According to scientific research, calcium is one of the minerals leopard geckos need the most. In the wild, leopard geckos eat various foods containing calcium. Additionally, when they take sunbathe, sunshine enables them to produce vitamin D3 and ensures that they have enough calcium intake. But why exactly do Leopard Geckos need calcium?
Leopard geckos in captivity need calcium supplements for optimal body growth, normal muscle function, and maintenance. Leos are also susceptible to a common disease known as MBD (Metabolic Bone Disorder) if they are deficient in optimal calcium requirement.
Naturally, Leo’s growth is also accelerated when they are kept in captivity, which increases the requirement for more calcium to support the formation of their bones.
This article will provide you with in-depth information on calcium for leopard geckos.
Calcium is essential for Leopard Geckos
Calcium is necessary for leopard geckos for two primary reasons: to promote healthy growth and the preservation of bones and teeth and for female leopard geckos to produce healthy eggs. If a gecko doesn’t get enough calcium, its bones will grow brittle and eventually break. This is a typical condition in geckos with metabolic bone disease (MBD).
The gecko requires extra calcium in its first year since it is still developing and growing its bones. Females need more Calcium during producing eggs since the mineral forms egg shells.
Leopard geckos obtain calcium in the wild from various natural sources. It may most frequently be found in the soil, minerals deposits, and insects that feed on the soil. Because of this, pet leopard geckos must take calcium supplements to meet their daily requirements.
Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate are two forms of calcium that could be included in the packaging of dietary supplements. These are just different types of calcium, but they both provide an appropriate amount of the mineral. Calcium carbonate has more “elemental calcium,” which you need.
Why is Calcium Necessary for Leopard Geckos?
According to research, the growth of leopard geckos is affected by their food, and different types of feeder insects cause a range of distinct increments in total development.
Due to the rapid growth, an increased amount of calcium in the diet is required to support the development of the skeleton and other functions. As a vital element to leopard geckos, calcium is essential for:
- The establishment of a strong skeletal framework
- Strong teeth
- Treatment and protection against metabolic bone disease
- Breeding females
Best Calcium Supplement for Leopard Geckos
1. Rep-Cal SRP00200 Calcium Ultrafine Powder Reptile
Rep-Cal has garnered a positive reputation among those concerned about insectivorous reptiles.
It has been professionally produced using only natural oyster shells and is an essential phosphorous-free calcium carbonate source. Additionally, vitamin D3 has been added to increase the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
2. Sepia Bone
The sepia bones, also known as cuttlebones, are a component of the interior body of a cuttlefish. It is a difficult substance, yet it is easily crushed and smashed. The mineral aragonite, which is a form of calcium carbonate, is what gives a sepia bone its color.
Before giving to geckos, sepia bones are often ground into a powder or reduced to a more acceptable consistency. You may either buy the sepia bone powder that is already prepared for consumption or produce your own at home.
3. Fluker’s Vitamin D3 Calcium Reptile Supplement
Fluker’s Calcium Reptile Supplement with Vitamin D3 has a 94% approval rating. That indicates that more than seven thousand customers have rated it with either four or five stars; this is when your product lives up to its claims.
4. Repashy Calcium Plus
Calcium supplements with additional vitamins, trace minerals, and carotenoids may be used to dust insects. Repashy Calcium is an all-in-one calcium supplement.
5. Meric Leopard Gecko Calcium
Meric’s calcium supplement suits your leopard gecko’s demands. It is balanced with a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of 2:1, which is ideal. This supplement has a flavor that will appeal to your geckos, and they will also love eating it as a snack.
Meric is a free lick; therefore, it doesn’t include vitamin D3 to prevent overdose. You can mix it with the appropriate quantities of a vitamin D3 supplement that is taken separately as needed.
How To Give Them Calcium?
It’s easy to give a leopard gecko calcium. You’ll need feeder insects and a Ziploc bag with calcium powder. When you have the above two things, put the feeder insects you want to feed your leopard gecko in the bag with the calcium and shake it.
Be careful not to shake too vigorously when carrying this out since doing so might result in the unintentional death of the insects contained therein. They’re not less nutritious when dead, but leopard geckos don’t appreciate feeders that don’t move.
Once you’ve dusted your feeders, you may hand-feed the leopard gecko or put food in its bowl. What you do will depend on your feeder and how you feed them.
In addition to their food, you should keep a small calcium dish in the container. Your leopard gecko will be able to lick from this bowl anytime they feel the need to replace themselves with this unique supplement if you provide it for them in a dish like this.
You don’t need to worry whether they’ll lick too much because they know how much they need to develop and be healthy. Even if insects are high in calcium, you don’t want to get into the routine of not dusting them. In addition, it is preferable to have a moderate surplus of something rather than a deficiency.
How Often Should Calcium Be Replaced?
Calcium is a calcium dish that can last a while, but if it gets clumpy from leopard gecko saliva or unclean, replace it. Do this once a week since your leopard gecko gets it moist with his tongue from saliva or water from licking his water dish.
To ensure he has enough, fill his bowl with 2-3 tablespoons and put it back in the tank until the next change. Most of the time, you have to change it every week, but sometimes it can go longer. The amount that your individual leopard gecko consumes of their calcium and how effectively they can keep it dry are the only factors that matter in this regard.
Also, remove any substrate or insect bits that may fall in so your gecko won’t be afraid to taste it. Leopard geckos can be very picky about what they eat, and if they find something on or in their food or water dishes that they don’t like, they probably won’t eat it. They can be picky about how their food is served and looks.
What Happens if Leopard Geckos Do Not Get Enough Calcium?
Leopard geckos can get calcium deficiency, which is unsafe but can be prevented. Hypocalcemia, a disorder characterized by abnormally low amounts of calcium in the blood, can be brought on by it.
Some of the first signs of being deficient are:
- Tiredness or lack of energy
- Twitching toes
Based on this list, you can understand how crucial it is for the leopard gecko to have enough. Without it, people will endure terrible hardships right up until the moment they pass away. Fortunately, when this occurs, it is reversible if addressed quickly enough.
Too many individuals have neglected to give their leopard geckos enough calcium and D3 and then had to take them to the clinic or bury them because it was too late.
Long-term calcium deficiency can also lead to other hormonal problems by negatively impacting the parathyroid glands, which help control calcium levels. Additionally, it can result in MBD.