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RE: Day gecko with solidified calcium sacs

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Posted by: Geckoranch at Thu Mar 3 20:05:10 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Geckoranch ]  

Hi! Cindy Steinle asked me to respond. I am a Phelsuma breeder with 18 years of experience breeding over 30 species of Phelsuma. I have not seen a case this pronounced with the excessive calcium sacs. These need veterinary intervention by a non-domestic vet, either by medication and or surgery as these hardened deposits are painful to the gecko. I'll speak a little about this gecko so we can process and understand our total experiences.

P. standingi is a large Day Gecko that is from an arid area of Madagascar. They need a basking temp of about 95-100F to feel comfortable and exhibit their best color - yours is not exhibiting good color, which is cause for worry. This whitish off-color yours displays, which is normally blue/green/gray, is likely because of a temperature and or nutrition issue. Since we have discussed temperature, let's talk about supplementation and then nutrition.

P. standingi produce some of the heaviest calcified eggs in the genus of Phelsuma, and females need a lot of calcium to do this in their diet. Supplementation is critical. I am curious to learn what supplement this gecko is on and if she is kept under full-spectrum lighting. She is unable, for some reason, to metabolize all the calcium she is getting. In order to metabolize calcium properly, other vitamins and minerals, such as D3 and phosphorus in particular, need to be in correct ratios. If these ratios are off, due to supplementation and/or diet and lighting (full spectrum/regular incandescent).

I have had a few cases of female P. standingi with big calcium sacs and hypocalcemia (not enough calcium). This was evidenced by eggs not hatching, and x-rays of a female with four broken legs with huge calcium sacs. This was with no full-spectrum lighting and RepCal Ultrafine with D3 and Herptivite, which I eventually used 2 parts RepCal Ultrafine with D3 and Herptivite, and my results did not improve.

I have since switched to Calcium Plus by Allen Repashy, which for non-breeding females and males is fine, however, I am using one of his higher D3 supplements, the SuperCalMeD, which has a bit more D3 to help with Calcium metabolism for breeding females. This is mixed equal parts with SuperVite, his multi-vitamin companion part of this system. I use full spectrum lighting, so I am reluctant to use the highest D3 he has, SuperCalHyD, thinking I will overdose them on D3 and get big calcium Sacs. Results: the females calcium sacs are a bit bigger using this technique, their color is good, we'll see what happens this breeding season to see what we can conclude about this solution. If you female is not breeding I would use Calcium Plus for now and see what the vet recommends to either get rid of those sacs surgically or with metabolic solutions like the one I am using with Allen Repashy's custom supplements and full-spectrum lighting.

Just a note, leaving calcium out in the terrarium with a gecko in this condition will exacerbate the condition. Many folks do not understand how calcium is metabolized and they often just supplemented it by itself and not with the necessary vitamins and minerals like phosphorus and D3 so the gecko can process the calcium properly. Geckos have particular requirements in these ratios, I feel Allen Repashy has this sorted out as well as it can be by anyone and has been proven out on my large collection of over 100 Phelsuma for many years. Many supplements are have toxic levels of D3 (too high) for geckos so beware.

As far as diet, mine get Repashy Crested Gecko MRP, also his Day Gecko MRP (MRPs already supplemented), and three week old crickets supplemented with either Calcium Plus or the custom higher D3 mix depending if the gecko is breeding or not. During the peak season the geckos eat three times a week, winter twice a week, crickets usually given once a week, sometimes every other week.

I hope this helps, please let me know some more details about this gecko's husbandry and we can go from there.


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