Keeping your crested gecko hydrated is a very important responsibility of crested gecko owners.
A crested gecko can go for a week without eating, but it needs fresh drinking water every day.
A crested gecko can sometimes not recognize or see still water bodies.
This makes it important for you to mist its tank regularly so it can hydrate from the droplets it finds on the leaves and enclosure walls.
Crested geckos might go long without eating. However, when it comes to water it’s best they get it often.
If you observe these signs in your crested gecko: Loss of elasticity of the skin, lethargy, loss of appetite, visibly bony appearance, and irregular bowel movements.
Then your gecko is dehydrated.
Why Is My Crested Gecko Dehydrated?
Being dehydrated means your crested gecko is losing more body fluids than it is able to replenish.
In such a case, your crested gecko won’t be able to function in a healthy manner.
Dehydration has several causes, but all of them have the same root: lack of enough hydration and moisture.
Now, this lack of hydration and moisture can be caused due to various reasons – high temperature, irregular misting, etc.
Signs Of Dehydration In Crested Geckos
The 5 major signs that indicate that your crested gecko may be dehydrated are:
1 – Loss of elasticity of the skin.
This is one of the most common symptoms of dehydration in almost every animal – cats, dogs, and yes, even your pet crested gecko.
A healthy and hydrated crested gecko has firm and elastic skin that retains moisture from the environment.
As a crested gecko gets more and more dehydrated, it changes the appearance and texture of its skin.
2 – Lethargy.
Dehydration will make your crested gecko lethargic. It may even spend more time sleeping on the ground or burrowing in the substrate.
But sometimes, this is a sign of upcoming shedding.
So, when you observe lethargy in your crested gecko, it may help to become a little more observant to notice any other symptoms and keep a consistent check on the environmental parameters.
3 – Loss of appetite.
Dehydration also causes loss of appetite.
In severe cases, this can translate into body weakness and make your crested gecko prone to catching secondary illnesses.
4 – Visibly bony appearance.
Dehydration, combined with the resulting loss of appetite, can lead to a visibly bony appearance of your crested gecko.
This is a sign of extreme dehydration and you need to quickly ramp up the humidity levels and rehydrate your crested gecko.
5 – Irregular bowel movements.
Dehydration will also lead to constipation.
So, if your crested gecko is showing a combination of lethargy, loss of appetite, and constipation, chances are that it is dehydrated.
Causes Of Dehydration In Crested Geckos
Dehydration can happen because of multiple reasons. Some of the most common causes of dehydration are listed below:
1 – High Temperature
Overheating the enclosure can cause moisture to dry up.
This will make the atmosphere less humid and dehydrate your crested gecko.
2 – Irregular Misting
Misting is very important not just to regulate the humidity levels of the tank but also to keep your crested gecko hydrated.
More often, your crested gecko will drink water from the droplets it finds on the leaves and enclosure walls after you mist the tank.
The water bowl is seldom used by crested geckos.
3 – No Source Of Running Water
Crested geckos cannot always see a still water body.
So, chances are that your crested gecko may not even see the water that you keep in its drinking bowl every day.
While you should still keep a water bowl in the tank every day, it is preferable to also have some source of running water.
4 – Illness
Sometimes, dehydration is the symptom of some other underlying problem.
If your crested gecko is ill, it may lose its appetite, stop drinking water, and refrain from playing around.
In such a case, you may have to look out for additional symptoms like pus, discharge, visible injuries, or prolonged dehydration despite taking all measures, you may need to consult a vet.
How Long Does It Take For A Gecko To Dehydrate?
A crested gecko can go for 3 days (72 hours) without water before dehydration sets in. But you should provide misting and a fresh source of water every day.
Moreover, baby crested geckos can barely go a day before they get dehydrated.
Do Crested Geckos Absorb Water Through Their Skin?
Yes, crested geckos can rehydrate themselves by absorbing moisture through their skin.
But you should not put your crested gecko in a shallow bowl of water – that will stress your crested gecko out.
Instead, you can make a “sauna” for your crested gecko and mist the tank frequently.
Mild dehydration can also be cured by soaking your crested gecko in lukewarm water for some time.
Can Crested Geckos Die From Dehydration?
Crested geckos get dehydrated pretty quickly. It takes them just 3 days to get dehydrated.
And if not treated in a timely manner, dehydration can even kill a crested gecko. However, dehydration is also pretty easily curable.
How To Rehydrate Crested Gecko
Rehydrating a crested gecko can be done by:
- Soaking your crested gecko in lukewarm water for some time.
- Misting your crested gecko tank frequently.
- Using a waterfall inside the enclosure.
- Regulating the humidity and temperature levels of the crested gecko tank.
- Giving fruits mashed with water to your crested gecko.
How To Prevent Dehydration
In order to prevent dehydration in crested geckos, you must:
- Ensure that the humidity and temperature levels of the enclosure are maintained accurately.
- Ensure that the enclosure is misted frequently and regularly.
- Provide a running source of water by misting or using a waterfall.
- Avoid giving only dry food to your crested gecko.
Dehydration in crested geckos can set in quickly and even kill the animal if it is not treated quickly.
The cure for dehydration is pretty simple, and in most cases, you can manage to rehydrate your crested gecko at home.
Following routine activities like misting the tank regularly, maintaining the temperature and humidity of the tank, and providing a fresh source of drinking water every day will help you prevent your crested gecko from getting dehydrated.