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Bug's Story

My first season of leopard gecko breeding involved a lot of trial and error (mostly error, on my part). I was only breeding a few pairs, as a test-run. That season was when Stewie hatched. It was also the season that a little baby named Bug was born, on 11/6/05.

Bug was the offspring of Rasputin and Slinky. At first, she seemed like a normal hatchling- adventurous and spunky, though small. Within a few days, though, I noticed that she was having trouble with her eyes. Eventually I realized that they were getting gummed shut, and I rushed to make a vet appointment.

At the vet, we determined that she had congenitally deformed eyelids. They were turned so that they were scraping at her corneas, and then gumming shut. It got worse when she was in a dry environment. Though there was a surgery that could correct the condition, she was too small. There was also a chance that she could grow out of it. So I made her a special tank, where the humidity remained high, and we put her on antibiotic eyedrops and syringe-feeding. The odds seemed in her favor, if she could just grow a little bigger.

On 12/4/05, Bug was found by a friend of mine (I was out of town for work, so she was coming over to care for her). She had passed on in her (very shallow) water dish. I ran her over to the vet for a necropsy, feeling like crap. I had really gotten my hopes up for Bug.

In the end, she was overwhelmed by a bacterial infection that weakened her. Though I don't blame myself for her death, it did teach me something. I purchased Slinky and Rasputin from the same hobbyist. He swore that they were not related. Now I know not to trust people who do not have a reputation riding on their word. Eyelid deformities, along with tail deformities, are known to be highly correlated with inbreeding. Slinky and Rasputin will never be bred together again.

Fresh out of the egg.

Here you can see her eyelid deformity.

Over the Rainbow Bridge

Muftin Geckos * Corvallis * OR * USA

All photos and text copyright Marla Blaney 2014

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