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Shedding

Leopard geckos will shed their skin every 2 to 5 weeks although you may not notice them shed every time that they do. Leopard geckos eat their own shed skin in order to harvest some of the vitamins and minerals from it. The illustrations below show a Leopard gecko through various stages of its shedding cycle.

Leopard Gecko Shedding
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Click on an image for a larger version!
Pictures used by kind permission of Deborah Rayment.

The frequency of the shed is determined mostly by the growth rate of the gecko. If everything goes well the leopard gecko will shed and consume its skin with a minimum of difficulties. In order for the gecko to have an easier shed it is advised to make sure that the vivarium contains a humid hide (wet box). The gecko should lie in the hide during the day and the humidity can help soften the shedding skin, also you can mist the vivarium or the gecko directly if the gecko is reluctant to use the humid hide and appears to be having some difficulties shedding.

After the gecko has shed it's skin it is important to check that the skin has been totally removed. Places that you should pay close attention to are the toes and tip of the tail. If dead skin is still located in these areas a gently misting or raising the humidity in the hide may help the skin shed. If the gecko is still struggling to shed its skin then create a bath of lukewarm water or shed-ease about an inch deep and let the gecko soak in it for 5-10 minutes then attempt to remove the dead skin with a moist cotton bud.


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