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Care, Health and Growth, Crested Geckos, Geckos

5 Reasons Why Your Crested Gecko Is Stiff

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by The Pet Engineers


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There are many possible reasons why your crested gecko may suddenly get so stiff.

In any case, it is always advisable that if you observe your crested gecko being stiff, consult your vet immediately.

This could possibly be some underlying medical issue that needs proper attention and treatment. However, here are the common reasons why your crested gecko may be stiff:

Reason 1 – The temperature of the enclosure may be too low.

The temperature of your crested gecko should be between 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and during nighttime, it should be between 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the temperature of the enclosure is too low, it can cause the crested gecko to be very lethargic and become stiff and inactive.

You may also notice that your crested gecko will barely breathe when the temperature becomes very low.

Enclosure temperature might be too low
Enclosure temperature might be too low

Reason 2 – Your crested gecko may have metabolic bone disease.

Metabolic bone disease happens in crested geckos due to the deficiency of calcium in their diet.

This disease happens when the insufficient amount of calcium in the diet leads to the crested gecko’s bone mass getting reduced.

If your crested gecko is suffering from metabolic bone disease, you will observe several symptoms such as disfigured bones of the spine, hip, and tail, swollen limbs, trembling in the body, and yes, even stiffness and lethargy.

If you observe your crested gecko being unnaturally stiff, try to look out for other symptoms of metabolic bone disease.

Recheck the diet that you are feeding your crested gecko, and consult a vet to plan out a proper course of treatment for your crested gecko.

Reason 3 – Your crested gecko may be suffering from some parasitic disease.

This is very common for crested geckos coming fresh out of a pet shop.

This is why when you get your crested gecko home for the first time, a good idea is to first have an initial vet visit to ensure that all the vitals of your crested gecko are normal.

If your crested gecko has been abnormally stiff for some time, take it to the vet, and also carry some fecal matter to have the samples tested for any signs of parasitic infection.

Your vet will guide you on how to carry forward with the treatment plan.

Reason 4 – Your crested gecko may be having tail rot.

A tail rot, also known as tail necrosis, is a common illness amongst crested geckos. It is a very serious medical condition in which the tail literally rots away due to some internal infection.

It is very important that as an owner of a pet crested gecko, you should be familiar with the symptoms of tail rot.

This is a medical condition in which the tail rots away and the infection can spread to the crested gecko’s body, which can further lead to failure of crucial internal organs, and may even lead to death.

If your crested gecko has suddenly gone stiff, look for the following signs and symptoms of tail rot:

  • The tail starts to blacken starting from the tip.
  • The tail feels coarse and dry to touch, and the skin is flaking off of it.
  • The tail does not shed.
  • Your crested gecko has lost its appetite and is showing signs of pain and discomfort.

If you observe any of these signs along with your crested gecko going stiff, then consult a vet immediately. Tail rot requires swift treatment to prevent any fatalities.

A stiff gecko might be a sick or dead gecko
A stiff gecko might be a sick or dead gecko

Reason 5 – Your crested gecko may be dead.

If your crested gecko is suddenly very stiff, check for its breathing. Look for any bluish marks on its tummy.

Try to nudge it a little to check if it moves or responds to the stimulus. If your crested gecko is completely unresponsive, then chances are that it has passed away.

Take it to your vet to figure out the possible cause behind the passing of your crested gecko.

How To Treat A Stiff Crested Gecko?

In order to treat a stiff crested gecko, you need to fix the root cause behind its stiffness.

Solution 1 – Fix the temperature of the enclosure.

If your crested gecko may be showing signs of stiffness and lethargy, try readjusting the temperature of the enclosure.

As seen above, if the temperature of the enclosure is too cold, it can cause your crested gecko to become lethargic and stiff.

Increase the temperature of the enclosure and bring it to the ambient range. You should also allow for a hot spot within the tank.

Solution 2 – Consult a vet.

If your crested gecko is not responding even after adjusting the settings of the enclosure, then look for other signs and symptoms.

If your crested gecko shows any symptoms of any illness such as metabolic bone disease, parasitic infection, or tail rot, you should immediately consult your vet.

Your vet will be able to figure out the root cause and suggest a course of medical treatment based on your crested gecko’s needs.

What To Do If All Treatments Don’t Work?

As a pet owner, it is very normal for you to be worried about the health of your crested gecko. The first and foremost thing that you need to do is preventive care.

This basically means that you need to ensure that all the basics have been taken good care of. The temperature, humidity, and lighting of the enclosure should be in the perfect ambient ranges.

There should be sufficient foliage inside the tank. Your crested gecko’s habitat should replicate the natural habitat as much as possible.

The enclosure must be well-maintained. Take care of a properly balanced diet for your crested gecko. Be a keen observer and look out for any early signs of possible illnesses.

Have regular health checkups of your crested gecko.

Get your gecko to a vet for proper diagnosis
Get your gecko to a vet for proper diagnosis

If, however, your crested gecko still ends up in a condition where it has stiffened and is in utter discomfort, then you should consult a vet and begin proper medical treatment right away.

Depending on the underlying health problems and the medical history of your crested gecko, your vet will be able to guide you to the best possible course of treatment.

There might also be a rare but possible case where no treatment seems to be working on your crested gecko.

In such a situation, you will have to make a tough call and decide between either palliative care until your crested gecko naturally passes or euthanasia.

Euthanizing is a pet owner’s worst nightmare. Having to take the decision to say goodbye to your pet forever is not an easy call.

But if the disease of the crested gecko is such that its suffering is endless and has no treatment, then euthanizing is a humane way of ending its suffering and putting it out of its prolonged misery.

If you absolutely do not want to euthanize your crested gecko, then you can opt for giving it palliative care.

This basically means taking care of your crested gecko until the disease finally catches up to it and it passes away. You can help ensure that the last days of your crested gecko are as comfortable as possible.


Having your crested gecko go stiff suddenly may be a cause for concern.

Observe carefully and ensure that the enclosure of the crested gecko has the temperature, humidity, and other parameters in the ambient range.

If you see any symptoms of illness, consult your vet immediately. The best thing to do in such a case is to start a proper course of medical treatment as quickly as possible.

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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