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  • sick crestie?

    so i've had my boy harry for almost a year now, harry himself having just turned one last month. he is my first reptile and while i did months worth of research prior to adopting him, i feel as though i've been failing him as a gecko mom. a few months back, harry developed a respiratory infection, i took him to the vet right away, was given an antibiotic that helped greatly, but the vet basically told me i was doing everything wrong. he explained that crested geckos need a temperature in the upper 80's, low 90's. i typically have his temperature around 75F. i was told i wasn't keeping his humidity high enough - i believe he said it should be in the 90's at all times or something? and all these led to him getting sick. now, i'm pretty well acquainted with the owner of a local reptile shop who has essentially been there since i got harry who disagreed with everything the vet said and confirmed(?) my thought that the temperature should be in the high 70's, low 80's and that the humidity should stay more at the 60-70% range (which is where i made my error as his humidity level was too high).

    now, months later, i heard him sneeze the other day and almost a huffing like noise just a few minutes ago. he hasn't been acting differently whatsoever, but me being the paranoid mother that i am, i heard those noises and immediately panicked. so i guess i'm just trying to get to the bottom of things. could these just be random and not necessarily indicate illness? i was told sneezing isn't normal for reptiles and always indicates illness. and what is the actual temperature and humidity level i should be keeping him at? i live in a humid area as it is, but i mist once in the morning and once at night. humidity level usually gets to about 60ish% after a spritz in the morning. then by the time i get home from work, it's at about 30-40% so i give another spritz, but it never seems to stay up too long. i was using a humidifier for him at one point, but now with all these different instructions, i'm becoming unsure of myself. i just want to know how to best care for my baby so any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.


    almost forgot to add, the vet said he was underweight as well. i unfortunately don't remember exactly how much he weighed at the time (i wanna say 7 grams), but i do have pictures if that helps. if better ones are needed, i can provide those as well. if he is in fact underweight, what would be recommended to fatten him up a bit? he always has access to his zoo med brand crested gecko food and he gets a dozen crickets coated in calcium with d3 every week.


    i apologize for this being so long winded.
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  • #2
    One thing you might want to check is whether there are a lot of spores in his enclosure. Is there any crud like dust or fine powder when you clean it? If so, you may need to temporarily rehome him and clean everything with bleach (because nothing else will kill the microfungi).

    Also, Zoomed food isn't as good quality as Pangea (1st choice) or Repashy (2nd choice). Try one of these other food formulations and he'll probably eat more, too.
    3.3.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)

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    • #3
      I was going to suggest switching to Pangea food as well.

      The temps for my crestie are generally in the 70's - high 60's at night, and range in the 70's (lower in winter, higher in summer). My humidity is around 80-85% after my night spray, and it dries out to about 50% during the day. So I don't think yours are too far off; I do think your vet was incorrect for a crestie. Beardies and leopard geckos need the higher temps as they are desert reptiles (yours is tropical), and maybe that is what he was thinking of. Do you have a digital thermometer/hygrometer? Those are more accurate than the stick-on analog ones.

      Your crestie looks pretty healthy from the picture. The Pangea might help him put on a little more weight, but he doesn't look terribly underweight either. As for overall size - nothing really to compare him to, so that's hard to say. Is he active? peeing and pooping ok? Anymore sneezing?
      Eileen
      TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
      Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0

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      • #4
        Thank you both for the replies, I really appreciate it! I have not seen any spores/dust while cleaning his cage, but I will definitely keep that in mind in the event that it ever occurs.
        I did have him on Pangea initially. The store I work at sold it, but then switched to Zoo Med due to switching vendors. If the difference in quality is as significant as you both make it seem, however, I will order Pangea asap and get him back on that.
        I definitely didn't feel all too satisfied with that vet. He gave me a care sheet for a Russian tortoise when I left too so unsure he even knew what he was looking at. Definitely won't be going back to him.
        I do have a digital thermometer and hydrometer for him. I don't trust those analog ones.
        He is very active, I always hear him rustling about in his cage at night and when he's being handled, he's always on the move. He pees/poops every day and there hasn't been anything out of the ordinary with the appearance, odor, etc. there. I have not heard him sneeze again since posting this. I did give him his dusted crickets last night though. Perhaps the dust irritated him a bit and caused the huffing noise? I'm a paranoid person in general, unfortunately lol so it's very likely I just panicked and assumed the worst. I just want to be doing everything I can to make sure he's healthy.

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        • #5
          It's possible it could have been the dust. If you notice it again, or on a regular basis, there could be something respiratory going on, but it sounds like he is fine now.

          Try www.arav.org for a reptile vet near you. (Russian tortoise? Really?)
          Eileen
          TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
          Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0

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          • #6
            If the sneezing and huffing are not frequent, I agree with TAD that it could be a freak occurrence. He could have had a particle of dust or shed go up his nose.
            Sometimes the huffing can be a stress response, but this sounds unlikely under the circumstances you describe.
            3.3.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)

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