Water is essential for every living thing. It's as important for humans as it is for your crested gecko. Captive crested geckos can become dehydrated, which can be exceptionally dangerous if left untreated. Being a gecko owner, you want what is best for your pet. Maybe you're worried your gecko is dehydrated or maybe you want to ensure you put good preventative measures in place to reduce the risk of dehydration, continue reading to find out more.
What is Crested Gecko Dehydration?
Dehydration is when the gecko loses more fluids than it is absorbing. That means it doesn't have enough fluid to manage normal functions. It's essential to replace lost fluids as soon as possible to reduce the risk of dehydration.
Crested Gecko Dehydration Signs
- Skin that has lost elasticity – pinch the skin and it doesn't bounce back, remaining puckered.
- Dull looking skin with a wrinkled appearance. You may notice deep wrinkles along the sides of the body and neck.
- Skin becomes dry and flaky
- Hips and ribs protrude
- Eyes become sunken
- Tail becomes wavy
- Tongue may appear sticky
- Unshed skin, especially on tails, toes, and head
- Loss of appetite – do not force feed, your gecko should start eating once it has been rehydrated.
What Causes Dehydation
- Lack of a good water source, remember not all geckos will drink from a bowl, some will lap droplets from plants.
- High temperatures inside the crested gecko enclosure.
- Low humidity levels
- Feeding dry food
- Substrate may be absorbing too much of the humidity, ensure you monitor your humidity levels regularly.
- Infrequent misting
Dehydrated Crested Gecko Treatment
It's essential that dehydration doesn't go untreated, helping your crested gecko live a long and healthy life. It's important that if you feel your gecko is dehydrated, you need to visit your vet as soon as possible. They will provide your gecko with the relevant rehydration that it needs.
Mild dehydration can often be treated with daily misting, soaking the gecko in lukewarm water, and providing ample drinking water in a suitable form to encourage drinking.
Moderate dehydration can be treated with long soaks and administering extra fluids as recommended by your vet.
If your crested gecko has severe dehydration, the vet will give fluids via injection to help your gecko quickly.
Always keep a close eye on your crested gecko’s habits, even once it has recovered to ensure that it is drinking from the source you have provided.
To reduce the risk of your crested gecko becoming dehydrated, you want to put effective preventative measures in place.
- Wash the water dish daily to ensure the water remains clean and fresh. Do not use strong detergents that will create an unpleasant smell or cause contamination to the water.
- Adjust your temperature and humidity levels to meet the needs of your crested gecko. Use a digital thermometer and hygrometer, to monitor levels regularly.
- Mist every second day to ensure that your gecko gets the moisture it needs.
- Now and then you can soak your gecko’s food in water before offering it to them, this can help increase your gecko’s water intake.
- Bathe your reptile in lukewarm water. Most geckos enjoy bathing, along with the interaction with their owner. This is a great way to encourage moisture intake.
Crested geckos are interesting and fascinating reptiles, but it's your responsibility to provide them with the best care you can, and ensuring that they don't become dehydrated is just one of the ways you can keep your pet happy and healthy.