Gecko Not Eating

Leopard Gecko Not Eating?

There can be many reasons why your leopard gecko is not eating. Most of the time it can be explained and fixed rather quickly. Lets go over some reasons.

1) Heating (Temps)

Leopard Geckos can tolerate big swings in temperature. With lower temps the gecko will start to go into brumation and stop eating. The gecko will hide most of the time and not move much. This is the number one reason I see when it comes to a gecko not eating.

This can be corrected fairly quickly by offering hot spots in the cage. You want the hot spots to be between 90 to 95 degrees. With cool end being in the mid 70s to lower 80s.

UVA and UVB is not required with Leopard Geckos but they will use UVA/UVB basking areas. I also see Leopard geckos more active when giving UVA and UVB.

2) Breeding or Ovulation.
Males will go off food at times if a female is near and he is wanting to breed. Some males will go on hunger strike during the whole season. Removing the male from the area sometimes will eliminate this issue.

Females will go off feed when ovulating and gravid. Some females will feed heavy between clutches of eggs but then go on hunger strike for 7 days or more while gravid. This is normal. Always offer food

3) Stress
Stress is something we do not think about as we like to put human emotion into our animals. Lets go over things that could stress the animals.

—Handling to often. Some geckos will tolerate being handled daily and other will not. The first thing you want to do when a gecko is not eating is stop handling them unless it is a need for the gecko.

—High traffic areas are often where we want or geckos enclosure. This is often not the best spot for the little gecko. As they will see all these large animals walking by over and over. If you have a dog or a cat this can make things even worse. The gecko does not look at us as friends or the other animals as friends. It is either a threat or not a threat. With fast moving larger animals running by it’s home all day this can cause stress.

—No hides or not enough hides. This may seem simple but geckos like tight hides. So throwing a box in the enclosure may work for some but a few may like smaller bore confined hides.

4) Parasites

Now this is the most unlikely of them all. This still can happen. The only way to find out is to take the animal to the vet. The vet can give medication to the gecko to rid of the parasites.

I have seen parasites in captive bred animals. This can happen when a breeder does work with wild caught animals in their collection(other geckos or even other lizards or snakes). I would not worry about this as much like said this is a rare thing.

5) The gecko or morph

Sometimes morphs like enigma will struggle to eat as they can have “aiming” issues when eating. It is not that they do not want to eat but they have trouble getting their prey item when they “strike”. This actually can happen to any gecko and any morph. I use enigma as an example as that is the most common with this issue.

So in closing when you have a gecko that is not eating you want to get back to the basics of care. Remember that just because you think they should like something does not mean they will. Everything can be a threat to the little gecko.

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