Crested gecko wellbeing: Maintaining the fitness and health of your crested gecko
Crested geckos are among the most simple reptiles to keep as pets if a few simple guidelines are followed.
• Crested geckos need a nutrient and calcium-rich balanced diet in order to grow properly and live a long and healthy life. • They also need a temperature gradient in order to thermo-regulate and better digest the nutrients in their food.
The most common health issues in captivity cresties are normally the result of one or more of the above not being provided, or not being provided to the proper standard. view more
The most popular of these issues are discussed below, along with suggestions about how to avoid them.
In crested geckos, MBD stands for Metabolic Bone Disease.
The most common cause of metabolic bone disease in geckos is a lack of the proper nutrients in their diets.
Metabolic bone disease is a calcium deficiency that causes the gecko to supplement its calcium needs by using calcium reserves from its own body and skeleton.
The gecko’s skeleton is ‘warped’ and misshapen as a result of the bones being very brittle and pliable due to the use of calcium reserves in its own body.
This often results in the gecko’s permanent disfigurement, especially in the form of bumps, twists, and dips in the back, as well as a rotating of the hips, causing the tail to flop or jut out at an odd angle.
Metabolic bone disease may also cause a weakening of the jaw, making feeding more difficult for the gecko.
The jaw is frequently too fragile for the gecko to shut it on its own, so it stays open all the time.
MBD, which weakens the bones, can lead to a slew of broken bones in the worst-case scenario.
A gecko with MBD has a harder time climbing and loses the’stickiness’ on its feet and tail. Broken bones are common when a gecko with MBD falls from a great height.
The gecko is twisted and contorted out of recognition as a result of metabolic bone disorder in its advanced stages.
It is especially necessary to supplement feeding in younger and crested gecko breeding females. Hatchlings use a lot of calcium to develop their bones, and breeding females use a lot of calcium to produce eggs.
The most foolproof way to help prevent your crested gecko from developing MBD is to have a nutritious, nutrient-rich, and balanced gecko diet.
Keeping geckoes at bay Crested geckos with Metabolic Bone Disease:
• Dust live food with nutrient powders, Calcium, and/or Calcium D3 prior to feeding to make it more nutritious • Have a decent meal replacement gecko diet powder
• Too much phosphorous in a diet will prevent calcium from being consumed, which can lead to MBD. • UVB light can also help to prevent MBD by assisting the gecko in better absorbing and using the calcium in its diet. Foods rich in phosphorus should be avoided.
Floppy tail syndrome (FTS) is a condition that affects crested geckos.
When a gecko’s tail flops in an odd way, it is known as floppy tail syndrome. When the gecko is upside-down, flat against the side of its cage, the tail normally flops down over its head or at a jaunty angle, which is most obvious.
In its natural state, a safe gecko tail will rest against the window.
Floppy tail syndrome is thought to be caused primarily by a captive environment, as cresties in the wild will rarely encounter a surface as flat, smooth, and vertical as an enclosure wall.
It is thought that lying on this vertical surface for long periods of time causes the tail to ‘flop’ over due to gravity, weakening the muscles at the tail’s base, which can lead to FTS in crested geckos.
Floppy tail syndrome is thought to be capable of twisting the gecko’s pelvis at its worst, owing to the undue weight placed on the pelvic region when the tail flops to the side.
As a result, breeding a female crested gecko with FTS is not recommended, as she may have difficulty passing the eggs.
While no conclusive evidence exists, it is reasonable to believe that supplying your gecko with plenty of climbing and hiding places would help them avoid sleeping on the enclosure walls.
However, whether or not this is the real root cause of FTS is still unknown. Many people believe it is a genetic deformity that can be passed on from parents to their children, but this seems impossible at the moment.