Your Reptile and Amphibian Resource and Information Site

Back to Geckos-Golden Forum   Forums   Home   Members Area  

Geckos-Golden Forum

Geckojudo   KrazyKelli   Geckojudo   KrazyKelli   Geckojudo   Geckojudo   KrazyKelli   Geckojudo   KrazyKelli   Ashmash  
 Member  Message

 #2193308


Geckojudo
View Profile





 One Fat, One Healthy...

I have had my golden geckos for a while, now, and I have never understood why one is obese and the other is just right (the epitome of healthy). And the fat one is the one that eats less! Any ideas?



12/19/10  07:11pm

 #2193928


KrazyKelli
View Profile



  Message To: Geckojudo   In reference to Message Id: 2193308


 One Fat, One Healthy...

Well.... What do you feed them?



12/23/10  12:25am

 #2194044


Geckojudo
View Profile



  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 2193928


 One Fat, One Healthy...

I feed them a variety of things. They like GeckoBites, canned ZooMed mini-crickets, yogurt, blueberry-apple baby food, freeze-dried crickets, the occassional VitaBites cube or two...



12/23/10  05:48pm

 #2194048


KrazyKelli
View Profile



  Message To: Geckojudo   In reference to Message Id: 2194044


 One Fat, One Healthy...

You should move them to live insects only. Preferably either mealworms or crickets. And, if you haven’t, separate them into their own 20+ gallon tanks. That way you’ll be able to avoid territorial disputes in the dead of night and monitor their food intake more realistically.


This paragraph is only if they’re together: Sometimes territorial disputes aren’t as simple as ’one lizard trying to kill the other’. They can lead a lizard to bullying the other straight out for food. If one goldie only stays in one area of the tank due to fear of getting harassed by the other, they wont get the sufficient exercise and movement they need. If one or both are dark, that’s another symptom. Golden geckos, related to the Tokay, can be Very territorial even to females. Two males can stress to death if enclosed in too small a tank, or randomly hurt one another one night out of nowhere (especially during mating season in the fall) if they’re in a larger tank. If your goldies aren’t together, well, it’s a good thing you didn’t have to read this paragraph. ;)



Anyway, chasing live bugs will help give them exercise.

The fruit can be addictive and fattening - and should only be given as a snack. I can’t imagine how yogurt would help, outside of calcium. Some yogurt brands are pumped full of sugar and things like modified corn, and most are absolutely amped full of calories. Goldies don’t really need it if you have proper calcium dusts and it’ll be less expensive in the long run. ’Gecko bites’ can be fattening. Canned crix are basically ’dead crickets that bathe in their own piss’ and they harden up very quickly after being removed from the can. Freeze-dried crix, while great for certain species of fish, have absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever for a reptile.



The proper goldie diet should be this:

Live medium / large crickets - 5 crickets every other day for adults. Keep the crickets in a cricket keeper for at least 12 hours before feeding to gutload the bugs with things like potato, carrot, and hydro- / vita-cubes (the cubes are normally given for crickets to eat, so the lizard will get the nutrition from the cricket). When feeding time comes, just take the one of two tubes that comes with a traditional cricket keeper and shake what crickets are in it into the tank until you’re satisfied that enough are in.

Regular mealworms - 5-10 mealies every other day (don’t feed mealies and crix at the same time, vary it if you have both) Mealies can be kept in a container as well (feel free to feed the pupas or beetles off when they happen, no harm no foul) and should also be gutloaded before feeding to the lizard. Mealworms can, unlike crix, be refrigerated in the container they come in and remain alive. If you refrigerate the mealies, then take out a select few to warm up a few hours before feeding and gutload the mealies then. I like to feed the mealies in a plastic party cup or dish that they can’t escape from. That way they wont burrow into the tank bedding. I also feed mealies through the holes in the lid, which my goldie will happily run up to and jump at.

That should be the staple. Crix will promote more exercise and hunting instincts than mealies. And keep in mind that the lizard, being nocturnal and all, will more normally eat at the dead of night when you’re fast asleep. You can get both crix and mealies at your local pet supply store or bait shop.

