Care, Health and Growth, Crested Geckos, Geckos

Crested Gecko Sunken Eyes: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

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by The Pet Engineers


Crested geckos are pretty hardy and healthy. With proper care, they can live a comfortable life of 15 to 20 years.

However, sometimes, looking at your crested gecko, it can get confusing to understand whether a certain change in its body is normal or is a cause of medical concern.

One such confusing thing is when your crested gecko’s eyes look sunken. It may become worrisome – but quite a lot of times, this happens due to normal behaviors like biting, sleeping, or eating. Other times, however, it could be a cause for concern.

Sunken eyes of a crested gecko may happen either due to normal behaviors or due to dehydration, the onset of metabolic bone disease, or retention of the eye cap.

It may thus help to correlate sunken eyes with other signs and symptoms to figure out if it is happening due to normal behavior or if your pet needs medical attention.

Causes of Crested Gecko Sunken Eyes

Normal Behaviors That May Cause Crested Gecko Sunken Eyes

Crested geckos do not have any eyelids. Their eyes have no protective covering. That is why, when your crested gecko is resting or sleeping, or when it is biting and eating, it pulls its eyes inside its sockets.

This behavior is similar to how a human may close their eyes while taking a bite of their food.

crested gecko sunken eyes
An injury might cause sunken eyes


Dehydration in a crested gecko happens not only due to a lessened intake of water by your pet but also due to fluctuations in the humidity level of the enclosure.

One of the many symptoms of dehydration includes sunken eyes, wherein your crested gecko’s eyes will be pulled inside the sockets.

Some additional signs that may accompany sunken eyes in your dehydrated crested gecko include:

  • Wrinkled skin that has lost its elasticity
  • Hips and ribs bones start sticking out
  • Dry and flaky skin
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Constipation

Retained Eye Cap

This is a condition that may affect one or both eyes of your crested gecko. This happens due to incomplete and improper shedding, which, in turn, happens mostly due to inaccurate humidity levels and/or dehydration.

Retained eye cap is basically some piece of shed skin that gets stuck near the eye and makes it look like the eye has sunken into the socket.

Metabolic Bone Disease

metabolic bone disease
Metabolic bone disease can cause sunken eyes

This is one of the most fatal diseases that affect crested geckos. It happens due to a severe deficiency of calcium in the body of a crested gecko.

Metabolic bone disease can cause your crested gecko’s eyes to sink into their sockets.

However, before concluding that your crested gecko has metabolic bone disease based on its sunken eyes, look for other symptoms as well:

  • Trembling
  • Visible weakness
  • Deformed tail and/or spine
  • Humped back
  • Loss of appetite
  • Twitching while walking

If you notice these signs in addition to sunken eyes, take your crested gecko to the vet immediately.

How To Treat Crested Gecko Sunken Eyes

The treatment of sunken eyes in crested geckos depends on their root cause.

If your crested gecko’s sunken eyes are a result of normal behavior, you don’t need to intervene.

If, however, you see signs of dehydration, immediately recheck and readjust the humidity levels of your crested gecko’s tank. If there is retained shed, remove as much skin as you can with sterilized tweezers. Then take a vet’s help if needed.

Regular maintenance of the hydration of your crested gecko through drinking water and moisture of the tank will gradually rectify this problem.

If you notice signs of metabolic bone disease, immediately consult a vet and start with proper medical treatment. Recheck the diet that you are feeding your crested gecko.

If it lacks calcium and vitamin D3, make necessary changes. You should also place the enclosure in such a way that it gets an ample amount of natural sunlight. Sunlight is the biggest source of vitamin D3.

How To Prevent Crested Gecko Sunken Eyes

To prevent sunken eyes in your crested gecko due to concerning factors like retained shed or metabolic bone disease:

  • Ensure that your crested gecko gets a fresh and continuous supply of clean drinking water every day
  • Ensure that the humidity levels of the enclosure are maintained accurately at all times
  • Ensure that the diet of your crested gecko is rich in calcium and vitamin D3
  • Ensure that the lighting of the room is such that the enclosure of your crested gecko gets an ample amount of sunlight
  • Use UVB rays if necessary, but ensure that you switch this artificial light on for a short period of time only
  • Dust the insects you give your crested gecko as treats with calcium powder


crested gecko eyes
A crested gecko’s eyes should be full and healthy with no discoloration

Sunken eyes in a crested gecko may or may not be a cause for concern. Quite often, even normal activities like sleeping and eating may cause your crested gecko’s eyes to sink into their sockets.

It is similar to a human’s eyes closing when sleeping or biting on a piece of food. Since crested geckos do not have eyelids, they sink their eyes into their sockets instead.

However, be on the lookout for any other symptoms accompanying sunken eyes. If there are other signs indicating illness, take corrective measures immediately.

Lifestyle changes along with timely medical treatment will help your crested gecko regain its health, and this will consequently rectify the problem of sunken eyes.

The Pet Engineers

A team of pet lovers. We have owned various pets over their years. From dogs to reptiles, etc. Our love of pets, strive to us to create up-to-date and accurate helpful guides on pets.

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