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HELP! Garg- no weight gain in a year!

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  • TAD
    replied
    Did you get to a vet?

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  • ARRESOT
    replied
    I'm worried that this is a train wreck that I've lost control over and there Dafont Showbox Adam4adam isn't anything I can do. I've got her in a 12x12x18 cage, but I've got a smaller one coming in the mail tomorrow in case that helps. I'm a jerk and didn't have any heat on her (my 10 year old Crestie has never needed heat/light, and my cats would've knocked it over and burned my house down 100 times over by now), but I've got heat ready to go when her new cage comes. I only occasionally see poo in her cage. It's blowing my mind, she must be eating something to still be alive after 8 months of "not eating", I just don't understand why she's letting herself waste away like this.

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  • TAD
    replied
    If you know what you are doing you could, but personally, I would leave that to a vet.

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  • Chris_Walshy
    replied
    I’ve heard that it’s possible to still get a fecal sample from the vent of my gecko but not sure how accurate that is.

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  • TAD
    replied
    Any vet should be able to tell you whether there are parasites from a fecal sample. If it turns out that there are, and your vet does not know how to treat, you can look up vets on www.arav.org. and perhaps call one for advice.

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  • Chris_Walshy
    replied
    It will be my first time going to a vet with him so somewhat nervous as my state isn’t super big into the exotic reptile trade so I don’t see many vets that care for them. I was super relieved to see that he ate the amount of food he did last night though so fingers crossed he’s just a little prick and wants to make life difficult for me.

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  • TAD
    replied
    It will not hurt to get the vet's input. If you can take in a fresh fecal sample (less than 12 hours old) when you go, that would help. Good that he is eating the breeder's formula. Some of them are just very slow growers, and then suddenly they get a growth spurt. I hope that will be the case with yours.

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  • Chris_Walshy
    replied
    The one I’m concerned about is a year and a half old, and I usually don’t hand feed but he hasn’t gained any weight in awhile. He didn’t like live feeders last attempt I tried, but last night he ate half a dish of the growth&breeder formula which he had previously stopped eating. I have a vet appointment set up in a couple days just Incase. Only at 14.1 grams last weigh in also.

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  • TAD
    replied
    How old is your garg? It's best to really not get them dependent on hand-feeding, as then they tend not to eat on their own. If there is good, fresh food available, they won't starve themselves, but they do slow down in cooler temps. If you can feed him insects, that will help with growth. If he's holding his own or gaining in weight, he will probably be fine. If there is a steady decline in weight though, then a check for parasites would be in order (take a fecal sample to your vet).

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  • Chris_Walshy
    replied
    I know that this is still an old post but hopefully I can get a reply, but how exactly did you go about getting your garg to accept hand feeding? Mine currently is going through almost the same exact issue and even when I attempt hand feeding he does not like to eat much.

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  • TAD
    replied
    I was going to mention that the heat probably has something to do with it. If you do use a ceramic heater though, put it in a wire holder as opposed to a dome lamp, for fire safety reasons. Glad you are seeing progress! I have to weigh my garg tonight. He hasn't been gaining very quickly either, but our tank is always in the 70's for temps. Still, he's bigger than he was when I got him 6 months ago, so I think part of it is just my impatience!

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  • gecko.friend
    replied
    Ah, this makes a lot of sense then! 60s are very cold for a gargoyle gecko--many breeders cool their animals into the mid 60s during a 4-6 week period in the winter to prepare them for breeding in the spring--most animals eat little to nothing during this time, it slows their metabolism.

    I would keep him at 78-80 ambient...and the area near the heat source should be warmer. I keep mine 78-80 during the day and it drops to ~74/75 at night because we turn the AC on. The area near the heating pads are warmer, 85 degrees. Many days I see them sitting directly next to the heating pad for the entire day, and at night. Mist to maintain humidity 50-80%. I have screen top zoo meds, and I have covered the tops (mostly, but not fully) with glass to retain humidity.

    I like heating pads/ceramic heat emitters over light bulbs because they can be used for 24 hrs a day (and last longer).

