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Belly photo
Belly photo  
QUESTION: Hi there,

I was wondering if you may able able to help me. I have a female leopard gecko of about 12years old. I got her from a rescue about 5years ago and since having her she has never really been able to maintain or gain weight. She shares her tank with a male gecko (I got them together and was told they'd always been together). He gains weight every month or maintains, so it's not food or environment problems..

After her weight getting too low I took her to my local vets who have done a faecal test which showed a small amount of flagellates. These have since been removed however she still can't hold any weight, only lose. She is on carnivore care which is helping her to gain weight, but this is obviously something she can't stay on forever. Since then my vet has 'luminated' her as her belly is also very swollen at the back half. From this he still wasn't sure what the problem was and has sent some pictures I have of her belly off, but we still haven't got anywhere. He also tried a shot of anabolic steroids incase it was fatty liver and to increase her appetite, however it actually made her stop eating. She usually loves her live food (locusts) but the last week she has suddenly stopped eating them..  I have been going to the vets over 2months now and she isn't improving, I am very worried about her... Attached is the shot of her belly my vet has sent off.

Thanks,
Alannah

ANSWER: Hello Alannah,

I am sorry that she is having some issues.  
At 12, she has done very well then to get to that age.  
The vet, did he x-ray her correct?  
It is extremely hard to tell from the picture but could it possibly be that she is eggbound?
Has she ever laid eggs since you have gotten her?

How often do you give calcium & what type of substrate do you use, sand, carpet, tiles?
What types of food has she been eating before you started feeding her the carnivore care?

Does she spend a lot of time in her hide/cave?  
Did you separate her from the male or is she still housed with him?  
For now, continue with the carnivore care so she gets some nutrition.

Let me know how she is doing.

Tracie

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Tracie,

Thanks for the quick response!

The vet did not x-ray her, he only wanted to shine a torch through her and look this way.. Which he said didn't show much more than just looking at her belly in the picture.

She has never laid an egg in the 5years I've had her, and in the time she has always been with the male, only leaving him a few weeks ago for 1week (as I was away, so my boyfriend looked after her and kept feeding her the carnivore care).

She has calcium in her tank that I see both her and the male lick when they want it. She is on reptile carpet it and always has been since I have had her (though her belly has been swollen since I got her, but looking much worse now than before).

She has 3 locusts every other day, which she always absolutely loves. She's always had a great interest in her food. However both her and the male will not eat mealworms or crickets, so locust and the occasional waxworm is all I can really offer.

Before going to the vets she didn't spend that much time in her cave, you could usually spot her and she'd always be out in the evening sitting in the middle of the tank relaxing. If I opened the tank she would often come out and some over to see me too. She's very friendly.. However since being on the carnivore care she has become less friendly and often hides in her cave, not really coming out. However I'm sure this is just due to her getting fed up of me feeding her the carnivore care twice a day.

Answer
Hello Alannah,

Ok, I wasn't sure if he had done an x-ray or not.  It really looks like eggs possibly, or tumors.  
It is possible that she is egg bound, but they will need to do an x-ray though to be sure.  
She is very small so surgery is probably out of the question, but there are some reptile vets would tackle it if it is egg binding.
I do not think it is fatty liver though.  
The waxworms & locusts are fine if they wont eat mealies or crickets.  :-)
Does she eat enough calcium?  Perhaps she is low on calcium & isn't able to lay.  I highly recommend getting some liquid calcium to see if that helps out.  

I am so sorry she is having some trouble.  Please let me know how she is doing.
You can also email me at:
Drache_613@hotmail.com

Tracie  

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Tracie Kretzschmar

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Education/Credentials
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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