Why Isn’t My Leopard Gecko Shedding?

Shedding is something that all leopard geckos do, so when it doesn’t happen with yours, things can get a little bit worrisome.  Most of the time, owners will find that their gecko is growing, looks healthy, eats healthy, and is also very active as well.  But, they just can’t seem to figure out what’s stopping their leopard gecko from shedding like all the other geckos.  Let’s see why.

Why isn’t my leopard gecko shedding?  If your leopard gecko is healthy and growing, they are shedding.  After your leopard gecko turns pale, they will shed and eat the skin all within the span of 24 hours.  In fact, It happens so fast that it’s not hard to miss.

The fact of the matter is that all leopard geckos will shed no matter how old they are, but because they do in such a short amount of time, catching them doing it can be quite difficult.  The reason why you’re not seeing their skin after they’ve shed it off is because they’ll usually get it off and eat it while still being in the moist hide.  Let’s see what else we can find out about them shedding.

Signs They’re About to Shed

Although the part where they get their shed off can be subtle, the signs leading up to their shed are fairly noticeable.  If you notice any of these signs or changes in behavior after they’ve turned white, then definitely expect a shed to be on the way:

  • Hiding
  • Lethargic
  • Aggressive
  • Won’t Eat

The behaviors they display can be pretty upsetting for someone who has just gotten their gecko, but all of it is normal and shouldn’t be anything to worry about.  After they shed, their behavior will go back to normal and they will be the same loving, caring leopard gecko that you knew before all of it started.

Whenever you notice them acting this way, it’s best to give them all the space in the world so that they can have a successful shed.  Shedding takes a pretty big toll on their body, so if bothered too much, they may bite, hiss, or just be overall a little more aggressive towards you than usual.

If you have a baby or juvenile leopard gecko, then expect to see these types of behaviors frequently.  The younger your leopard gecko is, the more often they’ll be shedding because their body needs to do it in order to grow, so don’t be alarmed when it happens.  Just remember to give them their space like stated above and they’ll be sure to handle the rest from their as long as they have a nice, moist hide.

Stuck Shed

If you have everything in the tank setup right and your leopard gecko is healthy, then there should be absolutely no problems with them shedding.  But, because beginners often make the mistake of not providing a hide moist enough for their leopard gecko to shed in, there can sometimes be problems with them getting their skin completely off.

In order to avoid this, you will need to have your leopard gecko in a hide that will allow them the proper amount of moisture.  If you’d like to know the one I currently use, then check it out here on Amazon.  I have a large because my leopard gecko is an adult, but if you have a baby leopard gecko, then you’ll want the small one.  For juveniles, the medium will work just fine.

Stuck shed is never a good thing for a leopard gecko to experience because not only is it a nuisance for them, but it can also make things stressful for you as well seeing as you will then have to assist them with getting the rest of it off to avoid any health problems that can arise from it being stuck.

Here are some common spots to check for shed that stuck after your leopard gecko has lost its white appearance:

  • Toes
  • Tail
  • Face
  • Nose

Stuck shed can show up on any part of the body, but those four places are where most owners commonly see it stuck at.  If your leopard gecko is moving around fine and doesn’t seem to be in any pain or trying to pick at or rub certain parts of their body in an attempt to get the extra shed off, then you probably have nothing to worry about.  But, it’s still good to check after each shed just in case there is a little bit of skin stuck that you might miss had you not looked.

Consequences of Stuck Shed

Nobody thinks that stuck shed on a leopard gecko is serious because it’s just skin, but because their body parts are so little, this skin can cause more problems than you might think.  If you’ve ever done a search online about the consequences of a leopard geckos shed becoming stuck, then you might have seen that the following problems can occur:

  • Constricted Bloodflow
  • Limbs Falling Off
  • Slow Movements
  • Sick

Some owners might be tempted to just leave the shed on in hopes that it will come off within time, but doing so can lead to those symptoms and in the very worst cases, the cost of the gecko’s life as well.

So, if your leopard gecko ever has issues with their shed, don’t ignore it.  Places where shed commonly gets stuck such as on their toes, tail, and face can be hard for your gecko to get off and will likely never come off until they are helped.

They will a lot of the times rub their body parts on rough surfaces within the tank to the point where they cause injury or soreness in an attempt to get these hard to reach pieces of shed off, but more times than not, they still won’t be successful in getting it all.

If you notice your leopard gecko displaying any odd rubbing behavior after a shed, then it’s likely that they’re trying to get the rest off and need your help.

When to Help

Like stated above, leopard geckos are usually always great at getting it off with little to no problems, but because mistakes happen, sometimes they need a little help in order to get the rest of it.

Luckily, if you do so happen to run into this issue with your gecko, it’s not something that should cause great concern as getting the rest of the shed off is fairly easy and just requires a little water.

In order to get it off, all you’ll need to do is put your leopard gecko in a small puddle of water that covers the area where the shed is stuck and then let the skin soak for a few minutes.  After that, the skin should soften up enough to the point where you should be able to just rub it off with either your fingers or a soft rag, but gently.

This may take a little time because you want to make sure you’re not causing any pain when you’re rubbing, but it needs to be done to avoid any further issues.  If your hide is moist whenever they shed, the whole process will never be a problem for them because the moisture will help soften the skin.  But, if it’s not moist when they shed, then you might find yourself running into this problem more often than you’d like to be.

A hide that is not moist is usually always the reason for why a shed goes bad, so when you see your leopard gecko turning grey, double check your moist hide and make sure it’s moist enough for them to have a successful shed.

If you find any shed stuck on any of the body parts that I listed above or anywhere else, then assist them in getting it off ASAP.

Conclusion

For beginner leopard gecko owners, catching your leopard gecko in the act of shedding can be quite difficult.  But, if they’re acting and growing just fine, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Leopard geckos have to shed, so even if you think they aren’t doing it, they are, they’re just really fast about it.  Just remember to always keep your moist hide moist and don’t stress too much about whether or not they’re doing it, because if you’ve done your part, they’ll be doing theirs, whether you see it or not.

If your leopard gecko isn’t shedding correctly, then it will show in their behavior.  Stuck shed is more serious than it seems, but because getting the excess skin off can be fairly easy, it’s not something that should make you concerned.

All you’ll have to do is soak them in warm water, gently rub the skin off, and then that’s it.  Make sure to check all parts of the body for it and always make sure your hide is moist to avoid any further issues in the future and everything will be just fine.