You are here:

Reptiles/Female Leopard Gecko wont eat


I got 2 female Leopard Gecko about 2 months ago. One was a baby  and the other a young juvenile. I housed them together but fed them in separate tanks because of their size difference. The older girl (Mac) never ate and when she tried to hunt she always missed the cricket. I pulled off the hind legs of the crickets but that didn't seem to help her. She wouldnt take it even when I tried to hand feed her. She also avoids wax worms or canned crickets. I separated them completely because the baby seemed to be bullying her. Its been over a month since they were separated and she still hasn't eaten anything. Her tail is thin and getting thinner. She spends most of her time between her moist hide which is around 90-95 degrees and the cool hide which is 70-75 degrees. She has been kept on paper towels and tile since she hatched so she cant be impacted. She hasn't grown much, if at all, since I got her. I have tried giving her 'Nature Zone Appetite Plus' to stimulate her appetite but that didn't work either. I don't know what else to do. I have included a picture of her. I tried to get a good shot of her tail vs body ratio.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Yes, she is very thin.  The first question would be, where did you get them?  Animals from pet stores have frequently been exposed to disease and parasites on their path from breeder to wholesaler to store.  Many stores have no clue how to properly care for reptiles, and pay no attention to quarantine or properly disinfecting enclosures between shipments.  

If you got them from a breeder, it seems clear that the breeder sold you a sick animal.  You should ask them for some sort of compensation, such as covering the vet bills.

At this stage, she needs to see a veterinarian, and should be tested for internal parasites, which are an extremely common cause of loss of appetite and decline in captive reptiles.  Parasites can build up to lethal levels in a captive environment, due to reinfection.  Assume that the other gecko is also now infected.

Other possible causes could be bacterial infection, malnutrition before you got her (hypocalcemia), or other medical issue.  An experienced reptile vet will be able to test and properly diagnose her.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Donna Fernstrom


My particular focus is on snakes and lizards, but I have a decent smattering of knowledge of turtles and crocodilians as well, plus the experience to get relevant information quickly if I don't have it on hand in my brain. I can answer questions on captive care, diet, breeding, incubation of eggs, starting hatchlings, and more. I am particularly experienced with ball pythons, Lygodactylus geckos and other small lizards with similar care requirements, leopard geckos, and garter snakes.


I am a professional breeder of ball python morphs, Lygodactylus (dwarf) geckos, and mourning geckos. I have begun working with Irian Jaya carpet pythons, and plan to expand to include more gecko species in the future. I also have a background breeding leopard geckos, and have kept several other species of small lizards, snakes, and a water turtle.

Nebraska Herpetological Society (

I have many care sheets published on my own website.

High School Graduate. Extensively self-taught due to high interest in wildlife and reptile care.

Awards and Honors
Fauna Classifieds board of inquiry Good Guy Certification

©2017 All rights reserved.