Water is an essential part of every living being’s life. It is as important for your gecko as it is for you. They can get dehydrated which could have many reasons and might prove to be dangerous if not dealt with on time.
As a gecko owner, you could either try to keep your gecko hydrated or try to put in some preventive measures in his tank to avoid the risk of dehydration.
What is crested gecko dehydration?
Dehydration occurs among crested geckos when they start losing more fluids than absorbing them. This means they lack enough fluids to run their daily bodily functions. Therefore it is important to make up for the lost fluids to save the crested geckos from dehydration.
Signs of dehydration in crested geckos
The following are the signs that may help in detecting dehydration among crested geckos:
- Skin becomes dry and flaky
- Skin that loses its elasticity and does not bounce back
- Dull skin with a wrinkled appearance along the sides of the body and neck
- Sunken eyes
- Protruding hips/ribs
- The tail becomes wavy
- The tongue may appear sticky
- Your gecko seems lethargic/ inactive
- Loss of appetite
Causes of dehydration in crested geckos
Dehydration may cause the worst impacts on your crested gecko’s health. Surprisingly, they can also die from dehydration very quickly which is why it is important for you to prevent any possibility of dehydration in the first place.
Here’s a list of reasons to consider what might have caused your crested gecko to get dehydrated:
Lack of enough amount water sources:
Providing enough water to your gecko means having a water bowl for him that is the appropriate size and is not too deep either as young geckos may also drown in such bowls. It is also known that geckos in the wild may drink the rainwater that’s dripping from plant leaves. You could also try keeping decorations in your gecko’s tank that can catch water.
The normal temperature for crested geckos should be around 72-75 degrees Fahrenheit inside their enclosure. A temperature higher than this may be fatal to their health. If the temperature exceeds above 80 degrees it may cause them stress and dehydration.
You should also ensure a cool spot in the enclosure for your gecko where the temperature is about 68–70 degrees Fahrenheit. You will also need a thermostat to track the temperature inside the enclosure.
The crested gecko’s diet should be enriched with calcium and vitamins. One of the reasons for their dehydration could be that they are not getting enough moisture from their food. Although it is not always the case it is still a possibility that they might get dehydrated from the dry commercial food you are feeding your gecko.
Therefore you could even try to soak the food in some water before feeding them.
The crested gecko terrarium substrates should be the kind of substrates that not only promote humidity but they should also be easy to clean. orchid bark and coco bedding are more suitable examples. In soil substrates, avoid using vermiculite and perlite that may cause serious health problems like dehydration if ingested by your gecko.
To maintain the humidity level among your crested gecko tank, you need to mist the tank from time to time otherwise infrequent misting can result in a dehydrated crested gecko. Spraying in the evening makes it 80% humid inside the enclosure whereas throughout the rest of the day the humidity falls down to 50% and that is when you need to spray the insides of the enclosure again.
Keep misting twice each day and don’t maintain the humidity at 80% all day as the geckos need variations in humidity levels. Therefore a light spray in the morning and a heavier one in the evening work best.
Check out more on crested gecko caresheet.
Treatment of crested gecko dehydration
To help your crested gecko live a long and healthy life, your gecko needs to be hydrated from time to time. If your gecko is feeling dehydrated then you should contact your vet as soon as possible. The vet will check out the level of dehydration and help to maintain it.
Have a look at this chart:
|Level of dehydration||Treatment|
|Mild||Can be treated with daily misting|
|Moderate||Can be treated with long soaks in water|
|Severe||Can be treated via injections|
This type of dehydration is treated with daily misting. You may soak your gecko in lukewarm water and provide an ample amount of drinking water to your gecko to encourage drinking.
In this type of dehydration, usually long soaks and using a large number of extra fluids are recommended by the vet to maintain an appropriate amount of hydration in your crested geckos.
In this type of dehydration, the gecko may be too weak to intake fluids so the vet will try to give the fluids via injection to help the gecko recover quickly.
Preventive measures to stop dehydration among crested geckos
To save your crested gecko life from dehydration, some effective preventive measures should be taken in time to save the life of your gecko:
Wash the water dish daily:
By washing the water dish daily, the water remains clean and fresh. But make sure that you are washing the dish with mild detergents. The use of strong detergents may create unpleasant smells for your gecko and it may contaminate the water.
Adjust the temperature and humidity levels of your gecko’s tank. It may help in regulating the temperatures of your gecko’s body and in turn, will help in maintaining a proper level of hydration. Use a hygrometer to monitor the levels regularly.
Try to mist the tank every other day to help your gecko hydrated. It may also help in maintaining the level of moisture that your gecko needs for his body.
Soak your gecko’s food in water:
When you give food to your gecko try to soak it in water before giving it to them. By doing this, the amount of fluid intake may be increased and it may keep your gecko hydrated.
Encourage moisture intake:
Bathe your gecko in lukewarm water. This may help to encourage moisture intake. Also, a great bond may be developed between a pet and its owner as geckos love bathing.
Crested geckos are one of the most interesting lizards. To provide them a good and healthy life you must watch over their habitat with care. Observe their behavior and if you notice something lethargic and weak about them then try to rule out all the possible reasons that could be causing this as mentioned in the article.
If they get dehydrated, as an owner you shouldn’t panic but instead, consult your vet and start giving them enough water to get hydrated.