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  1. #1
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    Default My gecko is having a lot of problems shedding skin and color is becoming much duller


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    Hello everyone,

    I am new here and I am worried my gecko is sick. Over the last month (approximately) i have noticed a sudden change in his skin shedding. It's as thought he doesn't even try to remove his old skin. He just lets it hang on him which I know isn't good. I try my best to remove it myself but he doesn't like being handled and I am worried to injure him. He has already lost one or two toes. Also his color overall has become much duller and on his back there appear to be dry or crusty patches of skin when he is not shedding. He does have a cave with wet paper towels on the cool side of his cage to help him shed his skin. His warm cave is about 32-34C. I have attached a pic of him now. Does anyone know what could be wrong with him and how to fix it?

    Here is some more background on my gecko. He is about 4-5 years old. I bought him at a pet store. I feed him calcium/vitamin (Repashy superfood Calcium Plus) dusted mealworms. His weight still appears good and he is still alert and active. His dropping still appear normal. One other problem he has always had is that he is a very poor hunter. He never went after crickets and he never eats from his bowl for mealworms. I have to always drop the mealworms right in front of him to eat and even then he misses about 50% of the time. It often takes him 2-3 times to finally grab and eat a mealworm. I believe he may have poor vision but his eyes are always clear and look good. I am wondering if this and the skin shedding problem may be signs he is inbred too much???

    Please let me know if anyone knows whats wrong with him and how to fix him.

    Thank you!!
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  2. #2
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    What a cute Leo!

    I am sorry you seem to be having problems, I think we could use a few more details in order to properly fix the issue.

    •How often do you suppliment?
    •Do you feed anything besides mealworms?
    •How often do you feed insects?
    •Are your insects properly gutloaded before being fed?

    I think the biggest issue to difficult shedding is the care, specifically the diet and how it is supplimented. A mealworm diet alone doesn't provide much nutrition or variety and they are harder to gut load in comparision to other insects. If you haven't been dusting enough (For your suppliment I reccomend dusting 3 times a week) then there can be defiancies is vitamins and minerals resulting in bad sheds.

    Instead of a mealworm staple, I reccomend crickets or dubia, both of which you can pop into the fridge for a few minutes to slow them down. It will give him a chance to hunt them even with a bad aim, which may or may not be caused by bad genetics, with a pet store, you will never know. You can also amputate the legs of crickets to slow them down.

    Hopefully after we get some answers we can make adjustments and fix this.
    Cold-blooded...
    But warming my heart
    》0.2.1 Leopard Geckos
    》0.0.1 Crested Geckos

    Advice from a
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    Know when to let a part of yourself go▪Open your mouth▪Shed your past▪Look out for yourself
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  3. #3
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    To help you get the shed of try a few of these techniques;


    If these methods are ineffective or if there are any signs of infection, seek vet attention immediately!

    METHOD #1
    Use warm water. The water temperature should be no greater than 86*F/30*C, a leopard gecko's preferred body temperature.
    •Take a plastic container (like a GladWare container) a little bigger than your gecko
    Poke holes in the lid so that your gecko can breathe
    •Add a little water up to the belly of your leopard gecko.
    If your gecko is smaller, then use scrunched up paper towels that have been dampened or sprayed to maintain the necessary humidity. Include a rough rock or a small piece of cork back with the damp paper towels.
    •Spray the insides of this container
    •Add the gecko
    •Snap on the lid
    •Place this container inside your leo's enclosure and right next to the warm dry hide (right above the heat mat). OR •Place this container near a lamp containing a low wattage bulb (15 watt or 25 watt incandescent bulb or similar wattage compact fluorescent). Water droplets should form on the insides of your plastic container!
    Monitor the temperature frequently
    •Monitor your gecko at all times

    •Repeat this procedure, if necessary.

    After 30 minutes, perhaps longer, remove the gecko and gently attempt to remove the stuck shed using a gentle rolling motion with a dry q-tip.


