Crested Gecko MBD {Cause, Symptoms And Treatment}


by Simon Griffiths


While Crested geckos generally appear healthy, you should be aware of the Crested gecko Metabolic bone disease. It occurs in crested geckos whose diet has a deficiency of calcium. it may lead to death if untreated. This article provides you with a deeper understanding of the following:

  • Definition of crested gecko metabolic disease
  • Causes of crested gecko metabolic disease
  • Symptoms of crested gecko metabolic disease
  • Treatment and prevention of crested gecko metabolic disease


Causes Of Crested Gecko Metabolic Disease (MBD)

MBD is caused by a lack of vitamin D3 or calcium in the diet. Examples of diets lacking vitamin D3 and calcium include homemade diets composed of fruits as well as baby foods. Calcium is crucial for the overall health and development of your gecko. It not only facilitates the organs and muscles to function appropriately but also is vital during egg production and breeding. An imbalance of other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D3 and phosphorus could also result in your gecko acquiring the illness. 

A deficiency of calcium in the diet forces your gecko to source calcium from its bone mass storage. This is detrimental to the health of your pet. If you will leave the illness untreated, severe effects may occur. These are blood clots, minimal nerve function, kidney failure or even loss of the liver. This illness is fatal, thus realizing the symptoms earlier can enable you to save the life of your pet.

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Symptoms of Crested Gecko MBD

It is easy in some instances to miss the signs as they are not well elaborated. Some of the signs that occur in the early stages are:

  • Your crestie has a shaky head
  • Body tremble
  • The tail may appear to be crooked slightly
  • Weakening of the muscles where it becomes hard for the crestie to stick on a material
  • Your crestie appears to be shaking when you either touch him/her or when walking

At later stages, the following can be noted:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Twitching or trembling
  • Swollen jaw and limbs
  • Overbite or underbite
  • The tail that is kinked and has several zigzags
  • Hips, spine, bones, and tail appear disfigured
  • A weakened jaw that is hanging open
  • Humped back
  • Darkened calcium sacks. Usually, cresties have calcium sacks for storing calcium in their mouth. A healthy calcium sack is white in colour and well-rounded.

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Treatment of Crested Gecko Metabolic Disease

When you identify this disease early, it is treatable. The following small changes you can undertake at your home involve changing the diet and the setup of the gecko’s habitat: 

  • You can administer liquid calcium like Zoo Med’s Repti Calcium plus Calcium plus Vitamin D3.
  • Dust your insects in Vitamin D3 and Calcium powder prior to feeding them to your crestie.
  • A low-impact UVB light could be crucial. This could be the miner’s-ALL outdoor formula or the Exo Terra compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Switch to a diet rich in calcium. For instance, you can give Pangea Breeders formula once per week.

If this sickness continues, seek a vet to treat your crestie. The vet will determine the level of bone loss using an x-ray, then determine the right plan of treatment for your pet. If the disease is realized when it has hit the nerves, it is not treatable. Wellness programs conducted regularly are therefore vital because you can realize an illness before it progresses to harm your pet. 

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Prevention of Metabolic Bone Disease

The good thing about cresties metabolic bone disease is that it is both treatable and preventable. Preventive measures will lead to a happy and healthy life of your pet. Proper care of your crestie entails:

  • Dusting the insects you feed your crestie on calcium and vitamin D3
  • Proper nutrition. Pangea or Repashy is recommended while fresh fruit purees and dusted insects are fed from time to time.
  • Conduct wellness programs regularly as you record any changes in a diary. 

The majority of calcium and vitamins are consumed from the diet. As such , it is essential to provide your gecko with proper diets to avoid diseases such as Crested gecko Bone disease. Paangea and Repashy are recommendable diets you can give your pet once per week to boost the levels of calcium and vitamin D3. Occasional treatment (maybe monthly) of the following foods plus their normal diets would aid in avoiding illnesses:

  • An insect-only diet
  • Fruits
  • Baby food
  • Healthy fruit purees such as mango and papaya
  • Bugs or insects that are dusted in calcium and vitamin D3. Some healthy and nutritional insects are silkworms, crickets, Dubai Roach, and butterworms.

The above diets on their own are obsolete and lack important nutrients thus being harmful to the health of your gecko. homemade foods pose serious threats to the health of a crestie and are not advisable for new crestie owners. A homemade diet can lead to malnourishment and health issues.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Crested Gecko MBD

How To Check My Crested Gecko Calcium Sacs?

Cresties store calcium in calcium sacks. The sacks are located in the mouth or at the back of the throat of your crestie. They are checked when the mouth is open. To open the mouth, use a thin credit card for pressing the jaw sides. Once the mouth is open, you can see the mouth sacs clearly. If they are round and white, it indicates that your crestie is healthy. If they are dark or grey, it implies that your crestie has Metabolic Bone Disease. Male cresties have less calcium sacks than females because the female cresties require calcium in the egg production process. 

What Does A Healthy Crested Gecko Look Like?

Your crested gecko is healthy if it has the following characteristics; if when you handle it you notice it is active and alert, clear nose and ear vents, smooth skin, and a little heft for the adult crestie. 

Wrapping Up

Crested Gecko Metabolic Bone disease occurs as a result of a deficiency of minerals like calcium, and vitamins like D3, as well as other nutrients that are involved in the bone-making process. When there is low calcium in the diet, the body of your gecko sources calcium from the bone mass storage leading to Metabolic Bone Disease. The disease is both treatable and preventable. Mild symptoms can be treated at home while severe symptoms require the intervention of a vet. For your pet to live happy and healthy, act swiftly when you realize the above-mentioned symptoms on your crestie.

Simon Griffiths

Hi guys, my name is Simon, a fellow pet lover. I love everything about traditional and exotic pets so I am here to help you create a better home for your pets.