Your African fat-tailed gecko can stop eating for a number of reasons. It could be something you have done. It could be a result of illness. It can even be due to something they ate. As long as your gecko continues to move around and remain active, you can do some things at home. If your African fat-tailed gecko becomes lethargic, doesn't eat and is generally not well, then it's advisable to seek veterinary treatment.
Reptiles can stop eating for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's due to something we've done or fed them previously and other times it's because of an illness. If your leopard gecko has suddenly stopped eating but is still active there are things you can do at home before rushing him into your vet's office.
Why Is My African Fat-Tailed Gecko Not Eating?
Your African fat-tailed gecko can stop eating for a number of reasons. The majority can be resolved quickly, though there are some that need veterinary care. The most common reasons your pet may have lost its appetite include:
The most common reason why your gecko may stop eating is because it is simply too cold. This could be due to numerous factors from bulbs burning out to heat mats not working and more. If your pet is living in conditions that is too cold, its metabolism will slow and chances are it stops eating.
Using a digital thermometer, you can accurately monitor the enclosure temperatures to ensure your pet is comfortable and happy. African fat-tailed geckos require a warm and cool side to their enclosure, enabling them to thermoregulate. The cool side should be around 80°F, while the warm side should range between 90ºF and 95°F.
Impaction can be very serious and can result in death, if not properly treated. Impaction is a severe form of constipation. If your pet has recently eaten some substrate while catching its prey, it can get a blockage.
The first thing you can try is to give your African fat-tailed gecko a warm bath twice a day to encourage bowel movement. If this fails, it's recommended to take your gecko to the vet for assessment and treatment.
One of the symptoms of respiratory infection in African fat-tailed geckos is lack of appetite. These infections are usually due to bacteria exposure, which can be due to incorrect living conditions, high humidity, or low temperatures. Prolonged stress and incorrect feeding can also cause a respiratory infection.
If you suspect your pet has a respiratory infection, ensure you provide a clean-living environment, your humidity levels and temperatures are at optimum, and take your gecko to the vet for assessment and treatment. Use a digital thermometer and hygrometer to accurately monitor temperature and humidity inside the enclosure at a glance.
All reptiles, including your African fat-tailed gecko, are susceptible to mouth rot. This is when the mouth becomes inflamed, usually due to a weakened immune system, causing your pet to be unable to keep mouth bacteria under control resulting in infection. This can be caused by incorrect enclosure temperatures, wrong humidity levels, incorrect diet, or an injury to the mouth.
The symptoms associated with mouth rot include dead tissue in the mouth, red and inflamed mouth, and puss oozing from the mouth. You will want to seek urgent veterinary treatment, especially if your pet is also being lethargic.
Discomfort Caused By Injury
If your leopard gecko has recently injured itself, it can stop eating. Eye injuries, toe problems, and abscesses will all cause discomfort, which can cause a lack of appetite. Look for injuries, both inside and outside the mouth. Once identified treat the injury and you will find your pet will start eating once it starts feeling healthy again.
If your pet is experiencing any eye problems that block its vision, it may not be able to see its food easily, making hunting exceptionally difficult. This can be due to a retained shed, which is a result in a lack of humidity. It can also be due to an abscess on the eye or a corneal ulcer.
Ensure you provide your pet with optimum humidity levels. Monitor the humidity regularly, using a hygrometer. You can increase humidity to the optimum 50% to 60% by introducing a larger water dish on the warm side of the enclosure, reducing air ventilation by covering part of the top screen with foil, or you can mist the enclosure once to twice daily.
All African fat-tailed geckos carry some internal parasites, which will never cause them harm. When your pet’s health is compromised, it can cause the immune system to be less effective at managing these parasites, increasing the risk of parasite infestation, which can cause weight loss, lack of appetite, and a bloated belly. Parasitic infections should be treated by your veterinarian.
Metabolic Bone Disease
Metabolic bone disease is usually a result of low calcium and Vitamin D levels, while phosphorous levels remain too high. This can be due to inadequate UVB exposure, making normal Vitamin D production harder.
Your pet needs Vitamin D to help it metabolize calcium. Provide your pet with a Vitamin D and Calcium supplement. These are easy to use, all you do is simply dust the feeder insects in the supplement before feeding.
You will notice a reduced appetite as your African fat-tailed gecko gets close to shedding. It's not uncommon for geckos to stop eating entirely while they shed. Provide optimum humidity levels during this time and continue to feed, though ensure you remove uneaten food from the enclosure daily.
A gravid African fat-tailed gecko can lose her appetite, which can be worrying for you, the pet owner. Don't worry though, this is normal. Your gecko is going to use a lot of its energy being pregnant, so even eating can be challenging from time to time. Some geckos will stop eating altogether when they are gravid, while others eat more than usual, it depends on your pet.
What you may not know is that your African fat-tailed gecko can go 10 to 14 days without food, though it’s not healthy. If your gecko suddenly stops eating, you want to keep a close eye on them, identifying any other symptoms, which may be cause for concern.
Remember to provide food, even if your pet isn't eating. Any uneaten food must be removed from the enclosure regularly.
If you cannot find the cause and your African fat-tailed gecko isn't eating or has other symptoms, take them to the vet soonest for assessment and treatment, helping your pet get back to full health again.