Potential Concern - Future Crestie Breeder

Hello all!
Within the next several years I plan to get my first crested gecko, then a few more, and depending on my animals and my life situation, I may plan to breed them (to be determined).

I just saw a sad youtube video about a gargoyle breeding that went wrong, that left the male with a prolapsed hemipene, and while the surgery was a success, his heart failed under anesthesia and he passed :frowning:

Some people in the comments were saying this is fairly common as a risk breeding New Caledonia geckos, and that it may even be genetically linked.

If any of you have had similar issues in gargs or cresties:

  1. do you find it is common?
  2. do you find it is more common in one species, genetic line, or morph?
  3. is it generally fatal?
  4. can the risk be reduced by other factors such as a seperate breeding enclosure, different humidity levels, etc?

I don’t want to take youtube comments as fact, so I figured I’d come over here for advice. I certainly don’t need to be breeding these animals if its such a risk for the males, but I want to be informed!

I’ll go ahead and annoy @ghoulishcresties and @foxreptile for this to start

Thanks all!


First off, good thread!

It’s not genetic no, can happen with any morph too, not common but yea can happen. Though touch wood never had it happen here!

A friend of mine had this though, his Lilly white too, went on for a few days and he actually had one of the penes removed! So he has one and is still good to breed though!

Another friends took a day to go back in and all good.

Breeding wise too I always have separate enclosures for males and females, I add the female to the male to breed and take out after a few days. :blush:


Very informative, thank you!!

Given that I just went through a non-breeding related hemipene issue with my leo, I’m on high alert for this stuff, and seeing a poor little garg go through surgery and just not wake up broke my heart.

Would keeping the male’s enclosure a slightly higher humidity help with this at all?

I also saw that a sugar-water bath on the prolapse can help reduce swelling, does this ring true for you? Could be applicable for prolapsed hemipenes AND prolapsed cloacas for the females if yes, so it would be handy knowledge to have in an emergency before the vet visit


This is common practice for ball pythons as well, so I would imagine it could work. Essentially make a slurry with sugar and water. Helps prevent it from drying out and being damaged. I don’t know about cresties so I’ll let Elisha comment on that though


Yes indeedy. I don’t really work with geckos (though I think they’re adorable! Maybe someday.) but this is something I’ve done with corn snakes. It’s pretty standard across multiple species. My exotics vet advises it, as does my daughter the veterinarian. She’s used a sugar or honey poultice on many kinds of animals. I used honey in a pinch on a snake once, and it helped but it was more challenging to wipe away than the sugar slurry.

Btw the so-called “medical honey” from the feed stores is not necessary. What you put on your toast is just fine. :honey_pot:


@nswilkerson1 and @caryl thank you!

I’m collecting weird reptile remedies like pokemon out here! I love it, I’ll be so prepped for when I’m eventually ready to adopt. Of course the little buggers will always find a way to hurt themselves in a way outside your expertise, ha!

Thanks for all the info! Hemipenes are so bizarre, if people want to use this thread for either just overall crestie breeding care, or even any-species hemipene maintinence, that’s perfect!


No problem! Always happy when my weirdness can actually be useful! :crazy_face: :face_with_hand_over_mouth: :smiley:


Yep sugar water does help, but not all the time hence one having a pene removed.
But the other actually used this too and went back in fine.

I’ve had it happen with a Pac-Man frog, unfortunately for them once happens it usually keeps happening :woman_facepalming:t2:


Awwww. That’s such a sad story! :cry:


Just make sure to check labels, as some grocery store honeys may not be 100% honey. Look for true source certified.

Also, if you want honey with a little extra healing power to it, Manuka is more expensive but has several compounds that can help prevent infection and speed healing. I buy mine at the grocery store and use veeery sparingly. While I’ve never used it for geckos, it did wonders for spay incisions on one of my snakes.


Manuka honey is great for humans as well. A teaspoon or so a day supposedly is great for your health…… :blush:


Sorry I didn’t respond, been super busy!

I haven’t tried sugar water, however I have read it helps. Last year was the first year of breeding my cresties, as… like yourself, I wanted to gather so much info before diving in & be fully ready.

I watched my male like a hawk last year as was so nervous. This year I didn’t see a visual lock, but everything seemed okay.

I get your worries, but there will always be a concern with both males & females as issues could arise for either


I imagine finding that balance is super tricky. You want to make sure everything is fine, but if you hover too much you’ll either ruin the changes of breeding or worse increase the risk of stress behaviors, aggression, or someone’s bits getting yanked as someone spooks.

That will probably be the thing I’ll need to keep in check the most. I’ve killed cacti by being too bad at necessary neglect and overwatering them because I want to take care of them :joy:


I have a camera that I put up, but this year I put 2 lots together at the same time so could only monitor 1 and the camera angle clearly was poop :sob:

However both my males seem fine and I have digging from at least one of the ladies (they are good together) so I’m hopeful​:crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:


Good luck! I wish you many happy healthy little babies!


Thank you :blush:


I know this wouldn’t be an issue in snakes and most reptiles tbh, but does anyone notice an issue using honey for medicinal purposes on cresties bc they reach back and lick it off? I know bee pollen is supposedly like hard drugs for them, and I’m not sure if honey is the same way, and if they would leave it alone or if you’d just be irritating a wound area by encouraging licking?


Cresties eat honey! I haven’t used it for healing and I won’t plan to either.

I assume they would lick it off.

I’d also suggest that if using honesty that there be minimal in the enclosure and no substrate, including paper towels. I’ve had many issues of sticky fingers and paper towels. Can’t imagine putting a Gecko though the same issue :scream:


I assume you mean for a quarentine/healing enclosure, not the regular enclosure, yes?


When using honey! I miss spelt :person_facepalming: but in yes as a quarantine till injury heals