Hi there! This is my first post here though I have been lurking. I got a leopard gecko last summer (Casca) and she was the start to it all, now I have 6 reptiles laughs in no money. Hoping to get into the breeding scene once I start at a more stable job.
To get to the main topic - since Casca was my first, I was feeding her a little too much without realizing it and of course she would just keep eating as they do… I realized it only after she did in fact stop eating earlier this year and I weighed her, looked up average weights and lengths etc. She’s consistently stayed around 100g since then and she’s about 6" long. She’s pretty chunky but definitely doesn’t look overweight and ‘wrinkly’ like some that I’ve seen. She just doesn’t accept food very often and it concerns me even though I know they can go for a couple weeks without eating. It is a little bit of a stress on my budget to buy all the kinds of bugs to see if she’s just being picky and all that. Plus she will only eat if I feed her with tongs so I can’t just leave them in an insect bowl to hope that she happens to eat them when I’m not around.
Am I just being an overly concerned repti-dad here? I was planning on switching her over to a bioactive this year and was hoping that it would help her a bit with losing some weight and being more active, and eating normally again, too. (I can send pics if they’re needed but won’t be able to until later since I’ll be running errands - once I come home I’m going to clean her tank so I can take some photos of her. Maybe also try to find our scale too and see if she holds still long enough to weigh her.)
Setup info - She’s currently in a 30gal(?pretty sure) which I did not want to downgrade her to but she is a very lazy leo and I wanted more space for my ball python… thought bioactive might help with that, especially due to tank size now. I currently have undertank heating for her as I noticed she preferred to lay on that instead of bask, and her preferred spot is usually around 90F air temp but closer to 85F now that it’s getting closer to winter. UVB light up top for daytime. She’s got a hide on each side and plenty of cover across the whole tank right now. Haven’t noticed any stuck shed or anything and she will eat her calcium when she needs it.
… i may have typed a little too much but there you go! please let me know what you think i could to help my chub out here
I think some pictures might help the gecko experts gauge how your lizard is doing.
Welcome to the family. You’re in now! So ya gotta hang around.
So first of all, we will need some picturea of the young lady and also how old she is?
There are some super knowledgeable leo people here that can really help you out
Welcome to the forum! It would help a lot in terms of personalize recommendations if you shared some pictures, as the others suggested, and also if you told us what you have been feeding her and how old she is. Don’t worry about being judged if you share pictures of her looking pudgy- that you are seeking out advice regarding correcting her husbandry is admirable, and enough to make it clear you are willing to learn and doing your best to be a responsible leo owner. As an aside, I don’t think that being bioactive alone would be any more reason for her to increase her activity, without other setup changes. But the very short answer is that I recommend switching to primarily captive-raised (wild caught can be toxic), tong-fed caterpillars- silkworms and hornworms. Caterpillars are great because they have a much higher ratio of water to nutrients, with generally much fewer calories- so filling, but less calories. The increased moisture consumption is great for the kidneys, as a side benefit. The two caterpillars have different Ca:P ratios so definitely do your research on supplementation.
Oh that is clever with the caterpillars! And the lizards probably enjoy them.
Adding a Welcome!
Thank you for responding everyone! Gonna reply to Blaney with the info that was asked for and pictures of Casca.
She is probably about two years +/- old now, I bought her when she was around a year old. When she stopped eating she was around 120g and I just weighed her an hour or so ago and she was 86g (in pics). Was actually kinda surprised that she had lost that much weight, honestly, as she wasn’t losing much two months ago.
And thank you for recommending insects! I had researched a little a few months ago and ended up buying BSFL back then as silkworms were not in stock (she didn’t eat them, of course). I’m a little apprehensive about feeding her larger bugs like hornworms because she seems to struggle a little with getting wider insects down, buuuut I have a beardie so if she can’t eat them then he definitely will. If I may ask, are there any places you would suggest buying silkworms? And how often/how many to feed her? I usually buy from dubiaroaches.com, but they’re currently out of silkworms and I’d prefer to know if I’m buying good bugs or not.
Here’s some pics of her from an hour ago! Hoping they upload on the first try.
When did she stop eating? She’s a bit obese, so feed her less than you normally would so she hopefully loses weight.
I want to say she stopped eating around January and definitely looked a lot heavier then with deposits in the armpits and more folds/wrinkles in the abdomen area and all that. I have not fed her very often since then because she literally would not eat, but I became concerned primarily when she wouldn’t eat for long periods of time (like around a month). I just want her to eat at least a little more often but not in a way that will prevent her from losing weight because I just feel like it’s not good for her to just stop eating like that.
Feeding small fast moving crickets in a large enclosure will help burn some calories too.
I would definitely like to feed her crickets! But she doesn’t want to eat them and never has lol. Probably the only insect she denied before she stopped eating.
edit: I also considered doing this after she stopped eating in order to help her lose weight, or even to move her to an enclosure where she could chase bugs easier, but she doesn’t like eating except for in her enclosure. >.<
I had a female go off of food last year. The only difference is that she was a good weight to begin with and became underweight after the fast. Given that your gecko is still overweight I don’t think it’s a health issue. They are evolved just so that they can survive without eating if needed, and since she is a bit overweight it shouldn’t be a problem.
Alright, thank you for the info! I was hoping this was the case to be honest. I kept telling myself “her tail is super thick though, so she’ll be fine” but it kept nagging at my brain every day lol. I check on her all the time so I’m not concerned about accidentally having her drop too far.
Her weight fluctuates a lot though, even when she’s not been eating, so I’m not sure how that’s happening. I kind of assumed it was something to do with water weight but I’ve never personally seen her drink from her water bowl, so I was never sure what was going on. Maybe something to do with her being female?
It likely has to do with either scale measurement tolerances or, more likely just water weight. This can occur from the humidity being absorbed, or she’s just drinking when you don’t notice.
Makes sense, most of my reptiles don’t seem to like drinking water when someone is looking at them, lol. Thank you again! Hopefully I won’t have to make future posts about her as I’ve learned a lot in the past year and won’t make the mistake of overfeeding her again.
You’re welcome! If you have anymore questions don’t hesitate to ask. There are a lot of very experienced keepers on here that can answer a lot of questions.