My leopard gecko got an injury to the end of his tail. The tip of his tail became very skinny. Now it looks like it is

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Customer: My leopard gecko got an injury to the end of his tail. The tip of his tail became very skinny. Now it looks like it is rotting. What should I do?
Answered by Jav917 in 3 mins 13 years ago
Pet Specialist

27,324 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary


Can you tell me about your set up?


Hides? Moist hide?



Whan was last shed?



He is in a 10 gallon tank with reptile carpet. He has a rock cave above a heater. He eats mealworms and crickets. I am not sure of the last shed. He is a class pet for a 3rd grade classroom. One of the students remembers dropping the lid in the cage. We noticed a cut on his tail, it scabbed over. We did nothing to treat the tail, as we were not sure. I purchased him as a baby in December.


I am concerened about the tail. Normally the Leopard gecko will drop the tail when injured or scared. They can regenerate the tail, which is a plus, though the tail does not look the same. This may be Tail Rot as a result of a cricket bite or retained shed, which should be addressed by the Herp Vet. They can amputate the area that has problems, and it will regenerate form there. If it is tail rot which is an infection in the tissues it can spread and may even make the Leopard ill, beyond the ability to recover. If you do not have a moist hide I do suggest you make one. The Leopard gecko needs this to aid in shedding. You can make one out of an old margerine container. Put lid on and cut hole in the side. Once that is done, place a moist paper towel in the lid and palce in the habitat. This will give the moisture to help with shedding. I can locate a Herp Vet with a state or country for you. I will also give you my care sheet to help you with your Leopard Gecko. Joan Sand Impaction

