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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11461
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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My crested gecko has blackish spots on him that werent there

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My crested gecko has blackish spots on him that weren't there yesterday.They cover his tail and he seems lethargic.Any ideas what it could be, and how to treat it?

Are the black areas raised at all, or level with the rest of the skin?

What temperatures do you maintain on the warm and cool sides of the cage?

What is your city (nearest larger town if yours is a small one) and state, in case we need to recommend a vet?

Thank you for the additional information.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The Black is level with his skin, I'm not positive about the temperature, I live in Hollister,CA, and thank you so much for responding.Smile
Thank you for getting back to me. Since your gecko is lethargic, I'm going to give you a first aid step to take right away. Get some Pedialyte (made for human infants and available in pharmacies and discount stores). Prepare a warm shallow bath consisting of 1/2 Pedialyte and 1/2 water. soak your gecko in the bath for 20 to 30 minutes. I'll check on vets and send you some other information in a few minutes, but I wanted to get this first aid info to you quickly.

I'll be back shortly.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for your quick response. Will do as you requested and wait to hear from you. I know of one vet in the area who works on reptiles; Dr. Moran, DVM of Family Pet Care Center Inc. Should we make an appointment with them?
Yes, if Dr. Moran is familiar with reptiles, that would be a good idea. Otherwise, it looks like you may have to drive a bit to get to one. That's not unusual because there aren't a great many reptile vets. Here are the ones I found in your general area:

Jeffrey Bryan
Irving Street Vet Hospital XXXXX
San Francisco 94122 (NNN) NNN-NNNN

Lynn Dustin
Bay Area Bird Hospital XXXXX
San Francisco 94116 (NNN) NNN-NNNN

Alex Herman
All Pets Hospital
269 S Van Ness Ave

Dr. Gruden
Ocean Animal Clinic XXXXX
Santa Cruz 95060 (NNN) NNN-NNNN

Kenneth Stocks
San Joaquin Vet Hospital
4333 N. Blackstone Ave
Fresno 93704 (NNN) NNN-NNNN

Unfortunately skin color changes and lethargy can be symptoms of a number of different conditions. You won't be able to provide proper treatment until you have a definite diagnosis. I'll give you some of the possibilities. It could be a thermal burn caused by the gecko getting too close to a heat lamp or resting on a heat rock. There is a fungus (yellow fungus, though it's often black or other colors) that is becoming more and more common so it's a definite possibility. A bacterial infection or an injury are also possible. I do recommend that you see a vet.

The soak that I gave you instructions for above is helpful no matter what. Sick lizards are often dehydrated, and they can absorb electrolytes through the vent when soaked. I also recommend that you get a digital probe thermometer so you can check the temperature in the cage. Being too warm or cold leads to many different problems. Day temperature should be in the high 70*s F to the low 80*s F. Temperatures over 85*F are bad. It would also be a good idea to check to make sure all the other conditions you’re providing for your gecko are right. The following site has a care sheet that you can use as a checklist to be sure.

I would be sure all conditions are optimal for your gecko, soak him twice a day, and make a vet appointment to get a definite diagnosis. If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope this problem will clear up quickly.


Anna and other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you very much for you analysis. Have made a vet appointment. May God bless you with a great and a Merry Christmas. :-)
You're welcome. I hope this turns out to be something easily treated.

There's no need to click on accept again. Thank you for accepting above.

A very Merry Christmas to you, as well!