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 #2248287


Faust
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 Golden Gecko’s Tail is Thinning, Hasn’t Eaten, Worried About Health

A few months ago, I bought my golden gecko with basically no knowledge about them. However, I did my research, and he’s always done well--he’s taken a particular liking to mealworms, but runs from crickets [which I find a little odd].

Still, for the past month, he hasn’t really eaten anything. I’ve read that it’s not so much to worry about, as long as the tail remains fat and healthy, that sometimes they don’t eat because of stress or of over-eating.

He’s lost any interest in the mealworms, and doesn’t really eat bananas. I know apple isn’t very good for geckos, but currently apple puree is the only thing he’ll take, and only in small amounts.

His tail has gotten alarmingly thin, and I worry about what I should and can do.

His habitat hasn’t changed--just his attitude. What can I do?

Thank you!



12/23/11  10:14pm

 #2248308


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: Faust   In reference to Message Id: 2248287


 Golden Gecko’s Tail is Thinning, Hasn’t Eaten, Worried About Health

You should see a vet.

Brumation isn’t really something that golden geckos go through (as they live in a rainforest-type environment), so if he stops eating for a prolonged time it’s a worry. If his tail gets thin, it’s time to get help.

Now that’s not to say that if your house gets a cold spike, he may not react to it. Reptiles cannot digest food if their tank gets too cold (colder in the hot spot than the species is comfortable with). So check the temps with a digital thermometer or temp gun in the hot area to make doubly sure that’s not odd. Same with humidity, it gets dry in the winter.

There are parasites out there that feeder bugs can transfer to lizards, crix in particular. Lizards, wildcaught and farm-bred ones, can also come with parasites that may not seem like such a big deal in the short term, but can explode out of control if the gecko gets sick or stressed out for a long period of time. The vet will check for these and give you dewormers. He may also show you how to force feed. I recommend using superworms for this (fed tail-first) if you have no other choice.


Other than that, tell me a run-down of your setup. Or show a picture.



12/24/11  12:40am

 #2254813


Faust
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 2248308


 Golden Gecko’s Tail is Thinning, Hasn’t Eaten, Worried About Health

Thank you so much for replying! I’m sorry I didn’t answer much earlier, I didn’t realize someone had replied.

I had a lizard expert [or rather the lizard lady from the pet store] come in and take a look at him. She said that his tail was plenty healthy, and that he can live up to two months without food until the bumps on the tail are below his spine.

It’s been a little more than a month, and I haven’t seen him eat much, but I have seen him eat. Lately he’s eaten banana, but I’m a little concerned of his lack of protein. It’s not to say I don’t feed him the meal-worms! They just kind of sit there, and then slither away.

His set-up is as such:
Ground: covered in natural pesticide-free/lizard lady approved potting soil.

Plants: there are three plants on one side of the cage. I know one is a bromeliad, but I can’t remember the other two. I have, however, checked if they are ok, so there isn’t a danger there. It’s not too crowded on the one side, but it is enough for him to comfortably hide towards the back.

Accessories: he has a basking rock on the other side, a climbing branch in the middle, and a small tube/tunnel [it used to be for an aquarium with fishes but has been cleaned since] with a hole for him to crawl in and out of. There is also a shallow water and food bowl on the warm side.

Light: I have a heat lamp on one side, along with a day lamp. I try to keep the temperature at around 80 degrees in the day time and 70 at night. Sometimes, it’s gotten to the 60s, but then it’s on rare occasions, and when I am not in control of the thermostat in the main room.

To keep the moisture/temperature high and to give him the option of a hot/light side and a cool/dark side, I cover part of the terrarium with a thin cloth.

Currently, he doesn’t look too sickly [at least I think he doesn’t]. I can post pictures when I get my hands on a camera, and maybe that can be of help?

Again, thank you so much for answering. I hope it doesn’t end up with him having to go to the vet, but if that’s what it takes to keep him healthy, then it’s definitely a step to take.



02/11/12  01:47pm

 #2254815


Faust
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 2248308


 Golden Gecko’s Tail is Thinning, Hasn’t Eaten, Worried About Health

Thank you so much for replying! I’m sorry I didn’t answer much earlier, I didn’t realize someone had replied.

I had a lizard expert [or rather the lizard lady from the pet store] come in and take a look at him. She said that his tail was plenty healthy, and that he can live up to two months without food until the bumps on the tail are below his spine.

It’s been a little more than a month, and I haven’t seen him eat much, but I have seen him eat. Lately he’s eaten banana, but I’m a little concerned of his lack of protein. It’s not to say I don’t feed him the meal-worms! They just kind of sit there, and then slither away.

His set-up is as such:
Ground: covered in natural pesticide-free/lizard lady approved potting soil.

Plants: there are three plants on one side of the cage. I know one is a bromeliad, but I can’t remember the other two. I have, however, checked if they are ok, so there isn’t a danger there. It’s not too crowded on the one side, but it is enough for him to comfortably hide towards the back.

Accessories: he has a basking rock on the other side, a climbing branch in the middle, and a small tube/tunnel [it used to be for an aquarium with fishes but has been cleaned since] with a hole for him to crawl in and out of. There is also a shallow water and food bowl on the warm side.

Light: I have a heat lamp on one side, along with a day lamp. I try to keep the temperature at around 80 degrees in the day time and 70 at night. Sometimes, it’s gotten to the 60s, but then it’s on rare occasions, and when I am not in control of the thermostat in the main room.

To keep the moisture/temperature high and to give him the option of a hot/light side and a cool/dark side, I cover part of the terrarium with a thin cloth.

