Ive just got a leopard geck and its back feet .look like there not working propley after ive picked the skin off them

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Customer: ive just got a leopard geck and its back feet .look like there not working propley after ive picked the skin off them she has problems shedding.ive put a huninty box in there for her. and put iaden on her saws will her feet hil. she has lost a few of her toes?? pls help. ive cleaned her cage out as well and she has been in the cool part for most of the evening is that normal
Answered by Anna in 1 hour 13 years ago
30+ years of experience

17,038 satisfied customers

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


Some additional information will help me to answer your question.

What temperatures do you have on the warm and cool sides of the cage?

Where did you get the gecko? Do you know the conditions she was kept in before you got her?

What substrate are you using on the cage floor?

Is the gecko acting all right otherwise - active, good appetite, normal droppings, etc.?

Thank you.



hi thank you for replying to me. The temp ive got the tank at is 75f in the cold side and around 82f in the hot the sub ive got her on is half sand ( calcium sand) and half tile with the sand on the hot side. She is eating crickets and waxworms that have been dusted and she is pooing. Ive cleaned and changed her inviroment as she was living at my sisters but she could no longer look after her so i brought her back home ive put 3 hides in the tank 1 in the cold and 2 in the hot side. In her last inviroment she only had the one hide so i added the others to hopefully help her shed her skin she has problems with her back legs and doesnt seem to be holding herself up or walking properly they look very soar and she drags them when shes moving iv put iodine on the soars to hopefully fight any infection there was alot of excess skin but i removed it. she is hiding in the cold side alot and i want to know if this is the correct behaviour. Her inviroment has only been changed in the last 24hrs any information u can help me with would be gratfully appriciated. Many thanks

Thank you for getting back to me. At this point, the gecko has multiple health problem, and the best thing to do would be to see a reptile vet. This site has a directory of vets:


There are a few things you can do on your own that may help, but they will mostly provide support, rather than a cure. It is a good idea to get rid of the sand. Despite the fact that it is highly recommended by pet stores, more often than not, it leads to impaction. A solid substrate, such as reptile carpet or ceramic tile, is best.

A first aid measure that may help is to give your gecko a special soak. Buy some Pedialyte (made for human infants and available in discount stores and pharmacies). If you live in the UK, the product will be Lectaid, which is available in pet stores. Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 electrolyte solution and 1/2 warm water. Soak the gecko for 20 to 30 minutes twice per day. That can help with shedding problems.

I believe your gecko has Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). While geckos don't usually need supplemental UVB light, when they develp MBD, it's a good idea to provide some. Reptisun makes good ones. UV, UVA, DayGlo, and daylight are not the same thing, so be sure you buy one that says it produces UVB rays.

The temperature gradient in the cage should be 82*F to 88*F, so you'll want to adjust that.

I’m also sending along a care sheet, courtesy of Joan, another of our experts. You can use it as a checklist to make sure all the conditions are right. If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your gecko will reach a full recovery.


Leopard Gecko Care Sheet

The Leopard Gecko is originally from Pakistan, India, and a few other countries in Asia. They actually live on hard rocky outcrops 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 age 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. I actually prefer an under the tank heater for heat source rather than a light since the geckos are Nocturnal. For the humid hide box, Paper Towels work well and easily replaced inside a hide box. You can make your own humid hide box from a small plastic shoe box or from a margarine conatiner. Cut a hole in one end of the container and place moist paper towel inside it. The humid box should be cleaned out every week and re moistened. 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 (Please note the link above) 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, bark, Calci sand, 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, roaches 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.

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