Not eating and WAY too thin!!

Kcleigh87

New Member
I have a female Fat Tail gecko that I bought from a reptile convention about 5 months ago. She was a little thin when I got her (Her tail was a decent size though so I wasn't too worried) but was slamming down 5-10 medium dusted crickets a night within a week of owning her. When I first got her she weighed about 30g, 8 weeks ago she weighed 42g, she looked great, very active and happy. Then she somehow escaped from her terrarium and was loose in the house for 4 days, thankfully I found her! I looked her over, checked her mouth and eyes to see if they looked normal and put her back in her terrarium, everything looked normal and she acted normal, a little spooky but I would be the same way if I was loose in a house with 4 dogs! Other than being spazzy she was eating alright, but not the same as before, she went from 5-10 a night to 5 every other night. Now she eats maybe a cricket or two a week. She's shedding normal with no problems there, but she is extremely thin (down to 22g) I'm very worried. I've recently switched her into a 10gal tank with repticarpet, a moist hide and a dry hide. The temp is about 88F on the hot side with an under-tank heater and a day basking lamp. I've tried feeding her crickets with tweezers but she wont have anything to do with it and I don't want to stress her too much. Since I've had her in the 10gal (about 1 week) she has only eaten 1 cricket and pooped once, a very small amount, not smelly, and kind of runny. I went out today and bought some baby food Chicken and Vegetables, and beef with beef broth. I couldn't find any plain chicken or beef, are these okay to feed her? I also read that I could give her plain pedialyte, do I mix it with her water, with the food, just put it in as her water? I can't find any sites that say what to do with the pedialyte, everything just says "try pedialyte for nutrients", which isn't very helpful. Any advice for her is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

cryptid_hunter

New Member
I'm sorry to hear your AFT is sick....My husband and I went through the same thing a while ago with one of our baby AFT'S. We would suggest trying Nutriback..it's a probiotic medicine especially for reptiles that restores their natural stomach acids/bacteria to help with their digestion and it's also a appetite enhancer to increase her appetite.. What you do with the nutriback is first read all the directions as far as mixing it in her water, you mix VERY little in her water bowl ( we also suggest using bottle water). You can order the Nutribac off the internet or if you have a reptile vet that you use regularly, you might can get it from them. The next thing I would suggest doing to help de-stress is move her into a room where there is not a lot of traffic or noise.Once you get her in a quiet place, dust 6 to 8 crickets and put them in her bed and leave them over night with some sliced carrots for the crickets to eat on. Check the next morning to see if she has eaten any on her own. If this does not work, then I would take her to the vet and let them check her out to make sure she didn't get into anything such as pesticides or anything else that would be harmful to her.

As far as getting her fattened back up, we suggest trying Waxworms and/or Butterworms because these are 2 food items that are extremely high in fat content. You can get these at any reptile show or off Mulberry Farms or Premium Crickets website fairly reasonably. We have used both of these worms and they work wonders on getting geckos fat again.

Good Luck!!
 

Kcleigh87

New Member
Thanks, I'll look into the Nutriback. The closest vet to me is about an hour away, and money is kind of tight right now so I'd like to try everything I can before taking her, but if she seems to be suffering or in pain then I will take her right away. I didn't include in my post that she acts fine, she's a little less active than she used to be, but I'm assuming that's to be expected with not eating. I also put a small bowl of calcium powder in there, she hasn't touched it yet but I figured it couldn't hurt if its some sort of calcium/vitamin deficiency. Her tank is up on a bookshelf (I have 2 other AFTs and they're in "sweater boxes" on the shelves too, I'm trying to get into breeding but this put a little bump in my road =/ ) but since I moved her into the 10gal I had to put it on the very top so there's no interference with her. Her basking light is on from 7:30am-8pm and then the room is dark the rest of the night, and the only noise comes from my fish tank when the water gets low =)

I found a site that said to mix the pedialyte in the baby food and feed through a syringe, so I mixed 1ml pedialyte with 3ml of the beef baby food and she ate about 1.5ml of it. I just want to get some sort of nutrients in her. She didn't mind the taste and even bit the syringe, so maybe that will get her digestive juices flowing =). I'm going to try this again in a few hours and then before bed I'll dust a couple crickets and see if she eats any over night. Here's to hoping she does!

Thanks again, and I'll check out the Nutriback right now =)
 

fl_orchidslave

New Member
If you use pedialyte alone for hydration, it should be mixed 50/50 with water. Putting it in food is fine without additional water because there is water in the food. Be sure you're using plain pedialyte, not a flavored one.

She could have been exposed to something while loose, like pesticides or even other chemicals, that can have an adverse effect on her overall health. Even a bug that she ate while thinking she had her freedom to do as she pleased, could have upset her balance.
 

Kcleigh87

New Member
That's what I was afraid of, her getting a hold of a spider or something, I live in Florida so there's an abundance of bugs outside, that could have creeped inside. But with the dogs inside we haven't used pesticides in years, like 10+ so I really don't think it was that, but who really knows, my main concern was that she got a hold of a bug that she's not supposed to eat. Thanks for the pedialyte mix, I'll do that now, I didn't want to over do it so I was waiting for someone to say =)
 

snared99

Luxurious Leopards
I have one large question, is this a captive bred or wild caught animal. Wild caught animals come installed with alot of nasty parasites, meaning a fecal would be a great place to start. The above suggestions are great but they only treat syptoms not the problem. I would take her to a vet with a poop sample and see what they reccomend. Could be something easy.
 

Kcleigh87

New Member
She's captive bred, and like I said before, money is kind of tight so I'd prefer holding off on taking her until I absolutely have to. The only symptom is shes not eating, and with her not eating there's no stool to sample. =/
 

cryptid_hunter

New Member
Snared99 is right, that's why my wife and I suggested taking her in to the vet, the problem could be any number of things, including pesticide/poison exposure or parasites. When she was all fat and healthy (before the escape) she could have had the parasites but was not showing any signs or symptoms because she was otherwise healthy and strong. But after escaping and not having any food, water, or the proper temps to keep her healthy and strong, then the (possible) parasites could be wearing her down now that she's in a weaked state.

But I know you said money is tight and a vet trip is tough right now,I would call the vets office and talk to the vet and explain to him/her what happened and just see what they say, but for now all you can do really is just keep doing what you're doing. If you have scales you should weigh her daily and keep a close eye on her progress. If she doesn't start gaining soon then you may have to break down and break open the piggy bank.

Good luck though, and keep us posted on her progress.
 

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