Crested Gecko Tail Loss (Can It Grow Back?)


by Simon Griffiths


A crested gecko tail loss takes place when the gecko is overly stressed or feels threatened. Tail drop, also called autotomy, is an anti-predatory defense mechanism; the tail flops before its attacker as the gecko flees toward safety. Many crested geckos think we are predators and thus throw their tails away! Loud noises can also cause a tail drop in some geckos, especially skittish animals, even when there isn’t any discernible reason at all.

Some geckos will not poke and prod at their tails like when you are helping them get stuck tail shed off. The tail of your crested gecko breaks at the fracture levels at the base of the tail. Actually, this is by the gecko contracting its muscles in front of this weak part, making its tail pop off. You need not worry, your crested gecko’s tail will not just fall off unless your pet will allow it to fall off. Importantly, each gecko has an individual tendency to let its tail drop off.


Why do cresties drop their tails?

Usually, your crested geckos will lose their tails when they are breeding, when threatened by a predator or when they are injured in a struggle. A tail loss is less frequent for your crested gecko in captivity. Yet, your crested gecko is likely to lose its tail. As such, it is best to know why your crested gecko can lose its tail in order to prevent the tail loss. The common reasons for your crested gecko to lose its tail include:

  • Extreme stress
  • Rough handling
  • Grasping by the tail
  • Breeding 

Related Do’s And Don’t’s With Crested Geckos

Do Crested Geckos Tails Grow Back?

Unfortunately, once the crested gecko loses its tail, the tail can never grow back. In contrast with other species of geckos, including the gargoyle gecko and leopard gecko, your crested gecko may never regrow or regenerate their shed tails. Once a crested gecko loses its tail, it is referred to as a frog butt. 

Perhaps, unlike other lizards that regenerate their tails, it becomes too expensive for an individual crested gecko to regenerate. In fact, once they are facilitated to regenerate their tails, they may have the inability to reproduce. These animals usually stop growing and breed so as to transfer energy to regeneration. Likely, an adult gecko has little benefit in regrowing its tail, since they have evolved into living without it.

Other gecko species normally have several fracture planes between their tail bones. This enables them to break down the tail and regenerate the tail gradually. For a crested gecko, it has just one fracture plane, making it difficult for its tail to regenerate after it has lost it. Therefore, once your crested gecko loses its tail, it is not able to regrow the tail anymore. What will be left out of your crested gecko is just a short and pointy stump. A tailless crested gecko can thrive healthily and still breed. However, if your pet loses its tail, you may find it becoming less attractive.

Related How Often Do Crested Geckos Shed

Does it hurt when a crested gecko loses it tail?

Your crested gecko will not experience any pain when it loses its tail. However, your crested gecko will become a bit stressed in the first few days. It is upon you to make sure that your pet will become alright as days progress. Importantly, your pet will not experience any pain from losing its tail and will get fine with time. 

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Crested Gecko Tail Loss Treatment

Once your crested gecko loses its tail, there is no need to put an antiseptic on that area. The wound should heal on its own. If your crested gecko is normally housed in a particular substrate, it is crucial to change that environment to facilitate an easy healing process. 

You should house your gecko at a separate temporary house on a paper towel to ensure that your pet heals in a strike environment. Substrates may stick to the wound of your pet if you fail to remove it from its initial habitat, bringing infections and irritations to the wound. If the wound gets puffy or red, you can try putting Neosporin or honey on it. If the wound begins to ooze or does not heal, it is better to refer it to a veterinarian.  

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Wrapping Up 

Crested gecko tail loss is a stressful event to your pet. It is crucial for you to avoid handling your pet for a few days, probably a week or so, for the pet to fully heal its wound. After completely healing, the pet will return to its normal life as usual. Your tailless crested gecko will remain to be your great pet even without its tail. Be gentle! If he shows signs of the pending enclosure, put him in his enclosure. We all would love to keep our adult crested geckos with their long and beautiful tails but sometimes the tail loss becomes a part of life for the pet and we have to cope with it.

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.