Crested Gecko Hatchling Heart Outside Chest Cavity *Warning! Graphic Pics*


Tonight I had two eggs hatch from a pair of my crested geckos. One of the babies came out perfect, but the other had yolk still attached as well as its heart outside the chest cavity (the condition is scientifically known as Ectopia cordis).

I moved this little one to a sterile mini kritter keeper with clean, damp paper towels. Its egg went with it as its yolk was still partially unabsorbed. I cleaned off the incubating material the baby had on it as best and gently as I could with damp q-tips.

Surprisingly, once I got this little gecko settled on my nightstand so I could keep a close eye on it, it dropped the rest of its yolk and is now climbing around!

I still don’t have high hopes of survival, but will keep it comfortable as possible while it is still active.

I have attached photos and a brief video of this little curiosity, please be warned that they may be disturbing for some.

Any insights on care would be helpful, I’ll be touching base with my exotics vet in the morning, but I doubt she’ll be able to do much outside offering euthanasia. To be frank, euthanasia may be in the baby’s best interest should it begin suffer (which it does not act like it is).


I last week had a Crestie hatch with its brain outside it’s head, unfortunately died a couple days later.
You need to keep him/her on paper towels and keep them moist! And the sides etc. As if they dry his/her heart will stick to it.

Unfortunately with my outcome I don’t think the little one will survive.

And Unfortunately things like this can happen and nothing we can do.

I’m MY case. The 3 clutches so far from Harold (dad)- (including the one with brain outside it’s head) have all not been ok. Only 2 survivors with nothing wrong.
The Male isn’t ok to breed and luckily was only put to 2 females once.
Is this the first time using the Male of this baby at all?


It’s so upsetting to see these things happen, I hope your lil one makes it


I actually read your post before this happened. I’m so sorry about your baby. The male and female that produced this baby have been paired up for nearly a year and their offspring have all been great until this one. Their eggs get huge and the 5 others are doing well, it makes me think this is just a fluke. However I’ll be keeping a VERY close eye on future babies from the pair, there are four more eggs incubating from them right now.

The baby is still alive, so I’m still trying to figure out what to do. For now, clean damp paper towels and keeping moist and warm.


Defo just a fluke then.

We were going to put him to sleep in the end but he passed over night.

It’s more considering their quality of life. I knew he’d have to always be on paper towels and lots of extra care, higher humidity etc. It’s Very sad. Harold Is obviously not breeding here anymore.

Let us know how he/she gets on :blush:

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I took a closer look at the baby and there were definitely other concerns, it had trouble moving and was bleeding slightly. The eyes were also not responsive to changes of light, which is indicative of neurological issues. We chose to euthanize to ensure it wouldn’t needlessly suffer. Its a bummer, but also fascinating.


It’s what was best. :heart:
Amazing for sure! I was amazed by our little one.
Though he/she was very responsive, look at me when I opened the tub and all, which I think is why I so hoped it would live but I know it wouldn’t of been fair and I’d be worried constantly about any infection etc happening.
What are the odds we both got a special little one this month though! Hoping you don’t get anymore like it, it’s not nice watching them go bless them.


I just hope I never lose the love I have for these little geckos. I agree, bless them! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


How long you been breeding for?

I feel the same! I can’t imagine never having Cresties. I know a few breeders who now don’t like Cresties at all as were breeding them for so long. I hope I never feel that way!

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I’m sorry for your loss. :pensive:

That’s partly why I held off breeding, so many people giving it up or too many baby issues.

I’m sorry for your loss.

If I ever get bored of breeding, I don’t think I’d ever get rid of my pet Cresties

While I’m not an expert with geckos at all lol. But with reptiles In general if you breed long enough you will experience problems. It’s a guarantee and your right it is one of the main reasons why people stop. But I think it is a good thing that people on here have been sharing there failures as well as there successes!

It allows us as a community to continually learn from each other’s experiences good and bad!

