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How To Treat A Crested Gecko Shaking Its Head!

Crested geckos are seeing an increase in their popularity as pets right now due to a number of viral videos on social media showing how quirky crested geckos can be.

With there being a large number of first time crested gecko owners out there right now, we have noticed a spike in the number of questions from the community about caring from their pet with many people asking for advice on why their crested gecko is shaking its head.

The most common reason that your crested gecko will shake its head is due to stress with there being a number of reasons that your crested gecko can be stressed.

Less common causes of head shaking and twitching in crested geckos include metabolic bone disease, impaction, dehydration, overhandling, and fear with most of these causes being easy to treat.

One thing that we want to quickly say is that many people instantly discount dehydration as a possible cause of head shaking in their crested gecko but it doe tend to be more common than most people think.

Just because the water in your crested gecko’s bowl is going down does not mean that it is being drunk and the warmer temperature in the vivarium can cause water to evaporate much quicker.

What Causes A Crested Gecko To Shake Its Head?

If you notice that your crested gecko is suddenly shaking its head then look for possible causes of stress that could be causing the condition.

If there are no signs of stress then start to consider that metabolic bone disease, impaction, dehydration, overhandling, and fear could potentially be causing the head shaking or head twitching in your crested gecko.

Although rare, in some situations, female crested geckos can rapidly twitch their head as a part of their mating behavior and although this is not usually classed as regular mating behavior in crested geckos, it can be considered normal for some females.

If you suspect that your female crested gecko is only twitching or shaking her head as a part of some sort of mating dance then there is generally no need to worry as there may not be anything wrong with your gecko.

Impaction and metabolic bone disease are generally the two possible causes of head shaking in crested geckos that are both the most serious when it comes to long-term issues as well as the most difficult to diagnose.

If you do suspect either of these to be the cause of the condition or just want a professional opinion then booking a video call with a veterinarian is probably the best route to take.

These video calls usually work out much cheaper than a trip to the vet’s office while still providing you with the same professional level advice via the camera on your smartphone.

How To Treat A Crested Gecko Shaking Its Head!

If your crested gecko is shaking its head due to being stressed, scared, dehydrated or overhandled then the condition is generally very easy to treat and your crested gecko should be back to normal in around a week.

If your crested gecko is shaking or twitching its head due to metabolic bone disease or impaction then you will probably have to get the assistance of a veterinarian to correct the issue.

One common misconception about metabolic bone disease is that it is permanent in geckos but this is not correct.

Provided that you catch it early enough and have the budget available (usually around $100) to make the required changes to the levels of UV-A and UV-B lighting and heating in the vivarium whole adding proper supplementation and nutrients, you can often correct the issue.

That said though, if you leave metabolic bone disease too long then it does become untreatable and will cause long term side effects and health issues in your crested gecko.

In some cases, impaction that can sometimes cause head shaking in your crested gecko can be treat at home without the aid of a veterinarian but we would not recommend this patch for the majority of our readers.

Seeking advice from a veterinarian for help with impaction in your gecko is always recommended, even if you are an experienced crested gecko keeper as the condition can be fatal if left to develop, especially if the impaction occurs in your crested geckos’ bowels.

Should You Be Worried If Your Crested Gecko Is Shaking Its Head?

Provided that you identify the issue in your crested gecko early enough, there is generally no need to worry about head shaking or twitching as it is easy to treat, even if the cause is one of the more serious problems.

The key is to implement a treatment plan for the correct cause of the head shaking as early as possible to give your crested gecko the highest possible chance of recovery.

We have seen people on social media saying that head shaking or twitching in geckos will naturally pass over the course of a couple of weeks and although this can be correct in some situations, it is not always the case.

If you do just leave the condition to develop and hope that it will naturally go away then you are unfortunately increasing the chances of serious issues in your crested gecko with the chances of a fatality if the cause is due to impaction quickly starting to increase.

As we touched on earlier in the article, if the cause of the head shaking is due to a mating dance then the condition will naturally fade over time.

All other causes of head shaking in geckos do have an underlying cause that really should be corrected as quickly as possible to prevent any serious problems from developing in your crested gecko.


That brings our article going over why your crested gecko may be shaking its head as well as how to treat the issue to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand that although most crested geckos will make a full recovery from any conditions where their heads shake, they will often require treatment or intervention of some kind from their owners to increase the chances of making a speedy recovery without having any long term problems.