Have you encountered a situation with your crested gecko where they shake uncontrollably and appear to be having a seizure?
This can often signal a severe condition or a problem with how they are currently being handled.
You will want to note if your crestie is suffering in this way with seizures, whether real or fake.
Crested gecko seizures are often caused by a vitamin deficiency, specifically a lack of calcium. However, they also have seizures when under stress from being handled. Some crested geckos will fake a seizure to get out of an uncomfortable situation. Always see a vet if you suspect actual seizures.
Seizures are one health issue that needs to be taken very seriously.
Here are some of the most common causes of seizures among crested geckos and how to spot their underlying issues.
Signs Of A Crested Gecko Seizure
Every crested gecko owner wants to ensure their new pet is as healthy as possible.
This is why it is so essential to understand their health and to be able to spot the signs of an actual seizure early on.
Sometimes, your gecko may be playing with you due to stress, and it is essential to tease out a real seizure from a fake one.
Real seizures are usually accompanied by uncontrollable jerking or twitching.
It may occur over their whole body or just certain body parts.
As a result of this motion, there is a good chance they’ll lose their perch or grip on the enclosure if they are not currently being handled.
They may have quite a few falls.
Make sure to check your gecko over thoroughly if you notice they have had a fall recently.
If it happens often, be sure to consult a veterinarian who specializes in exotics.
Another symptom of repeated seizures is weight loss.
A crestie who has repeated seizures doesn’t feel much like eating.
Depending on the reason behind the seizures, it can make things like a calcium deficiency even more severe.
Causes Of Crested Gecko Seizures
If your gecko is having seizures, one of the potential triggers for this condition is stress.
They may exhibit more seizures when handled or when something scary comes around their enclosure, such as another pet.
A gecko with epilepsy will tend to have more seizures when under a large amount of stress.
To minimize the seizures, your crestie has, consider what is stressing them out.
Handling them is one of the critical things which cause a lot of geckos to have these episodes.
Work up to handling them for more extended periods.
Spend a few minutes each day with your hand in the cage so they can adjust to your presence instead of simply picking them up all the time.
You must be patient with them if you want them to feel more comfortable with you.
Of course, there is always the possibility they are not experiencing actual seizures at all.
Instead, they could simply be playing possum with you and pretending to be dead.
This is another indicator they are under too much stress and need to have some relief.
In addition to playing dead, they may twitch their tails, shake, or open their mouths.
All of these symptoms can easily be confused for an actual seizure.
This is why it is so important to note how your gecko behaves when left alone in its enclosure.
If the symptoms of a seizure are still present here when no stress is occurring, then it is a good chance your gecko may have epilepsy or a calcium deficiency.
Be sure to consult a veterinarian with your gecko’s symptoms to determine if they have actual seizures or are simply acting.
Perhaps the most common cause of seizures among crested geckos is low calcium levels or poor calcium absorption.
The calcium crash is a sign of the beginning stages of metabolic bone disease if the issue does not get corrected soon.
The good news is spotting your gecko’s level of calcium is relatively easy with a little bit of know-how.
You will want to take a good look at their calcium sacs located in the back of the mouth.
Pull your gecko out of their enclosure and hold them firmly.
You should position your thumb near the collar bones to hold their head steady and keep them from getting away from you.
With your other hand, stroke the sides of their mouth.
Give it a little squeeze until they open up nice and wide.
Once they open their mouth, take a quick peek inside.
You will be able to tell their absorption of calcium from the little white sacs located on both sides of the roof of the mouth.
If they are large and white, the odds are good that your crestie has the proper amount of blood calcium level.
If they seem a bit small, then they may be calcium deficient.
A seizure caused by a calcium deficiency often does not occur until the vitamin deficiency is quite severe.
You will likely notice other warning signs first, including:
- Lack of appetite
- Strange positions or kink in the spine or tail
- Swollen limbs
- Rubbery jaw
One of the best ways to get your crested gecko back to health is to feed them calcium-dusted feeder insects.
If you choose not to feed insects, then make sure to invest in a complete crested gecko diet food with plenty of calcium.
You can learn more about the crested gecko calcium requirements in our other post.
If you suspect your crestie is having real seizures, then you need to take them to a veterinarian.
There is no substitute for having them looked over by a professional and determining the cause of the seizures.
There are some things at home to do for them, but a veterinarian can help you determine whether your gecko’s quality of life will be affected.