How To Remove Stuck Shed From a Leopard Gecko

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Leopard geckos are one of the most popular reptile pets due to their unique appearance and easy care. However, they can face a common problem known as stuck shed or retained shed, which is caused by the failure of the old skin to shed completely. It can lead to various health problems and can even be fatal for your pet if left untreated. In this article, we will discuss the ways to treat a leopard gecko with stuck shed and ensure its good health.


What is stuck shed?

Stuck shed or retained shed is a condition that occurs when your leopard gecko is unable to shed its old skin adequately. It is a common issue experienced by reptiles in captivity, including leopard geckos. Every reptile sheds its skin periodically, but sometimes, due to different reasons, the old skin doesn’t come off completely and sticks to the body of the gecko.


Why does stuck shed occur?

There are several reasons why stuck shed may occur in leopard geckos. Improper shedding can be due to environmental factors, such as low humidity or not providing enough water to soak. Additionally, stress or underlying health conditions such as parasites or bacterial infections can also cause a leopard gecko to experience stuck shed.


What are the symptoms of stuck shed in leopard geckos?

It’s essential to identify the symptoms of stuck shed in leopard geckos as early as possible to prevent the problem from worsening. The signs to look out for include:

– White, flaky patches on skin
– Visible remains of the old skin around toes, tail, or feet
– Decreased appetite
– Lethargy or weakness
– Discoloration of the skin
– Redness or inflammation in affected areas


How to treat stuck shed in leopard geckos?

If your leopard gecko is experiencing stuck shed, there are various ways to alleviate the problem. Below, we have outlined the steps you should take:

Step 1: Create a humid environment

One of the primary reasons for stuck shed in leopard geckos is due to low humidity levels. Therefore, increasing humidity in their environment is crucial in treating this issue. You can create a humid environment by misting the enclosure with water or placing a humid hide in the terrarium.

Step 2: Provide a “soak” in lukewarm water

After increasing the humidity, you can provide a “soak” to help loosen the dead skin. Fill a shallow bowl with lukewarm water (not hot or cold) and let your leopard gecko soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes. Ensure that the water level is not high enough to cover the gecko’s head.

Step 3: Gently remove the loosened skin

After soaking, you can gently handle the gecko to remove the loosened skin. Avoid pulling the skin forcefully, as it can lead to injury. Instead, you can use a damp cloth or your fingers to gently rub off the skin in the affected areas.

Step 4: Monitor the gecko’s health

After treating the stuck shed, it’s essential to monitor your leopard gecko’s health closely. Keep an eye on their eating and activity behaviors. If you notice any further issues, it’s critical to seek veterinary care.


How to prevent stuck shed in leopard geckos?

Preventing stuck shed in leopard geckos is easy if you maintain the correct husbandry practices. Below are some tips to help keep your leopard gecko’s skin healthy:

– Maintain adequate humidity levels in the terrarium, especially during the shedding period.
– Provide access to a moist hide. This can be achieved by placing a damp towel in a hide box.
– Avoid handling your leopard gecko excessively during the shedding period.
– Provide enough clean water for soaking.
– Ensure that the enclosure is not too dry or too dusty.


When to seek veterinary care?

In some cases, stuck shed can lead to severe complications that may require medical treatment. If you notice any of the following, seek veterinary care:

– Signs of respiratory distress.
– Open sores or wounds in the affected areas.
– Redness, swelling or inflammation on the skin.
– Significant loss of appetite or weight.



Stuck shed is a common issue in leopard geckos, but it is easily treatable by providing a humid environment, a lukewarm soak, and gently removing the old skin. Prevention is also essential because it’s always better to avoid the problem before it starts. By maintaining the right humidity levels, providing a moist hide, and keeping the enclosure clean, you can prevent stuck shed in your leopard gecko. Lastly, remember to seek veterinary care if you suspect any severe complications. Your leopard gecko’s health and well-being should always be a top priority.

Martin Rodriguez

Martin Rodriguez

Leopard Geckos are awesome!

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