Crested Gecko Sneezing – 7 Causes And Solutions

Crested Gecko Sneezing

Crested geckos are overall healthy animals. However, there are some unusual behaviors such as sneezing or coughing that might worry you. Your Crested gecko sneezing can be caused by impaction, incorrect living conditions or respiratory infection. However, in most cases is nothing serious.

Crested Gecko Sneezing – Causes And Solutions

Crested geckos can be sometimes vocal and make noises such as chirping and even hissing. These noises are considered normal behavior for your gecko.

On the other hand, there are other noises that are not as common such as sneezing or coughing.

Although, some owners have reported that their Crested gecko sneezing has resolved on its own, it’s always best to ensure that nothing serious is causing it.

With that said, the possible causes for Crested gecko sneezing are:

  • Ingesting Loose substrate
  • Respiratory Infection
  • Impaction
  • Incorrect Temperature
  • Humidity is too low
  • Mold In Tank
  • Irritation from the air

This article will help you determine what’s causing your Crested gecko’s sneezing and what you can do to help them.

1.Ingesting Loose Substrate

One of the common causes for Crested gecko sneezing is ingesting loose substrate.

Loose substrates such as sand or cocofiber can result in debris inhaled through the nose and getting stuck in the back of your Crested gecko’s throat. This can result in irritation and in your Crested gecko sneezing.

If there are no other symptoms besides sneezing and their tanks is fitted with loose substrate, this is most likely what’s causing your Crested gecko sneezing.


The solution to this issue is changing the substrate. If you use tougher substrates, it will remove the risk of your Crested gecko ingesting any debris or particles.

It’s recommended to use substrate that isn’t as fine or loose such as:

  • Slate rock
  • Stone tile
  • Newspaper
  • Paper towels

You should completely avoid keeping young geckos on loose substrate. As they are very curious and clumsy, they can easily ingest parts of it and result in impaction and even death.

If the sneezing continues even with the new substrate, you should take your gecko to the vet for further tests.

2.Respiratory Infection

Crested Gecko Sneezing

A very common disease and a possible cause for your Crested gecko sneezing is respiratory infection.

This infection is usually the result of various environmental factors such as high humidity, low humidity and other. That’s why is so important to know what are your Crested gecko’s needs in terms of habitat setup. To find out more, read here Crested Gecko Habitat Setup: How To Build A Perfect Tank

Your Crested gecko is suffering with respiratory infection if in addition to sneezing, any of the following symptoms are also present:

  • Struggling to breath
  • Breathing with mouth open
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Discharge from the mouth or nose
  • Wheezing/ Sneezing /Coughing sounds


The treatment for respiratory infections in Crested geckos is usually antibiotics. This can be given to your gecko by mouth with a syringe or through inhalation.

If you suspect respiratory disease, you should take your Crested gecko to the vet for treatment.


If your Crested gecko sneezing sounds more like them trying to exhale or forcing air out, it might mean something is stuck in their stomach. This is also known as impaction.

If something is stuck inside your gecko’s stomach, they will try to cough or sneeze to remove it as they don’t have a gag reflex.

The causes for impaction include:

  • Feeder bugs given to your Crested gecko are too large. The bugs won’t get digest properly and can get stuck in their intestines
  • Insects with hard chitin or sharp legs can be difficult to digest and even cause damage in the gut
  • Loose substrate in the tank

Symptoms of impacted gecko include:

  • Round belly
  • Sudden weight gain of few grams
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite


To help your Crested gecko pass the mass that’s lodged inside of them, follow these tips:

  • Limit hard foods. Only feed liquids or easily digestible foods and soft-bodied feeder insects
  • Massage belly
  • Sauna technique. To learn more about how the sauna treatment click here Dehydrated Crested Gecko: Crested Gecko Dehydration Signs And Treatment
  • High fiber healthy fruit puree can relieve your Crested gecko’s impaction
  • Increase water-to-powder ratio in their diet
  • Olive oil. Use tiny amounts of olive oil and feed to your Crested gecko through the use of a small pipette. This should work as a natural laxative

To avoid impaction in the first place, do the following:

  • Substrate. It’s recommended to use paper towel substrate as any loose substrate can be ingested by your gecko and result in impaction soil or cocofiber
  • Decorations. Don’t use small rocks or sand as decoration as they can be ingested by your gecko and even result in death
  • Insects size. Never feed your Crested gecko bugs or insects that are larger that the space between their eyes
  • Insects material. You need to ensure that the insects you feed your Crested gecko don’t have components that can be dangerous to their digestive tract. Are they easily digestible for the Crested gecko? The exoskeletons of some insects such as beetles and mealworm, can sometimes cause problems in your Crested gecko

4.Incorrect Temperature

If the temperature in their tank is anything below 70°F, it can result in your Crested gecko sneezing because of being too cold.

On the other hand, if the temperature is too high and your Crested gecko is feeling too warm, sneezing is their way to release salt from there bodies. This is because Crested geckos can’t sweat.


