Australian Lizards: A Natural History

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Keeping Australian Geckos

Australian Herpetology Website (Reptiles and Amphibians)

Covering Snakes and Lizards, Crocodiles ,Turtles,and Amphibians, including Colubrid snakes, Pythons, Elapids (called Cobras or Coral Snakes in some countries), Sea Snakes, File Snakes, Blind (or Worm) Snakes, Sea Turtles, Freshwater Turtles (or Tortoises) Dragon Lizards (Agamas), Geckos, Legless Lizards Monitor Lizards (often called Goannas in Australia), Skinks and other Reptile species.


Common Health Issues Faced By Crested Geckos


Common Health Issues Faced By Crested Geckos Page
John Fowler & Rachel Barnes

The Crested Gecko is one of the most popular species of geckos kept in the world. Although uncommon in the wild, many morphs have been bred in captivity. They are native to New Caledonia which is in the southwestPacific Ocean, about 1,210 kilometres (750miles) east of Australia

Note that it is normally illegal to keep Crested geckos and other exotic (not native) species of reptiles in Australia, however much of the information about keeping Crested geckos applies to geckos in general.

Common Health Issues Faced By Crested Geckos
Crested Gecko (Correlophus ciliatus)

Crested geckos or Rhacodactylus ciliatus are one of the fascinating reptile species that can be easily housed. However, there are common health issues and other threats which can endanger the healthy growth of your gecko. You need to be familiar with these issues to care for your pet in a better way.

Metabolic Bone Disease or MBD

MBD is a health issue that can be seen affecting crested geckos and is a result of severe calcium deficiency. As the name suggests your pet may not have healthy bones and can therefore suffer from ill health. Most pet owners, especially those who house these lizards for the first time, are not aware of the gecko's calcium requirements. Like humans, geckos too need calcium and vitamin D for strong bones and good overall development. If your gecko shows soft jaws, shaky movements, muscle twitching, and a lethargic response to food it is likely that there is something wrong.

Normally, these symptoms will not be noticed suddenly but appear when your geckos are neglected for a long time. It is important that you make a note of the amount of calcium and vitamin D you feed your pet. Your gecko may not suffer from MBD if you prevent it from happening in the first place. What do you need to do?

There are calcium supplements that are available as loose powders and can easily be dusted on your pet's food. If your gecko gets weak, it may not grow well. This disease is rare in well fed geckos so even your gecko can stay healthy if you take positive actions. If you house female geckos, you need to give them more calcium during the breeding season to have hard eggs. Eggs that are soft have more chances of getting damaged.

Loss of Tail and Floppy Tail

There is nothing more frustrating for a crested gecko than excessive handling. Yes, it is true. Crested geckos like to be watched but are annoyed when they are touched too often. When a gecko feels threatened, it "drops" its tail. Your gecko's tail may be detached from its body and once this happens it never grows back (unlike many other gecko species) which means that you will then house a "tail-less" gecko.

Losing a tail is stressful for a gecko and the skin may eventually heal on its own. It is always better that you handle your pet correctly and if you have kids around, make sure they too learn to handle their new pet and do not irritate it. Keep in mind an aggressive gecko may jump and bite suddenly in an effort to free itself.

A floppy tail is not always a sign of calcium deficiency. If you don't have adequate resting place for your crested gecko, it may remain stuck to the glass in an awkward position which may cause its bones and tail to bend or be positioned peculiarly. It is not a serious health issue but you need to provide plenty of hiding space to your "nocturnal" pet where it can rest during the day.

Injuries or Wounds

You are likely to have injured and wounded crested geckos as a result of a "violent" fight in the enclosure. You should take care of nasty bites, cuts and wounds on your gecko as they may get infected. A topical antibiotic works well and is also safe to apply.
For more information on housing and caring for your crested geckos, don't forget to check out the links below.

Caring For and Handling a Crested Gecko

Design a Vivarium For Your Crested Gecko



Save Your Leopard Gecko

Techniques in Leopard Gecko Feeding

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Updated December 26, 2020

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