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  1. #1
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    Exclamation What killed this turner gecko? (Warning: gruesome images)


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    So here's what's happened.

    I had a pair of turner geckos for the past 3 and half years, last 3 in the same terrarium. I always fed them vitamin powdered crickets. They were both doing fine up to a few weeks ago.

    I noticed it was looking thinner but I figured it might have been the changing weather due to springtime, and sometimes I barely see them out at all for weeks (they are in a side room) , so I wasn't really suspecting much.

    I had a complete cleaning of their enclosure last Wednesday, so I don't have any feces for analysis.
    I noticed next day that it was having problems shedding. Basically all of its skin was still on the gecko and it even spraying it with water didn't help. It was weak and couldn't wall climb at all following this. Next day I gave it a warm bath and helped to peel off the skin carefully. I went to a local reptile breeder and they recommended raising the temperatures, which I did. The gecko would stay on the edge of the extra heating mat area after this, rather than on it all the time. As well as trying to feed it soldier fly larvae, as they are smaller and easier to catch than crickets. I isolated the sick gecko by taking out the healthy one.

    I thought the gecko was eating them for a few days, but it turned out the larvae could climb out of the feeding box and hide elsewhere.
    It showed no interest in them after I returned from my weekend away. As carefully as I could, I force fed it a few worms, but the gecko regurgitated them all after a couple of hours. It was still alive this morning, moving its head in reaction and all, and I wanted to take it to a vet today as soon as I got back home. Unfortunately, I found it dead, with weird holes on the head and the side of the ribs.

    https://dl.dropbox.com/s/csdgwuzop7350vo/head.jpg?dl=0

    https://dl.dropbox.com/s/284bahpsr6pkrjm/side.jpg?dl=0


    I could find no sign of parasites, like worms. I'd suspect hidden crickets but I purposefully left them food pellets in the enclosure so that they would not try to harass the geckos, and only about 4 hours passed since I last saw it alive.

    Could anyone offer me some help what could have happened and how to prevent it happening again? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    My personal guess would be that either another gecko or one of the feeder crickets did this. If the gecko was already sick (maybe from parasites, not necessarily husbandry-related), it would have been easy for the crickets to gnaw on the gecko if it was not moving around much. As well, if you're using a repti-bark or similar substrate I'd recommend replacing it immediately and checking it for loose feeder insects. I once saw an iguana get significantly chewed on by dermestid beetles that had accidentally been introduced to the cage via a bad batch of substrate. (The iguana is okay, the beetles actually removed scar tissue from her tail and she has started regenerating it!) It could have been the soldier fly larvae as well, as you've noted that some of them managed to get out of the feeding box. Like I said, total the enclosure as well as the enclosures of the other geckos and do a quick visual exam to make sure that they don't have any of those holes either.
    0.1 Correlophus ciliatus
    1.0 Phelsuma grandis
    0.1 Testudo horsfieldii
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    Also, just to check, 'turner gecko' seems to be kind of a generic name for a bunch of gecko species, your gecko looks like a Bibron's gecko. I've included a pretty good care sheet for this species so that you can make sure that everything is correct in terms of temperature and humidity to eliminate these as a potential cause of death.

    https://www.lllreptile.com/articles/207-bibrons-geckos/
    0.1 Correlophus ciliatus
    1.0 Phelsuma grandis
    0.1 Testudo horsfieldii
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    Thanks. They were sold to me as Bibrons, but a breeder identified them as Chondrodactylus turneri. I've been following that guide actually for years, thanks for making it, and I ordered their enclosure based on it. The holes are still weirding me out, especially how fast they appeared, and the cavity that seemed to be on the inside. I've cleaned and disifected the whole enclosure since then and moved the remaining gecko back.
    I'm done with the cleaning, only found a couple of hidden crickets and more soldier fly larvae. Seeing how fast the holes appeared and how high they were up, and their hiding place, they still sound like an unlikely culprit to me, but I'm out of ideas. Also, the last worm I fed the gecko was killed beforehand, and was regurgitated.

    Thanks for all the feedback and help, Revasius. I hope the other one doesn't have whatever ailment the deceased one had.

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