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 #1304349


KrazyKelli
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 Fat Goldies

It’s a long post, but it’s worth the read. Please sit down and enjoy it.

I’ve seen this frequently in the year: people with obese golden geckos. And it’s not just in the goldie world, sadly; there have been people stuffing the crap out of their leopard geckos and lizards outside the gecko world as well. I’m only posting one thread, and that’s here. Why? Because you guys will probably understand me better and not argue the point. I don’t want to see rebuking such as, "A fat goldie is a healthy goldie!"

Many living things in this world can get fat. We all know that human obesity is serious enough to cause health concerns and that humans will overfeed their dogs and cats until these pets, as well, are fat with serious health risks. I believe this is all part of human psychology brought to us by the Depression many years ago when we lacked serious food resources. However now that food is plentiful, our opinion on our weight has shifted from "If you’re fed, you’re wealthy and healthy." to "thin is sickly, fat is ok, and obese is a disease". This same view to our own pets has been just as well shifted. Once upon a time feeding the dog was enough. Now with new rules, the dogs and cats need to be fed every day, sheltered, etc.

The same has happened with reptiles, which is what brings me to them and this thread. Back in the day, reptiles were fed once a week except by breeders. It was just how things went. Now we’ve developed new guidelines for lizards apart from snakes and other reptiles. Some say we need to feed them every other day, others insist every day, and then there are those who state "feed them as many as they’ll eat for 30 minutes". Instead of one species of insect or ’insects caught on the porch’, people now insist that we need to give our lizards a variety from the stores and to expand their diets. So that’s not just feeding the gecko as much as it’ll eat in a sitting, once a day, but also spoiling it with fat bugs as well as healthy ones.

This all leads to the lizards getting fat. Because in the lizard world, there is no longer a ’moderate weight is ok’. It’s either, "Your gecko is thin and therefore sick - which means you’re a terrible owner" or "your gecko is glopping out the sides with a huge tail and fat-sacks in the arm pits - which means you’re a good owner." I have no idea what happened to the middle ground in the last few years, but now the trend is to feed the geckos as much as they want and make them as fat as they want. If you are in the middle ground, I can almost promise you that someone will come by and go, "Your gecko is a little thin, fatten it up!" This is especially the case in the leopard gecko world.

But people forget that a fat lizard is still an unhealthy one just like a fat human has a bigger risk of catching some nasty internal clogging and disease issues. Fatty Liver Disease can still happen, even if you don’t feed 20 waxworms in a day. The gecko can also experience walking issues, climbing issues, and bone problems from the two. Fat can clog up the inside of the lizard as well as the outside. And this, while some think is the healthiest thing in the world for a lizard, will shorten the life of the lizard drastically.

"So where is the line? How do I keep my goldie from getting fat? What do I do if my goldie is already fat?" Probably questions one of you will ask.

I find the line between a fat golden gecko and a moderate one lies in not only visual appearances, but what you feed it. Remember that lizards are coldblooded and have a much slower metabolism than mammals. If your goldie looks in good weight, don’t give it fatty bugs like waxworms or butterworms, even as a treat. The only reason to give your goldie fatty bugs is if your golden gecko is emaciated or underweight, and that’s only until the gecko is in proper weight again. Don’t feed your goldie as much as it’ll eat in a given time, feed it how much you think it should eat. For example, if the goldie can scarf down 4 superworms, 12 large crickets, or 30 mealworms in a sitting, cut it in half. Cut it in a third if the goldie is usually sleeping alot or doesn’t move much from one area for most of the 24 hour period - or is overweight. Feed it every other day or, if your goldie is overweight, every three days. You can give variety, but make sure you’re giving variety in the proper order. Don’t give it 6 large crickets one day, then attempt to stuff 4 to 6 superworms in it the next. If you shift it between 6 large crickts and 10 mealworms during the week, don’t feed it both together in a single day. Sometimes it’s good if you don’t feed it for two days and switch from every two days to every three days sporatically so the goldie has time to clean out its system as well as not fall into a schedual. Do research on more than one caresheet to get a jist of the nutritional value in insects. For example, superworms have more nutrition and less chitin than mealies and crickets, but due to the fact that there’s so much in them your goldie can get overweight on them if you give too many, too frequently.

