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Yet another "crestie isn't eating" post and poop!

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  • Yet another "crestie isn't eating" post and poop!

    Hi guys and gals!

    I recently acquired a girl (who I previously thought was a male, but it turns out I was just bulge-happy and my lovestruck eyes weren't seeing clearly - yay!) who doesn't seem to be adjusting well. I have had her for 2 weeks and she doesn't appear to be eating or pooping. I do see a bit of urate in her tank, but only a couple spots; there could be more, she has paper towel "substrate" and while I looked at it, I didn't see any. She pooped for me once, but it was an odd, hard poop that kind of looked like it had a lot of exoskeleton in there.

    The fussy girl Pongo:


    Pongo's weird poop (yes, in a princess baggy):


    I got her from Petco (I know, I know, but I couldn't pass her up) where they fed her pellets and meal worms (could explain the hard stool?) and I am feeding her Repashy CGD original flavor. I know they can take a while to adjust to new foods, but that's not really the part I am worried about. I have hand fed her four times (twice a week), she's only pooped once, she doesn't touch her CGD by herself, she's uninterested in crickets, and when I weighed her today she lost a gram

    Pongo after hand feeding:


    She was 32 g when I brought her home, and now she's a measly 31 g. I have her in a 20 gal tall tipped on its end with paper towel substrate, some climbing pipe insulation, lots of fake foliage, a water dish, a soap dish with her CGD in a little cap (and today I also tried leaving a cap on the floor of her tank), and a water bowl. Her humidity is perfect and fluctuates in range and the temps have been between 68 and 71F. She looks great, no MBD signs, and she's a good jumper. She couldn't climb walls when I brought her home and I think she was dehydrated, so I gave her a bath about a week after she'd been here; she could then climb but she didn't poop in the sauna like I expected her to.

    Pongo's tank:


    Pongo being weighed (you can see her proportions better):


    My questions:
    - Why isn't she pooping? Can she be impacted from her previous diet even though she passed a little bit? I have a UCD vet lined up just in case and I saved the stool I have of hers in a baggie to take in and have analyzed, though I was waiting for a more normal looking sample.
    - Is there anything I can do to get her interested in feeding by herself besides the obvious of allowing her to adjust to her new home? I was considering getting her some mango flavor or day gecko food if that'll help, but I don't want to bother if I just have Worried Mommy Syndrome and this is just her adjusting to her new home
    - How many grams can she lose and/or how long should I wait until I take her in to a vet?

    Thank you ^_^
    iHerp~Facebook~Tumblr

  • #2
    I think the change from a tiny Petco enclosure to a nice big terrarium has her a bit spooked. Have you investigated all those leaves for poop? There's a lot of hidden places there...

    You might want to make sure she's properly hydrated. Hard poops might indicate that. Coming from a petshop and if she's refusing food from stress, it might be a good idea to put her in a "sauna" - a delicup (with lid) of shallow, lukewarm water for about 15-20 minutes might hydrate her and result in a poop for your enjoyment.

    Bumping the temps up slightly might encourage eating.

    You say her humidity is perfect, but sometimes screens let out a lot of humidity, and the gauges can be very inaccurate. I'd be sure to keep an eye on how quickly the tank dries after misting regardless of what a gauge might say.

    I would say if she loses a total of 5 grams and continues to drop, a vet check and fecal exam is in order. I've had some go as long as 6 weeks to get settled in and established on CGD.

    Good luck!
    Specializing in Crested Geckos
    Working with Uromastyx | Uroplatus | PI Chahoua
    Also keeping: Australian Shepherds (Chester & Sadie)
    Moon Valley Reptiles | MVR @iherp | Facebook

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Spyral View Post
      I think the change from a tiny Petco enclosure to a nice big terrarium has her a bit spooked. Have you investigated all those leaves for poop? There's a lot of hidden places there...
      Yeah, I actually did and boy was it hard! There were a couple teeny tiny spots of urate, but nothing else unfortunately

      Originally posted by Spyral View Post
      You might want to make sure she's properly hydrated. Hard poops might indicate that. Coming from a petshop and if she's refusing food from stress, it might be a good idea to put her in a "sauna" - a delicup (with lid) of shallow, lukewarm water for about 15-20 minutes might hydrate her and result in a poop for your enjoyment.
      I gave her one sauna about a week after I brought her home. It fixed her little toe sticky pads making her able to climb better, but she didn't care to poop for me. I will give her another, though, just to be on the safe side (and maybe since I've hand fed her she'll actually be enticed to poop in there!) I mostly don't want to keep stressing her out, but if you think it's for the better, I'll do that

      Originally posted by Spyral View Post
      Bumping the temps up slightly might encourage eating.
      I was thinking about this. Since I have her in a 20 gal flipped on its side, how would I go about putting a mild bulb on her? Configure a contraption and the top corner of the screen, maybe?

