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Knobtail Gecko (n. Millii) Help/advice

Discussion in 'Herp Health' started by cassicat4, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. cassicat4

    cassicat4 Subscribed User Premium Member


    I recently acquired an N. Millii whom I've been having some issues with.

    He's very active and eats well...but he's not defecating. He has done so once since I've owned him (had him 2 weeks this Sunday), about 3 days after I got him home.

    I gave him a lukewarm bath and tummy massage last night, as well as a cricket soaked in mineral oil to hopefully get things moving, but so far nothing.

    My question is - how often is normal for these guys? Should I continue feeding him as long as he eats? And at what point should vet intervention be considered?

    I'm hoping I can treat him at home, as the vets in our area have limited experience with the more common reptiles, much less the rarer ones.

    He's in a 20gal enclosure. Temps are 82-88F on the warm side (where he spends most of his time), and 71-77F on the cool side. He has 3 hides (one humid hide), a water bowl, a calcium bowl, and is misted nightly. His substrate is paper towel (which is kept damp on the cool end), and he has a few plants/logs to climb.

    Any ideas what could be going on, and what I can do?

  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    What type of device are you using to measure the temps?

    Are you saying that the warm area fluctuates from 82-88 degrees? I would aim for a consistent 90 degree basking spot.
    The fact that it is spending most of its time on the warm end would indicate to me that it isn't warm enough. Normal behavior would be to go to the warm area, heat up and then move off. Not being warm enough will affect digestion.
  3. cassicat4

    cassicat4 Subscribed User Premium Member

    Hi Merlin,

    I'm using both a digital thermometer with a probe and a temp gun, and he's in a 20gal rack setup with heat tape that's kept at a constant temp with a Herpstat. The range in temperature is due to the different layers of paper towel I have in his setup (to allow for burrowing as desired. I want to keep him off any other substrates until I know he's eating/defecating properly).

    That's what I thought too - his temps were based on all the caresheets I could find (and I looked at many, but I'm not convinced I was looking at the right ones, or I was seeing ones that were merely regurgitated over and over by different people). Some sheets said keep them from 78-82F, and others said 80-85F, but no more than 85F because these are not "heat tolerant geckos". I did research their native habitats though, and the temps they'd be exposed to are much higher than the ranges advised, so I'm a bit confused on what I should be aiming for.

    I'll increase his heat tonight to see if that helps.

    In the meantime, should I try intervening and help him out, or just leave him alone to see if he can resolve this himself?

    Thanks for the response!
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    What do you mean by "help him out"?
    I would just bring the temps up for a couple of days and see what happens.
    Something else you might try is gut loading your feeders on canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix) for 24 hours . Pumpkin is a laxative.
  5. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I`ve never kept this particular species myself, but I agree with Merlin that you need to raise the temps, I would go for around 32 to 35 at the hot spot (so long as the animal can retreat to cooler areas if needed).
    If the Gecko isn`t digesting it`s food very efficiently because of the relatively low temps, it obviously won`t be defaecating regularly (it doesn`t necessarily mean it`s impacted).
    I think it would be best to use a particulate substrate asap (sand), though I understand your concerns at the moment, these are burrowing animals and it must be stressful to them if they cannot do that (paper towels are no substitute).

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