I was pleasantly suprised when I took Trox & Penguin out of their shipping crate, and discovered that they were tolerant
of handling. For a while, Trox was being a picky eater, which made me nervous. Since then, she's picked up and been eating
with gusto. She's also turned out to be a very agreeable gecko. She does fine with room mates and being handled. As of
2007, she's also finally mastered the art of depositing her eggs in the laying chamber.
In 2006, I exposed her to Adonis, and she laid a few eggs. I caught the last one very quickly after being laid (oddly
a single, they usually come in pairs), and though it was fertile, it's shell was very thin. I incubated it, though I doubted
it would pull through. To my surprise, it hatched, and out came Spark. I increased her diet even more, and supplemented
her directly with calcium, just in case that was the culprit in making the thinly-shelled egg (it was not simply weight, she'd
been plump since before she started breeding). Sadly, Spark passed on shortly after hatching, and Trox laid no more eggs
in 2006 after that.
*update May 2007* This season, I got Trox off to an early start, in terms of exposure to Adonis. This time I decided
to try housing her in the tank with him for an extended period of time. Thus far, she's laid four eggs, all of which were
fertile, but three of which succumbed to mold.
It is very painful for me to think about Trox's death, so here is an excerpt from my journal:
i had noticed Trox was looking a little skinny (but really just a little, i wasn't overly alarmed). so i pulled adonis
(whom she was shacking up with, and has been breeding with this season) out of their tank about a week ago. i put in a good
lot of food. when i'd go by her tank, i'd notice that she didn't seem to be eating much, but that it looked like she had eaten
some (i guess i was wrong?). she was also moving around the tank regularly. around midnight, adonis started making weird noises,
so i went to check him out. i noticed a particularly fine superworm, so i went to feed it by hand to trox. i went to pick
her up, she was stiff in my hand and i thought she was dead. i started saying, 'no, no, no' over and over again, and she finally
moved. she looked terrible. she was too skinny, though not anything like slim, just too skinny, but something about her looked
terrible. her color was bad, she was sluggish and stiff, she kept her eyes mostly closed. i was freaking out, i could tell
she needed food and water right away, so i started trying to pry her mouth open to give her droplets of water by hand, but
she wouldn't open it. then i noticed she had a green splotch on her belly, and i knew she was dying, something was terribly
wrong. i had a moment of complete inner panic, and then i decided to take her to the emergency vet. for a minute i thought
she had died, and i did a few chest compressions, and she took a breath. her respiration was almost nothing, about 1/minute.
i ran with her to my car and sped to dove lewis. i just kept hoping that she could make it until the exotic vet opened, and
then maybe she had a chance. dove lewis gave her warmth and oxygen, but she didn't have a heartbeat when she arrived and she
didn't respond. they were cool about it and didn't charge me, because she was so small. i went home with her in a small box.
i kept hoping that when i got home, i'd take her out, and she'd still be alive. barely, but still. but when i took her out,
she was in rigor mortis. i knew for sure. i told her how sorry i was and that i didn't realize she had been sick. then i
had to put her back in the box, and in the fridge. i needed to keep her remains as intact as possible, freezing does damage.
tuesday, during the day, i took her in to have a necropsy. the full results aren't back yet.
Ultimately, it was determined that Trox had ingested some of the perlite that was in her nesting box. This had abraided her
bowel while passing through, and possibly caused temporary obstructions. This both caused the lessening of her appetite (making
her weak) and introduced the infection which overwhelmed her. It was Penguin's diagnosis with a perlite obstruction that
clarified Trox's COD. Geckos will instinctively eat their substrate when they crave calcium. While I knew this, I didn't
realize that it would carry over to the nesting box. Now all of my geckos' humid hides and nesting boxes are particulate-free
as well, and all female geckos being bred will be fed a diet higher in calcium.
Trox is the dam of:
Muftin Geckos * Corvallis * OR * USA
All photos and text copyright Marla Blaney 2014
(except where explicitly specified)