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MusicalHobo   KrazyKelli  

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 New leopard gecko - possibly impacted? - help

Hello everybody,

I’m new to the leopard gecko community, but I’ve been in the hobby of collecting reptiles for some time now. I started off with anoles long ago when I was a kid and currently own one as well as two snakes. My brother has owned a leo since about December, and from interacting with his I’ve fallen in love with them. In addition to my brother’s leo, I have recently adopted two new members to our family of reptiles.

The first was a very sweet adult female which I named Swisher. The name was very fitting since I used a Swisher Sweets box as a temporary hide for her, and after a long day of work I love relaxing with a grape Swisher. I got her off of craigslist where the owner had posted because she had gotten loose before he had moved to California (I live in Montana), and after he had moved the gecko turned up and there was nobody to care for her. I have no idea how long she had been missing, but when I got her she was clearly dehydrated and looked like she could use a good meal. Now she is very healthy and has a great appetite and I just adore interacting with her because she is so sweet and docile.

My second leo that I got is more of my problem child. Once more, I found a gecko in need of a home on craigslist. We drove over a few towns to pick her up and boy was I in for a challenge. The previous owner was one of those ladies that clearly had too many animals and not enough time to car for them and this leo was the most expendable animal in the house. There were a few red flags to me. First, the tank had sand in the bottom which I feared would make for a case of impaction to deal with. Second, the owner told me she refuses to eat crickets and will only eat mealworms. Thirdly, I was told the main reason they were getting rid of her was because she had bitten their son. Once we took the leo out of the house and put her tank in the van, I wanted to handle her for a moment out of new pet eagerness. She proceeded to vocalize quite a bit, then jump off of my hand and onto the ground. Needless to say, I got myself a brat.

Despite all of these flags, I decided to bring her home with me. I instantly put her inside of a holding container so she wouldn’t have to be in sand any longer. She is about the size of my brother’s leo lengthwise, but she is a lot more plump than his to the point where I was suspicious seeing as her diet consisted of only mealworms. I feared she may have ingested some sand, and today my fears were confirmed. When I went to check on her I saw she had pooped. The feces was very gritty, hard, and filled with sand, and the urate was very yellow and small compared to the amount of feces. Is there anything I can do to ease the compaction? The sand in the tank was sand from nearby sand dunes rather than calcisand if that helps at all.

Thank you.


Swisher (right) and my brother’s leo "Buddy" (left)

My new leo

My new leo from above, the camera doesn’t do justice to her pretty bright oranges on her tail.

08/11/12  01:39am


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  Message To: MusicalHobo   In reference to Message Id: 2276444

 New leopard gecko - possibly impacted? - help

The fact that the new leo pooped means it’s no longer really all that impacted - as being impacted implies the leo can’t poop. The yellow urate means that the leo is very dehydrated and needs water. To ease any other sand out of hte system, put one to three drops of vegi oil on the leo’s lip to lick up, and give a warm soak (put the leo in a container of luke warm, millimeters high water [only leo-ankle deep so the leo wont drown] for 10 minutes, once a day until the crap looks normal again.) Also have a moist hide in the tank.

You’re over-exaggerating mealworms. Regular mealworms have the same nutritional and chitin value as crickets (50% to 55%). The two differences are that mealworms have a chitin shell around them while crickets store chitin in their legs, and crickets can bite your leo if left unattended for too long. Ron Tremper, one of the best breeders of leos out there, found that leos live longer if they’re exclusively fed mealies. Both crix and mealies can breed easily, both should be gut-loaded with good things before being fed off, and both need to have calcium with d3 dusted on them once a week to keep the leo’s bones strong.

I’ve been feeding mealworms as the staple for my geckos since 2005 and they’re all real healthy and fit, to put this in more perspective.

So there’s no issue if the leo likes eating mealworms over crickets. Now if these were wax, butter, or super worms, you’d have a problem, as those can be fatty if fed too often (waxworms especially can cause fatty liver disease.)

Btw, two much more nutritious bugs you can feed the leos are small roaches and silkworms. Roaches can be bred easily, while silkworms are a little harder to feed and breed (as they only eat one type of leaf that you also have to order).

Another piece of advice I want to throw out there is that you should make a habit of quarantining new geckos in a room away from all others for 90 days + a vet visit. There’s a deadly disease out there called crypto that can take 2 months to show signs, and is severely contagious to all reptiles.

08/16/12  03:37pm

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