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  1. #1
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    Hi all. I am new here and new to Cresties. I went out yesterday and bought him or her a cage, set it all up, per all the wonderful information i have read here and other places. I did a lot of research before deciding which reptile to buy, what set up to buy, etc. I waited 6 months (researching and reading in the meantime) to ensure i still wanted the reptile and it wasnt a spur of the moment decision, etc. Now comes time for the fun part!!! I finally TODAY, get to pick out my reptile. I have read some things online but i am wondering if any of YOU folks have any good pointers or information about choosing a new Crestie? Anything you feel i should look out for? Anything that i need to do while checking the little guy out before buying it? Etc. I'd love to hear your input.

    BTW I am Tiffany. This is my first ever reptile. I do however have, 4 cats ranging in ages. 4 Aquariums, 2 being Salt Water and 2 being Freshwater.

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    LSeelt is offline Newbie
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    I would look for some signs of illness or shed issues. Dark wrinkly patches of skin or rings around toes/tails need special attention or they can cause scarring, and amputations. Needless to say, check for all toes. Goopy or miscoloured eyes are something to look out for. I saw a crestie once in Petsmart whose eye was oozing and looked "popped" out.

    Also, you'll want to pick a hearty looking little guy/gal. Check for visible ribs when they are calm and at rest. Sometimes their ribs can show when they are stressed and breathing deeply, and that's often fine, but if they are showing when they're just hanging out in their terrarium then that's a sign of an underfed/underweight gecko and they often develop more problems.

    Check the base of the tail if it is attached to look for any signs of damage, or if the tail is detached check to ensure that it has healed properly. Check for bites or injuries. Crickets can bite cresties and you can see the bites if they are infected or if they are healing. I wouldn't buy a crestie with cricket bites since it shows poor care.

    I'm not a huge advocate for picking geckos for morphs or colouring. My major concern is always health and I like a robust gecko. Some nice things to have in a gecko are crowned crests, furry trait, pinstripe, large tail pad. They aren't necessarily indicative of a "healthy" or "unhealthy" gecko, but they are more sought after traits.

    Hope that helped... I'm sure others will chime in with more advice too. Post photos of your new little guy/gal when you get him or her. It'll be nice to see who you picked.
    8.7.5 Correlophus (Rhacodactylus) ciliatus [Eyelash Crested Gecko]

    1.1.0 Malaclemys terrapin terrapin [Northern Diamondback Terrapin]
    0.0.2 Graptemys pseudogeographica kohni [Mississippi Map Turtle]
    1.1.1 Pogona vitticeps [Central (Inland) Bearded Dragon]

    0.0.1 Ceratophrys ornata [Argentine Horned Frog]
    3.1.1 Agapornis roseicollis [Peach-Faced Lovebird]
    1.0.0 Canis familiaris [Domestic Dog - Great Dane]


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  3. #3
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    Thanks that helped a lot. I will be leaving here in about an hour to go to Minneapolis (2 hours away) to find the right baby for me. I read to stay away from Petco and their Cresties so i am choosing to drive a bit farther to find the right/healthiest rep for me. I will certainly keep all those tips in mind, i actually am going to put them on my phone so i can remember everything. I am not sure what a Morph is but i know i would, like yourself, choose to pick a creature for its health and heartiness over colors! All four of my cats were actually rescues from Humane societies, so i can see what not taking care of animals does to them. (poor babies) Any who, thanks a lot and as soon as i get him all picked and settled in ill post some pics.

  4. #4
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    What was the particular concern about Petco? I found their staff to be pretty knowledgeable about reptiles at the two local stores I visited, and quite helpful when we were first starting out. We received a 14 day guarantee on the one crestie we bought from Petco, and the name/phone number of a herp-knowledgeable vet. I believe Petco's supply chain is closed, and there are no hobbyist raised animals such as you might find at independent pet stores. Is there a problem with their breeder, their delivery system, parasites, or something else? (I am not talking about the ethics of buying from a large chain vs specialty breeder or the business model -- just the health of the geckos and handling practices.)