Currently, he doesn’t look too sickly [at least I think he doesn’t]. I can post pictures when I get my hands on a camera, and maybe that can be of help?

Again, thank you so much for answering. I hope it doesn’t end up with him having to go to the vet, but if that’s what it takes to keep him healthy, then it’s definitely a step to take.



02/11/12  01:57pm

 #2255300


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: Faust   In reference to Message Id: 2254815


 Golden Gecko’s Tail is Thinning, Hasn’t Eaten, Worried About Health

Wanted to let you know that I see your post and I’ll respond to it with something solid and insightful once I’m not tied up with work. I apologize for not getting to you sooner, but you’ll see something awesome from me in a day or two.



02/14/12  09:36pm

 #2255473


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 2255300


 Golden Gecko’s Tail is Thinning, Hasn’t Eaten, Worried About Health

Okay, I’m free.

So far it sounds plausibly good. I’d really need to see a pic or two of the tank and goldie to get a real idea of how it looks. But so long as he has many hiding places, especially up high in the tank (being arboreal and all), he’ll be good in that.

The temps should be in the upper 80’s during the day on at least half of the tank. So bump the temps to something about 85, but below 89 in the basking area. If temps are too cold for a prolonged period, the goldie will have trouble digesting things. You should also be measuring the temps with either a temp gun or a digital thermometer, as those fish tank sticker ones can be real off and the analogue (dial) ones are impractical (not to mention hard to set, as they gradually misread temps over time unless the spring is wound to the right temp once to twice a year, and on purchase).


If he’s eating the fruit, try putting a little of the fruit in with the mealies, or cover the mealies in banana junk. He should also be getting the calcium supplements with d3 once a week to keep his bones and body strong, but we can deal with that once he’s eating again. To keep the mealies from escaping, put quite a few of them (10 to 15 or more) in a plastic party cup and keep them on the dark side of the tank, furthest away from you. Then leave the room. The goldie, after a while, will investigate all the noise and movement. If you hear a rush and a clattering sound, you know the goldie found them. Otherwise check the cup in a day or two. You can get party cups at just about anywhere. It’s a plastic party cup for crying out loud. Some come in solids, and some come see-through. Sade, my goldie, had temporary issues trying to get to the mealies in the see-through one, as he was going at it from the side instead of above. But goldies are smart, they’ll figure it out. Also, make sure the cup wont be easy to tip over. Partially bury it if you need to.





You said in your first post that his tail got ’alarmingly’ thin, so I’m going to stick with finding a vet in the area. You only need a fecal sample to get parasite tests done. If you don’t want to take him in, at least call the vet up and get some of his poop over to them to get looked at. Most goldies will crap all over you as a defense mechanism if you catch them, so getting the crap shouldn’t be too hard.



02/15/12  10:16pm

 #2256796


Faust
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 2255473


 Golden Gecko’s Tail is Thinning, Hasn’t Eaten, Worried About Health

Hi, thanks so much for answering!

This is how his home looks like:



I put a pillow cover on one side of the cage, because I found that it helped contain heat and moisture, and I was concerned that he might not have had a shady enough spot to go hide in without it.

This is how it looks without it:



The cooler side, up close, with the humidity reader, plants,water, and tube:



The warmer side with the thermometer, rock, stick, and dish:



I have a digital thermometer to read me the warmth on the light side, but I’m not sure as how to raise the temperature higher than 84. The only way I’ve managed is if I turn on the heat in the apartment.

I wanted to take pictures of how I’ve kept him before I got your message. Why is it better to keep the worms on the cooler side? I will definitely find a party cup and try your suggestion. I kept a shallow dish because thought he might have not been able to reach the worms otherwise, but it’s good to know that he should be able to. I haven’t fed him a big amount of worms lately, since I was told that too much food might overwhelm him and he might refuse to eat again. So, I’ve only been putting around five. Today is one of his non-eating days, again. I put in a tray of mealworms in the evening but he still hasn’t touched them.

For food, I spray a vitamin supplement before every meal. It’s got calcium, vitamin d3, vitamin b12, riboflavin, and quite a few others, but I imagine that it might not all be enough. I haven’t been able to figure out how to feed him other necessities like calcium supplements and d3 alone in separate doses because of his not eating. At one point, I put calcium in his water, but he doesn’t drink it.

I think I overreacted on the "alarmingly thin" claim. I noticed his tail was a lot less fatter than usual, and in combination with him not eating, I worried. I still worry. I go to school currently and don’t have transportation, besides my feet and the metro. And there are no veterinarians in my reach until I go home and use a car, there. I’m so sorry with barraging you with endless amounts of information and questions. I get to head home this upcoming week, and I’m planning to take him to a vet, just to make sure that he indeed is ok, and I’m just being paranoid, or if there is something actually going on, and there were reasons for me to be worried.

Unfortunately, I still don’t really know how to hold him. He’s skittish, and I always have a fear that I might grab him too hard if he tries to slip off, thus injuring him. I know most of them really hate being held, but might you know a trick as to how to hold one as safely as possible when it comes to need for holding them?

Because I cannot hold him, I took pictures of him from above and below the tank:



I tried to focus on the round knobs on the side of his tail. I feel like those are a lot smaller than normal



Tried to focus on his colouring

Again, thank you so much for answering to my questions. I don’t mean to make this as an alternative to the vet, but it does truly help to ask questions online to someone who is knowledgeable about lizards rather than the salesmen at the pet shops. Thank you.



02/25/12  04:03am


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