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Care, Health and Growth, Crested Geckos, Geckos

How To Treat Crested Gecko Tail Rot (Black Tail) 2023

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by The Pet Engineers

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Crested geckos are usually hardy animals that are easy to take care of.

But some health problems in crested geckos can turn out to be dangerous if left untreated. Tail rot is one such health condition.

Tail rot or tail necrosis is, as the name suggests, the rotting of the tail of a crested gecko.

It can infect and impact other vital internal organs if not treated swiftly; and in the worst case, it can even lead to the eventual death of the infected crested gecko.

Key Takeaway:
Crested gecko tail rot or necrosis can be identified by the blackening of the tail. To treat this disease you have to take your crested gecko pet to the pet.

What Is Crested Gecko Tail Rot?

Tail rot in crested geckos is a health condition in which the tail of the affected crested gecko literally rots away due to an internal infection.

Rotting of the tail can happen due to any infection caused by open wounds, improper hygiene, poor husbandry, etc.

There are various causes of tail rot in crested geckos.

As concerning as that may be, most causes are also pretty preventable with some basic precautions in the husbandry and caretaking of your pet crested gecko.

Causes Of Crested Gecko Tail Rot?

The root cause of tail rot or tail necrosis in crested geckos is internal infection. This infection, in turn, can be caused by various things.

Some of the most common causes of infection that causes tail rot in crested geckos are listed below:

1 – Untreated Open Wounds

Untreated open wounds, especially near the tail, form the most common reason for tail rot in crested geckos.

These open wounds can be a result of a fight between two cohabitating crested geckos, or they may have happened due to a playtime accident.

Whatever the reason behind the open wound may be, it is very important to keep that area clean and hygienic.

When open wounds are left untreated, they can get septic and cause problems such as tail rot in crested geckos.

2 – Malnourishment

Poor nutrition and a lack of important vitamins and minerals in your crested gecko’s diet can cause malnourishment.

And a malnourished crested gecko has a weakened immune system that is more prone to getting infected over the slightest scratches.

While malnourishment is not a direct reason behind tail rot, it is an important factor that needs to be taken into consideration.

Not only does a malnourished crested gecko get infected easily, but treating a malnourished crested gecko is also harder and more complicated.

3 – Incomplete Shedding

This is another common reason behind tail rot or tail necrosis in crested geckos. Incomplete shedding happens when there isn’t enough moisture.

The shed skin doesn’t come off easily. It gets stuck in spots like the base of the tail and the space between the toes.

If the retained shed skin is not removed quickly, it will start rotting and eventually lead to problems like tail rot.

stuck shed in crested gecko
Stuck shed on the tail can cause necrosis

4 – Incorrect Temperature

Much like nutrition, the temperature levels don’t play a direct role in tail rot but form an important consideration that needs to be factored in.

When the temperature is too high or too low, it can impact the process of shedding in crested geckos.

And when that happens, the chances of infection due to retained shed increase. This consequently increases the chance of tail rot happening in the crested gecko.

5 – Too Much Moisture

Too less moisture can cause tail rot due to incomplete shedding.

Too much moisture, on the other hand, can cause tail rot due to bacterial and fungal infections.

Crested geckos live in an environment of high humidity.

But if the moisture levels of the tank are not kept in check, it can start causing bacterial and fungal growth on the tail and toes of your crested gecko. This can lead to necrosis or rotting.

How To Identify Crested Gecko Tail Rot

crested gecko blackened tail
Blackened crooked tail is a sign of tail rot

Some signs to look for when you suspect your crested gecko may have tail rot are:

Blackening of the tail from the tip. This is the earliest sign that something is wrong with the tail of your crested gecko.

Retained shed. Incomplete shedding causes tail necrosis. So, if you notice retained shed skin days after your crested gecko was supposed to be done shedding, it is an early sign of the onset of tail rot.

Dryness in the tail. The tail of your crested gecko may start feeling very dry, with coarse skin peeling off of it.

If this dryness is accompanied by the blackening of the tip of the tail, you should consult a vet.

Other common signs of illness. If your crested gecko is suffering from tail rot, it will start showing other common signs of illness, such as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Spending too much time in hiding
  • Aggression and behavioral issues due to pain
  • Lethargy

Is It Painful For Geckos?

Yes, tail rot is a painful experience for crested geckos.

Not only does it hurt near the tail where the infection starts, but as the infection spreads to other vital internal organs of the crested gecko, it starts experiencing a lot more stress, discomfort, and pain.

How To Treat Crested Gecko Tail Rot

There are no home remedies for treating tail rot in crested geckos. Depending on the severity of the condition, your vet will prescribe one of two solutions:

Antibiotic treatment

If the crested gecko has been diagnosed with tail rot at an early stage, your vet will prescribe some antibiotics with a medicine schedule.

You need to ensure that you follow the prescription accurately and do not get any over-the-counter medicines for your pet crested gecko without the prescription of a vet.

Amputation

If the infection is aggressive and severe, your vet may amputate the tail of your crested gecko.

This is necessary to prevent the infection from spreading to other vital internal organs of your crested gecko.

How Do You Know If You Should Consult A Vet?

When it comes to a health condition like tail rot, you should always consult a vet. Never go for home remedies or over-the-counter medicines.

If your crested gecko does not get the right treatment that it needs, the infection that caused the tail rot can spread and infect other vital internal organs.

Eventually, if left untreated for a long time, tail rot can even cause the death of the infected crested gecko.

vet
Consult a vet

What You Can Do To Prevent Tail Rot In The Future?

If you’ve been fortunate and the tail rot of your crested gecko got treated in time without needing any amputation.

You should take proactive steps to prevent it from happening again in the future. Some helpful tips for preventing tail rot in your crested gecko are listed below.

Proper husbandry

Half of your problems will be solved with proper husbandry.

When ensuring that the temperature and humidity levels of your crested gecko tank are accurately maintained.

You are consequently ensuring proper shedding and no bacterial or fungal growth. This will, in turn, prevent tail rot in your crested gecko.

Proper nutrition

Proper nutrition will keep your crested gecko healthy and its immune system will be strong enough to deal with most kinds of infections.

Treatment of open wounds

Another important tip is to properly and swiftly treat open wounds on your crested gecko. This will reduce the risk of infection and subsequent tail rot.

crested gecko tail wound
Treat tail wounds to avoid tail necrosis

Conclusion

Tail rot or tail necrosis is a dangerous health condition in crested geckos that needs swift treatment.

Any delay in treating the tail rot of a crested gecko can lead to fatalities and even death.

However, most causes of tail rot are preventable. With proper husbandry and nutrition of your crested gecko, you can substantially reduce the risk of tail necrosis or tail rot.

About
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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