    I'm glad to hear that she is gaining weight and calming down! As for the dilemma, maybe transition to feeding her while she is in her cage in a particular spot? I like to use the small pangea ledges because they recognize to come to them for food, and it's always in the same spot. That's awesome that you keep a log

    I also offer dubia in a bowl daily to growing juveniles and 3x a week to adults.

    Just to give you an idea...I bought a 6g animal at the end of March...and she is now 39g. Heat and insects work wonders.

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  • bardlock24
    replied
    Update!

    Originally posted by gecko.friend View Post
    This is an older thread, but what temperatures are you keeping the gecko at? Day and night temperatures.
    Hi there! I hadn't updated this post after I ended up taking her to the vet and making some decisions.

    To answer your question: I have her at the temp of my room, which is between 60-high 70's. I had switched her to a tiny cage (which she seems to enjoy) and bought a heat lamp, only to find it won't fit on the top of her tiny cage safely.

    As an update, after the vet, I decided to give in and start hand feeding her 3x a week, recording her weight weekly, and misting at least daily. I even had a care sheet for her for the first two months (I'm a former vet tech, ha). I've been doing this for ~3 months now, and her last recorded weight was 16.7 grams! She's gotten a lot bigger from when I started, and since I've gotten her out to handle 3-6 times a week, she's become my best little buddy. She's really turned into a sweet and wonderful little girl, much different from her flying-biting-fleeing self at the beginning of summer.

    So yeah. Her weight and size are up, and now begins the "how the heck do I get you to eat on your own" dilemma, haha.

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  • gecko.friend
    replied
    This is an older thread, but what temperatures are you keeping the gecko at? Day and night temperatures.

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  • Lucia
    replied
    Parasite tests can be false negative, but the way your gecko looks I would expect a large enough parasite load that it should be relatively easy to see - at least if you are looking at common parasites like pinworms. Entamoeba invadens (which leads to rapid weight loss) should also be seen in a direct fecal smear. I think coccidia are a little harder to detect, and they can be a serious problem for the gecko. My crestie had coccidia, and the infection was missed in the first fecal exam.

    Apart from a false negative test of a common parasite infection, there is also the possibility of a bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract, which could only be detected in a blood test. With my crestie, my vet decided to put him on antibiotics without a blood test, because she was afraid he would lose too much blood, but she still suspected a bacterial infection after the coccidia were treated. I am normally not a fan of blind treatment for an unknown disease, but it was the right decision with my crestie, and I think it may be an option for your gargoyle as well. I would not subject her to a blood test, as she is already underweight.

    My crestie was on Albon, but I would not necessarily recommend it in your case. It completely killed his appetite, and you have to be super careful to keep the gecko well hydrated, or else it can damage the kidneys.

    But maybe the vet can recommend another broadband-antibiotic with not too many side effects. Flagyl (metronidazole) is used to treat entamoeba. I do not know what else can be treated with it, but I read some people use it for bacterial infections.

    There is also the dreaded possibility of cryptosporidium, which is generally considered incurable, and it is hard to detect unless you do an acid stain test or test for the parasite's DNA.
    I just hope your gecko does not have it.

    There are a few more things you can try at home that are unlikely to make your gecko worse, and they may help with some yet undiagnosed issues:

    - Mix a drop of coconut oil in the gecko's food. It should give your gecko some extra energy and the medium chain triglycerides in it are known to kill coccidia by destroying the parasite's membranes (it does not kill the oocytes, though). It can therefore help with coccidia infections and is used to prevent outbreaks in livestock for that reason.

    - Active Manuka honey. The really antibacterial one is quite expensive, but it is a good thing to have in your first aid kit. It can help the gecko fight an infection and give it a little extra energy.

    - high-energy food like Carnivore Care. It is great for sick animals that need to put on weight, and I highly recommend you order a package (it costs only a few dollars). You can mix it into the gecko diet.

    - a tasty new food to stimulate the gecko's appetite. I recommend Gecko Pro sweet fig. It is not a complete diet like Pangea, but all my geckos love it and it can tempt a picky gecko to eat anything at all.
    Last edited by Lucia; 06-22-2017, 12:36 AM.

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