As for visual appearences, keep an eye on your goldie and compair it to goldies on the net. It should be slim with minimal bones showing (sometimes the ribcage will show just barely, but that’s alright.) The tail should be thick, but if the neck gets to be out to the shoulders or as thick as the head, it’s overweight. If you see fat sacks in the armpits at ALL for a goldie, it’s overweight. If there’s fat around the ribcage to the point that you can see the underbelly stick out from both sides when it lays flat, it’s overweight (or dehydrated.)

I will show some pictures to give an example.

Here

Link
This is an underweight goldie. You can see the ribcage prominantly, the tail is slender, and you can see clear definition of the bones in the back legs.

Link
This goldie is lean to moderate. Overall it’s a healthy goldie weight. You can see the ribcage a little if you look closely and nitpickily, however it’s not protruding or emaciated. The tail is ok, the body is fine, and if your goldie looks like this, you’re doing a good job. Disregarding the toes on the one foot, that is. =P

Link
A famous golden gecko picture. This golden gecko is in prime weight, healthy, and beautiful. You can see how the tail has a nice thickness to it, the body is straight with no ribs showing, but it’s in a good definition; the legs are nice and not indented; and the neck is also not too big, but also not too narrow.

Link
And an over-weight golden gecko. You can clearly see in this picture that the goldie is bulking out at the sides, it’s tail is thicker than the pelvis, the neck is as thick as the head to the point that it’s hard to tell where the head begins, and overall there is no definition at all in the body. It basically looks like the gecko was blown up like a balloon. You want to prevent this from happening.


06/03/07  04:29PM

 #1306509


Ashmash
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 1304349


 Fat Goldies

Very good post. Very informative.

But where do you stand on leos? I know this is the golden forum, but this has me thinking about Grape. Sheís pretty fat, but I donít know if sheís too fat. And my new guy, Fiyero, is skinny but starting to look pretty good. How fat do you think is too fat for a leo, and how skinny is too skinny?


06/05/07  01:59AM

 #1306552


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: Ashmash   In reference to Message Id: 1306509


 Fat Goldies

Leos are a bit different from goldies as they are supposed to have plump tails a look robust in shape.

To me, too fat is when the leo developes armpit sacks and has issues walking around. Too thin should be usually defined in the tail size. Once again, definition is a key. If you think youíre feeding your leo too much, cut back. Honestly, it wont kill your leo. Try to restrict access to fatty worms unless you feel that your leo is underweight. These rules concern adults only. Young leos, hatchlings especially, should be fed alot more than usual. They also shouldnít be choking on waxworms, donít get me wrong, but the leos under 8 months need to eat a little more than average due to the fact that they are far more active than adults. A 3 month old leo will burn off more by exploring the tank and being skiddish than an adult who lays about all day.

All the same, a younger leo will also show a difference in definition from an adult. Hatchlings will have a slimmer body and tail. If the bones are protruding, and thatís the key, itís underweight. Juviís will normally have a bigger stomach than tail (or the tail and stomach will be the same size). Around a year to a year and a half, the gecko will start to - at complete random - fill out in the tail area. It will happen suddenly. So if you have a year old leo without a fat tail, donít worry.

Here are pictures of weight sizes for adults.

Link
This is an underweight leo. You can see that the tail is not buldged and is approaching pencil-thin. There is also no bulk in the midsection. Sometimes you will see a slimmer midsection in juviís, but it doesnít excuse how the tail looks.

Link
The Tremper albino is a prime adult weight. The Bell looks to be leaner, but could also just be younger. A leopard gecko who hasnít hit the growth spurt in the tail, but just approaching adulthood can look like the Bell and still be considered ok. If the Bell Albino was two years or older, then itís lean.