    METHOD #2
    Use warm water. The water temperature should be no greater than 86*F/30*C, a leopard gecko's preferred body temperature.
    •Fill a shallow basin or the bathroom sink with lukewarm water to your gecko's belly depth.
    •Let your gecko soak for 10-20 minutes.
    •Then take a dry q-tip, and with a gentle rolling motion, work on the toes. Use tweezers gently, if necessary.
    Monitor your gecko at all times!

    This should definitely loosen any shed remaining on the critter's toes.


    METHOD #3 - Especially for stuck shed on head and nose

    •Wrap the gecko in a wet washcloth with just the snout and eyes visible.
    •Firmly hold gecko in place for 15-20 minutes.
    •Remove wrap.
    •Test the skin gently to see whether it has loosened up enough for removal.
    •If skin is still not loose enough, try wrapping again for another 15 minutes.
    •Also: try holding wet sterile gauze or a wet cotton ball on your gecko's head or nose.

    This and more can be found on Elizabeth Freer's care sheet.
    Cold-blooded...
    But warming my heart
    》0.2.1 Leopard Geckos
    》0.0.1 Crested Geckos

    Advice from a
    GECKO
    Know when to let a part of yourself go▪Open your mouth▪Shed your past▪Look out for yourself
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by James35
    . . . . . .

    He does have a cave with wet paper towels on the cool side of his cage to help him shed his skin. His warm cave is about 32-34C. I have attached a pic of him now. Does anyone know what could be wrong with him and how to fix it?

    Here is some more background on my gecko. He is about 4-5 years old. I bought him at a pet store. I feed him calcium/vitamin (Repashy superfood Calcium Plus) dusted mealworms. His weight still appears good and he is still alert and active. His dropping still appear normal. One other problem he has always had is that he is a very poor hunter. He never went after crickets and he never eats from his bowl for mealworms. I have to always drop the mealworms right in front of him to eat and even then he misses about 50% of the time. It often takes him 2-3 times to finally grab and eat a mealworm. I believe he may have poor vision but his eyes are always clear and look good. I am wondering if this and the skin shedding problem may be signs he is inbred too much???

    Please let me know if anyone knows whats wrong with him and how to fix him.
    Hello, James! Welcome to Geckos Unlimited!

    Thanks for sharing a photo of your leo. How are you heating his enclosure: under tank heat mat or overhead heat? Is his enclosure wooden or glass?

    Let's move his moist hide to the warm end, right above the heat mat. Warmth from the UTH helps generate humidity. That helps a leo shed and keeps him hydrated.

    A good range for his warm dry hide is between 31.1-33.3*C. Does he have a thermostat?

    Some of his issues may be nutritional.
    • How often do you dust his mealworms with Repashy Calcium Plus multivitamins?
    • What do you feed the mealworms?
    • Are you feeding anything besides mealworms?
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 07-19-2017 at 06:43 AM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside a vivarium <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)
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  5. #5
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    Hello everyone,

    In regards to diet I have always just fed my gecko mealworms. I dust the mealworms with calcium/vitamin supplements everytime I feed him and he gets fed about 3-4 times a week. I used to gut load the mealworms sometimes with apple slices but I will admit I haven't done this for the last couple of months. In the first year i had him i tried to feed him crickets but he just never went after them or they were too fast for him. So I stuck to mealworms which he seems to enjoy and he is more capable of grabbing them properly. I really don't think he will bother chasing after crickets or insects. I just bought some wax worms and butter worms, maybe those will help? If not, then I'll try insects.

    I have an undertank heater and the enclosure is made of glass. I'll move the his cave with the wet paper towel over to the warm side. I will also try the container with warm water. I have a digital thermometer sensor (exo-terra) on the warm side to measure temperature and a sticky thermometer on the cool side (exo-terra).

