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My Lizard Died...and Came Back to Life?!?!

Discussion in 'Leopard Geckos' started by TitoAndKatt, Mar 21, 2009.

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  1. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    I am reposting this under a new thread because I was not getting many replies on the other thread and it is somewhat unrelated, so I figured I should make it a separate thread.
    King Tut almost lived up to his name last night...Instead he decided to play Jesus. With some warm soaking and a belly massage, I was able to get him to poop (yaay) and the black spot has moved a lot lower in his stomach. The poop was pretty big (at least compared to the poop I have seen in the cage) and somewhat explosive (not sure if that is how they normally poop, if it was because I stimulated it by rubbing his belly, or because of breaking the impaction dam. After that he seemed to be doing okay and was pretty alert so I put him back in his cage. Later at night, I put in some crickets and a few meal worms and noticed that Tut was not moving...or breathing... I took him out of the cage and he didn't try to run away like before and was very limp. My boyfriend and I both looked at him and after a while decided that he was definitely dead (recently enough for Rigor Mortis to not have set in yet). There was NO sign of life - no movement, NO breathing, no response, no eye movement, nNOTHING no matter how long or how closely we looked. I felt SO terrible! I thought that maybe there was a chance he was just passed out or something (I was feeling desperate), so I put him over the heat pad part of the tank to give him one last chance at life (just in case) while my boyfriend and I went to pick some stuff up. When we got back, I looked at him again and still saw no breath, but I watched for a few more minutes...and he started breathing!!!! I had put him in a plastic bag (only after we had determined that he was not alive) to keep the crickets and other lizard off the body if he was indeed dead, but I left it somewhat open for air in case he was not, so as soon as I saw breath I took him out and put him back on the heat pad. Then, as we watched he came back to life! He started taking bigger breaths and more of them, then slowly opened his eyes and began to look more alert. He still would not scare or respond when I reached into the cage, but he slowly began to move a little bit. A few hours later, he seemed almost More active and alert than before! (Still would not eat - that I saw).
    Both my boyfriend and I were completely lost. We have both had (some) reptile experience (I have an Iguana and he grew up with a Schneider Skink) and I have had animals all my life and neither of us has ever seen such a thing. Has anyone ever seen this before? He was literally not breathing or moving for at least an hour!
     
  2. 789leo987

    789leo987 Elite Member

    WOW!! That is amazing! I have never heard of anything like that before! It's great that you still have your little gecko around :) Hopefully he doesn't "die" on you again! :p
     
  3. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    It was the weirdest thing I have ever seen...I am leaving him be for about a week to adjust, but when I saw him lying there not breathing it scared the **** out of me! I was SO glad when he started breathing again! :)
     
  4. 789leo987

    789leo987 Elite Member

    Well, that's good
     
  5. Beardy

    Beardy Elite Member

    ............Wow, just wow..........:eek:
     
  6. Whatshername

    Whatshername Elite Member

    Can he walk on water? :p
     
  7. Animal_luvr55

    Animal_luvr55 New Member

    That is the most bizarre thing I have ever heard!
     
  8. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Its possible he was playing dead.
     
  9. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Las time I checked e couldn't walk on water...but maybe NOW he can!!!! ;) I might change his name from King Tut to Jesus lmao jkjk I like his name. I thought about that too Schlegelbagel, but I looked Veeery closely for a long time and saw NO breathing. It is still possible, I mean what else would explain it? But then why would he play dead for an HOUR? Especially when I was gone for about 40 minutes plus of that hour?!?! I left for a bit and came back and he hadn't moved and he still appeared to not be breathing until he took that first breath several minutes later... :confused:
     
  10. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Because you put him in a stressful situation. Didn't you say you put him in a plastic bag (even with the top open) while you left?

    Please leave your gecko alone, unless you really feel there is a problem, then please take your gecko to a vet.
     
  11. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    I agree.;)
     
  12. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Well I was convinced that he was dead, but in order to go back and apprehend the pet store for keeping them on sand, and either get a refund, or more likely, a new lizard, I figured I would have to bring the body back as proof. I'm not intentionally trying to terrorize my lizard! :mad: Geez. :( *hurt feelings* :( I said like a billion times now that I am leaving him alone now, but I mean even before I took him out he looked pretty dead, what was I supposed to do? Leave him there, dead, on the bottom of the cage until I brought him to the pet store? Of course I took him out when I thought he was dead! I am not trying to hurt the guy, believe it or not I do care about the little guy. I mean, really, what would you have done? Left a dead lizard body in the cage to be eaten by crickets? I am not looking to be chastised for taking my lizard out of the cage, I am looking for help/reasons on why he seemed to be dead, and then an hour later slowly became fine again. If he was playing dead (which he must have been, I can't think of anything else to explain it) I sure couldn't see him breathe - and I looked SUPER close. His sides were not moving at ALL. It scared me!
     
  13. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    No one is chastising you for taking your gecko out. I'm saying that your gecko was playing dead for such a long time because you gecko WAS out.
     
  14. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Well, I apologize. It came across as scolding and bossing. I've been pretty stressed out and high-strung lately too though so I am sure that didn't help my perception much. Sorry.
    As far as him playing dead because he was out of his cage, he was fine when I had him out, and fine for a while when I put him back in. It was later, when I came back to feed them for the night, that he was "playing dead." If he was playing dead because I had him out, why did he wait so long? lol
    He seems to be doing much better now btw. He doesn't seem to understand that he is nocturnal though. :p I was in my room and caught him watching me several times, and walking around checking out the cage and calcium dish.
     
  15. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    Hie-hie, you blew of some steam there alright.:p Hope you feel better.;)

    Lets just hope that he does not give his mommy a heart attack like that again!:)
     
  16. Kendalle

    Kendalle Elite Member

    could he have gotten too cold? Kermit got cold once and looked dead, gave me a heart attack too!
     
  17. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    It could have been that something spooked him into playing dead, you noticed and took him out and started "freaking" (stressing more likely), but basically not acting a calm as you normally would. And just the whole combination of events were one stressor after another...
     
  18. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Hmmm...that could be. I can imagine taking him out when he was already scared enough to play dead would only make the problem worse. :( :eek: I don't think he was cold though because he was on the heat pad when I initially thought he was dead. haha either way he seems to be doing fine now. :) I am very excited that they are pooping in only ONE spot in the cage too! Yaaay! (Unlike my poopy iguana Tito who still likes to poop EVERYWHERE) lmao And they poop in a box I have in there for a hide so cleaning=super easy! :)
     
  19. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Leos are usually really good about that. Most people put a folded paper towel down in the corner they go in, and just change it out as needed. Easy as pie.
     
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