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Reptiles/Sunburn leopard Gecko

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Michelle wrote at 2013-12-14 21:38:38
For feeding, NEVER EVER put the bugs in a bag, coat with supplements of any sort and feed to leopard geckos. It is a wives tale that this is what you are supposed to do. You need to have the insects EAT the powder along with other gut loading.

Also, superworms and waxworms are 70% fat, contain a large level of phosphorous, and are NOT a balanced diet. Crickets and cockroaches are the only suitable food that will keep geckos healthy as possible. A gecko actually (DO NOT BELIEVE THE 'EXPERTS' ON THE INTERNET) cannot digest/benefit from any powder that is undigested by a bug- it can actually make a gecko very sick because it cannot process the nutrients (also all the benefits are virtually nonexistent). geckos are what they eat, so feed their food a healthy diet with supplements. Any non-gutloaded insect is like eating junk food. Never use a fatty food to fatten a gecko who is losing weight either, as that will lead to fatty liver disease. Any food given to insects must be organic + you should look up information about the company to see how the  food is processed and how sanitary they are. Locally grown organic food is usually the least problematic. Change water frequently to encourage your leopard gecko to stay hydrated. Failure to do this is a common mistake, and it can amplify any possible health problems.

ALWAYS pay extreme attention to your geckos health- even slight problems are worrisome as leopard geckos rarely show ailments until the problem has become very serious. Check eyes, skin, toes, color, and always pay close attention to how they are acting. Changes in how they act often point to issues. Here are some: shiny skin, sheds on the back that are not coming off (DO NOT PULL! This could be a burn and pulling it off makes the problem worse), loss of appetite, laziness, rubbing any part of the body against stuff outside of shedding periods, unusual lumps in the belly (belly rubs once a week recommended), avoiding all light/heat, running to other side of tank when switching day and night bulbs, unusual stools (sandy, substrate, absence of stool, runny, mucus, yellow or unusually yellow tinted pee solids...) biting other geckos, nibbling at its skin, violent movements, failure to open eyes, unresponsive to touch, or nearby movements, sudden coloring changes, any specks on body, standing or sitting in water dish, overeating, throwing up, trying to climb up glass (frequently trying, sometimes is okay). Always ask a vet who specializes in reptiles for advice on how to react to any unusual behavior or sickness- I have made the mistake of trusting online 'experts' in the past and it resulted with the passing of my first leopard gecko. Pet stores also are relatively untrustworthy, depending on the store. Many recommend the wrong thing (there is a lot of evidence that points toward company bribery) such as any sand or walnut shavings as substrate. I use repti-carpet because I can remove bugs and stool easily and it can be washed and reused. I have also seen sick geckos being sold at the pet store, and it is heartbreaking.



It may be expensive to get a vet, but don't wait until it has gotten so bad you cannot save your gecko...



sources: I lost my gecko Pooka to a sunburn yesterday; the reptile experts also made me aware of a multitude of false information that is on the internet that I had previously believed. I am not letting anyone else make my mistakes, so please find a reptile-specialized vet who is qualified with your type of gecko.  


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Diane

Expertise

I am well versed in all aspects of the care and keeping of green iguanas, leopard geckos and bearded dragons. This includes all husbandry issues pertaining to the above species. I am not a vet so I cannot answer medical questions. I research other reptiles and am able to give general information on other species of lizards. I prefer not to answer snake questions as that I have not researched them enough.

Experience

I own 3 green iguanas, two of which are rescues. I own two leopard geckos, both rescues. I've had my reptiles for 11 years. I spend many hours researching the care of my reptiles to keep up to date on all information pertaining to keeping reptiles that I have. I own a yahoo group dedicated to raising healthy iguanas.

Organizations
Scales and Tails Exotic Pet Rescue (one of the founding members)

Publications
One of the Co Authors of the Book "The Iguana Dens Care and Keeping of Giant Green Iguanas"

Education/Credentials
I was a Vet Tech for 6 years. Research, experience and learning from the experience of others that have raised reptiles for many years.

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