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  1. #1
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    Default Crested gecko suddenly died.


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    My first post was about my crestie Talos who was choking on his shed. He was fine last night and recovering, at least I thought, since he was climbing. Today when I got home from school he was on the ground and more dirt was in his mouth. I immediately got him out and ran water on his mouth. He choked more, and this time didn't stop choking. I saved the pieces he coughed out because I wanted to call the vet's ER and reference what he was coughing out. While we were on the phone he started making popping noises and his mouth was filled with bubbles and mucus. It was hard, like stones or hardened black stuff with bits of skin.

    I told my mom and she called a few places. This took a long time as it's after hours and the weather is bad. He was very weak, wouldn't even grip my hand. He lost around half his weight and wouldn't move or breathe for periods of time. Kept opening his mouth and trying to cough but whatever was in there caused damage, because the next time I tried to rub his stomach he was frozen. I knew he was dead. You could see the brown and red blood inside of his stomach. I went back and kept rubbing his stomach because I was distraught and I didn't want him to die, even though he was already gone. I'm happy to know that I was there for him for the whole time and saw his last breath. At least he had my mom and I give him pats and love before he passed. We kept him in the "ICU" we make shifted for him and I put the lid on after he passed.


    I'm so upset because I really loved him. Crested geckos are by far my favorite geckos and very pleasant to look at. I loved him so much. His temperatures were fine, moisture was fine, he had a normal bowel movement around last week and was very active. Healthy weight. Ate food and drank water. Two days ago when he started to shed, I think it was too much and he swallowed too much skin and was impacted. His substrate is Ecoearth which I was told would not cause impaction.
    I got him because I wanted to move on from my first crestie who was sick and only a month/few weeks old. He was from Petco and I should've seen it coming but I was ignorant then. I thought getting another crestie might create a new and better feeling towards owning them. I will no longer be owning crested geckos anymore, or any time soon. I feel like bad luck and that's the reason I'm very anxious around reptiles. I know I care for them right but at the end of the day if they get sick or die I feel responsible.

    -------

    More information on our routine:
    He ate Repashy and I was planning to buy Pandora to mix it and eventually introduce meal worms or crush up crickets in his food. His cage is misted once in the morning and once at night. I make sure that the substrate is moist. His temps are always between 70-79, sometimes at 81, but I make sure to unplug the heating pad for the day until I get back home so he doesn't overheat. It never drops below 60. He's been eating and I've seen him drink water from the mist all of the time. He's very active, he never minded being held by me (he was a bit anxious than others) and liked to chill on my shoulder. I made sure he never got too stressed.
    The issues started when he began to shed. He stopped moving, maybe skittered around and eventually began to eat his substrate and choked.

  2. #2
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    So sorry for your loss. I've never heard of a gecko choking on their own skin — it's quite digestible. How much did your crestie weigh when s/he was healthy?
    Mariah Healey
    Author of several care guides on ReptiFiles, The Reptile Blog for Reptile People
    • Pogona vitticeps
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    • Tiliqua scincoides intermedia
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  3. #3
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    I've never heard of it either... I'm not sure how much he weighed, I should have asked the store, but he was healthy weight. I have a picture that was the size of his weight, but this is not Talos, I have no pictures of him on my computer yet.
    [ATTACH=CONFIG]43963


    He was around a year or so old, he had the two glands on his male parts
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
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    Sorry this happened ... it hurts ...

    What were you using as substrate? As was mentioned, the shed is not going to be the issue ...

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    It's possible that this was a deeper issue due to internal problems, not normal at all.
    Mariah Healey
    Author of several care guides on ReptiFiles, The Reptile Blog for Reptile People
    • Pogona vitticeps
    • Tiliqua gigas evanescens
    • Tiliqua scincoides intermedia
    • Correlophus ciliatus
    • Lepidodactylus lugubris
    • Python regius
    • Salvator merianae

  6. #6
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    It was ecoearth. I was told it was safe to ingest, and I've done some research on it. Even so, he just started.. eating it? At first I thought he was trying to get his shed, but if that were the case, why did he swallow so much? Why did he continue to eat it the rest of the night and the next day when there was no shed/meal worms?

    Ecoearth is just fiber, it's supposed to be safe and breaks down when wet. But he wasn't digesting whatever was in his stomach when he coughed it out

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    Yes I was suspecting that. My guess is a possible parasite, it would explain the sudden weight loss and sudden death, etc., he fits a lot of the descriptions. Or maybe just a bad breed?