As for obese (and I canít find good pictures off google, so Iíll take a pic off one of the other members), look for a lack of definition. The tail would be as thick at the base as the stomach. There would be no definition between the neck and head. There would be fat sacks in the armpits.
Link


06/05/07  04:17AM

 #1307532


Lover
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  Message To: Ashmash   In reference to Message Id: 1306509


 Fat Goldies

even though heís dead now was my geckoís weight ok i wanna make sure this wasnt the cause for his death because theirs was a time when all he ate was wax worms


06/05/07  10:02PM

 #1307672


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: Lover   In reference to Message Id: 1307532


 Fat Goldies

I donít know why your gecko died, Lover. He was, however, obese. You can see this in the fact that his tail is thicker then his pelvis and he is starting to loose definition. Heís not as fat as my example, but heís up there. The waxworms could have been the cause because they could have given him fatty liver disease or messed up his liver to the point that there were toxins free in his body. But honestly, there are many things that could end up depriving a lizard of life.

06/05/07  11:50PM

 #1308352


Butterfly9
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 1307672


 Fat Goldies

Well KrazyKelli I think its good what your trying to let everyone know. I never really thought about it till you said anything but it is weird how people seem to not realize that having an over weight gecko is an unhealthy gecko. And I completely understand why you didnít put this on the Leo forum. I just hope some read it and maybe realize that having there Leo over weight is no good along with any other reptile people have.

I went home after reading this and looked at my golden and skunk and are happy to say they are in the healthy weight rang. My Skunk seems a little bigger then most I see but I think it could be because she is 3 years old with a clean bill of health and most the ones I see at pet stores seem younger and donít look that good. But I only feed my golden and skunk 3 or 4 times a week. But not every other day, I kind of jump around so they arenít on schedule.

~Jamie


06/06/07  03:18PM

 #1308654


Ashmash
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 1307672


 Fat Goldies

Thanks, Kelli. What about the different metabolism speeds? Surely not every gecko has the same metabolism rate. Sorry if youíve mentioned this already, my memoryís not perfect. How does that affect the health of a gecko? Is it just, "if your gecko if obese, cut back on the food. If itís skinny as a sick, feed more"?

06/06/07  06:56PM

 #1308917


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: Ashmash   In reference to Message Id: 1308654


 Fat Goldies

What you put in them should equal how active they are. If the leo or goldie is going to sleep all the time, feed less. If it is constantly active (when awake), feed more. If the gecko is obese already, feed less, less frequently, and stop feeding fatty insects. Ie, monitor what you give it. If the gecko is emaciated, sick, or just underweight, feed the normal amount (that you determine is a good amount for a gecko that size), but also add waxworms or butterworms on top of it (two a week, three if the gecko is in a danger zone concerning emaciation.)

Now this is all for adult geckos. Geckos under a year or in growth years should be fed a bit more as they are growing. It would also be smart to add more vitamins to the diet. They donít need fattyworms, but it wont kill them to eat the extra cricket or mealworm. What Iím getting at is that, unless youíre feeding waxworms or pinkies in dangerous amounts, itís very hard to make a hatchling or young juvi fat. They are alot more active than adults and will have a quicker metabolism.

So thereís no misunderstanding, I equate metabolism to activity.

If I didnít mention this yet, I try to determine an average feeding for a gecko by math. When you get the gecko and are sure itís eating full time, feed it as much as it will eat of one specific insect every other day (every day for hatchlings) for 8 feedings. Keep record of each day and how much it ate total. At the end of the 8th feeding, count everything up and divide it by 8. That should be the average you would feed the gecko. Say I gave Sade the goldie large crickets. He ate this many per day: 4, 3, 2, 4, 1, 4, 2, 5. All this added up is 25. 25/8 is roughly 3. Therefore the gecko should eat three large crickets per feeding. If I feel like he should eat more, Iíll make that 4 a feeding.

