Are you a new leopard gecko owner? Are you wondering if these geckos have toes or what is wrong with what you think is a toe? Leopard geckos are one of the most popular reptilian pets around the world, but they do need care and attention to keep them strong and healthy. Continue reading below to find out all about your leopard gecko toes and potential problems.
Do Leopard Geckos Have Toes?
The simple answer is Yes, leopard geckos do have toes. They actually have claws on their toes. What they don't have are the toe pads that other geckos have that allow them to climb walls and ceilings, this is why your pet lives on the ground.
Your leopard gecko will have five toes per foot and each toe has a toenail. Don't worry you don't have to trim the toenails as you would a dog, they wear their own nails down by climbing and walking on and through rough surfaces.
Can Leopard Geckos Lose Toes?
It's not uncommon for your leopard gecko to lose a toe due to a stuck shed. Shedding takes place regularly as your gecko grows, less often as it gets older. These geckos as desert reptiles, requiring a relatively dry enclosure with ideal humidity levels between 30% and 40%. Humidity levels that are too low can cause your pet’s shed to stick, making it difficult to get off the toes, which can restrict blood flow and cause the toe to fall off.
Your leopard gecko can also lose toes through injury and accident. This is why you want to ensure you provide a safe and secure environment where your pet can explore with minimal risk.
Will Leopard Geckos Regrow Toes?
Unlike their tails, leopard geckos cannot regenerate their toes. Once their toes have fallen off or been removed, the toe will not regrow. Your gecko can regrow its toenail if that is all that is damaged.
Common Leopard Gecko Toe Problems
Getting to know your leopard gecko is important to help you identify when there is a problem. Over time you can build trust with your reptilian friend, enabling it to come out and climb on you, which is an ideal time to inspect its toe, ensuring that they look healthy and there are no problems.
Toe bleeding can be caused by a stuck shed which your leopard gecko has pulled off, causing injury or it can be due to injury. It is important that you keep the toe clean and dry. You can use an iodine solution, such as betadine, gently dabbing it onto the bleeding toe twice daily to reduce the risk of infection.
Toe Turning Black
If you notice your leopard gecko’s toe is turning black, chances are it’s due to a shedding complication, and stuck skin is caucusing a lack of blood supply to the toe. If the shed is not removed, the risk of losing the toe is very high.
It is possible to save the toe or toes before it gets too bad. Place your leopard gecko in a warm water bath, allowing it to soak. This will allow you to gently remove any skin to improve blood circulation again. It is very important that you are gentle when trying to remove the skin. Do not pull, as this can cause injury and pain. If you are not confident, take your pet to the vet and they can remove the excess skin for you.
Toe Falling Off
If your leopard gecko’s toe is falling off, it's often caused by a shed that is stuck and caused lack of circulation to the toe for so long that it is falling off. The only course of action is to seek immediate veterinary treatment.
The vet will try and save the toe where possible, but otherwise, the toe will be removed. One or two missing toes should have no long-term implications for your leopard gecko. In fact, they usually manage fine with a few lost toes.
Broken toes are as painful for your leopard gecko as it is for humans, which is why it’s recommended to take your leopard gecko to the vet if you suspect it has a broken toe. If the toe is fractured, the vet will identify if there is a way to treat the toe.
A bendy toe can be a dislocated toe or it can be a post injury that your pet is living with. Alternatively, it could be due to a lack of calcium in the diet, which can cause metabolic bone disease.
You need to identify if the bendy toe is bothering your pet, does it look uncomfortable or is it walking differently. If you are concerned and it’s something new you just noticed, then check in with your vet for peace of mind.
As a leopard gecko owner, you want to ensure the best for your pet, which includes learning your leopard gecko’s behaviors and character, along with visually checking your pet over when you handle them, looking for any injuries or something strange. Even though your leopard gecko’s toes cannot regenerate, your pet can live a happy and healthy life missing one or more of their toes.
Note that if your leopard gecko tends to break its toes easily, then this could be a sign of metabolic bone disease. Metabolic bone disease is caused by a lack of Vitamin D3 and calcium.