trying to help save sick leopard gecko


New Member
Canton, CT
My friend is having trouble with his leopard gecko and I am attempting to help. They apparently don't know much about caring for him. I have checked online sources and spoke to the reptile guy at +++++. I have filled out as much as I can below. Sammy has basically stopped eating and his tail is getting very thin whereas a couple weeks ago it was plump. He has shed his skin repeatedly over the past 5 months according to friend. There was no source of moisture other than his water dish in his tank. We added some reptile moss and misted the tank. They NEVER handle him which seems sad and cruel to me. we got some crickets and since he got moisture he actually seems to be perking up. Maybe wishful thinking. Please don't sugar coat any advice - Should we be handling him??? How often? Should we just jump in and start handling him or would that traumatize him? I say him... I don't know his sex. thank you for any advice to help this cute little guy out.

About your leo
- Sex unknown
- Age & Weight 9 years old - weight unknown
- How long have you owned your leo - my friend has had leo (Sammy) for his entire life.
- Where was he/she obtained (ex. Pet store, breeder, wild caught, friend) - +++++

A) Health/History
- How often do you handle your leo They never handle Sammy.
- Is your leo acting any different today? If so how does he/she normally act which differs from now. - S
- Has he/she had any problems in the past, if so please describe. For the past 5 months or so, Sammy has shed about 6 times.
B) Fecals - no recent fecals.
- Describe (look any different than normal)
- When was the last time he/she went
C) Problem
- Please briefly describe the problem and how long it has been going on Sammy has stopped eating and his tail is getting thin.

A) Enclosure
- Size - 10 gallon glass tank
- Type (ex. glass tank)
- Type of substrate reptile carpet
- Hides, how many, what kind - just one - looks like a rock. I have ordered my friend to get him another one immediately.
B) Heating - under cage heater and over tank heat lamp.
- Heat source
- Cage temps (hot side, cool side) 78 degrees
- Method of regulating heat source
- What are you using to measure your temps - thermometer
- Do you have any lights (describe)
C) Cage mates
- How many (males, females)
- Describe health, or previous problems

Describe Diet:
A) Typical diet meal worms and we just added medium cricket,
- What you're feeding (how often, how much)
- How are you feeding (hand fed, left in dish, ect)
B) Supplements (describe how often) Tetrafauna ReptoCal.
- What vitamin/minerals are you using (list brands)
- What are you gut loading food with we are not!


Staff member
Somerville, MA
Welcome to GF! I don't know what's wrong with the gecko, but I can make a few comments on the setup and conditions which may or may not help. Your friend should consider a reptile vet visit.
--shedding: 6 times in 5 months is not abnormal
--handling: some leopard geckos tolerate handling and others hate it. As opposed to mammal pets, it's not really cruel to not handle a leopard gecko. The only real benefit is if the gecko is used to being handled it makes it easier when you have to pick it up and examine it
--temperatures: a combination of an under tank heater (especially if there's no thermostat) and a heat lamp above in a 10 gallon tank can dehydrate the gecko. You list the only temperature as 78. Ideally the temperature on the floor on the hot side (measured with a digital thermometer with a probe or with laser temp gun, not one of those round dial things) should be in the low 90's and in my opinion (others differ), it's best that the air temperature not average more than the low to mid 70's (that means that on hot days it will be hotter, but if it's always near 80 it can be a problem)
--supplements: hopefully the gecko is getting some (but not a huge amount of) calcium and vitamin D3. Check to see whether the Tetrofauna Reptocal has D3 in it. If not, you'll need a supplement that does. Dust feeders every other feeding.

If those changes need to be made, there's no guarantee that they will solve the problem. If you don't know where a reptile vet is near you, check here: