Leopard Gecko Shedding

How often do Leopard Geckos Shed?

Leopard Geckos shed on average once every 2 to 3 weeks.

Humid Hides

Leopard Geckos like somewhere safe and humid to help them shed their skin in. The usual way of doing this is to give them a “humid hide”. You can buy hides for this or else you can use a lidded plastic food container with a hole cut into the lid big enough for your leopard gecko to be able to climb out and in through. You also need to be very careful to make sure there are no sharp edges around the hole for your gecko to cut themself on. Inside the humid hide you will need to place damp sphagnum moss. This wants to be soaked to the point where it will not hold any more water. The moist hide needs placing at the cool end of your vivarium so it will not dry out quickly. Check it every few days to make sure the moss is still nice and moist.

Humidity

Most leopard geckos do fine with standard house-hold room humidity – just providing them with a humid hide is enough for them to be happy. However, some leopard geckos, especially those with shedding problems, tend to like their vivariums to be a little more humid. If this is the case with your gecko then simply get hold of a small garden plant sprayer and use it to spray one wall or glass door of your vivarium briefly – just a very small amount of very fine spray, once daily. This is very similar to how most Crested Gecko owners keep their Cresties happy in their vivariums / terrariums too.

Shedding Problems

If your Leopard Gecko has problems shedding then there are things you can do to help them.

Firstly, find yourself a plastic food container with a lid. Using something fairly sharp, punch several small “air holes” into the lid of your plastic food container. Next, warm some water up to a temperature that is “just nice and warm” for you to put your hand in. Pour the warm water into your plastic food container to a depth no more than about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch (0.5-0.75 cm). You need this to be shallow enough for your gecko to be able to “stand” in it without danger of their head being in the water. It should be touching the underside of your gecko’s bell but no deeper. Now, place your gecko into the water – making sure your gecko’s head is definitely out of the water. Now place the lid on the container and leave your gecko for 5-10 minutes, keeping an eye on them for that time to make sure they don’t get distressed. You will probably see the plastic food container begin to “fog up”. This is good – it means your gecko is in a really nice humid place to help “unstick” any stuck shed. After the 5-10 minutes, open the lid and, with the help of your fingers, very carefully rub the stuck shed, soaking it with some of the warm water if that helps to un-stick it. Be very careful not to press too hard – you don’t want to hurt or damage your gecko. Be especially careful with toes – it’s far too easy to accidentally pull a bit of stuck shed just a little bit too hard and accidentally take half a toe off with it. Being gentle and patient is key.

Eye Problems

A lot of people with leopard geckos sometimes find their gecko with an eye stuck shut. This isn’t always a shedding problem but quite often it can be. What sometimes happens is that shed from under the eye-lid gets stuck and doesn’t ever fall away. If this happens again and again and again, you end up with a gecko with many layers of dead skin stuck under their eye-lid. Eventually, this can lead to the gecko finding it hard to open their eye and also provides a nice warm place for bacteria to start trying to grow. If you suspect your gecko has stuck shed under their eye lid, talk to your vet. It is very difficult to sort unless you are very experienced with leopard geckos and have the right tools for the job.

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