Two other optional healthy staple bugs are silkworms and small roaches. They’re both pricey, though, and their care differs. People like to buy and breed roaches for various reptiles, as they’re prolific. Both are extremely healthy feeders. You don’t have to get silkies or roaches if you don’t want to.

Buy a vitamin/calcium dust combo bottle. The calcium should have d3. Once a week, put the bugs in a plastic bag with a small bit of the dust, shake, and drop the bugs into the tank. This will help keep the bones strong and the lizard healthy without any unnecessary or extra steps.

Next, you can give the fruit (mashed up regular fruit or babyfood) as a snack once a week in a small dish, removing the next day. The best three are apricot, mango, and banana. Apple can cause stomach upset in a small lizard like a gecko due to the acids. If you continue to do this, give it only to the thinner of the two lizards. All it’ll do for the obese one is keep him fat.

Some other healthy ’snack’ foods you can give to a lizard are superworms (one at a time, takes up an entire feeding day), waxworms (2 a week), and butterworms (3 a week). This is only to vary the diet of healthy lizards or help buff up gravid or emaciated/sick lizards. Since your goldies are getting chunky, it really isn’t recommended for now. But later, there’s always later, when the goldies are back down to a healthy weight, you can throw in these bugs.



Hope this has helped. =D



12/23/10  06:34pm

 #2194130


Geckojudo
View Profile



  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 2194048


 One Fat, One Healthy...

They will not touch live bugs. At all. Period. Never have. And a vet gave me this diet.



12/24/10  06:47am

 #2194131


Geckojudo
View Profile



  Message To: Geckojudo   In reference to Message Id: 2194130


 One Fat, One Healthy...

Part of the reason I am asking is that I need to know if I am dealing with a bad vet. I need to know what some of the reptile-keepers out there think of what is going on because I do not know (and am doubting more and more) that this vet has any idea what they are doing. He is a "specialist", but that does not mean much to me if they spout off garbage for advice and take my money for it. A lot of money, at that. Is there a way to find out if I am dealing with a con for a vet?



12/24/10  06:51am

 #2194207


KrazyKelli
View Profile



  Message To: Geckojudo   In reference to Message Id: 2194131


 One Fat, One Healthy...

Some vets are just like that. Money grubbing . I once saw a vet when I thought my cat was pregnant decades ago. The vet made me pay for tons of crap, then said, "Oh no, she’s just fat." I’m not kidding, two days later she popped out a full litter of kittens.

I saw a semi-bad vet before the good one I currently go to. They took Sade the goldie, held him up to eye level while he struggled, and said, "Looks perfectly healthy. That’ll be 80 bucks." Only after the fecal test did the vet come back with a somber face all, "Your gecko is loaded with parasites and very sick." Then they tried to show me how to ’forcefeed’ by ’pulling the dewlap’, which, of course, Sade doesn’t have. Absolute crock.

The latest vet I have gives me payment plans, tells me what he wants to do and how expensive it is, and understands that I’m not rich. Though the marbled gecko I had to take to him on an emergency did eventually die of an unrelated toe infection a month later, he treated her for the huge abscess she had and it healed remarkably well. For yearly fecal tests, I just have to bring in some fresh lizard poop and he’ll do the rest.



Now there is a disease/parasite out there that can be fatal called Crypto (which doesn’t come from crickets). Crypto is a gut ailment that makes the gecko emaciated, lethargic, and the last two symptoms are puking and crapping blood before the gecko dies. All other parasites can be more or less treated with the right set of dewormers and a tank bleached out and scrubbed once a week for two weeks. Coccidia is another evil (more common) parasite that is hard to get rid of, but can be treated with a few doses and isn’t perminant.


If Spencer was one of the two goldies we’ve been talking about, then I highly doubt it’s parasites that did him in. You’re feeding them a diet that isn’t completely wholesome, and if they’re together they may have fought or died from sheer stress. If this was the obese goldie, he could have died from Fatty Liver Disease (from eating too many fatty things). If it’s not one of the goldies, that’s good.



