This year has been really taxing on me. I have lost four animals to sudden illnesses that have completely blind sided me (all different species). I have taken all said animals to my primary exotic vet and we didn’t really come up with any answers for any of them. I have rigorously reviewed my husbandry for the many different animals in my roster and am trying to give them impeccable care, yet here I am again with another animal failing to thrive well after quarantine.
I purchased this leopard gecko about 6 months ago. At that time he was a little under a year old, born July 2019. Upon arrival he looked healthy and ate great, went through a 2 month quarantine away from all other animals. He is currently housed in a 24"x12"x12" habitat with multiple hides and natural wood to climb on. Flooring is non-adhesive vinyl. Temperatures are reliably 88-90 on the warm side, which is done with an thermostat regulated heat mat, and about 75 ambient. His diet consists of calcium and vitamin dusted mealworms and dubias. Always fresh water available.
The one odd thing I noticed in quarantine and even now is this leo’s stool smells absolutely terrible. Since he otherwise seemed perfectly fine (and the stool looked normal) I chalked it up to that he just had particularly stinky poo. One other thing is that his tail seemed “naturally slim”? He definitely didn’t look underweight based on bodily condition.
I noticed some change about 2 weeks ago. He started hiding more mainly on the warm side. He was still eating great and eagerly came to the front of the enclosure whenever I brought out the bug bin. I would look at his tail and felt like that it looked slimmer and was wondering if I had failed to notice gradual weight loss, but I doubted this since he had obviously grown in body size over the months I’ve had him. He seemed to more rapidly lose weight starting this past weekend, even though he was still eating and pooping, but noticeably less. I made an appointment on Wednesday after he refused waxworms and the soonest I could get in due to work was Saturday. Unfortunately we couldn’t get a good fecal sample as he didn’t leave anything fresh leading up to the appointment and the vet couldn’t get him to pass anything, but he threw up the two waxworms he managed to eat the night prior (or maybe this morning). He is now on metronidazole in case the cause is parasites. I have thoroughly sanitized his enclosure and all furnishings.
I tried soaking him again tonight to see if I could get him to pass anything, but no luck. Afterwards I tried to feed him a waxworm and he would not eat it, just sort of keep it in his mouth. I am already starting to lose hope as now he seems very uncomfortable and stressed. After putting him back into his enclosure he is just standing in one spot with his eyes closed…
I am planning to call the vet again tomorrow as I believe they have Sunday hours. I feel like I should have acted sooner but I also feel that I had little warning that things would suddenly get so bad so fast.
I am incredibly exhausted at the moment due to other things that have happened today so I hope this all makes sense. I honestly don’t know how long he will make it or if the vet can do anything at this point, but I am going try to hang on to hope. Just feel really defeated.