Reptiles/friends gecko


i have never had any problem with my gecko but my friends is another story. i had not seen the gecko for about 2 months and a couple of days ago when i went over his house he told me to go and get the gecko i was horrified. it wasn't walking very well and had a skinny tail not to the point of stick tail but about 2 months away from it. he told me it hasn't eaten in 3 weeks and hasn't had any calcium in the tank for a month. i  put calcium in the tank and told him that the gecko really needs a under tank heater. he wants me to take it but i'm sure if i can work my magic on this one. the gecko is only 9 months old and i really don't wanna start force feeding it. today we are going to a exoti pet store and we might bring him along to see what they say
thankss mihael

Hi Michael,

Has this poor gecko had no heat source at all while your friend has owned it? That would explain a lot about its current poor condition.

Their entire metabolism depends on an external heat source. They cannot absorb and metabolize nutrients (including calcium) at sub-optimal temperatures. So, even if they do eat, they are not getting the full benefit from it. That would be especially damaging for a young animal that has higher demands for protein and minerals to fuel their growth. The immune system that fights off infection and keeps parasite loads down is also inhibited by low temperatures.

The bones in the legs and jaw become soft due to calcium deficiency making it very difficult for the gecko to hunt and catch/kill prey.

Start by giving him a proper temperature gradient. I would also suggest soaking him in a little tepid water to encourage him to drink. Dehydration and malnutrition usually go together.
Force feeding is very stressful and can potentially injure him. It would be safer to try dabbing some turkey or chicken based baby food on his snout. They often respond by licking it off. You can add a pinch of calcium to it.

With luck you can bring him back to some degree of health. Good luck.  


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I can answer questions on the proper husbandry and diet of Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckoes, skinks, chameleons, tortoises, box turtles, treefrogs, non-venomous snakes and tarantulas. Also the breeding of some species of feeder insects. I have no experience with venonmous snakes and only limited experience with aquatic turtles.


I have been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 30 years. In addition to my regular job in the medical field I also worked for several years in a pet store that specialized only in exotics. The job entailed both caring for and answering questions on innumerable species. It required constant, extensive research into a wide range of reptiles. I have been called to appear on televised national media (CBC, CTV and Life Channel) as well as CBC radio to discuss the proper care of reptiles and other exotics in captivity. I currently own one or more species of those listed under my expertise with the exception of chameleons. I owned chameleons for years but keep none currently. I keep over 20 snakes comprising 5 species, both Colubridae and Boidae. I bred corn snakes for several years. I have a particular interest in treefrogs and currently have 5 different species. I've raised redfoot tortoises for 10 years and have two iguanas, one for 12 years.

A small and now defunct local magazine called "Pet Vue"

Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

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