Topics Forums Leopard Geckos Gecko Concerns (New Owner!) Reply To: Gecko Concerns (New Owner!)




Although it is difficult to be sure without an examination or a video, I think the prudent course of action is to assume that it IS this condition. By taking this stance you can begin to manage the animal’s stress levels in a systematic way, and draw conclusions about the best way to manage his environment, how to handle him more to his liking, changes to feeding and furniture and so forth. For instance, he became agitated at the beginning of the handling session when you needed to take him out to clean his enclosure. I must assume that you picked him up in a forthright manner that both you and he were used to before this gene kicked in. Experiment with time and approach, and see if he alters his response. Perhaps putting your hand under him for a bit before lifting him up will help? Or handling him at dusk, when he is most active and alert. You may find through trial error that dusk is a terrible time, but morning is fine, and so forth. Consider his enclosure design the way a parent with an autistic child must do. Eliminate any tall plants or branches, because if he has a seizure, he can fall and break a leg. Like autistic persons, this genetic condition is not fatal, but cannot be cured. That’s OK, because with some adjustments to routine and environment, he should still be a fine pet for you for years to come, he is just going to have special needs.

Many owners of ES Leos have found that positive results were achieved by increasing calcium in the lizard’s diet. I think there is warrant for this observation, scientifically, so do try that, just make sure and do the research needed to provide a supplement with a proper calcium/phosphorus balance (2/1 ratio). Also, like autistic persons, bright lights and sudden loud sounds can produce abnormal behavioral responses. You may want to experiment with lighting. If you do have good results with light reduction, be sure that your supplement of choice includes D3.

Do not increase the current dosage of supplement too dramatically, as in don’t double it, because excess levels of calcium can cause their own problems. I have addressed this in several care guides on this site, so cruise through some of those to get ideas on mineral formulations and amounts. Just make sure the product you use is high quality, well balanced, and increase his intake about 25% for two weeks and observe the results. If they are positive, keep the dosage there, rather than increasing it.

Like any parent of a special child, you will need to become a bit of a scientist to find out what works and what doesn’t. Of course, you may decide that a veterinary opinion is needed, and if you come to suspect the problem is not ES, then by all means do that. If it is ES, the vet will tell you pretty much what I just have. Very best of luck and please keep us informed of his progress, because ES is pretty common and other forum members will benefit from your observations, as will I.

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