Crested gecko health: Keeping the crested gecko fit and health. Crested geckos are the easiest reptiles to keep as pets, providing that a few quite simple rules are followed.
* Crested geckos demand a nutrient and calcium rich balanced diet, in order to allow them to grow properly and live a long and healthy life.
* Additionally they require 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 move around, and being arboreal tree dwellers in addition they require lots of climbing branches / perches.
* The most common health issues that happen in cresties in captivity are generally a consequence of among the above not being offered, or otherwise not offered for the correct standard.
Below you will find an insight into the most common of such problems and ways to ensure they are prevented.
MBD: Metabolic Bone Disease in crested geckos:
Metabolic bone disease in geckos is frequently caused because of a lack of the right nutrients being provided in their diets.
Metabolic bone disease is actually a deficiency of calcium, which leads to the gecko utilising the calcium reserves looking at the own body and skeleton to supplement this lack in calcium.
Using the reserves of calcium in its 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 in the gecko, especially in the form of bumps, twists and dips inside the spine as well as a rotating from the hips, creating the tail to flop or jut-out at an unusual angle.
Metabolic bone disease can also result in a weakening of the jaw, leading to the gecko finding eating much more difficult.
The jaw is usually too weak for your gecko to close it itself, as well as the jaw remains permanently open.
Due to the weakening from 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 their feet and tail. When a gecko with MBD falls coming from a height, broken bones are generally the result.
Metabolic bone disease in the latter stages is a horrific sight to witness, and also the gecko is twisted and contorted out of recognition.
In younger and crested gecko breeding females it really is extra essential to supplement feeding properly. Hatchlings put lots of calcium into bone growth, and breeding females use an extraordinary quantity of calcium when producing eggs.
Providing a healthy, nutrient rich and balanced gecko diet is regarded as the foolproof way to aid the prevention of your crested gecko developing MBD.
Preventing gecko Metabolic Bone Disease in crested geckos:
* Gut load live food prior to feeding which makes them more nutritious
* Dust live food with nutrient powders, Calcium, and Calcium D3
* Give a good meal replacement gecko diet powder
* UVB light can also assistance to prevent MBD, because it helps the gecko to absorb and utilise the calcium in the diet more effectively
* Excessive phosphorous in a diet can prevent calcium being absorbed. Avoid foods rich in phosphorus content.
* Floppy tail syndrome: FTS in crested geckos
Floppy tail syndrome in geckos happens when the gecko’s tail literally flops in an abnormal direction. It is actually most noticeable if the gecko is laying upside-down, flat from the side of its enclosure, in which point the tail usually flops down over its head or in a jaunty angle.
A wholesome gecko tail would rest from the glass in their natural position.
It is actually thought that Floppy tail syndrome results mainly from a captive environment as cresties inside the wild would rarely stumbled upon a surface as flat, smooth and vertical as an enclosure wall.
It really is believed that this flat surface is what can play a role in FTS in crested geckos, as laying with this vertical surface for prolonged periods of time leads to the tail ‘flopping’ over because of gravity, and weakens the muscles at the tails base.
At its worst, floppy tail syndrome is believed so that you can twist the pelvis in the gecko, predominantly as a result of excessive weight put on the pelvic area if the tail flops to the side.
For this reason it is really not advised to breed a female crested gecko with FTS, as she could well encounter problems trying to pass the eggs.
Although no concrete evidence is accessible, it can be assumed that providing lots of climbing and hiding places to your gecko may help to prevent them from sleeping on the enclosure walls.
Nevertheless it is still not fully understood whether this is actually the actual underlying reason behind FTS. Many believe it can be an inherited deformity, and thus it may be passed from parents for their young although at the minute this seems unlikely.
Heat Stress in Crested Geckos
Heat Stress in crested geckos is the number one killer of these usually very hardy and easy to look after reptiles.
Crested geckos will start to show stress if kept at temperatures above 28C for prolonged amounts of time.
It is less difficult to keep up your crested gecko enclosure at temperatures nearer to around 25C rather than to risk over contact with higher temperatures.
That being said you can allow elements of your enclosure to reach 28C – as an example directly underneath the basking bulb – so long as your pet gecko can choose to move into a cooler area when they wish.
Higher temperatures only turn into a deadly problem when your gecko needs to endure them constantly or for long time periods with no choice to cool down.
Research shows that crested gecko exposed to temperatures of 30C without having the capacity to cool down, can and definately will very likely die in a hour.
Young/small geckos are even very likely to heat stress so it is recommended to always allow them the selection to move towards the cooler end of their temperature range.
Cleaning your crested gecko vivarium:
Keeping your gecko enclosure clean will assist you to prevent illnesses linked with bad hygiene, bacteria and moulds.
The crested gecko tank / enclosure will periodically need to have a thorough clean if it becomes dirty.
I find it easiest to spot-clean the enclosures every day or two, removing uneaten food and excrement and wiping the edges in the enclosure with damp paper towel.
There are numerous reptile-safe disinfectants currently available and these can be diluted with water to make certain a secure environment for your gecko after cleaning and you can use newspaper to clean up up smears and streaks on glass enclosures.
It is advised to perform a thorough complete clean from the enclosure and all of its contents once in a while. I tend to perform a big clean out each month to help stop any unwanted bacteria building up.
With regular cleaning and upkeep your crested gecko enclosure should not create an unwanted odour or create mould/bacteria.
Selecting a healthy crested gecko:
A wholesome gecko:
• Could have neat and clear nose and eyes. Eyes will likely be bright and shiny and will not be sunken to the head.
• Will never have layers of retained shed skin stuck at its extremities. Healthy geckos shed in a few hours and shed should never remain much longer than this.
• Is definitely not dehydrated: Dehydrated geckos could have loose skin, sunken eyes and will be somewhat lethargic. Dehydration often results in the gecko looking thin when compared with a well hydrated gecko.
• Is going to be alert when handled, a unhealthy animal is going to be limp qrtdbr possibly shaky in your hand and will show virtually no interest or reaction in being handled
• Needs to have a plump, straight tail that can ‘grasp’ onto objects. A great test of this is when the gecko wraps its tail around your finger.
• Must have almost Velcro like feet. When the gecko is failing to stick/climb – this can become a sign of MBD or retained shed.
Have a look at our website committed to the care and husbandry of crested geckos and leopard geckos.