You probably know that regular waste is a good indicator of health for most animals. But for crested geckos, what exactly does “regular waste” mean?
So how often should crested geckos poop? Crested geckos typically eat as often as they poop. For juveniles this can be four to seven times each week, while adults will only go three or four times a week.
In this article, we’ll go over how often your crested gecko should poop, as well as the length of time that your pet can safely go without pooping. We’ll also discuss a few reasons why your pet may not be pooping as much as it should, what healthy poop looks like, and explanations as to why your crested gecko’s waste is runny or red.
How Often Should My Crested Gecko Poop?
A healthy crested gecko will poop about as often as you feed it. For example, if you feed your pet every other day, it should defecate every other day. Once you fall into a feeding pattern, you should notice that your pet’s digestive functions follow suit as well.
How Long Can My Crested Gecko Go Without Pooping?
The longest you’ll likely see your crested gecko go without producing any waste is the first couple of weeks after adopting your new pet. You can comfortably wait for two weeks before you need to be concerned about your crested gecko’s digestive system. A new environment can be very stressful for crested geckos, so be sure to give your pet time to get used to its new home.
Once your crested gecko is feeling more comfortable, it should start eating and defecating on a more regular schedule. Initially it may take time for the schedule to become consistent. Once you’ve established a feeding schedule, the longest your pet should go without pooping is one week.
Regardless of the frequency that your crested gecko poops, It’s important to be on the lookout for your pet’s waste to ensure that it is healthy.
Why Isn’t My Crested Gecko Pooping as Much as It Should?
First, it’s important to note that you might not always see your crested gecko’s poop! It can be small, and once it’s dried it it’s often hard to spot. But if your pet hasn’t eaten much lately, that’s one reason it may not be pooping regularly. Additionally, dehydration and low terrarium temperatures can lead to a decrease in waste.
What Does Healthy Crested Gecko Poop Look Like?
Crested geckos excrete waste from the cloaca or vent, a small hole at the base of the tail. Your pet’s waste can include light to dark brown feces, a white urate, and possibly a very small amount of liquid urine. You typically won’t see a lot of liquid urine because most liquid waste is passed as a solid urate to conserve moisture in your pet’s body.
Healthy poop can range from the size of a grain of rice (in the case of a baby crested gecko) up to the size of a coin for a healthy adult. Keep in mind that healthy poop does come with a strong odor, especially if your crested gecko has feeder insects as part of its diet. However, this smell should quickly dissipate once the feces has dried.
What Does Abnormal Crested Gecko Poop Look Like?
Any poop that strays from the norm deserves a bit of investigation. Here are a couple of common problems with crested gecko poop, as well as some tips on how to get your pet’s digestive system back on track.
Runny poop isn’t normal, but there are a few simple explanations for it. Once you’ve figured out why your pet is experiencing diarrhea or runny stool, it should be pretty easy to fix the problem at the source!
Adjusting to a New Habitat
If you just adopted your crested gecko, it’s most likely under quite a bit of stress as it attempts to adjust to its new habitat. This stress can then lead to runny poop. In this case, the situation is likely to resolve itself.
For a new crested gecko, it’s not uncommon for diarrhea or runny poop to occur for up to two weeks after adoption. As long as your new pet is active and growing properly, there is most likely nothing to worry about.
Getting used to a new environment is one source of stress. But your crested gecko can experience stress for many different reasons, and this stress can then lead to diarrhea or runny poop. If you’ve recently swapped out your pet’s cage for a smaller or larger one, that alone can lead to stress and diarrhea.
General problems with your crested gecko’s cage and diet can also cause stress, in addition to being handled too frequently or improperly.
The Shedding Process
The stress of shedding can also affect your pet’s poop and make it runny for a few days after the shedding process has completed. This is common for many crested geckos, and as long as the issue resolves itself, it’s completely normal.
High Humidity Level
It’s very important to provide the appropriate level of humidity for your crested gecko. The right amount of humidity will allow your pet to shed successfully and maintain overall good health. If your humidity is above 70%, you’ll probably notice that your crested gecko’s poop becomes more runny. All you need to do in this situation is adjust the humidity level down to about 60%. If your pet’s cage is particularly humid, you can lower it to 50-55% during the day to allow the cage to dry out.
Too Much Fruit in Diet
It’s essential to include some variation in your crested gecko’s diet, but too much fruit can wreak a bit of havoc on your pet’s digestive system. Fruits that are high in fiber, such as raspberries, bananas, and apples, can cause your pet’s poop to become runny.
If you run into this issue, simply cut back on the fruits and you should notice your crested gecko’s poop becoming more normal and solid within a few days. Adding feeder insects to your pet’s diet should be very helpful for creating solid waste as well.
This is the most worrisome cause of diarrhea in crested geckos. If you suspect parasites, it’s a good choice to take your pet to the reptile vet for a fecal test. This is when your vet will take a sample of your pet’s waste and examine it under a microscope to check for parasites. In general, parasites cause symptoms such as poor appetite, weight loss, and lethargy along with diarrhea.
If you ever notice blood in your crested gecko’s poop, it’s time to take it to the reptile vet. Don’t delay getting your pet treatment, as runny and bloody waste can indicate major health problems! Here are a few reasons why you may notice red or bloody poop.
Before you panic over your crested gecko’s red poop, quickly go over everything your pet has eaten recently. Does the list include any foods with red pigmentation? For example, maybe you gave your crested gecko some berries recently.
This can easily make waste turn a reddish color without the presence of blood. In addition, gut-loaded feeder insects can cause diarrhea as well.
Impaction is a condition that’s somewhat similar to constipation. However, it’s a lot more serious. Impaction happens when your pet consumes material that can’t pass through its digestive system normally.
The material forms an indigestible lump in your pet’s stomach and causes pain and problems with digestion. The most common cause of impaction is ingestion of substrate. This is why paper towels are often recommended as substrate, especially for baby and juvenile crested geckos.
If you suspect that your pet is suffering from impaction, the first thing you should do is provide plenty of fresh water and mist your gecko regularly to keep it hydrated.
You can even create a makeshift “sauna” with a plastic container and moist paper towels. Oftentimes hydration is very helpful in moving the digestive process along. But if you don’t notice improvement within a couple of days, the best choice is to take your pet to the vet.
Another cause of diarrhea is internal bleeding, or damage to the intestines or cloaca. This is very serious and should be treated immediately by a veterinarian. Internal bleeding and other internal damage can be caused by foreign objects or large feeder insects with sharp legs.
Typically, crested geckos poop about as often as they eat. In general, a crested gecko can go up to a week without pooping, but after you first adopt your pet, it may take up to two weeks for things to become more regular. Always be on the lookout for runny or red poop, which can be signs of health problems. Keep up with optimal terrarium conditions and a healthy diet, and you shouldn’t run into any issues!