Posts Tagged ‘tokay’

Your Pet Might Be in Danger: Understanding infectious Diseases in Tokay Geckos

Posted on: July 2nd, 2012 by JE


Tokay Gecko Disease

Disease is defined as an unhealthy condition which is associated with clinical signs. There are many reasons why a Tokay gecko accumulates a disease. The major factors affecting it are the reptile’s environment and nutrition. Great care is necessary to sustain a gecko’s health especially in captivity.

Inflectional Diseases in Geckos

Usually, diseases in geckos are caused by infection. An infectious disease is generally caused by some microscopic organisms which has entered the host’s body through either of the following:

          Mouth (through eating)

          Wounded areas in the reptile’s body

           Skin pores


These microorganisms cause a negative reaction inside the Tokay gecko’s body which results to various symptoms such as inflammation, pain, internal bleeding, and so on. A gecko which has any sign of inflectional disease must be immediate medical attention by a qualified vet.

3 Types of Disease-Causing Microorganisms in Reptiles

1.    Fungi – fungal infections normally happen in geckos living in moist environment. The symptoms associated with it are skin discoloration, damage to scales and skin, and blistering. The infection is seen on surfaces where the fungi have accumulated. Tokays can accumulate this disease from prolonged exposure to moist substrate or soil. Although fungi usually attack the external body of the gecko, there are some types of fungus that attack the soft tissues of the lungs/

The rule of thumb to keep your pet away from fungal infection is to keep the substrate clean and dry. You need to replace it as often as necessary.

2.    Bacteria – in mild cases, bacterial infections resemble the symptoms of fungal infections. However, in some instances, bacteria target the internal organs of a Tokay gecko, causing intensive damage that is sometimes hard to cure. Bacteria may attack your pet’s respiratory system, digestive, circulatory, and reproductive system.

Most bacterial infections in Tokay geckos are easily treated with antibiotics if diagnosed in the early stages. Otherwise, this disease may spread and endanger the life of your pet. Prevention includes keeping its tank clean and sanitized. You need to remove its poop and leftover insects. Dead insects are common breeding place of bacteria and other parasites. Replacing the water and washing the water dish regularly is necessary.

3.     Virus – little is known about viral diseases in reptiles but they do exist too. Sadly, there are no treatments (as of now) for such diseases, the same with most virus-related health problems in humans. The worst thing about a virus infection is that it rapidly spreads. Sometimes, the best and only way to address this issue is to administer euthanasia so the virus doesn’t spread to other organisms.

If you suspect that your gecko has strange symptoms of an inflectional disease, take it immediately to the nearest reptile doctor. Never try to treat it yourself unless you’re pretty sure of what you’re doing and you have a background in veterinary. And most importantly, don’t waste time by hoping your Tokay will get better. The sooner you act, the more chances it has to survive.


10 Fun Facts about Geckos

Posted on: June 21st, 2012 by JE

Geckos stand out from the common lizards in so many ways. Aside from being bigger in size, geckos have fascinating characteristics (both physical and behavioral) that are truly amazing. Below are the top 10 fun facts about geckos.


4 Questions to Ask Yourself before Buying a Pet Lizard

Posted on: May 20th, 2012 by JE

More and more people are getting fascinated with geckos. But with the thousands of species there are in the world, it can truly be exasperating to look for the perfect lizard that you can have as your pet. After reading this post, you will be able to select the best lizard out of the numerous options you have.


You must have done a lot of research on the internet trying to find the best type of gecko you can raise as pet. You must have heard that there are over 800 species under this and they differ in various things from the appearance to behavior, size, environment, diet, and so on. When confronted with tons of information, you could end up having the wrong pet.

So instead of going through the blogs, articles, and various encyclopedias, why not stop for a while, clear your mind, and ask these 5 questions? By doing this, you can limit your search down to the geckos or lizards that fall under your preferences.

Question #1: How Much Time Can You Give to Your Pet?

While most lizards do not require much of your time and effort, they still need to be properly taken care of. Some geckos can do well without eating for several days while some species need to be fed in a regular basis to survive. Make sure to decide whether you would have enough time for your pet. Otherwise, you need to choose the gecko that doesn’t require too much maintenance.

Question #2: Do You Want a Lizard You Can Touch?

Not all geckos are human-friendly. So if you’re the type of person who wants to cuddle and touch his/her pet gecko every now and then, limit your search to those that are known for being docile. If you have kids at home, you also want to ensure their safety. Leopard geckos, bearded dragons, and blue tank skinks are great options for people who are looking for a reptile pet that is kind, passive, and less dangerous. If you simply want to look at your gecko and be fascinated by their appearance, then you can choose to raise a Tokay gecko. This lizard can bite you real hard if you touch it. But the good news is that you can train it to become as docile as leopard geckos.

Question #3: Do You Have Prior Experience Handling Pet Lizards?

If this is the first time you will raise a pet lizard, it’s advisable that you start with the commonly breed species which are easier to handle such as Tokay and leopard geckos. Experience is necessary if you want to be a great pet gecko owner. There are lizards that can get very dangerous like in the case of iguanas. Such species require high amount of care and attention.

Question #4: How Much Money Can You Spare for your Pet?

It isn’t expensive to buy a pet lizard but you would have to invest a bit on its terrarium and all other equipment needed for it. The bigger the gecko, the bigger tank you need. If you have limited budget, you can stick to geckos that don’t grow too big so you can keep the tank until its maturity. Before you buy a lizard, know how big it can reach as an adult.

When you know what you want, selecting the best gecko specie can be a great, smooth, and fun-filled experience.

