Crested gecko owners understand the importance of monitoring their pet’s environment to ensure the animal stays healthy.
Tank temperatures are monitored with thermometers, and humidity is routinely checked using a hygrometer.
Proper enclosure maintenance is performed in daily spot cleanings and monthly deep-clean sessions.
But did you know it is also essential to monitor your crested gecko’s poop?
Monitoring your crested gecko’s poop will alert you to any medical or dietary issues. The color, texture, and frequency of your gecko’s poop are all able to reveal illnesses, dehydration, impaction, intestinal damage, and parasites.
A reptile veterinarian should always see a crestie with intestinal issues.
Your gecko’s poop holds valuable clues the vet will use to diagnose and treat your pet more quickly.
Keep reading to learn more about what the color and texture of your crestie’s poop may indicate about your lizard’s health.
Crested Gecko Poop Color & Meaning
Knowing the difference between healthy and unhealthy gecko poop is usually a matter of looking at the color of the feces. Healthy poop is brown and well-formed, not runny.
To diagnose any problems by looking at your crested gecko’s poop, you need to understand what to look for.
Whenever you notice something amiss with your crestie’s poop, it is vital to make an appointment with your reptile veterinarian.
It is always helpful to bring a fresh stool sample for your veterinarian to examine when you take your crestie.
The veterinarian will place the stool sample under a microscope to diagnose the issue with your gecko and check for parasites.
Healthy crested gecko poop will be light to dark brown, with a chalky white urate piece on the end. The poop will be well-formed and will contain almost no liquid.
Crested geckos release a solid form of urine known as urate instead of liquid urine.
The solid urate helps to minimize any water loss in the gecko.
This is important because cresties are not avid water drinkers, and they prefer to lick water droplets from plants rather than drink from a water dish.
The poop size depends on your crestie’s size and may range from the size of a grain of rice to a short piece of string.
If you feed your crestie live insects, you may also notice tiny bug parts in your gecko’s poop.
Your crested gecko’s poop will also smell a bit worse if the reptile has been fed insects.
White or Black
Black coloring in your crested gecko’s poop indicates the presence of feeder insect remains. The white part of the poop is the gecko’s urate secretion.
If you notice your crested gecko’s poop is black and white, this is no reason to be alarmed.
Black poop is most commonly seen after a crestie has eaten a lot of crickets or roaches.
Once the insects from your gecko’s last feeding have been fully digested and excreted, your lizard’s poop will return to a normal color.
Feeder insects will also cause your crestie’s poop to have a strong smell.
If there is red in a crested gecko’s poop, this means there may be blood present. Crested gecko poop will also turn red if the reptile has recently eaten red-colored fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, or cherries.
Red color in your crested gecko’s poop is something to be concerned about.
Gut-loading insects with fish flakes may also cause a red coloration in your crestie’s poop.
Seeing any type of red in your crestie’s stool will warrant a trip to the vet’s office because it is important to rule out the presence of blood.
Blood in a crestie’s poop is a sign of a serious issue, and immediate veterinary attention is required.
Yellow poop is highly uncommon for crested geckos, and it is usually a discoloration from the food your gecko has eaten. The chalky urate piece of the poop may be yellow if the gecko is dehydrated.
Crested gecko diet mixes and certain fruits such as mangoes or bananas may add a yellow color to your crestie’s food.
Once the yellow food has been completely digested, your crestie’s poop will return to the regular brown coloring.
If the yellow color persists in your gecko’s poop, a vet visit will be necessary to rule out the possibility of parasites.
Green crested gecko poop is a sign of a harmful bacteria or parasite infestation, such as cryptosporidium. Cryptosporidium is very difficult to treat and is highly contagious among reptiles.
Green poop is also rarely seen in crested geckos, but it usually indicates a more serious issue.
If cryptosporidium is left untreated, it will be deadly for your crestie.
If you see green poop in your gecko’s enclosure, make an appointment with a veterinarian right away for proper treatment.
