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The metamorphosis of Morpheus...

Discussion in 'African Fat-tailed Geckos' started by Dee, Sep 19, 2005.

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  1. Dee

    Dee Elite Member

    I said ages ago I'd make this post, and now that we have an AFT specific forum, here goes:

    My sweet Morpheus was a kinda sorta rescue from one of our favorite herp stores. A small family-type business, they had gone thru a week's closure due to a family emergency, and then a location move, all in less than a month. Other than the expected bit of moving stress, everyone did quite well, except for one sorry-looking little male AFT gecko.

    What a state he was in. He'd obviously been fighting with other males in the tank, and was sitting in the open, seemingly ousted from the hides. His tail was miserably shrivelled, he had shed-capped toes and patches on his body, and he wore many battle scars, the worst of which was a large open wound on his snout.

    After consulting with the store's owner (who knew us, obviously) we "borrowed" him, and took him home for some tlc to see if we could nurse him back to health. This is the gecko we brought home:

    But with lots of polysporin, warm baths, and good feeding, this is the fella we ended up with after a few good sheds:
    BTW, he never made it back to the store; we fell in love with this spunky little fella and paid for him two weeks in.
    Stay tuned, chapter two in the next post!
  2. Dee

    Dee Elite Member

    Chapter two...

    Obviously, we were VERY pleased with his progress, and he turned out to have an awesome personality -- loved to be up on a shoulder, crawling around being curious, or just getting a good back rub.
    Unfortunately, his and our luck took a turn for the worse when a candleholder got knocked into the tank...
    We were absolutely devastated when we saw Morph rocket across the tank, leaving his tail twitching and rolling in the opposite corner. As you can tell from the first post, he already had a regrown, but this drop cut him down to his last ring. We had no choice but to put him back in a hospital tank, start the polysporin routine again, and hope for the best.

    We were lucky -- this wee fella's a fighter. Within a week or so, "Mr. Stubs" tail had sealed over, and the process of regrowth had begun:
    Next came the awesome learning experience of watching a dropped gecko tail regrow...
  3. Dee

    Dee Elite Member

    Chapter three...

    After the stub finally sealed over, the changes were amazing!
    At this stage, we noticed two things: one, the pigment starting to grow in, and two, the meat he was packing onto his body!
    The coolest thing was, even as he regrew his tail, he still managed to maintain the body weight...
  4. Dee

    Dee Elite Member

    Chapter four... happy and healthy!

    Today we have this amazing dude:

    As you can see, he added to his body weight, and regrew an AMAZING tail. Just lookit that belly! If you look closely, you'll see specks of bright orange in the regrowth, which leads us to wonder what kind of offspring he might produce in the future!

    Here's a final comparison look at Morpheus, then and now:

    Never know it was the same gecko, would you? ;)
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Cool Dee! Thanks for sharing the documentation of the tail regrowth.
    Maybe it will help some first timers not be too devastated when a tail is dropped.
  6. venus

    venus Founding Member

    Wow...that was awesome Dee...thanks for sharing the pics. He looks great, good job.
  7. ReptileMan27

    ReptileMan27 Elite Member

    WOW he has had a bad life intill now,he looks great. AFTs like leos will regow thier tails but its not as nice as the original. Good luck
  8. Dee

    Dee Elite Member

    LOL Thanks guys. The whole point of this thread is to show people how well a gecko can recover from injuries and health issues; I guess it worked out well! As for regrowns, I actually really like some of them -- our Jaxey's is a wild teardrop shape and I love the colors showing in Morph's.
    The main thing to remember for a gecko with a dropped tail is to keep it CLEAN. We moved Morpheus to a shoebox sized plastic container with holes bored in it for air, and placed that inside the larger tank he and the girls were sharing. That way, he was isolated in a clean environment, but had the heat he needed and friendly fattie-faces around him. We placed paper towel substrate in the container and kept the stub covered with polysporin til we noticed that the edges were drawing in towards the center of the break -- then we let it dry out, and it healed perfectly.
    As horrible as it may sound, we've often commented that the tail drop, while traumatic, may actually in the long run have been the best thing that could've happened to him. Without his tail for storage, his body was forced to build up extra bulk, which he kept even after the tail grew back. Don't get me wrong here, I wouldn't wish it on any poor creature, but fortunately for us and him, Morph came out of it even better than before.
  9. McBlev6

    McBlev6 Elite Member

    What did you bath him with, and what is polysporin, is like neosporin, but for reptiles.
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Polysporin and Neosporin are just 2 brand names.
    Its triple antibiotic salve for humans.
  11. Toadie78

    Toadie78 Elite Member

    thats such a cool story Dee and what a lovely lil ATF he is. I have always liked ATF's a lil more than leos cuz they look so different coloration wize.
  12. Queen 'O Green

    Queen 'O Green Elite Member

    Poor baby! He was lucky to have you guys! Can you imagine if he was left at the pet store? He looks great now! Thank you for sharing!
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