The new diet plan I gave you isn’t going to work immediately. The fruit and stuff can be terribly addictive and will make a goldie - which are known for being bloody stubborn - go off regular food if they don’t get it. Just go cold turkey with the fruit, yogurt, geckobites, and junkfood. Present them with a dish or cup of live wriggling mealworms (set under the lamp so they wriggle more) at night, and leave them alone for a day or three. The goldies may not be comfortable with the new arrangement at first, and will need time on their own to figure things out. Movement is the key. Geckos love going after moving objects.



12/24/10  12:36pm

 #2194328


Geckojudo
View Profile



  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 2194207


 One Fat, One Healthy...

No, Spence was not one of the Golden Geckos. He was a Madagascan. I am pretty angry at this "specialist" vet at this point, but do not know quite who to go to instead. I am sure that pet stores have to have a vet that they go to when their geckos get sick, maybe? Should I ask one of them? My Goldens are going to get their diets revamped, whether they like it or not, because I have never agreed with the vet on the "gecko junk-food diet". Just needed some input as to whether or not my thinking that this vet was full of dung was accurate or not. It is hard to know sometimes when you are not a vet yourself! Thank you for all your help. I really appreciate it.



12/24/10  11:14pm

 #2194333


KrazyKelli
View Profile



  Message To: Geckojudo   In reference to Message Id: 2194328


 One Fat, One Healthy...

It really depends in the situation and vet at hand. Some vets say they’re ’small animal specialists’, know little to nothing about lizards specifically, but will take on reptiles anyway.

Other times it has to do with how well the vet knows the reptile. Even if you get a degree in ’reptile care’ through a vet college, you wont know the thousands of species in the trade. Mainly because reptiles are exotic and new species are constantly being introduced as pets. A golden gecko is nothing like an anole isn’t anything like a bearded dragon is no where near as dangerous as a full grown reticulated python or 6ft monitor lizard. And all lizards have different care requirements.


I’m questioning your vet’s ability to take care of lizards on the diet he told you to give the goldies and the bullhickery he spouted about crix. It sounds like something a small animal vet would do, as most small mammals are fed on pellets and fruit. He’s half right, though. Grabbing a cricket or random insect from your yard can have a chance of hurting your lizard because wild-caught insects can have pesticides on them, parasites, diseases, etc. Just.. Severely misinformed.

There’s no need to report a vet or anything like that. Just find someone different. Petsmart usually knows of a vet in the area, depending on how well they take care of their lizards. You can also go to google and type in ’ (your state) reptile vet’.




To catch up on any misinformation you may have on your tank set up, feel free to look at golden gecko caresheets on this forum.. uh.. here: http://www.repticzone.com/caresheets/Geckos-golden.html The top few are all good. Our care sheets can differ greatly on things, but you can get a general idea on care from reading them.



12/24/10  11:33pm

 #2196838


Ashmash
View Profile



  Message To: Geckojudo   In reference to Message Id: 2194328


 One Fat, One Healthy...

Geckos aren’t going to happen upon prepackaged food in the wild. God doesn’t make "Gecko-bites" for the little guys out in the wild. They need live bugs, not only for nutrition, but for mind stimulation. They need something to do in that cage all day! I theory is to feed them things that are the closest to what they would find and catch in the wild. Geckos in the wild more than likely aren’t going to eat something dead. These creatures are smarter than we give them credit for, but at the same time, if they are given the choice between something they are addicted to or crickets and real fruit, they’re going to take what they’re addicted to. When they get all that crap out of their system, and realize they’re hungry again, they’ll chase the crickets. If you can avoid it, try not to handle them, and only mess with the cage for food, water, and heating purposes until they adjust to their new diet. And limit handling at all to only when absolutely necessary.

Kelli and I have both been keeping geckos for quite some time now. That vet of yours probably hasn’t ever owned a reptile, and certainly not for long if he’s feeding them crap like that. Best of luck with your little guys.



01/07/11  01:54am


Back to Geckos-Golden Forum   Forums   Home   Members Area