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Reptiles/fat tail leopard gecko hasn't eaten in 2 wks. having trouble keeping humidity up


Hi, my husband and I purchased a fat tail leopard gecko in August for our sons birthday. It is a juvenile but not sure on the sex. My son named him Alfalfa. We kept our lizard in our basement (it is a finished basement not like a dungeon or anything). The heat and humidity levels were perfect. Then we got hit by hurricane Sandy and lost power. I brought gecko upstairs to keep warmer and kept set up going through a generator. The last time it ate was on 11/21. It shed on 11/22. It was a rough shed. I had to assist with it. Gecko at it's shed that day. Since then it's only been drinking and eating a little bit of baby food with vitamin powder in it and 1 or 2 worms with in the last 2 wks. The cage set up is a 20 gallon tank with scree top. It as carpet bottom, 2 caves (1 on warm side with uth and 1 on cooler side), there are 2 fake plants, water bowl (bottle water fresh everyday), dish with meal worms and vitamin powder in it, a day time basking clear light, a night time black light, an in tank thermometer and humidity dial. Gecko has had 3 bowel movements in las 2 wks. First and last were normal 2nd one was a little runny but I am thinking maybe that was because it had baby food for th 1st time. I don't have a humid hide. I spray tank several times a day to bring humidity up but it does not stay. Should I put damp paper towels in cave on warm side to help this? Humidity is at about 30% without misting. Temps range from 80 to 9d during day and about 70 at night. Gecko used to eat between 10 and 20 meal worms a day. I don't know what happened. It is still active, looks healthy, and doesn't mind being handled. It is maintaining a good weight and tail is a good size. It just won't eat. I am wondering if it is stress/scared up stairs with all the nose and movement (son and 4 dogs). I want to put him back down stairs where it is quieter and damper (to bring humidity up). My only concern is that we have no heat down there right now. Just a portale heater (which I can keep close to tank) and a fireplace (would that e harmful to gecko?). Like I mentioned earlier it has a uth and I can always up the bulb wattage if I have to. Is it ok to keep it in a cooler place as long as temps in tank are accurate? Could it be going through hybernation or want to mate/breed? I heard these things can cause them to stip eating? Would that be unhealthy? Please help me! I want to make sure gecko is well and stays well! We love Alfalfa! I want/need him to eat again (only ever really liked meal worms). Tried crickets ut not a big fan of them. Also want/need to get his environment right (heat,humidity,humid hide). I would GREATLY appreciate any feedback,answers and advice you can give me. Thank you in advanc! Sincerely,Kelly T.

Hello Kelly,

Alfalfa is a great name.  The fat tail leos are so pretty.  
The baby food will tend to cause runnier stools.  Sometimes it takes a few weeks or so for them to adjust to a new home, but he should be past that.  
The temperatures that you are keeping him in sound fine to me.  You can add a sponge or some moss, as well as paper towels, moistened daily to help keep the humidity up daily.  Do you have the cave on the warm side of the tank?  If you put the cave on top of that with a moistened sponge or paper towels, it helps the humidity release into the air more effectively.
They can also go through a slight winter slow down also, but not a heavy brumation (hibernation) type of phase though.  He is a little young for mating, but could be hitting puberty that will affect his moods & hormones.
You can try getting some bee pollen to add to the baby food to help boost his immune system.  The vitamin powder you are using, does it have calcium in it also?  What brand is it?

A fireplace would be fine, as long as the room has adequate ventilation.  They do need day light & night time regulation.  They love interaction also & do watch their surroundings closely.  They don't mind some back ground noise & activity in the room though where he is.
Do you have any pictures of him?  
Does he mind you picking him up?



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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