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For Fortinbras

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  • For Fortinbras

    A few months ago I decided to break into the world of crested geckos and bought a pair of cute juveniles. I named them after literary figures, Fortinbras namesake being from Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle In Time" series. Fort had such a sweet disposition and was always gentle, soft, and didn't have that crazy run everywhere attitude that many geckos do. He had these wonderful lavender eyes, I felt like you could see his soul in them. I always told him he'd grow up to be a very handsome man someday.

    Just shortly after hitting the 10g mark (just about to be moved up to his big boy cage) he suddenly developed a wiggly tail overnight. This made no sense since he ate only Pangea & Repashy CGD and no live bugs at all. He had been eating fine previously. Assuming it was dehydration, I began treating him so and also gave calcium supplements just in case. He seemed to be doing alright for a week or so, though no tail improvement. Then he stopped eating. I moved him to a sterile hospital tank to monitor his condition. He dehydrated extremely fast and I had to give daily saunas just to keep him relatively hydrated. He finally ate and went the bathroom for me one day, and I thought he was on the mend. The next day, I noticed a small raw spot on his arm (probably from too moist of an enclosure, which it had to be to keep him from dehydrating) and made a midnight trip to get some iodine to clean and treat the cut. He was active, trying to run away while I looked at gecko first aid tips online. When I applied the treatment he nipped me a little (sorry if it hurt buddy, just trying to help!) and was still moving well. For an hour or so after he was still relatively active, moving his head around and walking a little. Up until this point, I never thought he was at the risk of dying. But then something happened. He kept going limp. He'd stay still for 30 seconds or so, then wildly trash his head around before going still again. I could provoke some movement at this point, but it was strange. I laid him down to rest and continued to check on him without turning the lights on. His movement decreased steadily over the next few hours until suddenly he was just ...gone. If I had known he was so close to death I would have taken him to the vet but until that very night his condition never seemed that threatening.

    I'm really not sure what happened, if it was my fault, what I should have done differently. I know I should have gotten a necropsy done but I was so torn up and just wanted to lay him to rest.
    I still feel like a terrible gecko mom. I wish I had done more somehow.

    Thankfully, his brother (not genetically but I bought them from the same breeder so I affectionately called them that), is doing well. He's moved to his big cage and is eating and enjoying life. I just wish it hadn't turned out this way. They were supposed to grow up together (they were approximately the same age). But now Vimes will grow up alone. I just hope I can do better and keep him safe and healthy.

    I'm sorry Fortinbras. Rest in peace.
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  • #2
    I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I am sure that is wasnt your fault, and honestly, you did all you could. You said it yourself, If you knew his condition was life threatening, you would have taken it to the next level and taken him to a vet.. I really hope his brother does make it okay for you. he was only 10g, that means he was still a very young gecko and could have had many things wrong with him
    BEFORE you got him. (birth defects, parasites, ect). since his brother is, I am assuming, being kept the same as Fort, is still alive and healthy, it was nothing you did. Fort is one beautiful gecko. I am so sorry for your loss, it has got to be terrible!

    .1.DOG Jiggles
    1.1.CRESTED GECKO Phantom & Lovely
    .1.YBST Cloveth
    .1.MINIPIG Judy(food&belly rub is kinda apig deal)
    1..RAT CoconutRatMinneapolis RIP


    • #3
      Oh no, that must have been heartbreaking! *RIP little Fortinbras*

      I know that it can be easy to blame yourself especially when looking back, but it sounds like you did everything you could at the time, not expecting him to take such a sharp turn for the worse To be on the safe side, you might want to take his "brother" to a good exotics vet for a checkup, letting him know what happened to the other that came from the same breeder. Or at the least, take in a fecal sample.

      Enjoy your little one you have left, and thank you for posting to share the beauty and life of Fortinbras *hugs*
      Dedicated to the health, quality, and genetic diversity of Crested Geckos (Correlophus ciliatus)
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      • #4
        Thank you both for the well wishes. It feels a lot better just to even make this little memorial.
        Also, thank you for the advice. I need to establish a relationship with a new exotics vet anyway so that might be a good chance to do so as well.