I myself have had a couple a terrible years and am thankful for the support and encouragement I got from friends and associates! I wouldn’t still be here doing this if it wasn’t for them.


I’ve had problems with babies multiple times.
When I first started a few years ago and only had a pair of Cresties, a clutch died after 2 weeks with no warning. It was upsetting and I had no idea why.
This has happened a few times. Thing is you never know why as they eat and grow and one day they’re gone.
Back then I wasn’t on any forums etc so no one to ask which is why I love being on here now!
BUT I never stopped as I love it.
Even with the recent problems with one of our Males clearly not able to breed and his 3 clutches all having issues and only having 2 babies ok, I’m still going!
This is something I do love doing, and I so enjoy watching the babies hatch and grow.
I don’t think I’ll give it up personally. But I’m 27 so things may change 10 years down the line. Hopefully we move and have room for more! :sweat_smile:


Well I’m 42 and have been breeding reptiles since I was 21. I definitely love it to! But when you have some truly heartbreaking seasons it can wear on any of us. And that’s the part people don’t see because most people don’t share. So I for one think it’s refreshing when people experienced ones included share the problems they encounter.


I’m grateful we held off till this year… if we had started and had issues, I wouldn’t of had the support like I’d get now thanks to this forum.

I am so grateful of the good and the sad on here, it helps us realise that there will be issues but that the good out ways the bad.

I hope to still have lots of Cresties when I retire (long time to go yet), although I don’t think I’ll still be breeding Cresties then lol


Right but for some people it doesn’t! And a lot of people don’t realize there can be a lot of bad! So sharing the bad can also help some people make a more informed choice if they are ready mentally and financially for the potential problems that they will at some point most likely encounter.


I’m always happy to share the bad as well as the very good as I never got shown or told of anything bad happening to cresties. With my little Frankenstein last week, then all other problems it’s hard and you don’t learn this from breeders. So I feel the more we share the more it helps indeed!
It can get you down when you lose one but I get brought back up when more hatch!
Been a tough couple of weeks here but I know I’ve got 13 happy and healthy hatchlings who need my care so that helps and outweighs the bad.

Can’t believe you don’t think you’ll be breeding when you retire fox! I think I may still be you know, little obsessed, if not it will be me and all my Geckos! Haha, and if I’m not breeding I think Emily will most likely of taken over! She’s just as mad on them all as me :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I plan ahead for everything. We got our first reptile in 2009 and was hooked. We both knew we wanted to breed, but with family life Just forming we decided to keep them as pets until we were ready, so it’s been a long wait.

We’ve recently encountered a small problem with one of our baby snakes but thanks to internet and here we managed to save it! We wouldn’t of had any of that info back in 2009! Plus I’ve had a few eating issues with a certain Crestie :strawberry:

I like to think that sharing every experience is great so people don’t feel that it is just them having an issue. It also helps people prepare a bit better. Rather then thinking reptiles are easy to care for, when it might not always be true.

I don’t think I will be breeding when I retire, because if I can’t care for a reptile it’s entire life then I don’t know what will happen to them when I die! Told you I plan.


She’s been a little pain in the bum for you! :sweat_smile:

That’s fair enough! That’s what the children are for :wink:
Well I hope Emily will be taking mine, she does love them!
She’s already told me when she moves out she’s taking Poppy (Cocker) I said that if she moves out when she’s 18, (She’s 6) Poppy will be 15! But she’s adamant bless her. She’s animal mad and I love it! She literally made 2 enclosures last week with substrate, branches, leaves, food and water for wax worms!! :rofl: She made one for herself and one for me. They’re doing well and changing currently haha.

But totally understand what you’re saying! They can live a long life! :blush:


Kids :joy:

My 2 love reptiles too but they will have their own lives and family commitments so I couldn’t bare the thought of adding pressure to them. Although if they have their own reptile hobby or business then I don’t mind leaving the reptiles to them​:crossed_fingers::blush: but that will be a decision much further down the line as they are only 3 & 7!