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Feeding problem! Please help!

Khenut

Adult Gecko
Okay so Ramses, my pretty Leo boy, is starting to worry me. I need some advice.
I got him at the end of April at an Expo, from a reputable breeder, and it took some time for him to warm up to me. After several weeks, or nearly an entire MONTH, he finally took to eating 2 mealies. (Since then he's eaten 3 more throughout May and June)
Now, this was after I held out a dish of them to him practically every day. Or used tweezers to carefully snatch one and hold it in front of him. At that point I had also tried placing him in an isolated little critter cage and tossing some in. I was at my whit's end, but luckily I got him to at least show more interest.
The part where I'm getting paranoid, is that he doesn't feed on his own. I have a dish in there with many worms, but he shows no interest unless I place them in front of his face. Even so, most of the time he ignores them completely even if I do take the extra time to show him.
I've begun to see a slight loss of weight in his tail, and I'm beginning to get very nervous. He seems not to ignore the food, so much as he just doesn't notice it. He is very skittish, and quite aggressive to be honest. I've done my best to be quiet and gentle with him, and he has plenty of hides to use. I also only handle him at night to make sure he's not irritated. And yet he's quite a mean little thing. lol
Any help would be appreciated. I would really like to get him eating. It's been almost two months since I've gotten him, so if he isn't adjusted by now- how long is this going to take?

Just a side note, he appears perfectly healthy. No discoloration on his body or eyes. He sheds perfectly, in fact he's in shed right now. He is not bloated or backed up. He's just the most stubborn little thing I've ever seen. Quite the contrary to my Crestie Nigel, who would eat a horse if she could...

*** Also, as for his terrarium's heating. It's about 90-95 on the heat pad area, with substrate separating it of course, and it branches off to around 75 in the cooler spots. At night there is a 60 watt heat light above his tank. The height is 24inches though, so it doesn't provide that much more heat... ***
 

Darkmaster743

Moderator
Staff member
3 Year Member
Wow.... That is one stuborn gecko. Im also having a feeding problem of my own. My Baby gecko that i had gotten from Petsmart is VERY skittish about feeding. I some times have to seperate her from her cage to feed her but even then she tries to escape the feeding cage i made for her with out looking at the food. For the past 2 Days she hasnt eatten any thing which worries me because her tail is still not fully regrown or not full of fat.. Any way have you tried different food? Like crickets or Butter worms,Wax worms or super worms? I mainly only feed mealworms because they have a decent amount of protien but Waxworms should help with the fat. If you want to see results do 1 Waxworm and then 2 Mealworms and that should boost up his weight if he will willingly eat it..Remember if he does eat Waxworms becarful, it took 2 weeks to get Athena off waxworms because i noticed her tail was getting small. So if you dont do a 1:2 Ratio of Waxworms to Mealworms they may just get off the whole eating Mealworms thing because Waxworms are like cheesecake to a gecko....By the way does he have any cage mates?
 

Khenut

Adult Gecko
I'm going to try some crickets tonight. He's been exposed to mealworms his whole life, according to the breeders, but I thought a new food might help- yes. I have tried wax worms, but given that they don't move much he didn't seem to care. lol
I had three separate cases with baby Leos from Petco, and none of them ended well. So I totally get the baby not eating thing too. I'm fairly certain the babies I had got Crypto from the others at the petstore. I truly hope your little guy doesn't have it. X_X
As for cage mates- no. He's by himself, and is going to stay that way. Especially since he's so aggressive. I thought at first it might be because he had been raised in a tub for the first year of his life. You know- those breeding rack tubs? And now he has an actual place to climb and whatnot... But it's been about two months, and he's stubborn as ever. It's really depressing.
 

Darkmaster743

Moderator
Staff member
3 Year Member
I'm going to try some crickets tonight. He's been exposed to mealworms his whole life, according to the breeders, but I thought a new food might help- yes. I have tried wax worms, but given that they don't move much he didn't seem to care. lol
I had three separate cases with baby Leos from Petco, and none of them ended well. So I totally get the baby not eating thing too. I'm fairly certain the babies I had got Crypto from the others at the petstore. I truly hope your little guy doesn't have it. X_X
As for cage mates- no. He's by himself, and is going to stay that way. Especially since he's so aggressive. I thought at first it might be because he had been raised in a tub for the first year of his life. You know- those breeding rack tubs? And now he has an actual place to climb and whatnot... But it's been about two months, and he's stubborn as ever. It's really depressing.
Yeah I hope she dosent end that way ive had her for 2 Monthes and this is so sudden...
 

Caleb C

Adult Gecko
Is he just not interested or does he seem weak? Geckos are strong animals, and if it has a good amount of fat stored in its tail, it can survive for a good amount of time without food if it's not too active.
 

Khenut

Adult Gecko
He isn't weak at all, no. He's the opposite in demeanor to the baby I had that was ill. He is very stocky, so he isn't skinny per say... I'm just worried because he practically never eats. Unless by the rare chance I get him to hand feed. But then after that he loses interest or gets sleepy.
 

