Substrate Impact - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-09-2003, 02:39 AM
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Question Substrate Impact

I've been wondering about Geckos getting impacted from their substrate and I have two questions about it.
#1) What kind of symptoms will a Gecko show if they are impacted?
#2) What needs to be done medically to correct the problem? (What is the proceedure?)
Inquirering mind what to know.
Thanxs!
 
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-09-2003, 03:59 AM
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There are a lot of symptoms that might manifest themselves during an impaction. For those who don't understand what an impaction is, it basically is an obstruction of non-digestable material in the digestive tract. Generally it is caused by accidentally eating their cage bedding (wood chips, bark, calcisand, rocks, and so forth). Other causes are overfeeding, improper cage temperatures, and dehydration.

Anyway, symptoms include:
Irregularity. Namely constipation, but it can also be other things - like straining to go but not passing or passing very little.
Abdominal swelling.
Decreased appetite.
Difficulty breathing or acting almost like some kind of a seizure.
Regurgitation of a meal.
Paralysis is also possible.

In my experience treatment is not always very effective. Prevention is worth a pound of cure in this particular case... but anyway, possible treatments:
First correcting the husbandry issue that caused the impaction in the first place.
Soaking in warm water 2 or 3 times a day for 10-20 minutes.
A good herp vet could remove an impaction surgically, or possibly prescribe a laxative depending on the severity of the condition - getting a gecko to take medicine is easier said than done

Treatment of an ancillary infection may also be necessary.

Most people find it rather gross, but its rather important to inspect your pet's poop. It can tell alot about their overall health before outward signs are even apparent.

Rav

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Last edited by Ravnos; 01-09-2003 at 04:04 AM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-09-2003, 02:07 PM
 
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Great answer Rav. I couldn't have said it better.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-09-2003, 02:22 PM
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WOW!
Excellent answer!
I have posted this question on a few forums.
Including forums that are designed just for reptile owners.
You definately gave the quickest and most detailed response.
Paw Talk should be proud!

Since you know your stuff so well, How many crickets (max) should a full grown Leopard Gecko eat per night in your opinion?

Thanx Ravnos!
 
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-09-2003, 02:37 PM
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The amount of food to be fed is really quite variable. Overall health, activity level, temperatures, etc can all play a part in how much they will eat, could eat, or should eat.

I don't actually keep leos, so I can't give an estimated number for them specificially - but with my other lizards. for the first few feedings I feed one cricket at a time. Until they start to lose interest and then I stop. I repeat the process every once in a while, to do a recount and see if they're interested in more. Its really a guessing game - even sometimes humans just don't feel like a full meal and eat less... and other times we just get really hungry. I like to keep a little note book to monitor food intake, so I can sort of chart increases and decreases, eventually I can sort of predict when they'll eat less and eat more - but its still far from a science.

While they are young and growing they will need to eat more often, but adults will usually be just fine if fed every other day. Mealies, other feeder insects, and pinks make good treats, but should be kept as treats. Quality of the food I think is rather important. Gut loading and dusting with vitamins will make the crickets all the better for your little guy.

Rav

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-09-2003, 03:26 PM
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I just got my Leo about 2 weeks ago.
And man does she eat like a total pig!
But she was very malnourished for years.
She lived in terrible living conditions, to say the least.
And her nutient intake was very limited. (no gut loading)
She now lives in totally different living conditions.
Lots of ventilation, fresh water and very healthy, gut loaded, dusted crickets.
I think that her body is craving nutients from years of such a poor diet because she eats more now then she ever has. (I know her history for I know the person that neglected her).
It seems that as she is getting healthier, she is eating more.
And the night before last, I do think she ate too much because she was acting like I do after Christmas dinner.
She didn't want to eat even though the activity of the crickets seemed to entice her. But who knows if she eat more while I was sleeping.
They won't eat themselves to death will they?
 
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-09-2003, 04:28 PM
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They won't 'eat themselves to death' but obesity is certainly a concern. But if your gecko is pretty active, that should not be a real problem. Just something to be aware of.

Impaction can also happen with overfeeding. They simply eat more than they can adequately digest. Keeping the temperatures correct is a good way to prevent this.

Generally I remove any uneaten crickets from the cage after a half hour or so. Even if they seem interested, by then they've probably eaten their fill and crickets can cause stress on your animal. They're nasty little creatures.

Rav

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-2003, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ravnos
Impaction can also happen with overfeeding. They simply eat more than they can adequately digest.

Rav
That's what I meant by eating themselves to death.
Silly you......

Can you imagine if humans had digestive impacting problems, I think that would be a huge concern around Christmas time.
Or even Thanksgiving for that matter!
We would definately eat ourselves to dealth.
I know I would!
Just one more helping......
Just one more piece......
Just one more bite......
Maybe I'll just keep licking this dessert spoon......

You'd have to taste my mom's Stawberry Shortcake to understand!
 
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