The Crested gecko is healthiest when living in temperatures between 72°F to 75°F. Therefore, that’s the temperature their tank should be kept at.

Don’t allow it to reach 80°F or more as that can cause heat stress and result in a dehydrated Crested gecko.

To track the temperature levels of your gecko’s tank, it’s recommended to use a digital thermometer.

5.Humidity Is Too Low

Crested Gecko Sneezing

If the humidity in the tank is too low, it can result in the air being too dry and your Crested gecko sneezing.

Providing your Crested gecko with the right conditions is essential to their health and quality of life. Prolonged exposure to poor humidity levels can result in many health complications for your gecko.


To ensure that the right humidity levels are maintained, follow these tips:

  • Humidity levels need to be kept at 60% during the day and at 80% during the night. It shouldn’t be constantly high
  • Use a spray bottle with purified water (never use tap water) to mist the tank
  • Mist twice per day – light mist in the morning and a stronger one at night
  • Use a digital hygrometer to measure the humidity levels


Mold build up in your gecko’s enclosure or tank can result in your Crested gecko sneezing. Mold growth can occur if:

  • You are reusing an old tank
  • The humidity levels are too high all the time
  • Infrequent cleaning


  • Avoid reusing old tanks and decorations for your Crested gecko’s habitat setup
  • The humidity levels should vary throughout the day – 60% during the day and at 80% during the night. It shouldn’t be constantly high
  • Cleaning your gecko’s enclosure thoroughly and often is essential to their health and overall well-being

Follow these tips to maintain a clean enclosure:

  • Daily spot cleaning. It’s recommended to do a spot clean every day
  • Deep clean – is required once a month. This includes removal of the gecko, all decorations and bedding. Then, you need to spray the enclosure and its walls with a reptile friendly disinfectant. Once the spray has been left on the surfaces for 30 seconds, wipe it off with a paper towel. Repeat the process at least twice to ensure all waste has been removed
  • The decorations can be cleaned using the same method
  • Bioactive enclosure. If you have a bio-active enclosure, you will only need to do a spot clean and monitor the your gecko’s health


In some cases, your Crested gecko sneezing can be the result of leftover fumes from the cleaning materials you’ve used to clean their tank.

For instance, if you clean the tank with vinegar and some is leftover and trapped in the tank’s air, it can cause irritation and result in sneezing or coughing.


You should ensure that you clean the tank thoroughly and it’s always aired out afterwards. There shouldn’t be any trace of the cleaning materials.

You can do this by placing the clean tank outside (if you have a garden or a yard) or opening the windows in the room.

Final Thoughts

Crested Gecko Sneezing

Many owners have reported hearing their Crested gecko sneezing and their geckos went on to be completely healthy.

Although, your Crested gecko sneezing might not be something to worry about, it’s always best to ensure that nothing more serious is causing it.

In this article, we discussed some of the possible causes for Crested gecko sneezing such as ingesting loose substrate, respiratory infection, impaction, mold in tank or incorrect temperature.

To ensure that sneezing is not the result from incorrect care, you should:

  • Provide your gecko with solid substrate such as paper towels. Something that they can’t ingest by accident
  • Look out for any other symptoms that suggest an illness. If more symptoms are present, take your gecko to the vet for treatment and medication
  • Ensure there is nothing that they can ingest in their tank such as sand, small rocks. In addition, only feed them foods including bugs that are no bigger than the distance between their eyes. Also, watch out for insects with hard shells
  • The temperature should be kept between 72°F to 75°F and the humidity at 60% during the day and at 80% during the night
  • Clean the tank thoroughly and often. Ensure there is no leftover fumes from cleaning materials or vinegar that can cause irritation

As long as you’re proving your Crested gecko with good care, your gecko is active and eating, you should not worry about whenever you happen to catch them sneezing again.

Related Topics Q&A

Why Is My Crested Gecko Not Eating?

Crested geckos don’t eat much to start with. Therefore, you should first check if your gecko is eating at all. You can do this by:

  • Tracking their weight monthly and knowing what’s the average weight for your gecko’s age
  • Checking for poop. If there is poop, it means they are eating
  • Weighing their food bowl before and after to see if anything has been eaten
  • Shedding and breeding are the two natural process your Crested gecko will go through. During these times your Crested gecko won’t eat much or at all

Some of the possible causes for you Crested gecko not eating include:

  • Incorrect temperature and humidity
  • Wrong habitat setup
  • Stress
  • Lack of nutrients in diet

To learn more about why your Crested gecko is not eating, click here Crested Gecko Not Eating? 11 Causes And Solutions

If you have an underweight Crested gecko and you want to know what’s causing it and how to get them back to a healthy weight, read this article  Underweight Crested Gecko? 12 Causes And Solutions


My name is Iliyana and I'm a passionate animal lover and pet owner. As there is significantly less information online about unusual and exotic pets, I decided to found this website and recruit expert writers to help pet owners.

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