By dr. Norette L. Underwood
Gecko and Turtle Health
Gecko Hunger Strike
A friend of mine had a fat-tailed gecko. He used to eat a few live crickets every few days, but lately he will not touch his food. He just lets the crickets die in his aquarium.
A gecko not wanting to eat is frequently a sign of an underlying health issue. You should make an appointment to see your vet to rule out infections or other medical issues. Your gecko’s environment may be off. It is important that proper heating, lighting and humidity are correct. The ideal home is a tank with a warm side heated to 90 degrees and cooler side in the high 70’s. It is also important to keep the tank clean. Remove uneaten crickets or other insects after 30 minutes. If left in the tank, they can pick up parasites from your pet’s poop and make your gecko sick if he does eventually eat them.
Turtles and Sunlight:
A client asked me if there was a correlation between the amount of sunlight and her turtle’s appetite. Yes there is. When the lighting or environmental temperature range is not correct for a species it can have trouble digesting food and not want to eat. All indoor turtles should have access to full-spectrum (UVA-UVB) lighting during the day. The light source should be 8-12 inches from your turtle and not shine through glass or plastic. Some reptiles do fast seasonally, but loss of appetite can also be a sign of illness. If your turtle doesn’t eat for more than a few days, have it checked out by your veterinarian.
If you have questions about geckos and turtles contact dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at firstname.lastname@example.org.