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Leopard Gecko Not Eating Well, Throwing Up.

Discussion in 'Leopard Geckos' started by victorpho, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. victorpho

    victorpho Well-Known Member

    So...I've had this gecko for about a little over a week. I've tried to feed it mealworms and it ate it a couple of times but ended up throwing it up. After that incident, he stopped eating mealworms completely. I went 4 days without feeding him anything and gave him waxworms after another attempt of feeding him mealworms failed. He surely ate the waxworm but hours later he threw it up. I've tried a couple more times to get him to eat and he keeps throwing them up. Getting very skinny and doesnt do much but hide in his humid hide (located on the warm side) ~94F. I have also left a dish of mealworms just incase he decides he wanted to eat, but they are sure still there..

    He is has nice colors so I didn't really want to return him to Petsmart (i know i shouldnt be purchasing from chains, but breeders are not easy to find). I was wondering if there is something I could do to get him to eat correctly, if not...I'm gonna return him and get the albino leucistic one possibly. I still really just like this one more than the other.

    10gallon with zoomed heat mat (10-20gallon; 82f cold, 94f hot)
    2 hides (dry on cold side and humid hide on warm side)
    calcium in a water bottle cap
    water dish
    random rocks and stuff he can climb on

    please help! I've been doing a lot of research and can not find a cure other than "go to the vet". I'd rather return him than go to the vet because I still have a few days left for Petsmart's grace period.
  2. SpookyCheerios

    SpookyCheerios Elite Member

    How old is he and are you giving him mealies or full sized mealworms? If he is a baby the waxworms and full mealworms are too big.
  3. VickiC

    VickiC Elite Member

    Hi there and welcome to HC. Thanks for the basic rundown on your enclosure. How are you monitoring your temperatures? Are you using digital or analog gauges? What are you using for substrate in your tank and what was used in the bottom of the tank that you purchased him from. Has he been going to the bathroom or just vomiting up all of his food? It's possible that he has parasites or may be impacted. If you can collect a stool sample a vet can run a fecal test on it to see if parasites are present. Yes, I understand that you don't want to go to the vet, but if you just go back to the store and trade it in for a different one that was in the same enclosure you may wind up with another gecko with the exact same problem so it would be beneficial to try to get a better idea of what your little guy is going through.

    Can you post pictures of him and his enclosure so that we can help out further?

    You seem to have most of your bases covered, but in case you haven't seen it the Leopard Gecko Caresheet can be found here: Leopard Gecko Care Guide (Eublepharis macularius)
  4. victorpho

    victorpho Well-Known Member

    thanks guys. I've attached pictures of the enclosure and the pictures of him when i purchase him and just recently yesterday or so. substrate is paper towels and i do not believe he is impacted because he DID poop a couple of times and because there probably isnt anything left in his intestines..there is no more need to poop.

    purchasing picture:


    Attached Files:

  5. victorpho

    victorpho Well-Known Member

    for some reason the moderator must actually check on my post before i could post it. well the substrate is paper towels and he has been pooping a few days prior to these incidents. they were feeding him crickets at the store and i assume he might not be used to digesting worms. he's pooped about 4 times earlier in the week and recently once today. not much other times since he hasnt been eating. he might have been able to digest a wax worm yesterday night and that is why he pooped today. kind of very curious to see if it might be a problem with the size of the mealies and whatnot. its the regular size they sell at the store?
  6. victorpho

    victorpho Well-Known Member

    and for thermometer, i am using a coralife digital with a probe. i just set it on each side to see the temps. sometimes the temp does shoot up to 100 on the hot side but hes in his humid hide so he might not directly getting the 100f, but rather ~95.
  7. VickiC

    VickiC Elite Member

    The store should sell crickets and meal worms in a wide range of sizes. The store near me only has wax worms in one size so I normally have to dig through the little cup and pick out the smaller one so that my leo doesn't regurgitate them. The general rule of thumb for feeders is that they should be no larger than the distance between the geckos eyes. Are the ones that you've been feeding him larger than that? Have you offered him any crickets since you've gotten him home?

    Is there any way that you can take a picture and post it? Even a poor one? I'm concerned that you say he's getting so skinny.

