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Dying Grandis Day Gecko Please Help!

Posted by Cdfortin GA ( on
Thu, Nov 10, 05 at 14:08

Today I found my grandis day gecko lying on the floor of my vivarium. His entire lower jaw was bent back under his neck. In other words, his entire lower jaw is now like a piece of rubber. Obviously, there is no way for him to eat at this point. He can still move his limbs at this point, but he cannot walk.

My first thought was that it could be metabolic bone disease. However, this seems a bit unlikely to me since I gut load my crickets with calcium and I use a UVB light bulb. I have also considered the fact that he may have broken his jaw by running into the side of the enclosure.

This entire situation looks pretty grim. The gecko can neither eat nor walk. He seems to be in pain. I am considering euthanasia. How can I peacefully end his life? Of course, before euthanasia, I will consider other reasonable treatment options if there are any.

Please, if you have any experience in these matters at all, contact me.

Thank you so much.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Dying Grandis Day Gecko Please Help!

Im really sorry about you gecko! =( I would do one of two things, first I would try to find a Vet that deals with lizards and get him there ASAP! If I could not find a vet I would wrap him gently in a wash cloth or something similiar slip the washcloth in a zip lock bag and place him in the freezer till its all over =( I was told by a vet that this would be the most humane way as he will fall asleep and pass, I would try my best to find a vet first but would not let him suffer for much longer.

RE: Dying Grandis Day Gecko Please Help!

Symptoms of MBD can still occur even with calcium dusted food and UV bulbs. My first instinct would be to ask what brand of UV bulb you're using and when it was installed. Beyond that I would get the gecko to a vet if possible. If it's not too late for the animal the vet can probably do little more than prescribe oral calcium gluconate and daily exposure to natural unfiltered sunlight. However, it sounds severe enough that if it truly is a calcium-deficiency-related illness it might be too late to do anything. You're describing some pretty severe symptoms regardless of the root cause. Still, if veterinary euthanasia is not available as the previous poster mentioned your next best option is freezing. Best of luck.

RE: Dying Grandis Day Gecko Please Help!

UPDATE: Today I did a very careful examination of the lizard. I picked him up out of his cage (which he allowed me to do) and observed his physical condition.
He does not appear to be suffering from MBD. All of his other bones (besides his jaw) are firm and he is in perfect physical condition.
He can walk (but not climb) and has lots of energy.
He is fully alert.
HIS JAW IS BROKEN.. The actual jaw bone itself seems to have broken on both sides of the jaw under the gecko's eyes, and it seems as if his tendons/ligaments cannot function properly. He CAN open and close his mouth a little. He can lick the tip of his nose but not his eyes. He can exert absolutely no pressure with his mouth. And, if his mouth opens too wide, he has a difficult time closing it.
It is apparent that he experienced a collision with the side of his enclosure. I am virtually in tears over this. It's just so frustrating that he is otherwise perfectly healthy. Please, if you have any advice, feel free to contribute. Could a vet fix this situation? Can any of you give me the contact info for a good herp vet (I just want to call one for advice, so he or she could be in any state)?
You can view pictures of the gecko with his mouth closed and open by going to the link below.
Thank you all so much.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures

RE: Dying Grandis Day Gecko Please Help!

First of all, I'm sorry to hear about your gecko. Now, unfortunately, the only time I've personally seen surgery to correct a broken jaw was in a Green Basilisk we had at the zoo. She had suffered MBD issues early in life and as a result had a break in one side of the mandible. The vets actually put a pin in to stabilize the break. However, a Basilisk is probably 50 percent larger than a Day Gecko, so I'm not sure surgery could be done to stabilize the break, especially if it's on both sides of the mandible. It might be possible to try feeding the gecko a high protein mash of some sort (fruit baby food mixed with something like strained beef), and maybe see it recover it's ability to eat. The only problem with that is stabilizing the break other than during feeding time. It's a tricky-sounding situation and pretty grim all around. Try logging onto and see if there are any vets in your area that could help out. Even if you don't have an experienced vet in your area you might be able to get a vet that could consult with another vet. Two vets in the Chicago area that come to mind (both are extremely well-versed and have tons of experience), are Dr. Steven Barten, and Dr. Byron De la Navarre - you'll find both of them listed under "Illinois". Best of luck.

RE: Dying Grandis Day Gecko Please Help!

Just wondering if you have gotten him to a vet yet? =)

RE: Dying Grandis Day Gecko Please Help!

No, I can't get an appointment until later next week.
As of now, he's happily eating a liquid mixture of mango, honey, and multivitamis.

However, he's still pretty imobile.

RE: Dying Grandis Day Gecko Please Help!

I hope he makes it through this, good luck to you both! =)

RE: Dying Grandis Day Gecko Please Help!

WWhile I am not much of a gecko person I do keep an iguana (now over 10 years) which is also UV dependent. All the calcium dust on crix or mealies won't matter without proper UV.

With any broken bone you both need to get to the vet and look to your UV lighting. The wavelengths you want, roughly 290 to 310 nano meters, are filtered out by glass and cut in half by screen. You need these lights right inside the cage where the liizard has open access to them.

What light are you running and how old is it?

Floresent tubes only emit viable UVB for about 8 inches before the atmosphere filteres it out. Furhtermore a tube needs to be replaced every 6 months as they simply wear out. Even if they still look like they work after 6 months the UV emission has reduced to nothing.

As I said I am not a gecko guy but if you are looking for other gecko keepers I invite you to a reptile centered forum called Herp Center --

RE: Dying Grandis Day Gecko Please Help!

Although they are diurnal, day geckos don't need UVB light. I believe the problem originated from a poor calcium/phosphorous ratio in the gecko's diet.

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