Leopard geckos are known for their smooth and shiny skin, which they periodically shed in order to grow and maintain good health. However, if your leopard gecko is not shedding, it can be a cause for concern. There are a few potential reasons why your leopard gecko may not be shedding, and it’s important to identify and address the issue in order to keep your pet healthy and happy. In this article, we’ll explore some of the common causes of shedding problems in leopard geckos and what you can do to help your gecko shed successfully.
What Are The Causes Of Shedding Problems
There are several potential causes of shedding problems in leopard geckos:
- Incorrect humidity levels: Leopard geckos require a specific humidity range to properly shed their skin. If the humidity is too low, the skin may become dry and stuck to the body, making it difficult to shed.
- Poor nutrition: A diet lacking essential nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, can cause shedding problems in leopard geckos.
- Illness or stress: Leopard geckos may have difficulty shedding if they are suffering from an illness or are under stress.
- Lack of proper shedding surfaces: Leopard geckos need rough surfaces to shed against, such as a shedding pad or reptile carpet. If they do not have access to these surfaces, they may have difficulty shedding.
- Incorrect temperatures: Leopard geckos require specific temperatures to properly shed their skin. If the temperature is too low or too high, shedding may be compromised.
What Are The Effects Of Not Shedding In Leopard Geckos?
- Skin irritation: Leopard geckos rely on shedding to get rid of old skin that has become dry, dull, or damaged. If they are unable to shed properly, their skin can become irritated and uncomfortable, causing them to scratch and rub against surfaces in an attempt to shed.
- Infection: Poor shedding can lead to the accumulation of dead skin, which can create an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. This can result in skin infections and other health issues.
- Loss of mobility: If a leopard gecko’s skin is not shedding properly, it can become stuck to its body, impeding its movement and causing discomfort.
- Poor appearance: Leopard geckos that are unable to shed properly may have a dull, flaky appearance, which can negatively impact their overall health and well-being.
- Stress: Shedding is a natural process for leopard geckos, and if they are unable to shed properly, it can cause them to become stressed and anxious. This can lead to further health issues and a decline in their overall quality of life.
How Can I Help My Leopard Gecko Shed Properly?
Within 24 to 48 hours of shedding, a Leopard Gecko should have shed all of its skin. You’ll need to intervene and aid it in finishing its shed if you notice any leftover skin patches, particularly near its mouth, nose, and toes. But first, never attempt to remove the extra skin by pulling. The skin of your Leopard gecko will be severely and permanently injured if you try to remove any remaining skin.
- Give It A Bath
Try bathing your leopard gecko if it has patches of extra skin on its foot or belly. Your gecko should be placed inside a shallow dish with about one-half inch (enough to cover its feet but not so much that it’s swimming) of warm water. Give your gecko between 30 and 60 seconds in the bowl. This should make the skin more pliable and make it easier to remove.
- Set Up A Sauna
Warm, damp paper towels should be used to line a small container. Make sure there is plenty of airflow within the container before putting your gecko inside and covering it with a lid. Give your gecko around 30 minutes to sit inside.
This produces a very humid atmosphere that is ideal for assisting with the removal of tough skin. After 30 minutes, gently rub the extra skin off with a Q-tip or damp cotton ball.
Put the gecko inside the sauna for an additional 30 minutes and try again if the skin won’t come off.
- Massage It Up
Gently massaging the rough shed areas can also help your Leopard gecko’s shedding process.
Use a Q-tip, paper towel, or cotton ball that has been moistened to gently rub the affected regions. Never attempt to peel, pluck, or remove the skin. When combined with a sauna or bath treatment, this strategy performs well.
- Try Shedding Products
There are various items on the market now made to aid in the skin-shedding process for reptiles like leopard geckos. Products like the one listed below add additional moisture to help your gecko’s dry skin soften and aid in shedding removal.
- Take It To The Vet
If you’ve tried all of the aforementioned techniques and made sure your gecko’s enclosure has the ideal humidity and temperature levels but the extra skin is still refusing to come off, it might be time to take it to a reptile veterinarian.
As was already mentioned, incomplete sheds can lead to long-term health issues for your Leopard gecko, therefore it’s critical to identify and treat the issue right away to avoid any negative repercussions.
In conclusion, there are several potential reasons why a leopard gecko may not be shedding properly. These include insufficient humidity, poor nutrition, and underlying health issues. It is important to properly care for and monitor your leopard gecko to ensure they are shedding properly and to address any potential issues as soon as they arise. With proper care, your leopard gecko should be able to shed their skin regularly and without any complications.