Crested gecko health: Keeping the crested gecko fit and health. Crested geckos are some of the easiest reptiles to keep as pets, providing that the few quite simple rules are followed.
* Crested geckos demand a nutrient and calcium rich balanced diet, in order so they can grow properly and live a long and healthy life.
* Additionally they demand a temperature gradient in order so they can thermo-regulate and digest the nutrients within their food.
* Additionally they require a lot of space to maneuver, and being arboreal tree dwellers they also require a lot of climbing branches / perches.
* The most typical health problems that appear in cresties in captivity are often a consequence of one of the above not being offered, or not offered for the correct standard.
Below you will find a look into the most typical of such problems and the ways to ensure that they are prevented.
MBD: Metabolic Bone Disease in crested geckos:
Metabolic bone disease in geckos is most often caused because of a insufficient the correct nutrients being provided in their diets.
Metabolic bone disease is actually a deficiency of calcium, which leads to the gecko utilising the calcium reserves from its own body and skeleton to supplement this lack in calcium.
By utilizing the reserves of calcium in the own body, the gecko’s skeleton is ‘warped’ and misshapen as a result of bones becoming very weak and pliable.
This often leads to permanent disfigurement of the gecko, especially in the form of bumps, twists and dips inside the spine as well as a rotating of the hips, resulting in the tail to flop or jut-out in an unusual angle.
Metabolic bone disease can also cause a weakening from the jaw, causing the gecko finding eating a lot more difficult.
The jaw is frequently too weak for that gecko to close it itself, as well as the jaw remains permanently open.
As a result of weakening of the bones, MBD can also at its worst lead to numerous broken bones.
A gecko with MBD finds it more challenging to climb, and frequently lose the ‘stickiness’ on the feet and tail. If a gecko with MBD falls coming from a height, broken bones are often the end result.
Metabolic bone disease in their latter stages is actually a horrific sight to witness, and also the gecko is twisted and contorted from recognition.
In younger and crested gecko breeding females it really is extra essential to supplement feeding properly. Hatchlings put a lot of calcium into bone growth, and breeding females make use of an extraordinary level of calcium when producing eggs.
Providing a proper, nutrient rich and balanced gecko diet is easily the most foolproof way to help prevent your crested gecko developing MBD.
Preventing gecko Metabolic Bone Disease in crested geckos:
* Gut load live food just before feeding making them more nutritious
* Dust live food with nutrient powders, Calcium, or Calcium D3
* Give a good meal replacement gecko diet powder
* UVB light can also assist to prevent MBD, because it helps the gecko to absorb and utilise the calcium in their diet more efficiently
* Excessive phosphorous in a diet can prevent calcium being absorbed. Avoid foods with higher phosphorus content.
* Floppy tail syndrome: FTS in crested geckos
Floppy tail syndrome in geckos happens when the gecko’s tail literally flops inside an abnormal direction. It is most noticeable if the gecko is laying upside-down, flat from the side of its enclosure, where point the tail usually flops down over its head or with a jaunty angle.
A proper gecko tail would rest against the glass in the natural position.
It is considered that Floppy tail syndrome results mainly from the captive environment as cresties inside the wild would rarely stumbled upon a surface as flat, smooth and vertical being an enclosure wall.
It is thought that this flat surface is the thing that can contribute to FTS in crested geckos, as laying with this vertical surface for longer time periods results in the tail ‘flopping’ over as a result of gravity, and weakens the muscles at the tails base.
At its worst, floppy tail syndrome is believed to be able to twist the pelvis in the gecko, predominantly because of the excessive weight put on the pelvic area if the tail flops aside.
For this reason it is far from advised to breed a female crested gecko with FTS, as she could well encounter problems attempting to pass the eggs.
Although no concrete evidence is accessible, it can be assumed that providing plenty of climbing and hiding places for the gecko might help to prevent them from sleeping on the enclosure walls.
Nonetheless it is still not fully understood whether this is the actual underlying cause of FTS. Many believe it could be an inherited deformity, and thus it may be passed from parents to their young although in the minute this seems unlikely.
Heat Stress in Crested Geckos
Heat Stress in crested geckos is the top killer of such usually very hardy as well as simple to look after reptiles.
Crested geckos will quickly show stress if kept at temperatures above 28C for prolonged time periods.
It is easier to maintain your crested gecko enclosure at temperatures even closer to around 25C rather than risk over contact with higher temperatures.
With that being said you can allow parts of your enclosure to achieve 28C – for example directly underneath the basking bulb – so long as the pet gecko can decide to move into a cooler area if they wish.
Higher temperatures only be a deadly problem as soon as your gecko is forced to endure them constantly or perhaps for long periods of time with no choice to cool down.
Research has revealed that crested gecko exposed to temperatures of 30C without having the ability to cool down, can and can most likely die inside an hour.
Young/small geckos are even more prone to heat stress so it is best to always allow them the selection to go for the cooler end of the temperature range.
Cleaning your crested gecko vivarium:
Keeping your gecko enclosure clean will help you to prevent illnesses linked with bad hygiene, bacteria and moulds.
The crested gecko tank / enclosure will periodically need a thorough clean when it becomes dirty.
I think it is easiest to recognize-clean the enclosures every day or two, removing uneaten food and excrement and wiping the sides of the enclosure with damp paper towel.
There are several reptile-safe disinfectants currently available and these can be diluted with water to ensure a secure environment for your gecko after cleaning and you also can use newspaper to clean up up smears and streaks on glass enclosures.
It is advised to do a complete complete clean of the enclosure and all of its contents once in a while. I often perform a big clean out on a monthly basis to aid stop any unwanted bacteria developing.
With regular cleaning and upkeep your crested gecko enclosure should never create an unwanted odour or create mould/bacteria.
Choosing a healthy crested gecko:
A proper gecko:
• Could have neat and clear nose and eyes. Eyes is going to be bright and shiny and is definitely not sunken to the head.
• Will never have layers of retained shed skin stuck at its extremities. Healthy geckos shed in a couple of hours and shed should not remain much longer than this.
• Will never be dehydrated: Dehydrated geckos could have loose skin, sunken eyes and will be somewhat lethargic. Dehydration often brings about the gecko looking thin when compared with a well hydrated gecko.
• Will likely be alert when handled, a unhealthy animal will likely be limp qrtdbr possibly shaky within your hand and will show little to no interest or reaction in being handled
• Must have a plump, straight tail that can ‘grasp’ onto objects. An excellent test of this is that if the gecko wraps its tail around your finger.
• Should have almost Velcro like feet. In the event the gecko is failing to stick/climb – this can be a sign of MBD or retained shed.
Have a look at our website dedicated to the care and husbandry of crested geckos and leopard geckos.