Hey, don’t force feed your reptiles unless absolutely necessary.
It’s extremely stressful and can be harmful. You can injury your reptile if you open its mouth wrong or insert the feeding syringe wrong. Your reptile can spit or regurge the food back up and waste away from the subsequent stress. It’s a very last resort and shouldn’t be done on a frequent basis. That’s dangerous and leads to all sorts of problems, the last of is your reptile mistrusting you.
There are lots of other things to consider beforehand.
Check your husbandry.
Check surface and ambient temperatures. Try out different foods.
Limit interactions to waste removal, water changes, and changing out feeders.
Don’t stick your hand in for any other reason, don’t peek, don’t be noisy - DO NOT DISTURB!
Reptiles can go long periods of time without eating, and weight loss is expected. If weight loss is minimal over a long period of time it’s not too worrisome (let’s say 1-3g over a month). If it is drastic over a short period of time (let’s assume -10g in 1 week) then it’s bad. Of course reptiles vary in size so a smaller reptile (like hatchlings or dwarf geckos) losing weight is more concerning than a healthy adult leopard gecko or large colubrid dropping a few grams.
Most of the time I see cases of rapid weight loss mainly due to excessive handling, especially with newly acquired reptiles. This is why there’s a one or two week MINIMUM of no handling and minimum interaction! If the reptile still acts nervous even after 1-2 weeks, wait it out. Don’t put your desire over their needs. And please, for your reptile’s sake don’t force feed unless you’ve exhausted EVERY OPTION.
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