-If alert, and not vomiting, offer food, even if not eating. If your leopard gecko is having difficulty reaching, seeing or getting to their food, put the food dish next to them or you can also hand or tong feed them. Place an insect gently against their lips and if they are hungry, they will bite at it. If not, don’t force it.
If weight loss is related to not eating, then, if needed for prolonged loss of appetite, you can assist feed whole, calcium or multivitamin dusted insects (I recommend removing their heads first) or you can syringe feed them a replacement formula like Fluker’s ReptaBoost, EmerAid Intensive Care Carnivore, Oxbow Animal Health Critical Care Carnivore.
Another option is to assist or syringe feed Repashy Grub Pie for reptiles. It's a diet that is normally mixed with boiling water and then allowed to set up into a solid to make a gel food to feed to insectivorous reptiles. But if you mix it with room temperature (not boiling) water, more water than the package recommends, to make a slurry that is thin enough to go through a syringe, it can be used for syringe feeding. Or you can make it according to the package directions, using boiling water to make a gel that sets up, then cut the gel into pieces that you can then assist feed (like you would assist feed an insect). This formula is nice because it's based on insect and fish based protein and has a good variety of vitamins. Treat any gel you make like you would fresh fish, store leftovers in the refrigerator and discard after a day or two.
Outside the US if any of these options are not available you can try Vetark Critical Care Formula (though it is not ideal as a long term replacer as it is grain based).
With any assist or syringe feeding, go slowly and don't feed too quickly to prevent choking. If you’ve never done this before there are some good online videos that you can watch first such as these:
Assist feeding an insect by hobbyist Garrett Rose (I do recommend pinching the insects head off first so it is dead before assist feeding if your gecko is sick or lethargic so they are not injured by the insect):
Syringe feeding by exotic pet veterinarian Dr. Kristin Britton:
-I recommend weighing your leopard gecko regularly, especially if they are not eating normally or losing weight, to not only know how much they weigh and track weight gain or loss, but also to determine how much food to start feeding him and to monitor if you are feeding them enough. I would recommend weighing twice weekly while they are ill. If weight continues to drop then you should increase the amount of food you are feeding by adding another feed during the day.
Starting volume for assist feeding should be about 1% body weight three times a day. For a typical 50 gram leopard gecko that would be 0.5ml three times a day. To calculate a more accurate starting amount, multiply your geckos weigh in grams by 0.01 to give you the amount in milliliters. For example: a 50 gram gecko would be 50 x 0.01 = 0.5ml. A 60 gram gecko would be 60 x 0.01 = 0.6ml
-Calcium and vitamin supplementation. It is important to still offer calcium and vitamin supplements if they are eating. More information about supplements is in the care sheet I shared with you. An excellent brand of multivitamins I highly recommend is ZooMed Reptivite with D3. There are a number of good reptile calcium brands on the market, if you need a recommendation on those, please let me know.
If they are weak because they are experiencing a severe calcium deficiency related to Metabolic Bone Disease or dietary insufficiency or if they are not eating for another reason, you can buy a liquid calcium supplement at the pet store and give them a drop or two directly into their mouth once a day and this should help, but isn't a replacement for proper nutrition and a veterinary evaluation and treatment.
-Fluker's Liquid Calcium Reptile Supplement
If they are experiencing signs of hypovitaminosis (A or D), like eye or skin problems, or if they are not eating for another reason, then you can buy a liquid multivitamin supplement at the pet store and give them 2 drops for every 50 grams of body weight, twice a week. If they are not eating, then you can give this supplement every other day for a week before decreasing to twice weekly, while they are not eating. The supplement can be placed onto a food item before feeding or dropped directly into their mouth if they are not eating. Once they are back to eating or no longer have signs of a vitamin deficiency, this liquid supplement should be stopped in favor of multivitamin powder dusting of food and gut loading of insects, as described in the care sheet I shared with you.
-Fluker’s Liquid Vitamin (Reptile Supplement)
It is also a good idea to re-evaluate your current husbandry practices as some common disorders are unintentionally caused or predisposed by deficiencies or imbalances in diet, UVB lighting, calcium/vitamin supplementation or improper environmental temperature or humidity. Therefore, I have already attached a general leopard gecko care sheet for you to review. Thanks.
Again, I am glad you were able to find Ajax but sorry he is not feeling well. I do hope he starts to perk up with supportive care and good husbandry. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance. My sincere best to you both.
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