Is obesity good for your gecko?

Posted on: May 19th, 2012 by Jdp
As a gecko pet owner, you would always want to see to it that your pet is healthy and in good condition. But as far as being “healthy” is concerned, most tokay gecko pet owners gauge the health of their pets based on the size and weight of the animal—the bigger the better. This misconception often leads to these pets becoming obese.
Causes of Obesity

Obesity is a common problem in geckos and other reptiles. Geckos can become too fat due to a combination of reasons—diet, cage space, species.

  • Improper quantities of food (too much food) given to the gecko can certainly lead to obesity. As a general rule, it is recommended that juvenile lizards should be fed daily, or at least every other day, and large ones 1-2 times a week (Merck Veterinary Manual). Other breeders recommend that hatchlings and juveniles should be fed once a day, and adults 5 times a week. Hatchlings should be fed 8-10 appropriate sized food items per sitting, with adults eating 4-7 appropriately sized items.
  • Improper type/kind of food (high in calories)-foods high in fat such as mealworms if fed frequently will lead to obesity.

Effects of Obesity

Obesity can result in many health problems such as:

  • Fatty liver disease- excessive accumulation of fat in the liver (fatty liver) will result to a reduction in the ability of the liver to regulate important body processes—fat, protein and glycogen metabolism; uric acid and clotting factors production. With fatty liver, your pet’s body will have reduced ability to dilute toxins, breakdown and synthesize proteins (including proteins necessary for immune response), produce vitamins. This further result to a general immune suppression and immune suppression will cause your pet gecko to get sick easily.
  • Intestinal bloat
  • Respiratory disease
  • Reproductive problems- obese animals have less efficient libido production, ovum (egg) production, and have less ability to delivering the eggs or the young.

The end result, of course, is a shorter life span for your pet gecko.

Aesthetically, obesity is also not good for your tokay gecko. Tokay geckos fat reserves in their body are usually stored in the tail and so obese geckos will have a very fat tail and look bulky. Fat geckos will have difficulty in climbing and catching food and will move more slowly. If you notice that your pet is starting to look like a balloon and there are changes in your pet’s behaviour—moving more slowly, etc.—then perhaps you should decrease the frequency and the amount of food you give and also make sure you are feeding it the right kind of food. The amount of food needed depends on the amount of energy they need. Young and active geckos may need more energy for growth than older ones.

Consult your exotic pet veterinarian for guidelines on feeding and taking care of your tokay gecko and to make sure that it is neither too thin nor too fat. Keep your pets healthy. Feed them right, and don’t let them get obese. Obesity may lead to several health problems and shorten the life span of your pet gecko.

Geckos as treatment for cancer: fact or fiction?

Posted on: May 7th, 2012 by Jdp

With the increasing incidence of cancers, there has been great interest in treatment regimens or medicines that could treat it. Current treatments for cancer include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. However, we all know that these so-called “treatments” have severe side effects—radiation therapy and chemotherapy do not specifically target the cancer cells but they also will harm the normal cells. They target rapidly dividing cells—cancer cells AND normal rapidly-dividing cells such as those in the bone marrow. So scientists have always been searching for an effective AND safe treatment for cancer. Another problem with the use of drugs for chemotherapy is that some cancer cells have already developed resistance to these drugs and so scientists look into Chinese medicines for the development of anti-cancer drugs.

Geckos have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine for many disease conditions such as allergy, inflammation, and detumescence (erectile dysfunction). It has also been reported to treat malignant tumors, tuberculosis, osteomyelitis and syrinx (accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the spinal cord). The dosage forms are pill and powder.

So now, the question is whether traditional Chinese medicine has basis in using dried geckos for treatment of malignant tumors. Can geckos really be used for the treatment of CANCER? 

Study No.1 Experimental study on mechanisms of lyophilized powder of fresh Gekko chinensis in inhibiting H22 hepatocarcinoma angiogenesis

In this study published in a Chinese journal in 2006, Xie et al. used liver cancer mouse models to demonstrate whether fresh Gekko chinensis lyophilized powder (GCLP) given to these mice can inhibit the growth of the tumor. Results showed a reduced tumor growth in mice given with the gecko powder. The GCLP also induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) of the tumor cells and reduced the micro-vessel density of the tumor (micro-vessels are important for the growth and survival of the tumor).

Study No.2 Antitumor effect and mechanism of Gecko on human esophageal carcinoma cell lines in vitro and xenografted sarcoma 180 in Kunming mice 

A group of Chinese researchers from Henan University of Science and Technology showed that gecko powder has anti-tumor effects in vitro and in vivo. For the in vitro study, they used esophageal carcinoma cell lines EC9706 and EC1 and they showed that gecko can inhibit the growth and proliferation of these cancer cell lines. In the in vivo study, they used mice xenografted with S180 sarcoma and gecko was shown to inhibit the growth of solid tumor S180 in the mice. The mechanism of tumor inhibition by gecko powder might be related to the induction of apoptosis (programmed cell death) and down-regulation of the protein expression of VEGF and bFGF (VEGF is a signal protein that stimulates the formation and growth of blood vessels; bFGF or basic fibroblast growth factor is also involved in the formation of new blood vessels in the tumor tissue).

Based on these 2 studies, we can say that gecko really has anti-tumor activity and would provide theoretical evidence in clinical practice. More studies, however, need to be conducted on what specific component or chemical in gecko inhibits cancer cells. The fact that the gecko holds the long-awaited answers to cancer therapy is both a good thing and a bad thing—a good thing for humans wanting to discover a treatment for cancer; a bad thing for geckos who merely want to survive.