Reptiles are hardy creatures, which is one of the reasons they make such good pets. However, they can stop eating for what may seem like no reason at all. Leopard geckos are no exception. Baby leopard geckos can be even more susceptible to a loss of appetite. It is best to make sure that they are in fact not eating, rather than just not eating in your sight. The easiest way to check this is to monitor their feces. If there is a lack of fecal matter present, then they may have lost their appetite. Most of the time, your leopard gecko not eating can be solved without taking a trip to the vet. With this in mind though, it is important to identify the reason that your baby leopard gecko is not eating.
Bringing a baby leopard gecko into a new environment can cause it to be stressed. Moving from location to location, with the journey in-between, can be a tumultuous time. Often, they will not eat for several days while they adjust to their new home. Hunger can cause stress and stress can cause a baby to not eat, but usually, this cycle ends when they start to feel more comfortable in their new home. This may take around a week, and although baby leopard geckos should eat every day, they can survive for this time without food.
Setting up a welcoming environment is crucial in order to reduce stress and make your baby leopard gecko feel comfortable enough as soon as possible. An incorrect enclosure temperature is one of the main reasons that a baby will stop eating. As they are cold-blooded reptiles, leopard geckos cannot regulate their own temperature and so rely on their environment to help them. A heat bulb set at around 90 degrees Fahrenheit will help keep temperatures up and encourage your baby leopard gecko to eat. If you’re interested, Amazon sells a range of reptile heat lamps – just click here to take a look (opens in a new tab). In the winter, geckos will eat less due to the drop in temperature, and if the heat drops below 70F then they may stop eating.
It is important to feed your baby leopard gecko a varied diet, and not just provide the same meal every day. This will improve their mental development due to the different tastes, smells, and movements, as well as providing a variety of nutrients. Depending on their personality, they can become bored if there is a lack of variety in their diet and so will refuse to eat. Worms, crickets, grasshoppers, and roaches are all good insects to feed your baby leopard gecko. If the bugs that you are feeding your baby are either too big or too small, it can cause them to stop eating. Too small and their hunting instincts will not kick in, too big and it may cause digestion issues or give them trouble swallowing. Vitamin supplements, such as D3 and calcium, are useful and can be sprinkled onto insects prior to feeding (click here for a selection of reptile supplements available at Amazon). Again, too much of this can lead to poor health and cause your baby to stop eating. To encourage them to start eating again, feed them in the evenings, which is when they would usually hunt in the wild.
Respiratory infections are a common cause of a loss of appetite in reptiles. If their breathing is labored or heavy and their nostrils seem blocked, this could be why they are not eating. Antibiotics can help clear this up and the appetite should return. Mouth rot can cause a lack of appetite due to the discomfort that comes with this oral infection. Swelling of the gums, mouth, or face are signs of mouth rot.
If your baby leopard gecko has had trouble shedding, then this can also cause stress, as well as some vision problems. Other eye issues such as a scratch of the cornea or an abscess can obscure sight. If they cannot see their food, it makes it more difficult for them to eat.