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 simple rules are followed.
* Crested geckos demand 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 better digest the nutrients within their food.
* Additionally they require plenty of space to move around, 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 result of one of many above not being offered, or otherwise being offered towards the correct standard.
Below you will find an insight into the most typical of those problems and 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 insufficient the correct nutrients being provided in their diets.
Metabolic bone disease is really 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.
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 brings about permanent disfigurement from the gecko, especially by means of bumps, twists and dips inside the spine along with a rotating in the hips, resulting in the tail to flop or jut-out with an unusual angle.
Metabolic bone disease can also produce a weakening from the jaw, resulting in the gecko finding eating much more difficult.
The jaw is usually 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 bring about numerous broken bones.
A gecko with MBD finds it harder to climb, and quite often lose the ‘stickiness’ on their feet and tail. When a gecko with MBD falls from the height, broken bones are generally the effect.
Metabolic bone disease in their latter stages is a horrific sight to witness, and 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 plenty of calcium into bone growth, and breeding females work with an extraordinary amount of calcium when producing eggs.
Providing a proper, nutrient rich and balanced gecko diet is the most foolproof approach to assist in preventing your crested gecko developing MBD.
Preventing gecko Metabolic Bone Disease in crested geckos:
* Gut load live food just before feeding causing them to be more nutritious
* Dust live food with nutrient powders, Calcium, and Calcium D3
* Provide 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 the diet more efficiently
* Too much 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 is when the gecko’s tail literally flops inside an abnormal direction. It really is most noticeable if the gecko is laying upside-down, flat against the side of the enclosure, in which point the tail usually flops down over its head or with a jaunty angle.
A healthy gecko tail would rest from the glass in its natural position.
It really is believed that Floppy tail syndrome results mainly from a captive environment as cresties in the wild would rarely come across a surface as flat, smooth and vertical as an enclosure wall.
It really is believed that this flat surface is the thing that can contribute to FTS in crested geckos, as laying with this vertical surface for longer amounts of time brings about the tail ‘flopping’ over due to gravity, and weakens the muscles in the tails base.
At its worst, floppy tail syndrome is believed to be able to twist the pelvis from the gecko, predominantly because of the excessive weight put on the pelvic area once the tail flops to the side.
Due to this it is 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 is available, it can be assumed that providing plenty of climbing and hiding places for the gecko could help to prevent them from sleeping on the enclosure walls.
Nonetheless it remains not fully understood whether this is actually the actual underlying cause of FTS. Many believe it can be a hereditary deformity, and as such it may be passed from parents to 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 simple to care for reptiles.
Crested geckos will quickly show stress if kept at temperatures above 28C for prolonged amounts of time.
It is easier to maintain your crested gecko enclosure at temperatures even closer to around 25C than to risk over being exposed to higher temperatures.
That being said you can allow areas of your enclosure to arrive at 28C – for instance directly below the basking bulb – so long as your pet gecko can decide to transfer to a cooler area if they wish.
Higher temperatures only be a deadly problem whenever your gecko is forced to endure them constantly or for long amounts of time minus the solution to cool down.
Research has revealed that crested gecko subjected 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 more prone to heat stress so it is best to always allow them the decision to go for the cooler end with their temperature range.
Cleaning your crested gecko vivarium:
Keeping your gecko enclosure clean will assist you to prevent illnesses connected 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 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 several reptile-safe disinfectants currently available and these can be diluted with water to ensure a secure environment for the gecko after cleaning and you can use newspaper to wash up smears and streaks on glass enclosures.
It is advised to do a comprehensive complete clean of the enclosure as well as its contents once in a while. I often conduct a big clean out each month to assist stop any unwanted bacteria building up.
With regular cleaning and upkeep your crested gecko enclosure must not create an unwanted odour or create mould/bacteria.
Selecting a healthy crested gecko:
A proper gecko:
• May have clean and clear nose and eyes. Eyes is going to be bright and shiny and will not be sunken into the head.
• Is not going to have layers of retained shed skin stuck at its extremities. Healthy geckos shed in a couple of hours and shed should never remain a lot longer than this.
• Is definitely not dehydrated: Dehydrated geckos may have loose skin, sunken eyes and will also be somewhat lethargic. Dehydration often brings about the gecko looking thin compared to a well hydrated gecko.
• Will be alert when handled, a unhealthy animal is going to be limp qrtdbr possibly shaky within your hand and definately will show virtually no interest or reaction in being handled
• Must have a plump, straight tail that can ‘grasp’ onto objects. A great test with this is when the gecko wraps its tail around your finger.
• Should 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 focused on the care and husbandry of crested geckos and leopard geckos.