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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all


My leoard gecko, Yoshi, is one year old and we took him today to the vets (which has a reptile specialist in once a week) for a check up to make sure he was ok and we were doing the right thing.

Here is all the information you shoud need to know about our set up before reading on:
1 leopard gecko, 1 year old weighing 68g
2ft vivarium
Heat mat on one side of the floor of the viv (31 - 32.5 degrees c); regulated with a thermostat and temperature monitored with a digital thermometer
Cold side 20 degrees c; temperature monitored with a digital thermometer
Incandescent light bulb on a timer (approx 9 hours a day)
Large birch chip substrate
One hide on hot side, one hide on cold side and moist hide inbetween the two
Diet of crickets dusted with 'Nutorbal' (have tried meal worms but he's not interested)
Water bowl (changed daily) and cap of pure calcium powder

So, as I said, we went to the vets but we have come back very confused as the he suggested we made some changes to the vivarium set up which appear to go against a lot of the research we have done and advice in here. He said the following:

*put the heat mat on the side of the vivarium
*replace the incandescent bulb with a red basking spot bulb (placed above the hot side)
*not to bother with the calcium cap, "how does the creature know what it is and how can they tell they are in need of calcium" (quote)
*more moist hides in different places in the viv

Yoshi is usually very active and up until two-three weeks ago would eat 9-15 crickets in one go once a week. However, he only seems to be eating 2-4 at a time a couple of times a week recently.

We would really appreciate your opinions. The vet has made us concerned that we are maybe not doing right by little Yoshi :-(

Thanks in advance!
 

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Normally I would say to go with what the vet says - after all, they have spent years studying. So I'll go through my OPINIONS one at a time.

Heatmat on side: This won't really do much good - they heat the air only a little. The vet MAY have recommended this because of your substrate (too thick and too insulating) or because you also have a heat lamp. The vast majority of Leo keepers use a heatmat under a thin substrate (such as lino, paper, rep carpet, tiles, thin sand) and don't bother with a heatlamp at all.

Bulb: What for? IMO if it is only on during the day then it doesn't matter what colour it is. If it is on at night then red is much better. But really not needed at all. The heatmat should be enough to raise the substrate temp enough.

Calcium cap: They certainly do know what these are and will often use them. Only thing to be careful of is giving too much supplement with D3 in it.

Moist hides: There is no harm in having more of these unless it raises the humidity in the viv too much. If the Leo is shedding well then there is no need IMO.

I'm assuming that you took Yoshi to the vet due to lack of interest in food? Many Leos do at this time of year - but shouldn't lose much weight. Also, at 1 year old 4-8 crickets a week (as long as they are a decent size) doesn't sound too bad - they eat far less as they become adults and if Yoshi is maintaining weight then this is enough. Did the vet do a faecal screen for parasites? Weigh the Leo weekly - if the weight stays roughly the same then that is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Normally I would say to go with what the vet says - after all, they have spent years studying. So I'll go through my OPINIONS one at a time.

Heatmat on side: This won't really do much good - they heat the air only a little. The vet MAY have recommended this because of your substrate (too thick and too insulating) or because you also have a heat lamp. The vast majority of Leo keepers use a heatmat under a thin substrate (such as lino, paper, rep carpet, tiles, thin sand) and don't bother with a heatlamp at all.

Bulb: What for? IMO if it is only on during the day then it doesn't matter what colour it is. If it is on at night then red is much better. But really not needed at all. The heatmat should be enough to raise the substrate temp enough.

Calcium cap: They certainly do know what these are and will often use them. Only thing to be careful of is giving too much supplement with D3 in it.

Moist hides: There is no harm in having more of these unless it raises the humidity in the viv too much. If the Leo is shedding well then there is no need IMO.

I'm assuming that you took Yoshi to the vet due to lack of interest in food? Many Leos do at this time of year - but shouldn't lose much weight. Also, at 1 year old 4-8 crickets a week (as long as they are a decent size) doesn't sound too bad - they eat far less as they become adults and if Yoshi is maintaining weight then this is enough. Did the vet do a faecal screen for parasites? Weigh the Leo weekly - if the weight stays roughly the same then that is fine.
Hi Jools

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply :)

We originally booked Yoshi in to the vets as he was a year old and thought it would be a good idea for him to have a 'check up.' The fact he's gone off his food around the same time was more of a coincidence.

The vet didn't do a faecal scan no. He said that any problems with lizards are normally due to 'environmental problems' and that they can usually be fine for some time but the deteriorate over time and by the time you realise they're ill it's too late :-( "I've not managed to turn around many lizards at this point" (quote)! This is the comment that worried me the most as we don't want to hurt Yoshi :-( However, your response has put our minds at rest a little. Especially him not eating as much as he usually does. We will continue to weigh him to ensure he's not losing any weight.

Thanks again.
 

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Hi Jools

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply :)

We originally booked Yoshi in to the vets as he was a year old and thought it would be a good idea for him to have a 'check up.' The fact he's gone off his food around the same time was more of a coincidence.

The vet didn't do a faecal scan no. He said that any problems with lizards are normally due to 'environmental problems' and that they can usually be fine for some time but the deteriorate over time and by the time you realise they're ill it's too late :-( "I've not managed to turn around many lizards at this point" (quote)! This is the comment that worried me the most as we don't want to hurt Yoshi :-( However, your response has put our minds at rest a little. Especially him not eating as much as he usually does. We will continue to weigh him to ensure he's not losing any weight.

Thanks again.
This would make me worry about his competence as a vet ......people on here turn around rehomes on deaths door without the 7? Years of education ..........

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you NEED to get a new vet!
 
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