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Treating crested gecko tail loss

It’s always a bummer when a gecko loses a tail. Some people find it creepy because once the gecko pops the tail off, the tail continues to wiggle around independently. There is a reason for this, which I will explain a little later in this post.

After years of working with the most commonly kept members of the New Caledonian group, I can quite easily say that the crested gecko is the mostly likely to drop their tail.

Stress seems to be the main reason for tail loss. It may not take much to stress some geckos out enough to pop that tail off. Loud noises or being shipped out to a new home can do it. I once just walked in to the gecko room when my daughter was holding a young crested gecko and it decided to say bye bye to that tail for good.

As mentioned briefly above, once a crested gecko drops their tail, the tail will start wiggling independently. This is a defence mechanism to ward off any predators. A predator will likely go after that wiggling tail. This gives the crested gecko an opportunity to make a clean getaway and find a good hiding place.

When this happens, leave your gecko to chill out for a bit. In most cases, it’s a clean break. You might find a little spot of blood where the tail used to be. The best thing to do is to put your gecko in a clean environment until it heals. If you have a bioactive environment or loose substrate, I suggest you move your gecko to another terrarium or bin for about a week on a paper towel substrate with minimum decor. This will reduce any possible infections.

Does the tail grow back? This question is debatable. Usually, once your crestie heals, a small stump will appear where its tail used to be. I read on a few breeder blogs (it was old information) that this is actually a regrowth. It’s the way the crested chooses to regrow its tail so it won’t get dropped again.

Whatever the case, I think crested geckos without tails are cute. I have a preference for “frog butts” as we crestie lovers call them!

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