As a crested gecko owner, it is completely natural for you to be worried if your crested gecko seems to be underweight and unable to gain a healthy weight even after eating enough food.
There are many reasons why your crested gecko may not be gaining weight. And while it is normal for you to be concerned, there is absolutely no reason for you to panic.
The problem of your crested gecko being underweight is completely manageable with some insight, guidance, and lifestyle and dietary changes.
Here’s what to do when your crested gecko is not gaining weight.
How Much Should My Crested Gecko Weigh?
Depending upon the age of your crested gecko, its weight will vary between a healthy range. The healthy range of weight for crested geckos as per their age is given in the table below.
|Age of the Crested Gecko||Healthy Range of Weight in grams|
|1 to 4 months||2 to 5 grams|
|5 to 9 months||7 to 17 grams|
|10 to 15 months||21 to 33 grams|
|16 to 24 months||34 to 35 grams|
|24 months and above||35 to 55+ grams|
While observing the physical appearance of your crested gecko is one of the most common ways to know whether your crested gecko is underweight or overweight, it may not always be very accurate.
This is precisely why you must regularly weigh your crested gecko to check if your pet is in the healthy range of weight.
What Does An Underweight Crested Gecko Look Like?
As a crested gecko owner, the health and nourishment of your pet can be a great cause of concern for you.
You need to ensure that the environment, humidity, temperature, as well as nutrition of your crested gecko are well balanced and within a healthy range.
These are some signs you need to be on the lookout for to check whether your crested gecko is underweight:
- Your crested gecko has unusually thin hands and legs
- The ribs and hip bones of your crested gecko are showing
- There is no rounding of the belly; or, the belly seems sucked in almost all the time
- Your crested gecko seems to have lost its appetite
- There is a lack of calcium sacks in your crested gecko
Monitor the weight of your crested gecko regularly. If your crested gecko has been eating lesser than normal, or if it is experiencing a complete loss of appetite for more than 10 days.
Along with drastically low weight, then you must consult your vet. Being underweight can in itself be a symptom of some underlying disease or metabolic disorder.
6 Reasons Why Your Crested Gecko Is Underweight
A crested gecko may become underweight either if it is not eating enough, it has completely stopped eating, or if the food that it is eating is lacking in some essential nutrients.
Here are some reasons why your crested gecko may be experiencing an unhealthy reduction in weight:
Reason 1 – Environmental Stresses
If you have brought home a new crested gecko, give it some time to settle in. The new environment of your crested gecko’s enclosure must be stressing it out, causing it to lose appetite.
This could be the reason behind your pet weighing a little lower than the healthy range for its age.
Reason 2 – Improper Tank Settings
Another major reason why crested gecko owners, especially the ones handling reptiles for the first time, may find their pet to be underweight is that the settings of the crested gecko’s enclosure may be incorrect.
The temperature and humidity of the enclosure play a major role in helping your crested gecko maintain a healthy appetite, and thus, a healthy weight.
If the enclosure is too cold, too warm, too humid, or too dry, it will have a direct impact on your crested gecko’s appetite.
This happens because a change in the environmental factors causes the crested gecko to stress out, thereby impacting its appetite.
The proper range of temperature for your crested gecko’s enclosure is between 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
The enclosure must have a heat gradient along with a cool spot to allow the crested gecko to regulate its body temperature.
Similarly for humidity, the enclosure should have a range of 70 to 80 percent.
You should also allow the humidity to drop to 50 percent for some time every day to prevent bacterial or fungal growth inside the enclosure.
Reason 4 – Wrong Size of Enclosure
If the enclosure of your crested gecko is too big or too small, even that may become a cause of stress to your pet.
This may consequently cause a loss of appetite, and thus, an unhealthy reduction in your crested gecko’s weight.
Reason 5 – Imbalanced Diet with Lack of Important Nutrients
One of the major issues behind a crested gecko being underweight is the lack of a properly balanced diet with all important nutrients.
To be precise, a crested gecko needs a Ca:P ratio of approximately 2:1 or better from its foods. Moreover, the content of oxalic acid should also be low in its diet.
If especially, the Calcium to Phosphorus ratio is not maintained, it can cause health problems. Lack of
Calcium can cause your crested gecko to develop metabolic bone disorder – which leads to a drastic and unhealthy reduction in weight due to a lowering of bone density.
Reason 6 – Fussy Eating Habits
While it is rarer for a crested gecko to throw tantrums in eating, when compared to other pets like cats and dogs, it is not impossible.
Sometimes, a crested gecko may inherently be a fussy eater and refuse to eat foods of certain consistency or texture.
In that case, the chances of lacking nutrients in the body rise and your crested gecko is then at the risk of unhealthy weight reduction.
How To Help You Crested Gecko Gain Weight
The best way to help your crested gecko gain and maintain a healthy weight is to find and tackle the root cause.
Because when it comes to your crested gecko being underweight, the only 2 direct causes are a loss of appetite and a lack of nutrients in the diet.
And the only obvious solution to helping your crested gecko gain weight is to feed it proper food in proper amounts.
But to tackle your crested gecko’s loss of appetite, you need to figure out why, in the first place, is your crested gecko experiencing a lack of healthy appetite.
Cause: Loss of Appetite
If your crested gecko has become underweight due to a loss of appetite, find out what could be the root behind this sudden reduction or complete loss of appetite of your pet.
- Check if the enclosure parameters, including temperature, humidity, lighting, etc., are maintained perfectly.
- Check if there is anything else stressing your crested gecko out – is it being handled too often? Is the foliage or enclosure setup improper or insufficient?
- If your crested gecko doesn’t seem to regain its appetite within 10 to 12 days, consult a vet to rule out any pathological health conditions.
Cause: Lack of Nutrients
In such a case, you may want to consult your vet to get guidance on a properly balanced diet for your crested gecko.
Usually, a balanced diet for crested geckos must include commercially available powder food, gutted and coated insects, and fruits. The foods should provide a Calcium to Phosphorus ratio of 2:1 or better.
Best Safe Feeder Insects For Your Crested Gecko
If you are giving live food to your crested gecko, you must know which ones are staples and which ones are treats. The staples can be given along with every meal, but the treats should only be given once a week.
Staple Feeder Insects
Crested Gecko Growth Chart
For an easy reference for the age-wise size and weight of your crested gecko, you can refer to the growth chart provided below.
|Hatchling||1.5 – 2 grams||2.5 – 3 inches|
|Up to 2 months||3 grams||3 – 4 inches|
|3 months||4 grams||3 – 5 inches|
|4 months||5 grams||4 – 6 inches|
|5 months||7 grams||4 – 6 inches|
|6 months||9 grams||5 – 7 inches|
|Up to 9 months||16 – 35 grams||6 – 9 inches|
|Up to 12 months||35 – 50 grams||9 – 16 inches|
|18 months and above||55 – 75 grams||9 – 16 inches and above|
The environment and nourishment of your crested gecko need to be monitored regularly to ensure that your pet is growing and living healthily.
One of the first signs of bad health in your crested gecko is a fluctuation in your pet’s weight for an unusually long period.
But this can be controlled by regularly weighing your crested gecko and keeping a record of its weight and size.
Have regular checkups and always ensure that the diet being fed to your pet fulfills all of its nutritional and dietary requirements.