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Reptiles/Leopard gecko not eating


We had a happy well adjusted gecko until we left for vacation. We left on we'd and came back on sat. I brought him to my father's house and left my father with instructions on how to care for him.  Upon returning we found out that he didn't eat any crickets and only one or two mealworms. His head and tail are a darker hue than usual and the rest of his body is looking pasty white. I thought maybe he is ready to shed, but why the darker color on his face and tail and why isn't the poor thing eating. He just watches the crickets go by and even jump across him without caring.  He was also hanging out in the day light today when in the the day he is always in his 'shelter'. Help!

Hi Alyssa,

I would strongly suspect that it is just the travel and change of environment that he is reacting to. I am assuming that he was moved and kept in the same enclosure that he had at home and all his heating etc remained the same. Even so, leos are very visual and he would be quite aware of the change of "scenery" outside his cage. Does your father have any cats or dogs that would have been within sight of the cage or was the cage near a window where flying birds were visible? Things like that, along with the actual travel can cause temporary stress which almost always results in non-feeding.

The white colouring does sound like the start of a shed cycle which itself can inhibit feeding.

You were not gone long enough for anything really drastic to happen. A well fed leo can easily stop feeding for a week or two without any ill affects. Keep an eye on him but I suspect he just has to re-adjust to being home.  


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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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