Young Leopard Gecko, is it sick or hibernating?

Young Leopard Gecko, is it sick or hibernating?

Postby Alex2013 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:10 pm


I am new to this forum and also a newby to reptiles.
A little history... My son is 9yrs old and his dad bought him a crested gecko (I think - it climbed walls and jumped)...
He was holding it in his hands and it jumped off and I walked in and stepped on it.... I felt horrid and cried for 2 days...
So my mom decided to buy a replacement, and she bought my son a Leopard Gecko, about 5weeks old in March sometime.

So Alex, our beautiful Leopard Gecko, has seriously slowed down his eating pattern since June and has lost so much weight.
He's not very active and isn't eating all that much.
He is shedding at least once a month and I've been helping him shed as I have just learnt that his habitat is not humid enough...
He let's me hold him and he snuggles into my hand and cuffs to keep warm.
He's very docile and sleeps a lot.
He does pass stools, whereby I see the calcium in it and they're quite large stools and solid.
His tail is so slim it looks stick like :(

I decided to change his food from mealworms to crickets (pin head size and 1 size up - they don't jump)
He started to go after them, but looses interest rather quickly, so I don't know if he's just not hungry or if he has colon infection or if he's hibernating?

Ok, so as of today his habitat is something like this:

A plastic rectangular habitat.
water dish (change water daily, sometimes twice daily if dirty)
log type hiding spot
heat pad
Calcium for reptiles (white powder in hand written container - purchased 3 months ago)
The cage originally had some sort of fine sand, which i removed after reading that by ingesting it, it could lead to problems.... and that's when I started seeing the weight loss - pretty much around the end of autumn to beginning of winter)
now using a Leopard gecko friendly sand with added calcium.
moist sand stuff for geckos (that is to help with shedding - got that 3weeks ago)
night vision heat lamp (purchased today)
Calcium with vit D (purchased today)
Multivitiman (purchased today)

I managed to get some mealworms as well, dusted them in the 1:1 of calcium & vit D + the multi vitamin powder.
Placed them in the tank and Alex didn't even bat an eyelid :(

I'm hoping with the night heat lamp (only 15w as tank is SO SMALL), I'm hoping that the temp will increase enough to promote some eating.

I'm going to be more devastated if Alex dies on me than my son, as I've grown quite attached to him over the past couple months.

I've also contacted Free Me for advice and they suggested Dr Mark Verseput (not sure of spelling) at the Craighall Veterinary Hospital. Unfortunately for me, he's away for 3 weeks on leave... Is there anyone else I could contact and go see in the northern suburbs. I don't mind driving to Bedfordview even, if that is what it takes to find out what's wrong with Alex and how I can make him better.

I've tried all avenues that I can think of.... You guys are my only hope until the Doc is back in 3 weeks time. :(

Hoping for some advice from anyone out there.

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Re: Young Leopard Gecko, is it sick or hibernating?

Postby Fooble » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:35 pm

Good on you for seeking assistance ( ill try be brief at to the point)

What are your temperatures like in the cage ( on the hot side and the cool side)

That isn't calcium in it's stool so don't worry about that

A stick like tail? Google " pencil tail+ leopard gecko" see if the description matches that.

Pin head crickets are much much too small for any leopard gecko not to mention a 5 week old gecko. Should be on 1/4 crickets at the very least.

Try where possible post a photo of the gecko and of the set up . This would greatly help.

Sounds like the geckos has either an parasite or "pencil tail".
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Re: Young Leopard Gecko, is it sick or hibernating?

Postby Reynard » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:39 pm

Hi there!

I'm sure if you are willing to drive to Bedfordview then Edenvale would be fine as well.

Try the Avenues vets. Doctor Shabeer is brilliant.


Hope all goes well. Keep us posted!
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Re: Young Leopard Gecko, is it sick or hibernating?

Postby Frank » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:30 am

As previously mentioned, pin heads are way to small and you need to check the cage temps.

You have given told the age of the gecko, but not it's length and weight.

How many mealworms was the gecko eating per feeding and how often were you feeding it?
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Re: Young Leopard Gecko, is it sick or hibernating?

Postby Lillypod » Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:34 am

I prefer to rather feed roaches and some mealworms, but I do buy them crickets every now and then. I use no form of sand as substrate in my cages. My cage setup is simple. Tank with heating pad on one side, 1 - 2 hides, a humid box/hide, water bowl, food dish + calcium dish. For substrate I use either newspaper, kombuis paper and recently started using vinyl "carpet".
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