Has your gecko fallen ill or taken a nasty, life-threatening fall recently? If it has, you’re probably frantically searching for answers on how to save a dying gecko.
Saving a gecko experiencing a health crisis involves allowing the gecko to heal in the best environment possible. The gecko should be provided with optimum temperature and humidity conditions as well as plenty of fluids, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Read on to learn more about how you can help your gecko get back on its feet.
Rescuing a Dying Gecko: Step-By-Step Guide
If your beloved pet gecko is dying due to an injury or severe dehydration, here’s what you should do:
Saving an Injured Gecko
First off, your best option to save a gecko from a serious injury is to take it to the vet. Make sure to consult a vet experienced in dealing with exotic reptiles.
If taking your gecko to the vet isn’t an option, you should create the best environment possible for your gecko to heal in.
This involves providing your gecko with the optimum surroundings and conditions. You can do so by introducing well-sanitized hiding places for your gecko to retreat to and heal.
Ensuring that these hiding places have an ideal humidity level will also aid your gecko in shedding damaged skin. It’ll also help prevent scarring from the gecko’s wounds.
Additionally, you should avoid handling your gecko as much as possible as it’s healing. Showing affection to your gecko by gently stroking it can cause further damage to these small, delicate creatures.
Finally, you can help your gecko through this stressful time by providing it with plenty of nourishment.
Make sure your gecko is getting all the vitamins and nutrients it needs to accelerate the healing process. Additionally, ensure that your gecko is properly hydrated with clean water.
Saving a Dehydrated Gecko
If your gecko is dehydrated, your primary goal is to get its internal fluids back up to healthy levels.
There are two ways in which you can achieve this, and this is the first one:
- Dilute a pediatric electrolyte beverage with warm distilled water using a 50/50 ratio.
- Fill an eyedropper with this solution and use it to deposit one drop on your gecko’s snout. Your gecko should start licking it up.
- You may need to force-feed your gecko, gently pulling the loose flap of skin under its chin to get its mouth to open.
- Deposit two or three drops of electrolyte solution on its tongue.
- You may need to slowly rub the top of its head to help it swallow.
If your gecko isn’t responding to the above steps and is rejecting the fluid, you may need to resort to soaking.
Here’s how to do so:
- Use the same mixing ratio to create an electrolyte solution.
- Heat the solution on the stove until it’s slightly warm. You should make enough to fill up about half an inch of a small plastic container.
- Gently place your gecko in the solution-filled plastic container so that it’s partially submerged. Leave it in there until the solution starts to cool off.
- When you take your gecko out, use warm, distilled water to wash the electrolyte solution off its body.
Do Geckos Play Dead?
“Playing dead” is a behavior exhibited by some geckos, but not all.
For instance, crested geckos never engage in this survival tactic. It may seem that your crested gecko is playing dead, but in reality, it’s just fast asleep with its eyes wide open.
Alternatively, these lizards protect themselves from predators by dropping their tails or hissing menacingly at them.
On the other hand, leopard geckos play dead at times. They’ll assume a fetal position and remain perfectly still. Otherwise, they may lie on their backs and close their eyes.
Do Geckos Die Easily?
Geckos are well-acclimated to harsh environments such as deserts, rainforests, and cold mountainous regions. In turn, they’re an incredibly durable species.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect your pet gecko’s needs. These creatures have specific requirements as far as their diet and living conditions. If you fail to provide these things, your gecko is unlikely to live very long.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that inexperienced gecko owners make, leading to their pets’ lives being cut short.
Incorrect Temperature and Humidity
When setting up your gecko’s terrarium, you need to be well aware of the temperature and humidity conditions that this animal needs to thrive.
Cold and overly dry environments don’t bode well for a gecko’s health. They can lead to constipation, dehydration, and respiratory conditions.
These lizards do well in temperatures between 75 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
You should set up the terrarium such that your gecko has different spots to chill in when it’s craving a particular temperature. Have some cooler spots and others where your gecko can bask in the heat.
As for humidity, geckos typically need it to be between 40% and 60%.
These moisture levels come in handy when the animal is shedding. It makes the process smoother and mitigates the risk of injury during it.
A Stressful Environment
Another factor to keep in mind is the stress level of your gecko’s environment. Avoid having your gecko’s terrarium in an area of the house that’s always busy and full of commotion.
Other stimulants to limit around your gecko are strong smells from household items such as scented sprays and candles.
An Unbalanced Diet
Finally, the lack of a quality diet may be cutting your gecko’s lifespan short.
Make sure your gecko is getting all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs, and in the correct balance. You can do so by basing your gecko’s diet on crickets, fly larvae, and mealworms.
How to Tell if Your Gecko Is Dying
If you’ve been noticing some worrisome changes in your gecko’s behavior, you may be wondering about the state of its health.
Here are some signs to look out for that indicate that your gecko’s health is seriously deteriorating:
Severe Weight Loss
As with any pet, if there’s a noticeably drastic drop in your gecko’s weight, then this is likely a sign of a serious underlying issue.
This issue can be related to your gecko’s living environment, diet, or illness due to parasites or infections.
Checking your gecko’s tail is a good place to start when gauging weight loss. These lizards’ tails serve as a fat reserve to sustain them when food is scarce. If your gecko’s tail is abnormally slim, then all is not well.
Abnormally Low Appetite
Another sign that your gecko is dying is its appetite being very low.
If you notice that your gecko isn’t eating as much as usual, try introducing new food into its diet.
This didn’t work? Then you may need to check the temperature and humidity in the terrarium. A gecko living in a stressful environment tends to lose its appetite.
Is your gecko disappearing all day in its terrarium’s hiding spots? If so, then this lack of energy and activity could be a sign that your gecko is experiencing a serious health issue.
Check the temperature and humidity conditions of the terrarium. If they’re up to par, then this lethargic behavior warrants a visit to the vet.
What to Do With a Dead Gecko
In the unfortunate case that your gecko’s life has ended, you may be at a loss regarding what to do with your beloved pet’s body.
Here are some of your options:
Your first and easiest option is to bury your gecko’s body.
You can do so in your backyard, or you may buy a small burial site for your gecko at a pet cemetery.
The positive that comes from burying your gecko is that it takes under a month to fully decompose and acts as an excellent fertilizer for your soil.
You can also go the cremation route when disposing of your gecko’s body. This involves incinerating it at a temperature of 1500 to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit.
The advantage of cremation is that you end up with your beloved pet’s ashes to keep at home as a tribute. However, cremation can also be a bit expensive.
If you wish to get your gecko’s ashes, we advise that you go for a private cremation instead of a communal or partitioned one. This is the best way to ensure that the ashes aren’t tainted with those of another animal that was being cremated at the same time.
Getting Your Vet to Dispose of It
Finally, you can forgo disposing of your gecko’s body yourself and leave that task to your local vet.
These professionals have dealt with plenty of dead animals’ bodies before and will be more than up to the responsibility.
Is your pet gecko going through a health crisis? If it is, you’re probably clamoring for answers on how to save a dying gecko.
You can help an injured gecko recuperate by providing a balanced diet and optimum living conditions. If your gecko is dehydrated, you should use a pediatric electrolyte solution to get its bodily fluids back up to normal levels.
Use these tips to help your gecko live a long and happy life!
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.