Khenut

Adult Gecko
Yeah I hope she dosent end that way ive had her for 2 Monthes and this is so sudden...
Yeah, I had Shesmu for about a month before she started to get ill. She ate like a horse at first- and had a fatty tail. Then all of a sudden she just stopped. And from then on out, she deteriorated until she died. It really messed me up for a while. xD And made me a little worried about getting Ramses. So all this is just great for my nerves. Lol
 

Darkmaster743

Moderator
Staff member
3 Year Member
That is exactly whats happening to me! Ive had her/him for more then 1 month and she eats like crazy. When i first got her she was so ravenous now she dosent even dare look at it. In her LARGE sterlite cage that i had to quickly put together when i first got her has a moss bed covering half of it which is about 2 feet long in width and 2 - 3 feet wide and then her water bowl sits on the other half next to a pile of poop in the corner. I was thinking of 3 possible things.
1. Parasites ( I would be so disappointed to find out if she did )
2. Ingested Moss ( Doubt shes been sleeping on it for a while )
3. Ate Poop ( Now i wouldnt know why but...You never know. )
 

Darkmaster743

Moderator
Staff member
3 Year Member
I just googled crypto on the Leopard gecko wiki........Its now a possiblity that she has it. Right now im going to help her by disinfecting her cage with listerine,Clorox and some other cleaning products even though crypto resists it. Im assuming she has it because the symtoms are very alike. Right now i got some 30 drops of flukers repta aid in to her even though she spat some in my face and wouldnt lick much off her lips but i made sure she got a decent amount in to her system. From there on ill wash her cage with hot water and then throw out all the moss and any thing in her cage. And i guess il be changing the substrate to paper towel.
 

Khenut

Adult Gecko
Good to start early. I started when my baby was getting pretty thin. I spent about 100 bucks at the vet, getting her Pedialite to eat and giving her appetite stimulant. There are lots of products out there, but sadly nothing helped in the end. I hope yours doesn't have Crypto. It's really a shitty disease. :(
 

Darkmaster743

Moderator
Staff member
3 Year Member
Well.....Suprise Suprise! Shes recovering! After putting her in a small box with heat for the night i woke up to find her just as ravenous for food as the same day i got her! I cleaned the whole cage and threw out the moss and replaced it with paper towel! Do you suggest any names for her/him? I havent found a name yet, I was almost thinking of naming her your user name on here Khenut :)
 

Darkmaster743

Moderator
Staff member
3 Year Member
Khenut have you tried putting him in smaller space? Maybe he would eat if he felt like he was at home in which he was raised in. So for example putting him in a small sterlite box and feeding him may help, Thats what i did for my gecko.
 

Khenut

Adult Gecko
Not sure for names.... Could I see a picture of her? :)
Also, yeah I'm not sure he would enjoy a smaller space... I tried to do that for feeding, and he panicked. I did take a lot of things out of his tank yesterday though. Simplified it, so it might give him less distractions. Also easier to clean. Lol
 

Darkmaster743

Moderator
Staff member
3 Year Member
I'll make sure to get you a picture, I have a suggestion. Leave him in the Plastic Cage all night with out food. In the morning see if he would have calmed down instead of wanting to escape. If that dosent work im clueless.
 

Josh

Administrator
Staff member
3 Year Member
Sounds like there must be one thing that he just really doesn't like. That or he's sick. I didn't catch everything, but has he been screened for worms and such by a vet?
 

Khenut

Adult Gecko
No he hasn't been screened for worms. His symptoms to me do not seem like worms. He is digesting and eating what I give him, but he seems more or less just unsocialized.
He's always been given mealworms, according to the breeders. And he is very pudgy and healthy, especially right as I bought him. He stresses easily though, so that's why I handle him quietly and calmly during the night. But even in doing so, his nerves haven't hardly calmed at all. I think that's really his issue mostly. Because he does eat and poop. Just not as often as he should.
 

Khenut

Adult Gecko
I got the little bugger to eat a large mealworm and a medium cricket today. I had to use the tweezers and just basically push the food in front of his face until he ate it. Lol He never approaches the bowl on his own and wont go after it usually. He likes being handfed I guess. But only when HE wants it =n=
 

Darkmaster743

Moderator
Staff member
3 Year Member
I got the little bugger to eat a large mealworm and a medium cricket today. I had to use the tweezers and just basically push the food in front of his face until he ate it. Lol He never approaches the bowl on his own and wont go after it usually. He likes being handfed I guess. But only when HE wants it =n=
Atleast your getting food in to him, My baby gecko is already back on the annoying streak to not eat again. I don't know whats the problem...Maybe she has too much space and feels like the territory is too large to cover? I was able to feed her 2 Waxworms yesterday and she ate them because she hadn't eaten in 3 days. I noticed they gave her more energy and fat too hold on to but still she has not raised her eating habits. Im still puzzled on the Space Issue because when i put her in the other really small Sterlite box most breeders use with heat she loved it, So when i tried to feed her she ate. ( I don't use the box's for my geckos i just have them to transport the geckos from house to house when I switch back from Mom to Dad ). Besides that Im sorry that your gecko isn't eating very well with out help.. You have one stubborn gecko.
 

Amanda1

Adult Gecko
3 Year Member
Do you think he can see? If he doesn't hunt, it makes me wonder if he's blind or has very poor vision. Could also explain why he's so jumpy when handled.
 

Khenut

Adult Gecko
Well he has the red eye gene, so it's possible... I'm fairly sure he can see though, because he squints under high light conditions. He has eaten food when it's dropped in front of him before, but he's just very skittish in general and I can't figure out why.
 
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