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How Often Does a Leopard Gecko Shed Its Skin?

Find out how the leopard gecko sheds its skin and how often the process occurs.

The leopard gecko is a lizard, and like any other lizard, it sheds its skin. The process is normal and necessary for a healthy leopard gecko. The first time the leopard gecko sheds its skin can be quite alarming. The leopard gecko may appear sick or even dying. Yet, from this weakened state, a vibrant lizard full of life emerges.

Why Does a Leopard Gecko Shed Its Skin?

Leopard gecko shedding is a normal process that allows the leopard gecko to replace its old skin with a new layer of skin. It is very important for the leopard gecko to replace its old skin. It may be damaged or simply contains dead skin cells. Either way, as the leopard gecko grows, the outer skin is no longer required. The leopard gecko will push its way through the old layer of skin and emerge with a healthy, vibrant new layer.

How Many Times Does a Leopard Gecko Shed Its Skin?

A leopard gecko will shed its skin throughout its life. During the early years of life, leopard gecko shedding is fairly frequent. This is due to the fact that the leopard gecko is growing rapidly when it is young. As the leopard gecko matures, the frequency with which it sheds its skin will decrease. Expect a fully grown adult gecko to shed its skin every 4-5 weeks.

The Leopard Gecko Shedding Process

The leopard gecko shedding process usually lasts 24 hours. Prior to shedding its skin, the leopard gecko may appear agitated and may respond aggressively to touching or holding. Also, the skin of the leopard gecko will become pale white. Usually, the leopard gecko will shed its skin in one large segment. After the leopard gecko has emerged from the old skin, it will most likely feed on the dead skin. This is normal. The skin provides nutrients for the weak leopard gecko

Examine the leopard gecko for excess skin that is hanging, especially between the toes. If old, dead skin is still attached to parts of the leopard gecko, place a shallow bowl of lukewarm water in the cage or terrarium. Let the leopard gecko wade in the water for several minutes. In time, the excess skin should fall off. If not, take the leopard gecko to a vet.

Maintaining a Favorable Environment for Shedding

The most common cause for poor shedding is low humidity. When the leopard gecko shows signs of shedding, it is recommended to increase the humidity in the leopard gecko’s habitat. Misting the habitat with a fine water spray will increase the humidity. It’s also a good idea to provide a humidity retreat box. This is an enclosure within the cage or terrarium that has a higher humidity than the rest of the habitat. It is usually constructed out of a plastic shallow container and a lid. Simply fill the container 2/3 of the way with damp sphagnum moss and place the leopard gecko inside. Punch a hole in the lid large enough for the leopard gecko and cover the container. The leopard gecko will crawl out and go back in when needed.

Leopard Gecko Diet During Shedding

As the leopard gecko approaches the shedding period, it may lose its appetite. Therefore, it is important to provide food after the leopard gecko has shed its skin. Calcium supplementation of the leopard gecko diet helps the reptile regain its strength.

Over the course of its life, a leopard gecko may shed its skin hundreds of times. Each shed gives the leopard gecko a new skin and renewed life. Assisting the leopard gecko in this process is okay. Provide an environment that is conducive to shedding by increasing the humidity. Also, provide adequate food and nutrients after the shed.

Reference:

http://www.leopardgeckokeeping.com/shedding-leopard-gecko.php

http://www.anapsid.org/microclimates.html

http://www.anapsid.org/shedding.html

 

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