Calcium is one of the most important minerals for the healthy functioning of a crested gecko.
A deficiency of calcium can cause metabolic bone disease, which can get fatal.
One way that a crested gecko stores calcium in its body is via calcium sacs present in its mouth.
What Are Calcium Sacs On Crested Geckos?
Calcium sacs are tiny bubbles inside the mouth of a crested gecko.
These bubble bumps are present on the roof of the mouth of a crested gecko, pretty close to the back of its tongue.
This is where crested geckos store their excess calcium.
Calcium sacs, as the name suggests, act as storage reserves for calcium in a crested gecko’s body.
The larger the calcium sac, the more the amount of calcium that the crested gecko has. In fact, shrinking calcium sacs are an early sign of the onset of calcium deficiency in crested geckos.
Do All Crested Geckos Have Calcium Sacs?
Yes, all crested geckos have calcium sacs. And all calcium sacs are in the same corresponding locations in every crested gecko.
Observing the calcium sac of your crested gecko every now and then will allow you to monitor the onset of calcium deficiency and treat it in the very beginning.
How Do I Know If My Crested Gecko Has Calcium Sacs?
Biologically speaking, every crested gecko has calcium sacs. To check the same, you will need to coax your crested gecko into opening its mouth.
You can do so easily by pressing the sides of its jaw gently. Note that you need to press gently covering the holes on the sides of your crested gecko’s head.
Once you get your crested gecko to open its mouth, you will be able to see small bubble bumps on the roof of its mouth.
That is the calcium sack. If it is white and round, your crested gecko is getting the right amount of calcium.
If it is pale and shrinking, you need to start adding calcium to the diet of your crested gecko.
The Importance Of Calcium To A Crested Gecko
The importance of calcium to a crested gecko is immense.
One of the main concerns that a crested gecko owner is likely to have is if the crested gecko becomes deficient in calcium.
It can lead to too many health problems and may even become fatal for the crested gecko.
Some of the roles that calcium plays in a crested gecko include:
1 – Bone formation and growth.
This is the most obvious function of calcium in crested geckos as is in every other animal. Calcium is needed for healthy bone formation and growth.
Low calcium means weak bones and stunted growth. It consequently leads to a lower quality of life.
2 – Egg production.
If you have a female crested gecko, you need to be all the more cautious about the calcium levels in the diet of your crested gecko.
Females lay eggs every 45 days. This causes them to lose their reserves of calcium at a faster rate than male crested geckos.
Moreover, if you are breeding crested geckos, you need to ensure that the female isn’t deficient in calcium.
Else, the eggs won’t have harder shells and they’ll probably dent or not produce healthy offspring.
3 – Overall strength and vitality.
A deficiency of calcium will lead to a weak body and lethargic actions. This will start a chain reaction of health problems.
So, calcium is necessary for the overall strength and vitality of crested geckos.
Can A Crested Gecko Get Too Much Calcium?
Yes, too much calcium is a possibility. An excess of anything is bad, and the same holds true for calcium as well.
Too much calcium can lead to mineral toxicity in your crested gecko’s body and hamper the absorption of other essential vitamins and minerals.
It can even cause bowel problems.
So, as a general rule, if you are giving a calcium-rich crested gecko diet powder meal to your pet, do not add a calcium supplement to it.
How Do I Know If My Gecko Is Getting Enough Calcium?
In general, a crested gecko with low calcium tends to be weaker and more lethargic. It may even have deformed bones in the spine, hip, and tail.
If your crested gecko is active, has a healthy body language, and isn’t showing any weakness, your crested gecko is getting all the nutrients in the required amounts – including calcium.
To be a little extra sure, however, you can gently prod open the mouth of your crested gecko and take a look at the calcium sacs.
If they are white and round, your crested gecko’s calcium reserves are just fine.
What Happens If My Gecko Doesn’t Get Enough Calcium?
If your crested gecko does not get enough calcium, the following symptoms and problems can spring up:
- Weakened bones
- Deformed bones
- Increased risk of grave injuries and fractures
- Metabolic bone disorder
- Weak and infertile eggs
- Overall reduction in the quality of life
How Often Do I Need To Give My Crested Gecko Calcium Supplementation?
If you are feeding a commercially available prepared diet powder to your crested gecko, you probably don’t need to give calcium supplements.
But a good thumb rule is that whenever you give insects to your crested gecko as a treat, dust them with calcium and vitamin D3.
You should give insects only once or twice per week.
What Is The Correct Calcium To Phosphorus Ratio For Crested Geckos?
The ideal ratio of calcium to phosphorus for crested geckos is 2:1.
However, that is often hard to achieve with any combination of foods, so hitting a moderate 1.5-1.8:1 ratio is also good enough to maintain the health of your crested gecko.
Can My Crested Gecko Get Too Much Calcium?
Yes, your crested gecko can get too much calcium – and it can lead to mineral toxicity.
The ideal ratio of calcium to phosphorus that needs to be maintained in every meal is 2:1 – and anywhere between 1.5-1.8:1 is also just fine. But don’t go overboard with calcium.
How To Add Calcium To Your Crested Gecko’s Diet
Some ways to include calcium in your crested gecko’s diet are:
- Gut-loading the insects that you feed your crested gecko
- Dusting the insects with calcium powder
- Choosing a crested gecko diet powder that is rich in calcium
- Opt for fruits and vegetables that are a good source of calcium, such as dandelion greens and alfalfa
- Reducing the number of fruits with oxalic acids such as apricots
- Reducing the number of fruits with high potassium such as bananas
Do Male Crested Geckos Have Calcium Sacs?
Yes, both male and female crested geckos have calcium sacs.
While a female does require more calcium than a male crested gecko because of the egg laying, even a male crested gecko needs enough calcium to prevent any unwanted health problems.
Owing to this, even a male crested gecko’s body has calcium sacs to store reserves of calcium.
Crested Gecko Calcium With Or Without D3
It is highly important that calcium is given ample vitamin D3 because this vitamin is needed for the crested gecko’s body to be able to absorb calcium in the first place.
If your crested gecko gets enough calcium but is deficient in vitamin D3, even then your crested gecko will be prone to a deficiency of calcium.
Calcium is an important mineral for the healthy functioning of a crested gecko.
While an excess of calcium can cause mineral toxicity, too less of it can cause fatal health problems.
The ideal way to maintain a balanced reserve of calcium is to provide a 1.8-2:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus in every meal of your crested gecko.