Crested geckos can be diagnosed with a skin infection. The infection will negatively impact the skin and when left without proper treatment, it can result in permanent damage, even spreading to the bloodstream, which can prove fatal. A healthy crested gecko has smooth skin without any blistering, the eyes are clear and bright, and there should be no kinks in the spine or tail. If you're worried your crested gecko may have a skin infection, continue reading to get more detailed information.
Pet lizards, snakes, turtles, and tortoises are frequently diagnosed with infections of their skin and shells. If left untreated, these infections can cause permanent damage or spread into the animal's bloodstream, which is often fatal.
Crested Gecko Skin Infection Symptoms
There are numerous telltale signs to help you identify if your crested gecko has a skin infection. These include:
- Abscesses under the skin filled with pus
- Pockets filled with fluid, a sign of blister disease.
- Ruptured blisters that are red and raw
- Localized or covering a larger portion of the body
Skin infections are caused by fungus or bacteria. This is often found in reptiles living in humid environments with dirty living conditions. A scratch or cut on the skin will increase the risk of infection.
Another cause could be bacterial dermatitis, which is a deep or superficial skin infection. It is often referred to as blister disease, or septicemic cutaneous ulcerative disease. Be aware that burn lesions and fungal infections look very similar and can easily result in a misdiagnosis, which is why you want to get an accurate diagnosis from your reptilian pet.
There are a wide number of bacteria that can cause skin infections. The majority of skin infections are bacterial and the good news is that it is not contagious to humans. Ensure you follow good hygiene to reduce your risk as some organisms can be transferred to humans. If you have any other reptiles in the same environment, they could also get the skin infection. Therefore, you will want to diagnose and treat as quickly as possible.
Some crested gecko owners choose to treat minor infections at home. This is done by gently scrubbing the infected area with a dilution of chlorhexidine solution or povidone-iodine. It's important a topical antibiotic ointment is applied to the area twice daily. This is not a proven method and must be done with care and at your own risk. If you try this method and the infection doesn't start healing and the gecko is still lively and happy, then you may have a fungal infection on your hands. Either way, it's always best to get an accurate diagnosis from your reptile vet to ensure the best treatment plan. The vet will drain ulcers, cut away seriously infected areas, and provide a course of antibiotics.
The treatment your vet provides is based on the severity of the skin infection and the type of condition that your reptile has. They will take the extent of the disease, the conditions in the enclosure, and more to provide you with an effective treatment plan which may include correcting certain things inside the habitat.
If the infection has progressed to where there are lesions, these may need to be surgically cleaned and any dead tissues removed. This is done under anesthetic. An antibiotic will be prescribed.
Prevention is always the best when you have decided to take ownership of a crested gecko. While your gecko is recovering from its skin infection, you want to ensure you provide a very clean environment. Using paper towels or paper as a substrate is ideal for easy cleaning during this period, enabling you to pick up the paper, clean the area, and replace it quickly.
Underlying problems such as incorrect temperatures, rough objects, or even improper sanitation can result in the risk of your crested gecko getting a skin infection. If your gecko is recovering, these will increase the risk of the infection recurring.Ensure you provide your crested gecko with a clean and optimum habitat with correct temperature and humidity levels. Provide daily spot cleaning and regular deep cleaning of the crested gecko enclosure to reduce the risk of bacterial or fungal skin infections moving forward.