The veterinarian will give your crestie a drug called paromomycin.
This drug will not cure the crypto, but it will reduce the number of these harmful organisms in your gecko’s body enough for the reptile to recover.
Runny Crested Gecko Poop: Possible Causes
There are many causes of runny poop in crested geckos, including:
- A new habitat
- High humidity
- Too many liquid foods
Runny poop creates a severe issue for your crested gecko because it puts the animal at a greater risk of dehydration.
Some of the causes of runny poop are more dangerous than others.
Fortunately, a majority of the reasons are easily remedied or prevented altogether.
Bringing your crested gecko home and introducing it to a new habitat may cause the lizard to become stressed. This stress may lead to poor eating habits or digestion and result in runny poop.
Once your crestie has adjusted to its new surroundings and become more comfortable, the texture of its poop should firm back up.
In the meantime, give your crestie plenty of quiet time, avoid startling the lizard, and continue to offer a nutritious diet.
If the humidity in your crested gecko’s enclosure is consistently higher than 70%, the gecko will suffer from runny stools.
While a humidity level of 80% is ideal during the night, a crestie’s enclosure needs to dry out to 50%-60% humidity during the day.
In addition to runny stools, incorrect humidity levels will cause your crestie to be more prone to upper respiratory and bacterial infections.
Too Much Fruit or Baby Food
Fruits such as bananas, raspberries, and apples, are all high in fiber, and too many of these in your lizard’s diet will cause your crested gecko’s poop to be runny. Baby food should be completely avoided because it does not have the nutrients your gecko needs, and it usually causes diarrhea.
Feeding your crestie too much fresh fruit or baby food will also cause runny poop.
Cut back on the amount of high-fiber fruit you feed your crestie for the animal’s poop to become firm again.
Many people assume baby food is safe for a gecko, but it has very few nutrients the lizard needs and is also high in sugar.
Impaction is a very serious intestinal blockage in crested geckos, preventing the animal from pooping normally. If the gecko can poop at all, it will likely be runny because insufficient solid matter can pass through the intestines.
Impaction is usually caused when a crestie accidentally ingests a piece of substrate or another foreign particle, which becomes lodged in the lizard’s intestinal tract.
Large exoskeletons from feeder insects will also lead to impaction if the gecko cannot digest them properly.
If you see your crestie straining to defecate, seek veterinary care immediately for proper treatment.
When impaction is left untreated, it will lead to cloacal prolapse and possibly death.
Due to the stress of shedding, your crested gecko may have runny poop for several days after the shedding process is finished.
This is perfectly normal, and your crestie’s poop will begin to firm up once the shedding process has ended.
Parasites are one of the most common causes of runny poop in crested geckos. In addition to runny poop, a parasite infestation will cause your gecko to be lazy and have a loss of appetite.
Along with the poop being runny, you may also notice the presence of blood.
A veterinarian will examine the poop under a microscope and determine which parasite your gecko is infested with.
Medicine will be administered according to the type of parasite infestation, and your gecko will usually clear them within 2-3 weeks.
Why Is Your Crested Gecko Pooping Blood?
Blood in your crested gecko’s poop indicates a severe, life-threatening issue with your lizard. The most common causes of blood in a gecko’s poop include impaction, intestinal or cloacal damage, internal bleeding, and parasites.
If you see blood in your crested gecko’s poop, do not delay in seeking veterinary treatment.
Any cause of bloody poop will ultimately lead to death in your gecko if left untreated.
As previously mentioned, impaction is a very serious condition for your crested gecko, and it will result in death if left untreated.
If a large insect exoskeleton or piece of substrate gets stuck and tears any part of the digestive tract, a crested gecko will have blood in its poop.
To prevent impaction from the ingestion of substrate, do not use a loose substrate mixture containing sand.
A crestie accidentally eats sand particles, and the particles will easily become stuck in the digestive system.
