A shedding leopard gecko is satisfying to watch when the process is smooth with one large piece removed after another. What if your leopard gecko is struggling or shedding excessively?
Why is my leopard gecko shedding so much and is there a bigger problem or underlying issue? Several factors could be at play.
In this article, we’ll keep it informative, helpful and I will also share my experience with my leopard gecko with you to understand why leopard geckos shed so much.
Why Is My Leopard Gecko Shedding So Much?
It’s ok for a younger gecko in their juvenile stage to shed every 1-2 weeks.
If your adult gecko is shedding more than once every 4-8 weeks, continue to monitor other symptoms that we can get further into with this article.
Disease, Diet, Parasites, Humidity and more needs to be discussed today and possibly with your gecko’s vet.
Excess Skin Shedding In Leopard Geckos
I was concerned when my leopard gecko’s skin shedding seemed to go on forever. Once he had fully completed the full shedding phase, it seemed like a new one was on its way.
I was informed to check the humidity levels in his vivarium. The advice was right. The humidity was low. Daytime humidity at 40-60% is normal and expected, but I was not getting these levels until I made some adjustments.
I also used misting to help the shedding process go smoother, faster and complete itself for a larger gap between the next shedding phase to occur 4-8 weeks later.
Now, I realize I need to be on top of this and create a checklist with the following factors:
- Items to rub dry skin on
- Optimal diet
- Check for parasites
- Enclosure cleaning routine
Abnormal Shedding In Geckos
There’s actually a name for this condition. It’s called Dysecdysis. This medical term includes abnormal shedding as a symptom of more underlying issues.
Other factors associated with Dysecdysis include:
- Environmental humidity
- Internal and external parasites
- Bacterial and fungal infection
- Previous injury/trauma
Leopard Geckos are susceptible to intestinal parasites including cryptosporidium. If you notice your leopard gecko shedding excessively and also losing their appetite with weight loss, this is much more than a skin issue.
You now have enough evidence to support the need for a visit to the vet.
What will your gecko do during the day? Find out what happens when you’re away.
Do Mites Cause Leopard Geckos To Shed?
Yes. Think about it for a second. Mites would cause skin irritation at the very least and blood suckers like ectoparasites can be so tiny and unnoticeable They could be specks of pepper in size and color or bright red.
Your leopard gecko could be stressed and trying to alleviate the irritation by forcing the shedding process to occur faster or more aggressively. These mites or parasites can carry diseases that internally affect your leopard gecko without you knowing until it’s too late.
Weight loss or lack of appetite and activity will lead you to wonder if there is much more going on than excessive skin shedding.
Is My Leopard Gecko Dehydrated?
Dehydration is another leading cause of abnormal or excess skin shedding. Normally, you gecko should shed their skin every 4-8 weeks, but dehydration can leave the skin dry, saggy and easy to peel off.
Patches of skin begin to either droop or feel tighter in certain areas. Eyes may look more sunken in and their color overall can look more pale or dull in appearance. Skin might feel stuck to their skin and become more difficult to remove.
Your gecko might not be shedding more than usual, but taking a long time to shed what should have come off smoother and easier could be due to dehydration.
Misting helps, but getting an adequate amount of fresh drinking water is crucial for leopard geckos to maintain their health and optimal skin conditions.
Other Reasons For Leopard Gecko Shedding
Now that we have discussed reasons including humidity levels and parasites like mites, let’s dive deeper into many other possible causes for excessive shedding in leopard geckos:
- Thermal Burns
- Lack of Hiding spaces
- Stress From Excessive handling
1. Thermal Burns
Heat lamps are obviously hot and your leopard gecko could accidentally make contact with it. Their skin can burn and this area will begin to peel off as it heals.
Inspect the position of heat lamps and see if you can make adjustments to its location or items around it to make sure your leopard gecko is safer from accidental burns occurring again in the future.
2. Lack of Hiding spaces
So many problems with geckos come back to lack of privacy or places for them to seek shade and distance from either outside world. Geckos spend large portions of their day resting, sleeping and hiding out.
During this time, their bodies can retain moisture instead of losing it through the dry air and sunlight in their naturally arid habitats that they occupy.
Moist substrates like sphagnum helps as well as placing more caves, tubes, boxes and spots with low lighting to prevent dehydration and stress.
3. Stress From Excessive handling
Stress comes hand in hand with almost every negative concern, worry, ailment and issue when caring for reptile companions like geckos. A leopard gecko is beautiful and is practically irresistible for us to want to touch and handle them.
Once we gain their trust, they might encourage the interaction during the early or late portions of the day. Otherwise, excessive handling can lead to stress and skittish behavior . They may hide more, eat less and abnormal skin shedding could result.
A final note goes without saying, but make sure your gecko is getting adequate nutrition from the food they are eating.
Gut loading mealworms is one way they can get the most bang for their bite. Varying their diet too much or forcing them to eat the same foods each day can also lead to lack of appetite or malnutrition leading to excessive skin shedding as well.
Thank you for visiting PocketPetCentral.com for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.