My son was given a blizzard gecko a few weeks back. It was healthy eating crickets on a daily basis. Recently it has

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Customer: My son was given a blizzard gecko a few weeks back. It was healthy eating crickets on a daily basis. Recently it has begun shedding, stopped eating and seems dehydrated. I think it is dying. What should I do? Even its eyes are scaled over and can't open!
Answered by Jav917 in 3 mins 12 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?



Moist hide?


Temps and how measured?

Heat source?




He is in a ten gallon tank with a water bowl (for geckos) and has eaten crickets until the last week- hasn't had anything in a week to my knowledge- live crickets in his cage- no interest- little movement when I touch him .


We purchased a UBV reptile light form petsmart which we turn on 4-6 hours dailyHis skin is peeling in rather large chunks, his eyes are sealed by dried skin. He even has a lightly bloody spot on the back of his head.


I think he might be suffering. Should I force feed?


Leopard geckos do not need a UVB light since they are nocturnal. No to the force feeding as they can aspirate into the lungs. You did not say waht type of substrate you are using. If sand or a loose substrate, please use plain paper towels. Next we need to treat the Leo., by doing a soak in 50/50% of warm water and plain Pedialyte. This serves a dual purpose. This will rehydrate the Leo and help to loosen the skin. Support the Leo in the soak for about 20 mins. Take a q-tip and gently run it over the retained shed to help remove it. Once the soak is over you can use some Neosporin on the injuries. For the eyes use plain saline eye drops without preservatives to help get the eyes clear. You can try using a meat flavored baby food mixed with calcium powder and drop on the snout and allow the Leo to lick it off. This should get some nutrition into him. Get the crickets out of the tank as they will bite the Leo. Never put more in than he can eat withing 15 mins. You may have to have him into a Herp Vet for further treatment. I can locate one for you with a City and State. I am going to give you my care sheet to help you with your Leo. Joan Sand Impaction


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.

Do Not Feed Pinkies

You have been most helpful. I will drive to the store to get meat baby food and pedialite. But what about the skin covering his eyes. Also, some of the skin is not ready to come off as it bleeds when I gently tug at it. Like I said, he has taken several water drops in the last two days- didn't know about the biting crickets - will remove them, sand and use paper towels. The temperature in our house is a constant 72 degrees. Is this okay?


I suggested Plain Saline Eye Drops without Presevatives. The Soak will help the skin loosen and use a q-tip to help work it off. YOu can continue to mist the Leo a few times a day. You need an under the tank heater to help get the temp up as it should be 85*F in the tank. The sand will dry the skin. You should also set up a moist hide where the Leo can go in and aid in shedding. I have instructions for make a moist hide in my care sheet. I wanted to ask what type of UVB bulb they sold you as Pets shops do not have Reptile Experts and they not give the best advice. Please do not forget to accept the answer, if it has been helpful and positive feedback will be welcomed. Joan

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