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Reptiles/leopard gecko dried tail


QUESTION: hi, approximately the last inch of my leopard gecko's tail is hard, and dried up.  I am worried I may have damaged it.  She was lodged into one of her hiding spots and i tried to help her get out.  The only leverage I was able to get was her tail.  I know tugging on a gecko's tail is a no-no but I couldn't get a firm grip anywhere else.  I am not sure why it is dried up and hard like this now, but i did notice it happened a few days after the issue had occured.  Will this part of her tail fall off on it's own? Is it infected? Should i see a vet?? please help me!

ANSWER: Hello Amanda,

Sorry to hear about your gecko's tail!  Do you have a picture of it, is it just a small portion of it dried up?
It probably is not infected, but most likely she will lose the portion of it that is dried up.
It will just fall off & should regenerate eventually.  
Is the area pretty hard now?

How is her appetite, is she eating normally?  Does she appear to be in any pain?

Let me know how she is doing.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: i don't have a picture but it is just the last inch of the tip of her tail. it's a dark color and dried.  she is eating normally and behaving normally.  I just don't want it to spread up her tail.  do you think I should see a vet?I made an appt but if you don't think this is an urgant problem i can cancel

Hello Amanda,

I am glad to hear she is eating normally & it doesn't seem to be bothering her then.

Has it changed in appearance recently?  If it looks like it is spreading up the tail, it would be good to take her into the vet.  Just to be sure it isn't infected.  It shouldn't be infected though from an injury like that, but sometimes early on it's hard to tell on tails.

The tail will regenerate but you definitely don't want an infection to get into the system.  
What substrate do you use in the tank with her?  Has her tail stayed pretty clean?



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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