We all know that leopard geckos shed, but when it happens more often than we think is normal, the concern and worry slowly start to creep in. The logical thing to think is that something is wrong with them, but because this isn’t always the case, I want to clarify that for some of you so that you don’t freak out and think something more serious is going on when it’s actually not.
Why is my leopard gecko shedding too often? The truth of the matter is that leopard geckos really can’t shed too often, but because younger leopard geckos shed more often than older ones, it may very well seem that they are.
While there are general ranges for when owners can expect to see their gecko shed, the reality is that not all of them will end up shedding at the same rate. If your leopard gecko is fed right, looks healthy, and isn’t having any issues with it, then rest assured that there’s nothing to be concerned about. If you are still worried though, then please read on for more information.
Here’s Exactly Why It Happens
You now know that younger leopard geckos shed more than older ones in most cases, but if you don’t know why, then let me explain it to you so that you can have a little more of an understanding.
The reason this happens is because younger leopard geckos, meaning any leopard gecko that hasn’t reached adulthood yet, are still at a stage in their lives where they are still rapidly growing. Because of that, they’re frequently having to shed off their old skin to replace it with new skin so that it can accommodate for the growth that they’re experiencing inside of their bodies.
Baby and juvenile leopard geckos will typically shed once every two weeks while adults will a lot of the times only shed once every month, but because all leopard geckos are different and will sometimes shed more often or a little less than other geckos, it may appear that they’re shedding too much or too little and most of the time that is usually not the case.
So if you happen to have a baby or juvenile gecko, then just know that this is why it may seem that they’re shedding too much. Instead of being worried, owners who have this concern about their leopard geckos should actually be happy as this is a good indicator that they’re growing and are healthy lizards.
Also, even though I said that adult leopard geckos only shed about once a month, again, it’s likely that even they can shed more often than that the same way that baby or juvenile leopard geckos can.
Preventing Any Issues
Most leopard geckos will shed just fine by themselves if the husbandry within your tank is up to par with what’s required for them to do so but because some geckos are naturally prone to have more problems shedding than others, then you’ll want to check to make sure all of their old skin is off of them every time after they’ve got done shedding.
The reason why this is so important for any leopard gecko that sheds frequently is because each time they experience these sheds, the risk of them having problems with it getting stuck on parts of their body are that much greater than those who don’t shed as often.
And that’s not to say that you shouldn’t be checking your leopard gecko anyways even if you don’t feel that they’re having issues shedding, but because shedding more equals more chances of problems happening simply for the fact that it’s occurring more often, as a result, the possibility of a shed going wrong is a little more likely.
In order to prevent any of these problems from happening, you’ll want to make sure your tank is nice and humid and also make sure that your moist hide is holding moisture fine as well. If you’re not providing your gecko with both of these requirements for when they shed then it’s likely that they will experience some of the most common issues that happen when their shed gets stuck.
These issues include pain, restricted blood flow, stress, and excessive rubbing on objects within the tank in an attempt to get the shed off. To get a better idea of the type of problems that can take place when a shed goes bad, then check out this article here that I’ve recently put together.
That article covers just one thing that can happen when shed gets stuck, but there are a handful of other things that can happen as a result of the issues that I listed above as well. Make sure that you have a substrate that can hold moisture well and that your tank’s humidity is between 20% – 40% and your gecko should be just fine with successfully getting their shed off.
For the substrate that I use for holding moisture in my leopard geckos tank and moist hide, I recommend this stuff here from Amazon. It’s called Eco Earth and you may have even heard of it, but it works wonders for providing my leopard gecko with what they need for a successful shed.
Replenishing Their Bodies
You may not have known this, but shedding can sometimes be pretty taxing on a leopard gecko especially when they have to go through it multiple times a month. Because of that, not only will you want to make sure their tank is nice and moist, but you’ll also want to make sure that you’re assisting them with their dietary needs as well.
The reason for that is because a lot of the times when they’re going through these sheds, they’ll stop eating and drinking as a result because of how draining that they can be sometimes. And since that’s obviously not good for their overall health, we as owners should do everything we can to try and get them to eat and drink.
Luckily, there is an insect out there that can help out with this. Not only is this insect great for putting a little something in their stomachs while they shed but they’re also great for helping replenish the amount of water they have in their systems as well because of how much water these insects actually carry.
That said, I recommend you check them out here, again, over on Amazon. Not only are these insects packed with water but they’re also high in calcium as well. So if you’re dealing with a stubborn leopard gecko that just doesn’t want to eat or drink, then these are the perfect insects for giving them what they need in order to stay healthy through their shed.
Leopard geckos shed fast so not eating and drinking for them in the time that they’re doing it is usually not a problem because they can go without both for quite some time, but because shedding does take a bit of a toll on their little bodies, it’s good to try and feed them so that you can help them get through their shed a little bit easier.
They should be eating a variety of different insects for the most nutritional benefit anyways, but because some insects are great to give to them in certain situations where they’re not eating or drinking, bugs such as hornworms are very beneficial in situations like these where they need to get their calcium, food, and water intake all at once.
Despite the fact that they’re high in calcium though, I still recommend dusting them. The reason for that is because they don’t carry enough of what your leopard gecko needs for fully supplementing them.
Dust them lightly the same as you do with all of your other insects and they will be good to go for feeding. Also, if you’d like to know slightly more information about hornworms then what I’ve provided in this article, then click here and scroll down to the “Hornworms” portion of the article where I go into a little more detail about them.
Although it may seem like your leopard gecko is shedding too much, the truth is that they’re probably not. Shedding is a sign of growth, so if your leopard gecko is shedding a lot, then that just means that they are growing properly with absolutely no issues.
As stated above, if you have good husbandry, you’re keeping your leopard gecko well-fed, and there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with them physically, then you are doing just fine with caring for your gecko and you don’t have to worry about the number of times that they are shedding.
It could be possible that your gecko is growing quicker than other geckos and if this is the case, then instead of being worried, you should actually be proud of yourself for doing a good enough job of taking care of them to where they can actually shed this many times without any issues.
The only problem with shedding is when it doesn’t happen enough, so because you have the opposite ‘issue’, you’re doing an amazing job at raising your leopard gecko.