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    As you mentioned ... it is a real risk to get them from big chain pet stores. Some get them from breeders WAY too soon for the reptile ...

    Don't let this incident push you away though!

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    I got it from ReptileRapture, they told me they have breeders, they're not too much of a chain store. Maybe I just got really unlucky.

    But I don't know, I won't get a crestie any time soon. The only cresties I got and they died First one was my fault for trusting Petco, my recent one... I just don't know what happened. Someone told me it was because of the substrate, which I do think was an issue since he was eating it, but I don't think that was the root issue. I think something was wrong with him. Is it possible he caught something from my tank? I got it a year before from a science teacher in my old school who gave it to me for free (nothing was wrong with it, he just had a lot of animals and leftover tanks) but I didn't clean it. But again, it's been a year since getting it without touching it or exposing it to anything so I can't imagine any parasitic animal or harmful bacteria surviving on there without a host/source to food/water

  10. #10
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    Default What killed my gecko?


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    I made a previous post to this but now I'm over the shock and I'm able to make a better post, since I found the correct thread anyways.

    His name was Talos, a year or more old crested gecko. He was bi-color olive dalmation with copper eyes. Male, frogbutt (came that way).

    I've had him for three weeks and bought him from ReptileRapture. I had him walk on me, he showed no signs of illness or physical problems. He was more anxious than the others, not super used to people. Loved to jump and climb.
    I introduced him to his tank, 15 gal. with two leafy vines and large (cork?) branch with two bamboo sticks and his food dish near the vines, opposite of the heating pad on the side of the wall. His substrate was EcoEarth.

    First week he didn't eat, but his weight remained stable. He was pretty stressed. Didn't move positions for a few days until he warmed up. Second week I noticed he was eating and had pooped. Became more active and I saw him moving around, changing positions and chilling on the glass to drink the water droplets I misted twice a day (and misted his substrate if it looked dry). I had a thermometer in there and the temps were ALWAYS between 70-79%, once or twice went to 81% but I fixed it right away. Moisture was already around normal-tropical.
    I picked him up every other day and "played" with him, took some stunning photos of him. Very active and enjoyed my hand. I never noticed him stressed, only fired up once or twice. Max time I held him was 5 minutes.

    Last week Wednesday he went to the bottom of his cage and was mid shed. I was excited because I had never seen a crested gecko shed. His mouth was dark but I didn't noticed until th second night. His mouth was open and filled with dirt. I went on here and other places asking if that was normal. I didn't get any answers so I went to pick him up and take it out and he suddenly began to squeal and shook his head violently. I rushed him to the sink, ran warm water, and dabbed his mouth. He kept waving his head and opening his mouth very wide. I pulled out whatever was in his mouth.

    My guess is that it was substrate, but it was mostly his skin and a dark rocky substance. I never fed him any mealworms and the only thing in there was coconut fiber. He stopped after a while so I bundled him in a towel and sat with him near the heater and made sure he was okay. I had given him a warm bath and took off the remaining shed on his toes (by this point his shed was mostly gone) and rubbed off the bits on his "spikes".

    Next night I come to check on him but to my dismay his mouth was open filled with dirt again! I immediately rushed him to the sink and repeated washing. This time I saved what he coughed out. Black or dark brown clumps that are very hard with a string of red in there and bits of skin. But he didn't stop choking. His little popping noises from the night before continued and he started heaving and popping. I ran downstairs and told my mom to call the vet's ER. It was so frustrating because it was freezing rain that night so we couldn't drive him.
    He kept opening his mouth wide, but I couldn't see anything in his mouth. He spat out water, but I think that was from the water I washed him face on. He also bit me, but he was stressed.

    Here is how he looked:
    He had lost almost all of his weight. I could pinch his skin and see all of the wrinkles and ribs. I rubbed his stomach gently and tipped him downwards to help expel whatever was in his stomach. But nothing was there. There was no bumps or clumps that I could feel or see. Then he started to get bubbles in his mouth, and something like mucus was there, too. I tried looking in his throat but I couldn't see anything.

    We finally got ahold of the vet, but the next time I picked him up to rub his stomach he was dead. Within minutes he died. I looked at his stomach, it was splotchy with black and brown. I think it was blood in his stomach, possibly internal bleeding.


    Do any of you have an idea what could've been the culprit? I definitely think the substrate was part of the reason, but I think the root issue was /why/ he was eating his substrate. I thought at first it was to eat his skin, but there was no skin in his cage the next night.

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