Crested Gecko Tail Rot: Signs, Causes & Treatment

These are very popular lizards kept as pets and found on the islands of New Caledonia, located near Australia and Fiji. The crested geckos are the kind of pets that work amazing for both beginners and experienced keepers.

The pads on their toes are sticky and have tiny rows of hair that help them to grab and climb onto any surface such as trees and shrubs which they like to climb in the wild or sometimes smooth surfaces like glass. They are nocturnal and spend most of their time hiding in their enclosure, remaining inactive during the daytime.

Their age ranges from 15-20 years. A fun fact about crested geckos that you may not know is that no two geckos ever look alike. Their unique color and pattern morphs give them a distinct exterior.

What is crested gecko tail rot?

Tail rot is a very serious disease in crested geckos caused by an infection inside their bodies and resulting in their tail actually rotting away. In the worst-case scenario, if the infection spreads too fast in their body and does not get treated on time, it could prove to be fatal for your gecko due to the damage caused to the internal organs of the body.

It is being advised to detect and treat tail rot early on to avoid permanent damage to their tail.

Signs of tail rot among crested geckos

When your crested gecko is suffering from a disease like tail rot, there is a good chance that it may affect his behavioral and physical features. Some signs that may help you in identifying tail rot among your crested geckos are:

  • Your gecko’s tail starts turning black from the tip
  • The tail does not shed properly
  • The tail may fall off
  • The tail feels dry to the touch with the coarse skin peeling off
  • Your gecko is losing appetite
  • Your gecko starts hiding
  • Your gecko is showing discomfort
  • Your gecko becomes aggressive due to pain

Causes of tail rot in crested geckos

There are several factors that may cause tail rot among crested geckos:

Fights with other crested geckos:

Fights and trauma often cause tail rot. If two pet geckos are placed in the same crested gecko cage, then a fight taking place between the two is definitely possible. The bites on each other’s tails during such fights may lead to serious infections that could result in severe symptoms of tail rot as mentioned above in this article.  

Poor nutrition:

Proper diet and nutrition play an important part in your crested gecko’s health in its ability to fight infections. Always provide high-quality food that is enriched in calcium and vitamins. These vitamins will strengthen their immune system and is essential for proper bone and cartilage growth.

Lack of calcium in your crested gecko’s diet can make the tail weak and prone to infection. Therefore it is imperative that you give them a diet that both caters to this disease and also helps in your dragon’s recovery during early symptoms of tail rot.

Incomplete shed:

Sometimes crested geckos do not shed completely and a part of their skin gets stuck at the tail and does not peel off properly which results in the blood circulation to the tail being cut off. Do not ever try to help your crested gecko to shed as it can hurt them as well.

Make sure that your crested gecko is well hydrated by giving them clean drinking water and ensure a proper humidity level (50%-60%) in its enclosure.

Incorrect temperature:

Crested geckos are very heat sensitive.  The room temperature should be around 72 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It should not go above 87 degrees as that is not a suitable temperature for the crested gecko’s body and might cause an infection in the tail.

In the state of hypothermia, geckos stop shedding their skin and stop eating and drinking. The skin starts growing retained patches all over the body and may cause tail rot.

Read more about crested gecko care.

Treatment of tail rot in crested geckos

If you notice any of the symptoms of tail rot in your crested gecko, then it is very important to consult your vet immediately. If the infection has gone too bad, he will not be able to grow its tail back. In the treatment of your dragon’s condition, your vet may help you by giving you two conditions:


It is important to note that in case of a serious tail rot infection, your vet will need to first conduct a test that might pinpoint the cause of the infection before giving antibiotics. Crested geckos have a delicate nature and the use of antibiotics may damage their kidney badly.

If there is no other option available for treatment, then to fight the infection antibiotics are the best option. Keep your crested gecko well hydrated while using antibiotics as it will help in making the medication process easier.


It is not easy for your small pet to go through a scary surgery such as an amputation. However, if all other options are not applicable due to the severity of the infection, amputation of the tail is the only way to save your pet.

It is done by removing a half-inch of the tail that has grown and is infected by tail rot. This may help in removing the infection before it spreads faster.

Wrapping Up

Tail rot in crested geckos is a very serious disease that should not be taken lightly and requires proper treatment by your vet. There are also behavioral symptoms of this disease. If you want to save your gecko from tail rot, then you have to try to protect your pet from fights and injuries.

You should avoid adding other geckos and not make them share their enclosure as that is one of the most common reasons for fights between geckos. Try to maintain the optimum temperature inside the tank and provide a calcium rich diet to your gecko to help fight the infections easily.

I am the editor-in-chief at I have been a reptile enthusiast for over a decade, and during this time I have kept and bred a variety of different reptiles such as bearded dragons, geckos, and chameleons. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience with others to help them provide the best care possible for their pet reptiles.

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