This math method does not work for supers, so I equate 10 mealies to 1 super. If the end result is somehting like 15 mealies, which would equate to 1.5 supers, Iíll fluxuate between one and two supers (depending on the size). Usually, though, I like to round down.


06/06/07  10:37PM

 #1309741


Lover
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 1307672


 Fat Goldies

well thanks for telling me he was healthy the vet told me a month before he died

06/07/07  05:06PM

 #1321871


Brimstone
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  Message To: Lover   In reference to Message Id: 1309741


 Fat Goldies

Hi,
I just popped in here to do a little reading on goldies as Iíve been considering getting one. I have several leos, beardies, snakes, and raise my own food for them.
Iím glad to see someone else w/ the same concerns i have about the weights of reptile pets. I feed my babies and juvies all theyíll eat, but my adults get fresh water daily, and sometimes i feed every day, sometimes every other day, even every 3 days. i keep it random so they always eat when the opportunity comes along, lol.

i think something like this needs to be on all the lizard boards. we have to remember that our pets havenít been domesticated over thousands of generations like dogs/cats, etc, and that their body needs are still even more closely related to what they would be in the wild. if we give them healthy prey, in amounts sufficient to keep them in healthy weight, not skinny, not fat, then weíre being the responsible owners we all strive to be.
thanks for a very informative post!
brimís mom


06/17/07  03:12PM

 #1369720


Gollum
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  Message To: Lover   In reference to Message Id: 1307532


 Fat Goldies

krazykelli thanks for your tips on a post about my golden gecko being abit fat she as now lost alot off the fat and i have stoped feeding her wax worms so thanks for the tips

07/22/07  04:32PM

 #1503679


AJ44MC
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  Message To: Gollum   In reference to Message Id: 1369720


 Fat Goldies

I have two Golden Geckos. The first I have had for over a year and the second about 6 months. The second one Midas was purchased in pity he was in a pet store in bad condition and I didnít help it immediately by trying to put both of them together, After the screening and deworming and all of that fun stuff. They are separate now and adjusted pretty well but have two completely different eating habits. Midas the newer one is a little smaller but not much will eat 2-3 meal worms every other day. Puppy the one I have had for longer will eat about 2-3 meal worms a week. I give them both about 6 crix a week and usually find some left over after a few days either hiding under something or dead. Puppy consistently eats less but seems happy. Would you consider it normal to have two similar sized golden Geckoís with such different appetites?

11/06/07  02:03PM

 #1510048


Stitchex
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  Message To: AJ44MC   In reference to Message Id: 1503679


 Thanks!

Thank you so much, KrazyKelli, I have two Leos, and I had no idea that my male was starting to go onto the obese side! He has a bit of the fatty sacs under the armpits, so heís now going on a diet! My other, a female, is actually the picture of fitness! Thank you so much, you really helped me out,



~Stitchex~


11/11/07  05:59PM

 #1510562


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: Stitchex   In reference to Message Id: 1510048


 Thanks!

Blast, my example of the fat golden gecko link is no longer working. If only I could edit posts.

Stitchex, you should also be keeping your leo active. If heís obese, then take him out once a day for 10 to 20 minutes and let him roam you or the floor. Like people and other creatures (especially at zoos) who sit all day and do nothing, it encourages the lazy limbs and fat build. If the leo is allowed to roam out of the tank, itíll help encourage metabolism to be higher. But I donít recommend going over 20 minutes as itís still a lizard. I also strongly do not recommend doing this with all lizards, especially the ídisplayí lizards.


11/11/07  11:07PM

 #1510782


Stitchex
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 1510562


 Thanks!

I know, I have been keeping him active, I just feed him too much. Iím going to put him on a diet, and heíll slim down. Thank you so much,



~Stitchex~


11/12/07  07:13AM

 #1533721


Camo_pants
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  Message To: Stitchex   In reference to Message Id: 1510782


 Thanks!

I thought this was a great post then i saw you used my leopard gecko as the obese one LOL
itís kinda crazy because my fattest geckos eat the least (once or twice a week and not very much)
I think you should post this in other forums too, who really cares what feedback youíll get.


