot of information on lifespan for these guys. Some of the care-sheets out there don't even mention it. But the few I've seen seem to be around 7-10 or 'up to 10.' I believe one page even said possibly beyond ten. And you've seen 5-10? Based on what I have seen on lifespan, that's why I wondered if that may be it. Just wondered if anyone who has kept them may have had a similar experience.
            Good luck with your little guy!

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            • #7
              Accidentally posted a reply twice and can't seem to delete it. Ignore this one?
              Last edited by Shaska; 04-06-2016, 12:39 AM. Reason: accidental repost

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              • #8
                Thanks!
                I hope your little guy is just getting geriatric and continues to hang on for you. I know that old age can be hard on animals. I'm sure he'll tell you if/when he's ready to go.
                I know even these little ones can have a firm grip on our hearts.
                Squiggy wishes your pal a swift recovery.
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                Kelly @ Tree Devil Geckos
                Producing Awesome Leachianus geckos and Gargoyle geckos since 2017
                http://www.treedevilgeckos.com
                http://facebook.com/treedevilgeckos
                http://www.instagram.com/treedevilgeckos

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