Crested gecko health: Keeping your crested gecko fit and health. Crested geckos are the easiest reptiles to keep as pets, providing that the few very easy rules are followed.
* Crested geckos require a nutrient and calcium rich balanced diet, in order for them to grow properly and live a long and healthy life.
* In addition they require a temperature gradient in order for them to thermo-regulate and better digest the nutrients within their food.
* They also require lots of space to move around, and being arboreal tree dwellers they also require plenty of climbing branches / perches.
* The most common health issues that appear in cresties in captivity are usually a result of one of the above not being offered, or otherwise not available towards the correct standard.
Below you will find an insight into the most typical of these problems and ways to ensure they are prevented.
MBD: Metabolic Bone Disease in crested geckos:
Metabolic bone disease in geckos is frequently caused as a result of absence of the correct nutrients being provided inside their diets.
Metabolic bone disease is really a deficiency of calcium, which results in the gecko utilising the calcium reserves from its own body and skeleton to supplement this lack in calcium.
Using the reserves of calcium in the own body, the gecko’s skeleton is ‘warped’ and misshapen because of the bones becoming very weak and pliable.
This often results in permanent disfigurement from the gecko, especially by means of bumps, twists and dips in the spine as well as a rotating of the hips, resulting in the tail to flop or jut-out at an unusual angle.
Metabolic bone disease can also cause a weakening from the jaw, leading to the gecko finding eating much more difficult.
The jaw is usually too weak for that gecko to close it itself, and the jaw remains permanently open.
As a result of weakening from the bones, MBD can also at its worst result in numerous broken bones.
A gecko with MBD finds it harder to climb, and frequently lose the ‘stickiness’ on their feet and tail. When a gecko with MBD falls from a height, broken bones are usually the effect.
Metabolic bone disease in the latter stages is really a horrific sight to witness, and also the gecko is twisted and contorted out of recognition.
In younger and crested gecko breeding females it is extra important to supplement feeding properly. Hatchlings put a lot of calcium into bone growth, and breeding females work with an extraordinary level of calcium when producing eggs.
Providing a wholesome, nutrient rich and balanced gecko diet is regarded as the foolproof approach to aid the prevention of 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
* Provide a good meal replacement gecko diet powder
* UVB light can also help to prevent MBD, since it helps the gecko to absorb and utilise the calcium in the diet better
* 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 actually most noticeable once the gecko is laying upside-down, flat from the side of the enclosure, where point the tail usually flops down over its head or at a jaunty angle.
A wholesome gecko tail would rest against the glass in the natural position.
It really is believed that Floppy tail syndrome results mainly from the captive environment as cresties in the wild would rarely come across a surface as flat, smooth and vertical as an enclosure wall.
It is actually believed that this flat surface is the thing that can bring about FTS in crested geckos, as laying on this vertical surface for extended periods of time results in the tail ‘flopping’ over due to gravity, and weakens the muscles at the tails base.
At its worst, floppy tail syndrome is considered so that you can twist the pelvis in the gecko, predominantly due to the excessive weight put on the pelvic area once the tail flops aside.
For this reason it is not advised to breed a female crested gecko with FTS, as she could well encounter problems seeking to pass the eggs.
Although no concrete evidence is accessible, it can be assumed that providing lots of climbing and hiding places for your gecko could help to stop them from sleeping on the enclosure walls.
Nevertheless it remains not fully understood whether this is the actual underlying cause of FTS. Many believe it could be an inherited deformity, and as such it could be passed from parents for their young although on the minute this seems unlikely.
Heat Stress in Crested Geckos
Heat Stress in crested geckos is the top killer of such usually very hardy and easy to tend to reptiles.
Crested geckos will quickly show stress if kept at temperatures above 28C for prolonged amounts of time.
It is much easier to keep your crested gecko enclosure at temperatures closer to around 25C than to risk over being exposed to higher temperatures.
With that being said you can allow parts of your enclosure to achieve 28C – as an example directly underneath the basking bulb – so long as your pet gecko can decide to transfer to a cooler area when they wish.
Higher temperatures only become a deadly problem when your gecko is forced to endure them constantly or long amounts of time without the option to cool down.
Research shows that crested gecko exposed to temperatures of 30C without having the capacity to cool down, can and can very likely die inside an hour.
Young/small geckos are even very likely to heat stress so it is best to always allow them the selection to move towards the cooler end with their temperature range.
Cleaning your crested gecko vivarium:
Keeping your gecko enclosure clean will assist you to prevent illnesses associated with bad hygiene, bacteria and moulds.
The crested gecko tank / enclosure will periodically require a thorough clean when it becomes dirty.
I think it is easiest to spot-clean the enclosures every day or two, removing uneaten food and excrement and wiping the sides from the enclosure with damp paper towel.
There are many reptile-safe disinfectants currently available and these can be diluted with water to make certain a safe and secure environment for the gecko after cleaning and you can use newspaper to clean up up smears and streaks on glass enclosures.
It is actually advised to accomplish a comprehensive complete clean from the enclosure as well as its contents once in a while. I tend to conduct 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:
• Will have neat and clear nose and eyes. Eyes will be bright and shiny and is definitely not sunken in to the head.
• Will not have layers of retained shed skin stuck at its extremities. Healthy geckos shed in a few hours and shed must not remain considerably 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 be alert when handled, a unhealthy animal is going to be limp qrtdbr possibly shaky inside your hand and definately will show little to no interest or reaction in being handled
• Should have a plump, straight tail that can ‘grasp’ onto objects. A good test with this is when the gecko wraps its tail around your finger.
• Must have almost Velcro like feet. In the event the gecko is neglecting to stick/climb – this can be a sign of MBD or retained shed.
Check out our website committed to the care and husbandry of crested geckos and leopard geckos.