Crested gecko health: Keeping the crested gecko fit and health. Crested geckos are the easiest reptiles to keep as pets, providing that a few very simple rules are followed.
* Crested geckos need a nutrient and calcium rich balanced diet, in order for them to grow properly and live a long and healthy life.
* In addition they need a temperature gradient in order for them to thermo-regulate and digest the nutrients within their food.
* They also require a lot of space to maneuver, and being arboreal tree dwellers they also require a lot of climbing branches / perches.
* The most common health problems that happen in cresties in captivity are usually a consequence of one of many above not being offered, or otherwise offered towards the correct standard.
Below you can find an insight into the most frequent of those problems and the ways to ensure they are prevented.
MBD: Metabolic Bone Disease in crested geckos:
Metabolic bone disease in geckos is most often caused due to a absence of the right nutrients being provided within their diets.
Metabolic bone disease is really a deficiency of calcium, which results in the gecko utilising the calcium reserves from the own body and skeleton to supplement this lack in calcium.
By using the reserves of calcium in their own body, the gecko’s skeleton is ‘warped’ and misshapen as a result of bones becoming very weak and pliable.
This often results in permanent disfigurement in the gecko, especially as bumps, twists and dips in the spine as well as a rotating of the hips, causing the tail to flop or jut-out at an unusual angle.
Metabolic bone disease can also produce a weakening in the jaw, causing the gecko finding eating a lot more difficult.
The jaw is often too weak for the gecko to close it itself, and the jaw remains permanently open.
Because of the weakening in the bones, MBD can also at its worst bring about 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 from a height, broken bones are often the result.
Metabolic bone disease in their latter stages is a horrific sight to witness, as well as the gecko is twisted and contorted away from recognition.
In younger and crested gecko breeding females it is actually extra important to supplement feeding properly. Hatchlings put a lot of calcium into bone growth, and breeding females work with an extraordinary amount of calcium when producing eggs.
Providing a wholesome, nutrient rich and balanced gecko diet is regarded as the foolproof way to assist in preventing your crested gecko developing MBD.
Preventing gecko Metabolic Bone Disease in crested geckos:
* Gut load live food prior to feeding making them more nutritious
* Dust live food with nutrient powders, Calcium, and/or Calcium D3
* Offer a good meal replacement gecko diet powder
* UVB light can also assistance to prevent MBD, because it helps the gecko to soak up and utilise the calcium in its diet better
* A lot of 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 occurs when the gecko’s tail literally flops within an abnormal direction. It is most noticeable when the gecko is laying upside-down, flat from the side of the enclosure, at which point the tail usually flops down over its head or in a jaunty angle.
A proper gecko tail would rest up against the glass in the natural position.
It is actually considered that Floppy tail syndrome results mainly from the captive environment as cresties inside the wild would rarely come across a surface as flat, smooth and vertical as being an enclosure wall.
It really is thought that this flat surface is exactly what can play a role in FTS in crested geckos, as laying with this vertical surface for longer amounts of time leads to the tail ‘flopping’ over due to gravity, and weakens the muscles at the tails base.
At its worst, floppy tail syndrome is considered to be able to twist the pelvis of the gecko, predominantly because of the excessive weight put on the pelvic area once the tail flops aside.
Because of this it is really not advised to breed a female crested gecko with FTS, as she could well encounter problems attempting to pass the eggs.
Although no concrete evidence can be obtained, 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 continues to be not fully understood whether this is the actual underlying reason behind FTS. Many believe it could be a genetic deformity, and thus it can 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 main killer of these usually very hardy as well as simple to tend to reptiles.
Crested geckos will quickly show stress if kept at temperatures above 28C for prolonged time periods.
It is much easier to maintain your crested gecko enclosure at temperatures even closer to around 25C rather than risk over being exposed to higher temperatures.
That being said you can allow parts of your enclosure to reach 28C – as an example directly beneath the basking bulb – so long as the pet gecko can decide to move into a cooler area if they wish.
Higher temperatures only turn into a deadly problem as soon as your gecko is forced to endure them constantly or long time periods with no solution to cool down.
Research shows that crested gecko exposed to temperatures of 30C without having the ability to cool down, can and can most likely die in a hour.
Young/small geckos are even prone to heat stress so it is advisable 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 help to prevent illnesses connected with bad hygiene, bacteria and moulds.
The crested gecko tank / enclosure will periodically require a thorough clean in the event it becomes dirty.
I find it easiest to identify-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 those can be diluted with water to make sure a safe environment to your gecko after cleaning and also you can use newspaper to wash up smears and streaks on glass enclosures.
It really is advised to accomplish a complete complete clean in the enclosure and every one of its contents once in a while. I tend to perform a big clean out each month 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.
Selecting a healthy crested gecko:
A healthy gecko:
• May have clean and clear nose and eyes. Eyes will be bright and shiny and will never be sunken into 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 never remain much longer than this.
• Is definitely not dehydrated: Dehydrated geckos may have loose skin, sunken eyes and are 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 will likely be limp qrtdbr possibly shaky inside your hand and will show little to no interest or reaction in being handled
• Should have a plump, straight tail that can ‘grasp’ onto objects. An excellent test with this is when the gecko wraps its tail around your finger.
• Needs to have almost Velcro like feet. When the gecko is failing to stick/climb – this can be considered a sign of MBD or retained shed.
Check out our website dedicated to the care and husbandry of crested geckos and leopard geckos.