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    P.S. Petco compared favorably versus several other chains and independent stores I visited, but which I won't name here. A closed supply chain theoretically ought to allow better tracking and correction of problems. I expect bottom line issues are the driving force for their supply system, rather than primary concern abouthealth and nutrition, but selling sick animals is ultimately bad for business. With a company this large, animal health ought to be a high priority. Even if lineage is not provided to the customer, it must be known by the company and carefully tracked to avoid recalls or public relations disasters.

    Would I buy breeding stock, large mammals, birds, or uncommon species from Petco? Absolutely not! But for average aquarium fish / common herps / rodents / feeder bugs, I haven't heard anything that's seriously amiss. Yes, I read concerns by animal rights groups about overcrowding and poor care at some Petco stores. I certainly looked for but did not observe that where we bought our baby crestie. I was told he arrived there the previous day. He looked well fed (albeit on Repashy CGD.) He's certainly given us nothing but joy so far... greedy little roach eater that he is.

    Sorry about the thread side-track. If the previous poster knows something I should watching out for in our crestie beside the usual ailments of indoor herps, I would like to know about it. So far there's no sign of MBD, FTS, parasites, or anything else concerning in our little guy. He seems happy enough, for a captive.

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    Wild West... I had just read about poor handling as well as feeding and caring practices at petco. However I went in to our local petco and checked things out since my hubby buys all his fish there and they seem fine. We were already driving the way so I was going to get my herp at a herp specialty store however they had none. Anyways long story short. Our local pet co was fine as well and helpful even though the info they gave me was wrong info. I did get my baby geckos there too but I think they should make sure their caregivers are knowledgeable in the particular area they are working...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wimommy2boys View Post
    Wild West... I had just read about poor handling as well as feeding and caring practices at petco. However I went in to our local petco and checked things out since my hubby buys all his fish there and they seem fine. We were already driving the way so I was going to get my herp at a herp specialty store however they had none. Anyways long story short. Our local pet co was fine as well and helpful even though the info they gave me was wrong info. I did get my baby geckos there too but I think they should make sure their caregivers are knowledgeable in the particular area they are working...
    It depends entirely on who the manager is at the particular store - how knowledgeable they are, who they hire, and how much they actually care about the animals. Some PetCos are really great; others are nightmares. I've heard of a really horrible one being reported to the company, and someone came out, looked things over, and said things needed to be fixed by the time they got back (and didn't say when they'd be back). They came back a few days later and things weren't fixed, so they fired everyone who had anything to do with it right on the spot. Renewed my faith in them a bit. Unfortunately, they can't keep a close eye on each individual store, and many customers either don't know things are wrong or don't bother to do anything about it, so some of them are pretty horrible. If the info they gave you was bad (a common occurrence), I'd suggest maybe typing up some really good info and giving it to the manager and express your concerns about why the poor info is an issue along with specific examples of what you were told. Congrats on the new additions though!

    ~Maggot
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  8. #8
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    I think the same can be said for almost any big chain store - that some are good, and some are absolute nightmares. In deciding whether to buy an animal from one, I think what it comes down to is experience - for first time pet owners, it's generally advised to avoid pet stores because they lack the experience and know-how to determine a healthy gecko from a non-healthy one, and they may not know how to ascertain employee knowledge, care or hygiene practices to know whether the gecko is being properly cared for.

    I've only bought one reptile from a pet store before. Normally I opt for breeder or importer animals, but this one was an exception, because the species aren't common around here. I visited several stores that were selling this reptile, and all but one of them turned me off due to poor care, poor knowledge on the part of the employee, poor conditions of the reptiles (whether it be the one I'm interested in or neighboring reptiles) or poor interactions on the part of the employee with the reptiles. The one I ultimately went with housed this reptile in proper conditions, the reptiles all looked robust and healthy, and the store itself is one that's recommended and supported by our local reptile societies due to their practices.

    OP - I'm glad you've done your research, which I know greatly aided in your decision. Congrats on your new geckos, and can't wait to see pictures.
    ~Cassi~

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