Crested gecko health: Keeping your crested gecko fit and health. Crested geckos are among the easiest reptiles to keep as pets, providing that a few very simple rules are followed.
* Crested geckos require a nutrient and calcium rich balanced diet, in order so they can grow properly and live a long and healthy life.
* They also demand a temperature gradient in order for them to thermo-regulate and much better digest the nutrients inside their food.
* Additionally they require plenty of space to move around, and being arboreal tree dwellers in addition they require a lot of climbing branches / perches.
* The most common health conditions that appear in cresties in captivity are generally a consequence of among the above not being offered, or not available to the correct standard.
Below you can find an insight into the most common of these problems and the ways to ensure that they are prevented.
MBD: Metabolic Bone Disease in crested geckos:
Metabolic bone disease in geckos is frequently caused as a result of lack of the proper nutrients being provided inside 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.
By 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 in the gecko, especially by means of bumps, twists and dips within 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 cause a weakening in the jaw, causing 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 in the bones, MBD can also at its worst result in numerous broken bones.
A gecko with MBD finds it more challenging to climb, and often lose the ‘stickiness’ on the feet and tail. In case a gecko with MBD falls from the height, broken bones are generally the result.
Metabolic bone disease in its latter stages is really a horrific sight to witness, as well as the gecko is twisted and contorted out of recognition.
In younger and crested gecko breeding females it is actually extra vital that you supplement feeding properly. Hatchlings put a lot of calcium into bone growth, and breeding females make use of an extraordinary quantity of calcium when producing eggs.
Providing a proper, nutrient rich and balanced gecko diet is easily the most foolproof method to help prevent 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
* Give a good meal replacement gecko diet powder
* UVB light can also assistance to prevent MBD, as it helps the gecko to absorb and utilise the calcium in its diet more efficiently
* Too much phosphorous in a diet can prevent calcium being absorbed. Avoid foods with high 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 actually most noticeable when the gecko is laying upside-down, flat from the side of their enclosure, at which point the tail usually flops down over its head or at a jaunty angle.
A healthy gecko tail would rest up against the glass in its natural position.
It is believed that Floppy tail syndrome results mainly from the captive environment as cresties within the wild would rarely stumbled upon a surface as flat, smooth and vertical as an enclosure wall.
It is thought that this flat surface is exactly what can bring about FTS in crested geckos, as laying on this vertical surface for extended amounts of time results in the tail ‘flopping’ over because of gravity, and weakens the muscles on the tails base.
At its worst, floppy tail syndrome is considered in order to twist the pelvis of the gecko, predominantly because of the excessive weight put on the pelvic area when the tail flops aside.
Because of 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 lots of climbing and hiding places for the gecko could 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 as such it can 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 those 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 periods of time.
It is much easier to maintain your crested gecko enclosure at temperatures nearer to around 25C than to risk over being exposed to higher temperatures.
With that being said you can allow elements of your enclosure to reach 28C – as an example directly beneath the basking bulb – so long as the pet gecko can choose to transfer to a cooler area when they wish.
Higher temperatures only become a deadly problem whenever your gecko needs to endure them constantly or perhaps for long amounts of time with no choice to cool down.
Research has revealed that crested gecko subjected to temperatures of 30C without having the ability to cool down, can and will most likely die within an hour.
Young/small geckos are even more prone to heat stress so it is recommended to always allow them the decision to move to the cooler end of their temperature range.
Cleaning your crested gecko vivarium:
Keeping your gecko enclosure clean will help you to prevent illnesses associated with bad hygiene, bacteria and moulds.
The crested gecko tank / enclosure will periodically need to have a thorough clean in the event it becomes dirty.
I find it 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 available now which can be diluted with water to ensure a secure environment to your gecko after cleaning and also you can use newspaper to clean up smears and streaks on glass enclosures.
It really is advised to accomplish a comprehensive complete clean of the enclosure and all of its contents once in a while. I tend to perform a big clean out each month to assist stop any unwanted bacteria accumulating.
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:
• Could have neat and clear nose and eyes. Eyes is going to be bright and shiny and will not be sunken in 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 must not remain a lot longer than this.
• Is definitely not dehydrated: Dehydrated geckos could have loose skin, sunken eyes and will be somewhat lethargic. Dehydration often leads to 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 inside your hand and definately will show hardly any interest or reaction in being handled
• Should have a plump, straight tail that can ‘grasp’ onto objects. A good test of this is if the gecko wraps its tail around your finger.
• Must have almost Velcro like feet. When the gecko is neglecting to stick/climb – this can be a sign of MBD or retained shed.
Take a look at our website committed to the care and husbandry of crested geckos and leopard geckos.