    Based on the comments I am starting to feel it may be nutrition which makes me sad as I feel now its my fault. I thought as long as I dusted the mealworms constantly with calcium/vitamins it would be enough but I guess not.

    If i forgot to give anymore info please let me know. Thanks!!!

  6. #6
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    There is some great information in the posts above.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As has been mentioned and hinted at previously, issues surrounding shedding, also known as 'Dysecdysis', most often stems from one or more of a few key things.

    1: Nutrition - A lack of assimilation or indeed availability of vitamin E is known to cause such issues, this must be addressed in the diet of the animal in question, ideally through the provision of a varied and well fed insect based diet, supplementation in this instance should merely be a fail-safe.

    2: Environment - Being exposed to constant aridity with no means of locating more humid micro-climates such as those found in burrows or, more commonly in captivity, sufficiently functioning humid hides can result in difficulty shedding also, they simply cannot remove the shed effectively if exposed to such conditions.

    3: Hydration - Finally Hydration, or rather lack thereof, is the number one cause of such issues in captive reptiles in my experience. The reality is that the majority of captive insectivorous reptiles are suffering from dehydration to one extent or another for at least parts of their captive lives. When this is the case over a long period of time, all manner of other problems occur by way of a compromised immune system and myriad other very serious issues.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The solution is far more complex than merely providing a water dish, species such as Leopard Geckos, for example, rarely have access to standing water in the wild and derive much of their moisture requirements through diet and licking it from the walls of their burrows aswell as natural occurrences such as morning dew formation.

    It is my feeling that though we may see the Geckos drink often, this can be symptomatic of an individual with an elevated need for hydration as a result of a lack thereof elsewhere, or indeed, through husbandry issues in the form of oversupply of key vitamins.

    In other words, we must view the provision of the water dish as a fail-safe, much in the same way we ought to view supplementation in terms of vitamin and mineral provision, and ensure the Gecko is well hydrated through more natural means in the first place.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So now that we understand hydration can be a leading cause, we must ask ourselves the question of how this ought to be addressed ?

    The answer is very simple - Appropriate Diet & Environment

    Diet - We must ensure the Gecko receives a varied diet and critically, that the diet itself is well fed and hydrated. Various insect species should be offered on a regular basis and those insects absolutely must be fed and watered appropriately in order to pass on this not only nutritional load, but hydration also. More information on this can be found below, or you may contact me directly for help if you wish.

    Environment - It is of the utmost importance that all captive Geckos have a warm, humid and secure place in which to spend their time, these are the places they have been found to spend the vast majority of their non-active hours in the wild and in my experience it is where all of my Geckos, without exception, spend their days.

    There are a few ways we can ensure the efficacy of such a hide, firstly we must ensure it remains humid, I have found paper towel will not be sufficient in most cases unless you can ensure it remains damp enough at all times, bi-daily refreshing at least. I use damp sphagnum moss and many others use substances like coco fiber with reported success.

    Secondly we must ensure usable humidity is actually created, there is little use to a damp floor if all the humidity immediately escapes in the air outside the hide, any humid hide should have one small entrance in order to maximize the retention of that humidity.

    That leads us on to the final, and often overlooked notion of security, the Geckos will be reluctant to spend any time in a hide which does not allow them to 'hide', in other words, they need to be able to obscure themselves from sight, light and to feel safe from potential predation, the single small entrance aids with this but all walls should ideally be opaque at the very least also.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I appreciate that was a great deal of information, but I felt it best to cover this topic in a little more detail as it is extremely important and little explained elsewhere, I hope some of that may help you.

    If you have any further questions, just let us know.
    Last edited by Zux; 07-20-2017 at 06:52 AM.
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    The supplements I use and the thinking behind why !

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...mzky_qzQdxu-K2

    Modern Care Podcast Series - Learn everything you need to know about captive Reptile Nutrition and the ideas supporting Bio-Activity today !

    https://www.facebook.com/arcadiarept...366384280319:0

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