12/02/07  06:15PM

 #1533904


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: Camo_pants   In reference to Message Id: 1533721


 Thanks!

I do. Iíve been raked down and chased off with torches on other parts of the forum for the smallest of things, specially if they point specifically at how other members take care of their geckos or the post means that people need to change the smallest part of their current care regimen. Then everyone gets too enveloped in íI had geckos for N years, so I canít be wrongí that it fills into a flame and no longer into a lesson.

But hey, youíre welcome to pass the message and make threads around the forum over it. But, uh, if you copy/paste my leo post, be sure to correct my morph talk in it.

;) btw, thanks for not taking the use of your picture to heart. I grabbed the first fatty gecko I saw on the leo forum. It wasnít that hard to find one =P People like fat geckos over there for some reason.

I found that activity has as much to do with the state of a gecko than over-feeding and what food you feed. Some geckos have to be taken out and challenged to roam a little more than others.


12/02/07  08:48PM

 #1533998


Camo_pants
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 1533904


 Thanks!

No worries. She doesnít look like that anymore. Sheís really tiny too like only 5 1/2". When I got her she was in such rough shape shaking like she had Parkinsons disease that I got her all fattened up and stuffed her full of calcium to try to make up for the way she was treated before i got her.

I donít say a whole lot in the leo forum anymore, there are enough uhmm.. "experts" there now. If something really bothers me I will speak up but I prefer to keep a low profile.


12/02/07  09:50PM

 #1536300


Ashmash
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  Message To: Camo_pants   In reference to Message Id: 1533998


 Thanks!

I know exactly what youíre saying Camo pants! I hardly reply to anything anymore. Everyone gets butt hurt too easily...

12/05/07  12:34AM

 #1545795


Ash104
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  Message To: Ashmash   In reference to Message Id: 1536300


 Thanks!

my female leo is 3 cm wide, and 7 1/2 inches long. her tail is 2 cm wide. i think she is in pretty good shape, i take her out and let her climb. (she LOVES climbing ) i feed her 4 small crickets 3 times a week.

12/13/07  09:23PM

 #1729295


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: Ash104   In reference to Message Id: 1545795


 Thanks!

bumping the thread.

05/08/08  01:22PM

 #1730307


Uchiha_obito10
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 1729295


 Thanks!

Wow, thats true... I remember, you camo_pants. You used to ask alot and reply tons and definentley know how you feel! Lol, your leos are awsome too. And its true... There are suddenly tons of "Experts" now, and they neglect the purpose of this site to provide information and think they are all high and mighty.
I wish I was an expert!@! :)
There are sometimes just not that many honest to goodness people on here anymore.
A few off top of my head is krazy kelli, You, Misskygecko, and a bunch others (sorry if i forgot you guys!! :P) Thats the reason I dont post much anymore either.



~Austin~


05/09/08  01:15PM

 #1988591


Reflex
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 1304349


 Fat Goldies

Kelli - seriously - rewrite this in the leo forum.

04/19/09  12:38AM

 #1988592


Reflex
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 1729295


 Thanks!

By the way, I’ll beat some people off if you’re worried about it

04/19/09  12:39AM

 #2003848


Removed By System
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 1304349


 Geckos-Golden

Removed By System

05/13/09  04:54PM

 #2042477


Kaitymay
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  Message To: Removed   In reference to Message Id: 2003848


 Geckos-Golden

um ok is he too fat??



07/20/09  10:19PM

 #2042931


Kaitymay
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  Message To: Kaitymay   In reference to Message Id: 2042477


 Geckos-Golden

im terrified that im feeding him too much now =(



07/21/09  06:32PM

 #2042935


Kaitymay
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  Message To: Kaitymay   In reference to Message Id: 2042931


 Geckos-Golden

oh my gosh he looks like he has no eyes! =O he does dont worry =[ i looked at this pic a seccond time n it made me get up and go check my gecko lol. it scared me

07/21/09  06:34PM


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