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Thread: Trying to figure out what happened to my gecko

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Trying to figure out what happened to my gecko

    I had gotten my very first baby Crested Gecko (not sure of sex but I'll be saying she, just to simplify things) on April 4th of 2015, from a Reptile show. At first, everything was fine... but then I noticed around May 17th it started not acting "normal". It was very slow/sluggish, and Grey in color. When I picked her up, she didn't move at all and would just lay her head down on my hand. Most of the time, she is moving all over the place. I had been trying to get her to eat (gave fresh food, but I don't think she had any at least it didn't look like she had to me), anyway I had put some food on my finger and she licked once, but that was it. She also opened her mouth at me two times, once when I was doing a soft "finger pet" on her head, and then again when I put her back and was trying to nudge her over softly, because her food was in the food.. she had turned her head and opened her mouth. She didn't try to bite me really, or like "go after" my finger. She had been doing great this whole time, always moving around.. I'm just not sure what happened within 2 or so days that would cause no movement at all. I had noticed that that she was trying to shed and I had thought that maybe that was the reason of acting not her self. I was feeding the crested gecko diet (fresh food every two days, food was always keept in the cage at all times), and I was misting the tiny cage two times, once in the morning and once at night. The temps and humidity were what they should be. I noticed some shed on the toes so I put some paper towel with some water in the deli cup with holes, and let her stay their (while I watched), and after a little bit I took her out and got a q-tip and was able to get the shed from the toes pretty easy. She never moved the whole time, just would stay in one spot on my hand, and would lay her head on my hand. On May 21st I had gotten up at 7 a.m. and from then to 12 p.m. she never moved from the spot in her cage, she was leaning on the side as if to climb up but just stayed their. She also had started doing head twitch's, and would I would pick her up, her legs would be at strange angles, like bent a weird way under her and she acted like she didn't care at all. As far as I know, not eating or drinking, but I can't be 100 % sure of that. It's almost as if she's just too weak to even put her head up. She was licking the food from my finger a little bit last night, but not nearly enough like she was before. I would mist her and she wouldn't even try to lick the water drops from the side of the cage, nor from her eyes or face.. she would just let it stay on her eyes and not do anything.. And, that's just not how she was at all when I first got her. She was super active, and very alert. I did a few more soakings in a deli cup, and was able to get all of the shed off from the rest of her tiny body, but she wasn't trying to help at all by eating it. She did get a little bit in her mouth, but she never ate it. Actually, she had the same bit of shed in her mouth and never moved from the spot in her cage for a while day and night. The next day I ended up taking the shed out of her mouth myself. Anyway, I ended up having to put her to sleep on June 5th :-(. Since then, even though I've really wanted another Gecko, I've just been scared to get another one because it was SO heart-breaking to deal with. Many days I had spent just with her on my hand not moving at all, and I just sat and cried and had wished she would start acting like she used to. I'm a big time animal lover and I just felt she was suffering and I really just wasn't sure what else to do. Anyway, I feel that I might be ready to try and get another gecko, but as I said, I'm also scared to.. but maybe, if I can figure out what happened to my first one, that will help to learn if it was my fault, or not. Any and all input is welcome.. just please be nice because dealing with all of this again just also brought back the pain as well. -- Also I still have a few photos of before she got sick, and also what she looked like after, and I also have photos of the cage as well.. if any of that will help. (at least I'm pretty sure I still have all the photos).

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    Can you provide the photos, if you still have them?
    May I ask what substrate you kept her on? Did you feed her any insect feeders?
    12.18.18 Correlophus Ciliatus
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    No I didn't feed insects at all only the CGD (crested gecko diet). And, since she was a tiny thing I only had paper towel in the cage and I also had put bit of Moss that she came in when I bought her, and put that in to her cage. I know about impaction, however my thinking at the time was, if they had the bits of moss in her deli cup when I bought her, that she might be used to it and wouldn't try to eat it. I always made sure to keep the moss away from her food, just in case. The first 3 photos are before she got sick, the last 3 are after she was sick and didn't move much. The one photo of her half way on the side of the cage was when she just would stay their all day/all night unless I moved her. Name:  1424575_830977850309166_1350323207095772419_n.jpg
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    I really have no idea
    I did not notice anything harmful, with my inexperienced eyes let alone anything that would cause death.
    May I ask what kind of water you used for misting and such? Could there have been anything harmful in the water source?
    I know sometimes things will not immediately affect a gecko's health but once it does, it goes downhill quite rapidly. I wonder if she had something before coming to your home?
    I am so sorry about your gecko. Hopefully one of the experienced users will comment with further input later
    12.18.18 Correlophus Ciliatus
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    I am sure this is a stupid question but just to be certain, were those flowers silk?
    12.18.18 Correlophus Ciliatus
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    The water I was using for misting was just right from the tap. I know everyone says no matter the pet you have, that you should only buy bottled water, but our tap water isn't bad or anything.. I mean, I drink it and it tastes fine. And, the flowers that I had put in the small cage were just the fake flowers you get from a dollar store, I'm not sure if they were made from silk or something else. I also had added a few of the leafs from the fake flowers, to put on the cage bottom. She really enjoyed staying under them during the day to sleep, and at night she was very active jumping on the sides of the cage, and on that other taller fake plant... that is, she did before getting sick.

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    Did you leave water in there at all times? KK will dry out and quickly which creates a cycle of over-misting and rapid dry out. A water bowl insures the gecko can drink and even soak if he needs to keep his hydration up. Dehydration can be chronic even with misting so my vet recommended a water bowl in each enclosure whether or not the geckos looked like they used it.
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    No I actually didn't leave a water bowl since most of the things I had read online said that you didn't need to add one as long as you misted 2 times daily. I never over misted, I always misted once in the morning, and once at night. I guess I was also thinking that since the food they eat is mixed with water, that maybe that and plus misting two times a day was enough to keep her hydration up. But, maybe I should have added a water dish in too just to be on the safe side.

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    It is always hard to lose a pet. It sounds like you were doing the best you knew how to take care of your gecko, and you are continuing to learn about their requirements. These are things that responsible pet owners do.

    For what it's worth, my geckos all use their water bowls, but not every night, and not always in the ways we might expect. They do drink from them, but they also like the wide, low dishes as baths. They like to hang out in there sometimes. I'm not sure if they do it more when they're about to shed.

    Also, when it comes to shedding, it helps to have something rough like a stone or some wood in the cage for the gecko to rub against to loosen the shed.

    Finally, regarding tap water -- if it's fine for you to drink, it's probably fine for them as well. My geckos get tap water to drink and they're all fine. I also have a 23-year-old freshwater fish (and some other fish) in tap water that has sat for 24 h to gas off the chlorine. If you do choose to give your gecko bottled water, make sure that it's spring water and not distilled water: the trace minerals are important for maintaining healthy teeth, bones and muscles.
    3.4.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)

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  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by April J View Post
    No I actually didn't leave a water bowl since most of the things I had read online said that you didn't need to add one as long as you misted 2 times daily.
    This is common advice so don't beat yourself up about it. In the wild they have the option to move to a more humid microclimate, under leaves on the ground for example. Babies are especially likely to do this so.

    Breathing dry air will quickly dehydrate a young reptile, since they release body moisture when they exhale. Even desert animals retreat to humid burrows when they rest, and that allows them to stay hydrated.
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