Beginner’s Corner: Stress and Your Tokay Gecko

Posted on: September 5th, 2013 by JE

Stress is a condition brought by several factors that is often overlooked by most Tokay gecko owners. A newly acquired gecko that is not doing well in its new environment is more likely to feel stressed. As a new Tokay gecko owner, it is very important for you to determine the things that cause stress to your pet. It is also equally important to know the common signs of stress and how to deal with them. This article will help you become a better and responsible Tokay gecko owner.

The Stressors

  • Improper size of cage
  • Poor temperature
  • Poor husbandry
  • Unsanitary condition
  • Exposure to other animals
  • Wrong lighting
  • Parasites
  • Wrong type of food
  • Sudden change in environment
  • Shipping

Choosing the right type of cage is important in preventing stress in your Tokay geckos. They are arboreal animals and they love climbing and moving around. Providing the right size of enclosure and imitating their natural habitat is one way to prevent stress in your new Tokay gecko.  Poor temperature is the top stressor in Tokay geckos. You need to meet their temperature requirement. This means that you need to maintain the temperature inside the tank between 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature is very important in the metabolic processes of cold blooded animals. Extremes of temperatures can cause the disruption of these processes which can greatly affect your pet’s health.

Cleanliness and proper husbandry is also important in your pet’s health. Unsanitary environment can cause a stressful condition for your Tokay gecko. Not only does it will trigger the proliferation of internal and external parasites, it can also cause infection. Daily or regular cleaning is important.

Shipping and the sudden change in environment would normally stress any animals. This is the reason why it is discouraged that you often change the environmental setting of your gecko. When shipping your Tokay geckos, make sure that the temperature inside the container is properly maintained.

Sometimes, gecko owners would feed the wrong type of food to their pets. They sometimes feed their pets with crickets that are too large for their pet’s size. Large crickets can make a good fight with your gecko that sometimes these crickets would even cause severe injuries to your pet. The distance between the eyes of your Tokay gecko is appropriate size of crickets that you can feed them.

Common Signs of Stress

  • Gaping of mouth
  • Presence of bubbles from mouth or nose
  • Poor shedding
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting or regurgitation of food
  • Shows constant escape behavior
  • Poor weight
  • Dehydration – obvious signs are tail thinning, wrinkles and recessed eyes.
  • Dulling of color
  • Passing of irregular or runny feces (this may include or the presence of fluid, mucus or blood in the feces)

To avoid stress in your Tokay geckos, it is advised that you constantly monitor your cage temperature. Installing a thermometer inside the tank will help you in this matter. Also make sure that the enclosure is not exposed or placed in an open space where other animals have an access to it. Ensure that your pet is getting the right nourishment and clean source of water is provided.

It is also important to regularly clean the enclosure to prevent the growth and spread of harmful organisms.2

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