Dealing with Leopard Gecko Tail Loss

Published: 18th October 2010
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Leopard gecko is indeed a magnificent lizard. When we talk about magnificent reptiles, to top the list would be the leopard gecko. Scientific name of this amazing lizard is Eublepharus macularius. Owning a leopard gecko is indeed very rewarding especially when you have seen them from birth and you were able to observe their yellow skin starts to appear with bands of black, which turns into black spots as they grow old. That is basically the essence of being a breeder, to see all the wonders and every single body change of a leopard gecko. Apart from the black spots on their body other geckos may also posses a darker tail, which indicative of the gecko is being able to experience a tail loss and have had it re-grown. Isn’t the thought of a tail lost scary? But there is no need for you to be frightened because it is normal for leopard gecko's tail to fall off. So there is no reason for you to panic and do not be anxious if you happen to witness leopard gecko tail loss. This is a normal defense mechanism of a leopard gecko.

To help you understand more about tail loss on leopard gecko I will discuss on the several reasons why leopard gecko’s tail fall off. Firstly the gecko's tail is used to store fats or reserve foods. These stocked fats will be used by leopard gecko during the days of scarcity. During the winter the leopard gecko have the tendency to hide and eat little or none at all. More often than not, they ignore food during winter season and depend on their stored fats to keep them alive.

Another purpose of the tail is as a defense of the leopard geckos from their predators which provides a threat to them. Whenever a predator bites or holds his tail it instantly separates from its body allowing the leopard gecko to escape and hide. The tail will wriggle to distract the predators. The predator will be overwhelmed with the uncontrollable movement of the tail thus allowing the gecko to run. It will also detach from the body if their owner mistakenly hold its tail. Therefore remember to always keep cautious when handling your leo's body and be sure to avoid its tail. Tails also fell off as a sign of stress or illness.

Falling off of the gecko's tail should not cause you to panic because this is not a life threatening condition. The moment the leo's tail fall's off, it's blood vessels will automatically close in order to prevent excessive blood loss. Although falling off of the tail is a normal occurrence, it does not mean that it will not cause an infection to your leo. So to prevent infection, it is a must that you immediately isolate the gecko with no tail to another enclosure. Use a paper towel as a substrate because loose substrate will more likely cause an infection. Ask the veterinarian as to what ointment you should apply to prevent infection.

Michael Corben aims to help people who wish to learn more about Leopard Geckos and how to provide the best care. If you’d like to learn more on leopard tail gecko, visit

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