Shedding is a process that all reptiles go through, including Crested Geckos. It can be tempting to pick up your pet during this monthly ordeal, but should you? Can you handle a Crested Gecko while they are shedding?
It’s best not to handle your Crested Gecko while they shed. Doing so could harm the Crested Gecko both physically and mentally. When you pick the gecko up, you might accidentally peel off and damage new skin. This may cause extreme stress and could even lead to dangerous stuck sheds.
Read on to learn more about the importance of leaving your Crested Gecko alone while they shed. It can be tempting, but if you let your reptile be. Soon, they’ll be back to their normal selves with a brand-new layer of skin to boast!
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Why Shouldn’t You Handle a Crested Gecko While Shedding
Shedding is a natural process for a Crested Gecko. They help start the action all by themselves by licking the skin loose from their nose, and then eating the skin to reveal the new layer underneath.
If everything is perfect in their environment and internal system, they can handle this all by themselves.
You should avoid handling your Crested Gecko to let the natural process take its course. It’s also an uncomfortable time, and you could cause unintentional harm if you pick them up. Read on to learn more about these reasons to avoid handling your Crested Gecko.
It’s an Uncomfortable Time
For Crested Geckos, shedding is an uncomfortable time of the month. They can handle it by themselves, but if you invade their space, you might add stress to the mix. This addition can make for an environment that does not allow a Crested Gecko to shed correctly.
A stressed Crested Gecko may lead to a stuck shed. You might need to step in in this case, but in a very hands-off way. We’ll talk about this a little later on so you can give them proper care. Make sure you check your pet after shed for any leftover skin.
You Might Cause Harm
If you hold your Crested Gecko while they shed, there’s a chance you might peel off old skin before it’s ready.
This can damage the new skin underneath, disrupting the process and harming them. Even if it looks like the epidermis is ready to come off, don’t touch them unless you know you’re dealing with a stuck shed!
It may seem tempting to peel the dead skin off your Crested Gecko, but avoid it at all costs! Interfering with the shedding process can cause more harm than good for your pet.
As mentioned above, you should not step in unless there is a clear stuck shed on the Crested Gecko.
Can You Handle a Crested Gecko Before Shedding?
Before shedding, you’ll notice a few changes on your Crested Gecko. These will show you that you should set them down and leave them alone while they engage in this shift.
It’s really important to take note of these changes so you can give them the rest they need for shedding.
The skin of a Crested Gecko will become pale and ashy right before they shed. Dead skin will start to fall off of your pet. You’ll also notice a behavior change as the Crested Gecko grows uncomfortable, like irritability, loss of appetite, and even a loss of the ability to stick to their walls.
These indicate that it’s time to start leaving your Crested Gecko alone and that the shedding process will begin soon. Let them rest and prepare for what’s ahead, since they need the right conditions to start new. Your pet needs rest before he can change his skin!
How Long Should You Wait Until Handling Your Gecko Again?
The Crested Gecko has a one-of-a-kind shedding process. As it rids itself of excess skin, it often eats it. The skin contains nutrients and minerals that will help them in the new skin growth process. It also keeps the tank clean and ready for the next time shedding occurs.
Once the extra skin is gone, let your Crested Gecko have time to rest and adapt to their new skin. The process takes around thirty minutes if they shed in full, unless the shed gets stuck.
You will see a return back to normal behavior, showing you that the process has finished!
What Do You Do If Shed Gets Stuck?
If shed gets stuck on a Crested Gecko, serious consequences might happen. The most common danger with stuck sheds is loss of circulation. A Crested Gecko could lose their toes if the stuck shed isn’t removed in time. This condition is known as disecdysis.
Although it’s best to avoid picking up your Crested Gecko during shedding, there is a way you can help them out if they get stuck. This process still involves minimal handling of the reptile to keep them as comfortable as possible.
The best way to get rid of retained shed without handling your Crested Gecko too much is by soaking them in warm water.
When the skin is soaked through, you can gently remove the excess with a cotton swab. Movement should be minimal when you transfer them to a container for soaking.
If the shed doesn’t come off right away, continue to soak your Crested Gecko. Don’t force the skin off, or you might do more harm than good.
If it doesn’t come off with a gentle push, it needs to soak a little more. You can also gently spray them with water and increase the humidity of their environment.
Make Shedding a Comfortable Experience for Your Crested Gecko
The best thing you can do for your Crested Gecko is to make an environment for them that allows relaxing shedding.
Make sure there are items in their environment that they can scratch up against, and keep the humidity level high for proper shedding.
While your Crested Gecko is working hard to grow new skin, avoid handling them. The reptile will finish soon enough, refreshed and covered in a new layer of bright and colorful protection until the next time a shed needs to happen.