Tail Loss


  • tailless gecko
  • detached tail flopping and wriggling independently


  • stress
  • fear
  • being grabbed by the tail
  • retained shed
  • illness
  • bullying from tankmates


While it can be alarming to witness leopard gecko tail loss, this is a natural defense mechanism that requires little intervention to heal. The tail will regrow on its own, although the new one won’t look the same as the original.

You can apply a disinfectant like betadine or triple antibiotic ointment to the stump, and replace any loose substrate in their tank with paper towels. If the stump appears to get infected, take the gecko to the vet.

Losing the tail means that they lost a huge fat reserve, so they are vulnerable to illness until the tail has regrown. Feed your gecko more than usual for the next 2-4 weeks, including fatty foods like waxworms, butter worms, and pinky mice.


Looking for more information about leopard geckos?

  1. The Leopard Gecko Shopping List
  2. Terrarium Size & Lighting Considerations
  3. Temperature & Humidity Requirements
  4. Substrate Options
  5. What to Feed Your Leopard Gecko
  6. Handling Tips & Leopard Gecko Body Language
  7. Common Diseases, Illnesses & Other Health Questions