Coconut substrate is more absorbent and less likely to be accidentally eaten by a gecko.
Check out the right types of crested gecko substrate in our guide here.
It is also wise to avoid feeding your crestie any insects with large exoskeletons such as mealworms or large crickets.
A crestie’s food should be no larger than the space between the gecko’s eyes as a general rule of thumb.
Intestinal or Cloacal Damage
Blood will appear in a crested gecko’s poop if the intestines or cloaca have been damaged by injury or infection.
Injuries to a crestie’s intestines or cloaca may occur from accidentally ingesting sharp objects.
These objects either become stuck in a crestie’s stomach or are difficult to pass from the body.
Surgery may be required to prevent bleeding and repair intestinal or cloacal damage.
Internal bleeding in crested geckos is usually caused by ingesting a sharp object or being infested with parasites.
A veterinarian will typically have to perform surgery on the crestie to stop the bleeding and fix the tear in the intestines.
If parasites are to blame, a veterinarian will be able to examine the gecko’s bloody poop under a microscope to determine which parasite is the cause.
Parasites will not only cause diarrhea in crested geckos, but they will also cause blood in the poop.
If the cause of the blood in your crestie’s poop is parasites, the infestation is likely very serious.
Once your veterinarian has used a basic parasite screen to determine which parasite your gecko is infested with, they will give your lizard the proper medication.
After 2-3 weeks, your crestie should be free of the parasitic infestation.
If a fecal exam proves the parasites are still present, another round of medication may be needed.
Parasites are sometimes challenging to clear in cresties because so many parasite species are resistant to medication.
Why Did Your Crested Gecko Stop Pooping?
Your crested gecko may stop pooping for several reasons relating to its husbandry, environment, and diet.
Crested geckos will only poop as often as they eat.
In extreme situations, a crestie can safely go for up to a week without defecating.
Below are the most common reasons your crestie is not pooping and what to do in each situation.
Maybe You Did Not See It
Crested geckos are primarily active at night, so they do their business if you are not around.
If you are concerned your crested gecko is not pooping, there may be a chance you simply did not see it happen.
Take a closer look around your crestie’s enclosure to ensure you did not overlook your pet’s poop by mistake.
Your Crested Gecko Is Not Eating Enough or Staying Hydrated
If a crested gecko is not eating enough food during feedings, it will be unable to poop as much. It is also vital to keep your gecko hydrated by providing a shallow dish with clean, fresh water and misting the plants in the enclosure.
Another obvious reason your crestie is not pooping involves how much food your lizard is eating.
Poor diet and dehydration will cause your gecko’s metabolism to slow down, and the reptile will poop less often.
Impaction is one of the most dangerous causes of a crested gecko to stop pooping.
Impaction is an intestinal blockage, and it prevents any food from being digested or passed from the crested gecko.
Your crestie may strain to defecate, but it will be unable to do so.
If you notice this behavior in your crestie, it is important to make an appointment with your vet right away.
Impaction may lead to cloacal prolapse or death if left untreated.
Low Tank Temperatures
Crested geckos need heat to digest their food correctly.
If environmental temperatures are consistently too low for your crested gecko, the reptile’s metabolism will slow, and it will not poop regularly.
Avoid this scenario by using a thermometer to measure the tank’s temperature every day.
The enclosure’s ideal daytime temperatures should range from 72-78° degrees Fahrenheit (26° C).
At night, the temperatures may be lowered to a range of 65-75° degrees Fahrenheit (24° C).
Use a ceramic heat emitter to safely provide warmth for your crestie in the basking area of the enclosure.
One of the most common symptoms of illness in crested geckos is a poor appetite.
Appetite loss due to illness will result in your crested gecko not pooping as often as it usually does.
Learn more reasons why your crested gecko isn’t eating.
Other signs of illness in geckos include lethargy, weight loss, or discharge from the eyes and nose.
If you notice any signs of illness and your crestie is not pooping, seek veterinary care for proper diagnosis and treatment.