    How many more days do you have before you are unable to return him? I can't stand the idea of giving up on a pet before you've tried everything, but you also deserve a healthy pet to begin with.
  8. victorpho

    victorpho Well-Known Member

    he usually poops and throws up on the napkin to the left corner. thats why i left it there like that lol. gotta love a pet that potty trains itself. i might go get some more feeders again.. man i have like 40 mealworms, 40 waxworms sittin in my fridge right now...too bad i dont have carnivorous fish anymore lol.

    and no i havent tried feeding him crickets, i dont intend on feeding crickets because they are loud and smell really bad if kept in my room. ive had them when i had an archer fish.
  9. VickiC

    VickiC Elite Member

    He still looks beautiful and pretty healthy too. I hate to see you give up on him so easily, but it's your choice to make.

    However, if you're going to keep a leopard gecko they really do need a greater variety of feeders in their diets. As long as you don't buy the full size adult crickets you don't have to deal with the noise and as long as you clean out their container each week they really don't smell much at all either. If you absolutely cannot tolerate crickets I would recommend looking into dubia roaches. The roach part grosses people out on general principal, but they're really far more pleasant than crickets, don't stink, don't make any noise, and are highly nutritious. You would also not want to make waxworms a staple of their diet as they're very high in fat. They should be used as more of a treat with only a couple given each week.

    Either way the choice is yours and it doesn't sound like you intend to keep this one so I won't offer any more advice on what might be wrong. If you do choose to pick up another one and need additional info don't hesitate to stop by and ask. And of course...follow that caresheet at all times.

    Best of luck
  10. victorpho

    victorpho Well-Known Member

    if you actually say hes healthy and not too skinny, i might try to keep him. he just probably needs smaller food. thanks for all the advice, i will try to accommodate what he needs because i havent seen any other one around here that looks cool like this one lol.
  11. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Be sure you are getting a temp reading from within the hot hide. You should have 3 hides, one hot, one cool and one moist. The moist should be in the middle of the tank with the hot hide over the heat pad. Since he's pretty small, you may want smaller hides for now, to help him feel more secure.

    If the warm hide is too hot inside, he may not go in it, therefor not getting warm enough temps from the rest of the tank to properly digest the food.
  12. SpookyCheerios

    SpookyCheerios Elite Member

    Also, are you sure he is throwing up and it's not diarrhea? Does the throw-up have a white ball attached to it? Diarrhea can be a strong sign on parasites. Try with the small mealies though (try to pick out freshly molted ones that look white). Also, if you are adamant against crickets may I suggest Phoenix worms? They're naturally high and calcium and easier to digest than mealworm shell.
  13. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I had to comment on this one line because there are thousands of leopard gecko breeders. A single post on this forum alone asking if anyone knew of any breeders would have yielded results. You didn't look very hard to be making that statement. lol
  14. victorpho

    victorpho Well-Known Member

    lol i know there are breeders, but in houston locally..its hard to find. and i think he is throwing them up because they arent fully digested. it comes out either full or something after clearly seeing him take the worms. pheonix worms? i might try, i wanna see if he will eat something a little smaller.
  15. victorpho

    victorpho Well-Known Member

    and he sleeps in his moist/humid hide all day, he doesnt really leave it unless he needs to poop / throw up.
  16. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Hi there, were inside your enclosure is your moist hide located?
    Also, how old is your digital thermometer with probe, and is the Coralife brand ok to use in dry conditions?

    Place the probe on the floor of the moist hide and hot hide, then let us know the temps!

    Thanks, gorgeous gecko by the way :)
  17. victorpho

    victorpho Well-Known Member

    thanks for the comment. the moist hide is the tupperware container with paper towel. last time i checked, the temperature was slightly lower than the direct heat spot. sitting at ~90f at least. i can check again once i get home to be sure though. lol any more input would be appreciated! thanks!
  18. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Yes, please let us know the exact temp of the moist hide when you get home! I keep my moist hide on the hot side right beside the hot hide, my guy likes him moist hide the best also.
    So your hot hide is the log? If so one reason he may not go there is because its open on both ends and doesn't offer much cover!
  19. SpookyCheerios

    SpookyCheerios Elite Member

    Phoenix worms come in small, medium, and large sizes, the small are definitely small enough for your baby.
  20. victorpho

    victorpho Well-Known Member

    oh the heatmat is located on the left side of the tank. it is where the moist hide is and the poop towel. also the rock is there so he can bask if it gets too hot being straight on the floor. the right side is his cold hide which he occupied ALL the time prior to me putting in the humid hide. i had a different humid hide made from the cups you get when you buy leopard geckos which he didnt like much. even then, he went over there and layed on the floor just to get some heat. not sure lol.

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