Leopard Gecko Care Sheet

The Leopard Gecko is originally from Pakistan, India, and a few other countries in Asia. Leopard Geckos are terrestrial (they live on the ground) and they are nocturnal (active at night). They prefer temperatures between 82 and 88 degrees all day and night. They grow to between 8 to 11 inches. Leopard Geckos are available in a wide range of colors and patterns which are the result of selective captive breeding. These include albino, ghost, striped, jungle, leucistic and high yellow. These colors have been made possible through selective captive breeding. Leopard Geckos make wonderful pets for almost any responsible person. Leopard Geckos also make good long term pets. They can live over twenty years. Never grab by tail it will break off. Leopard Gecko Housing: A male Leopard Gecko should never be housed in the same cage as another male leopard gecko because they will fight and possibly kill one another. A male can be housed with several females without any problems. I do not advise housing leopard geckos in the same cage with any other reptiles. A single Leopard Gecko can be kept in a ten gallon tank. For a male and a few females a twenty gallon tank or larger should be used. The cage should have a screen lid on top of it to prevent any escapes. Leopard geckos need places to hide and sleep during the day so you must provide a couple of hiding spots. They need a warm hiding spot and a cold humid hiding spot. Just put one hide box on the side with the heat light and put the humid hide box on the side that does not have the heat light. For the humid hide box, put moist peat moss or moist sphagnum moss (Paper Towels work well and easily replaced) inside a hide box. You can make your own humid hide box from a small plastic shoebox. Cut a hole in one end of the box and place moist moss inside it. The humid box should be cleaned out every week and remoistened. A humid hide box is needed so that the gecko can go in it when it needs to shed. The humidity helps the old skin come off.
Substrate: There is an abundance of products on the market that claim to be safe substrates. All Loose Substrates however are not safe to use. A substrate is what you put on the bottom of the cage for the lizard to walk around on. If a Leopard Gecko ingests any of the substrate accidentally, the substrate must pass through the digestive system. Trust me they will ingest substrate, sometimes on purpose. If it does not easily pass through the digestive system compaction will occur. Compaction is an extreme blockage of the digestive tract and is often fatal. Some substrates that I consider unsafe because they can cause compaction are: sand, orchid bark, crushed walnut shells, lizard litter, gravel, aquarium gravel, and coconut fiber. The safest substrate is using paper towels or plain newspaper, non-stick shelf liner , cage carpet or ceramic tile. For any leopard geckos that are younger than six months I advise using paper towels or plain newspaper until they are at least six months old. Calcium sand is not fully digested no matter what it claims. The stuff just does not break down completely. . Leopard Gecko Heating and Temperature: The cage should be between 82 to 88 degrees all day and night. There is two basic ways to heat the cage. One is to use a under tank heater like heat tape. The other is to use a black, or blue night incandescent heat light. I prefer to use a heat light. For a 10 gallon tank a 60 watt bulb should work depending on room temperature. Place the heat light on one end of the cage. By putting the heat light on one end of the cage it keeps that side warmest and allows the gecko to move to the warmer side with the light or to the colder side without the light as needed to regulate body temperature.
NEVER EVER USE A HOT ROCK, HEAT ROCK, OR ANY SIMILAR PRODUCT. Hot rocks heat unevenly and are notorious for causing terrible thermal burns. Do not buy a hot rock and if you know anyone who uses one, tell them to throw it away. Leopard Gecko Feeding: Leopard Geckos will do very well on a diet of mealworms and crickets. I like to provide some variety in feeder insects to create a more balanced diet. Feeder insects I use are silkworms, mealworms, and crickets with the legs on one side of the body pulled off. Crickets will bite your geckos while they sleep, these bites are prone to infection, so if you pull off one side of their legs then they cannot move around the cage and get to the gecko and also this prevents the crickets from climbing out of the cage. Gut load feeder insects for at least a day before putting them in with the gecko. Feed geckos insects that are not larger than the width of the head of the gecko.
Adults can be fed superworms, though I advise only feeding a couple superworms at a time. Leopard Gecko Vitamin/Mineral Supplement: For young geckos dust the feeder insects every other feeding or place a small feeder dish with supplement in it and some mealworms in the cage. For adults and babies place a shallow dish or a plastic lid in the cage with a teaspoon of calcium powder on it. The gecko will lick the calcium powder as needed. You still need to dust feeder insects every other feeding though with a vitamin supplement for young geckos. Adults use vitamin supplement once a week. Leopard Gecko Water: Use a shallow water bowl, fill with water as needed. Remove bowl from cage and clean out weekly.

Do Not Feed Pinkies


I live in Nashville, TN. Can you recommend where I can take him for further care? Thanks for your help.


There are quite a few Vets on this list, hopefully you will not have to travel too far for treatment. Joan

Kyle Daniel
Animal Care Clinic
2040 New Salem Rd
Murfreesboro 37130(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Chris Faircloth
Eastwood Animal Clinic

Pellissippi Vet HospitalXXXXXbr />Knoxville 37932(NNN) NNN-NNNN

1890 N. Germantown Pkwy #103
Cordova 38018(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Thomas Harbin
Animal Health Clinic
2002A Hillsboro Hwy
Manchester 37355(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

JC Kile
Kile Animal Clinic
248 Cumberland View Rd
Clinton 37716(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Michael Lutz
Mobley Vet Clinic
4709 Gallatin Pike
Nashville 37216(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Shannon McGee
Collierville Animal Clinic
474 Hwy 72
Collierville 38017(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Van PenningtonXXXXXbr />Antioch 67013(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Amy RichardXXXXXbr />Bartlett 38134(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Animal Clinic of Clarksville
1567 Ft. Campbell Blvd
Clarksville 37042(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Chris Tabaka
Memphis Zoo and Aquarium
2000 Galloway
Memphis 38112

James Talbot
Belle Forest Animal Hospital
154 Belle Forest Cir.
Nashville, (Bellevue) 37221(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Greg Thomas
All Animals Vet Hospital
2163 Hwy, 48 N
Dickson 37055(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Glenn Weatherly
Collierville Pet Hospital
18 South Byhalia Rd
Collierville(NNN) NNN-NNNN

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