Common Tokay Gecko Health Issues to Watch Out

Posted on: September 10th, 2013 by JE

Generally, Tokay geckos do not suffer from health problems, but like other animals and pets, they have a set of common health issues that might need your attention.


Mites’ infestation usually happens when Tokay geckos are kept in an unsanitary environment or when a newly purchased gecko does not undergo proper quarantine. Mites normally gather around the eyes or near the corners of the mouth of geckos. Mites are tiny, brown to black, and round organism that feeds on the blood of other animals. They cause great discomfort on your Tokay geckos.

Mites are not life threatening. However, severe infestation may lead to poor body weight and skin appearance. But the good thing is, mites can easily be treated. There are several anti-mites products that are available in the market. Your vet can help you find the right product for your pet.

However, while you can treat mites easily, their eggs hatch almost every day. So it is very important that you address the situation the soonest time you have. If you kept several females in one enclosure and you noticed one to be infected, you may want to separate it immediately to prevent the spread of mites. You may also want to clean the tank to kill the eggs that were possibly laid around the enclosure. Depending on the level of infestation, mites can be completely treated for a week or a month.


This is common in Tokay geckos that are kept with a natural or artificial substrate such as coconut mulch, soil, or reptile pellets. Geckos may accidentally ingest the substrate while trying to catch their prey or when they feed. Normally, this is not much of a concern when you Tokay gecko ingest small amounts of substrates as they can easily pass it. However, it is another story if large amount of the substrate is ingested. If this happens, you need to immediately bring your pet to a veterinarian. Your vet can administer some laxative, or in worst cases, may perform an emergency surgery.

Impaction is also observed in young geckos. This happens when they are fed with hard-to-digest foods or inappropriate size of crickets. To avoid this, feed your Tokay geckos with the right size of crickets (the size of the crickets should not exceed the distance between the eyes of your geckos) and always provide clean water.

Calcium Deficiency

Calcium deficiency is very common in young Tokay geckos. Growing geckos usually consume larger amount of calcium to sustain bone growth. It is during this stage that you need to provide enough calcium sources. Dusting your feeder crickets with powdered calcium is a good way to enforce the calcium intake of your geckos. Calcium deficiency normally leads Metabolic Bone Disease or MBD. Some of the common signs of MBD are decreased growth rate and softening of limbs characterized by difficulty in walking and twisting of tail and limbs.

Gravid females may also need greater amount of calcium to produce healthy eggs.

Internal Parasites

Internal parasites are normally hard to detect. The common signs are poor body weight, poor appetite, and smelly feces. Generally, Tokay geckos can pretty well handle internal parasites. However, given their condition under captivity, there is a great possibility that they can be reintroduced to these parasites. And this can be very threatening to your pet. Also, stressful conditions can trigger the increase of internal parasite in your Tokay geckos.

It is very important to maintain cleanliness inside the enclosure to prevent the reintroduction of parasites that they have passed through their feces. Spot cleaning and regular cage disinfection can help control the spread of these parasites. Severe parasite infestation is best treated by veterinarians.

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