      Originally posted by Spyral View Post
      You say her humidity is perfect, but sometimes screens let out a lot of humidity, and the gauges can be very inaccurate. I'd be sure to keep an eye on how quickly the tank dries after misting regardless of what a gauge might say.
      Yeah, I get that, but the paper towel barely dries out at the bottom and I have a pretty heavy pressure pump mister. There are even a few droplets that stay on the glass between each misting (generally happens once a day since the pump does such a thorough job of it). I pump at night and it seems to stay around 70-80 until midday, and slowly drops to 40-45 by night.

      Originally posted by Spyral View Post
      I would say if she loses a total of 5 grams and continues to drop, a vet check and fecal exam is in order. I've had some go as long as 6 weeks to get settled in and established on CGD. Good luck!
      Perfect! If she does poop for me again I will take that in for sure. I really hope she doesn't end up losing so much and thank you for your reply!
      iHerp~Facebook~Tumblr

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      • #4
        Ach, well, an update:

        Pongo still hasn't pooped She's peed a lot, which is nice, because at least she's staying hydrated. Neither of the vet offices I had contacted had appointments until Monday, so we're hanging tight and trying to be patient. I originally made an appointment and the UCD vet med school, but I think I'm going to cancel that because they were rather rude, the shitty receptionist wouldn't answer any of my questions for me, and after I talked to a vet in Sacramento I felt like UCD didn't know their shit. The place in Sac immediately asked me what substrate she was on, what was she eating, how long have I had her, where did I get her before this, was she exhibiting any other "off" signs, etc. AND THEN kindly offered me recommendations of what to do in the mean time. I have given Pongo a few baths, but they recommended giving her two baths a day. When I asked why, since I felt this was going to stress Pongo out a lot, the receptionist responded (without a patronizing voice!) that upping her humidity and hydration that severely twice a day could help soften the stool inside her so it'll pass more easily and that agitating her a bit was probably going to be less of a big deal than a constipated gecko with who-knows-how-long's worth of meal worm exoskeleton bound up there*. I felt like this place knew their shit and had a much better, erm, phone-side manner (and they were $10 cheaper )

        Anyone have experience using mineral oil on their vents?

        *As an aside, screw you Petco!
        iHerp~Facebook~Tumblr

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        • #5
          Oops, sent twice!
          Last edited by imyourscar; 02-10-2012, 11:37 PM. Reason: deleted double post
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          • #6
            Good luck at the vet on Monday. I don't have experience with mineral oil on the vent, I do know that a lot of vets do not recommend feeding mineral oil unless they directed it. Some home remedies can really make things worse when the vet treats the animal.
            Specializing in Crested Geckos
            Working with Uromastyx | Uroplatus | PI Chahoua
            Also keeping: Australian Shepherds (Chester & Sadie)
            Moon Valley Reptiles | MVR @iherp | Facebook

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            • #7
              Well, we had a very interesting vet visit! At first I was a little scared because when the vet tech was going over the general preliminary questions, he said I should have a basking area ~85 for her. I said something along the lines of, "Fuck no!" except a little more polite. Later, while I was waiting for the vet to come in, he popped back to say sorry, he was wrong, and to disregard what he told me. Yay! Oh, and our scales are a bit different; while mine said she was ~31 g, the vet scale said 34 g. Eeeenteresting (though I haven't weighed since this post, so maybe she grew?)

              So fast forward through lots of waiting time: vet suggested she has low calcium. She didn't see much in her cal sacs and told me that since the gut is a muscle it needs calcium to function properly, so when geckos have problems in the calcium area their appetite can severely decrease and their gut production can slow down, making her not have proper bowel movements. Honestly, after the diet Petco had her on, I am not surprised she has calcium problems in the least. Doc said since she's around breeding weight that she may be trying to make some duds, which will hurt her even more. Thankfully the vet felt around her tummy and didn't feel any eggies. Phew! Since Pongo hasn't been pooping I couldn't get a fecal sample analyzed, but she did give Pongo a little shot of something against a C-word that I am completely blanking on . . . coccidia? Doc assured me having this as a preventative measure wouldn't hurt Pongo, so I said sure. She also got a little pump of liquid calcium at the vet office and I've been instructed to give her a little dose twice a day for a month. I will also be adding D3-less calcium twice a week to her food and D3 calcium supplement once a week with her food (I feed about 3 times a week).

              So, Pongo is going to hate me a ton and probably bite me a lot, but I have confidence that this will make my little girl happy and healthy, and hopefully MBD free!

              EDIT: Oh, and she suggested mixing in a little sweet food, like the Pangea fruit mix or baby food, to get her to eat her food a little more as she's a bit thin in the hips (though she really emphasized the fruit mix over the baby food, which made me up my opinion of her even more!)
              Last edited by imyourscar; 02-14-2012, 08:40 PM. Reason: Added forgotten info
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