Leopard gecko split tail during shipping- advice please!

The seller reached out to me after he saw my feedback and we had a discussion about it. He claims that he has better results with smaller containers so they feel more secure. I believe that to be true to a certain extent, but I think he pushed the limit this time. He wouldn’t agree to that though. He refunded me the cost even though I did not ask or want that. I am going to put that money back into her 40 gallon enclosure that will be ready for her once her tail is healed. It still doesn’t sit well with me but the gecko is absolutely amazing and I’m so glad I have her.

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Decent of him to do that!
Now you can make her home extra special!
Hopefully it reattached like @mblaney’s!
How is she getting on? Anymore pics of her? :blush:

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Yes exactly. I’m so excited to build out her enclosure! I don’t have any updated pics, but I will post them when I can get some. She has been hiding a lot and I’ve been leaving her alone so that I don’t put anymore stress on her. I have been offering her worms on the tongs in her hide every day and just got her to take a couple so things are looking good. Tail is still attached and the tissue looks like it’s healing. No signs of necrosis or anything yet but I am keeping an eye on it.

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Foremost, you should have notified the shipper the moment you were aware of the issue.
Secondly, I don’t currently do geckos and but did in the 90’s and yes, I’m an old timer .
Also, MOST gecko breeders ship in deli cups v. a snake bag . While most snakes don’t mind and some actually prefer it, being confined into a small, tight area, lizards get stressed and this can result. The problem here was most likely limited to the size, that container is FAR too small for that girl. If he can and you want such, he should replace it with a flawless animal. Even if things work out just fine, you should mention your experience when you do the review.

GOOD LUCK,
Jim Rolstad
Chams, Beardies & Balls

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From what I understand the seller already gave a refund from the purchase to make up for the injury to the animal. Replacing would mean shipping an already injured animal back to the seller, so it definitely isn’t a good plan.

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Yes I did contact the seller right away. He did refund the cost of the animal to make up for the injury. I’m not concerned with a flawless animal… she is a retired breeder and I got her to give her a good pet home. I am happy to have her, I’m just not happy that his shipping methods injured/ stressed her.

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Update on the tail. I got a good look at it today. It’s like 70% reattached. She has been laying pretty coiled up most of the time where it’s pushing both split pieces together. It’s fused like a cut would. Even when she walks and the tail sways side to side it didn’t come apart so who knows. If she manages to keep this tail somehow and it heals I think this will shed light on the tail dropping process. Ripping a tail is not the same reaction on the body as them choosing to drop it.

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It was the same action as dropping a tail except it wasn’t entirely dropped. It might be evolved to reattach if it’s in some contact (ie. still partially attached).

Yay! She’s one of a kind!
Well 2 of a kind! Thank goodness for her :blush:
Have you named her yet? :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Haha yeah I named her Stevie because according to her write up she doesn’t like other females. Stevie was a character in the show Schitt’s Creek and she’s also antisocial.

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Love that Show!
Definitely a perfect name for her!:joy:

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I’m so happy she’s found such a loving home to retire in! I’m also glad to hear that it’s stayed on there so far- it sure would be cool if she was able to keep it & she also got one of the cute little bubbles my girl Lemmy has! But even if she drops it, it will be beautiful however it might grow back.

A lot of people don’t like how regrown tails look, but I think they are just as cool (though of course I would never ever purposefully cause a tail to separate unless medically necessary). I love how the colors swirl on regrown tails. My AFT has an adorable little regrown tail that looks just like a little soccer ball, it’s ridiculously cute.

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I totally agree! I don’t care at all if she regrows it she is big and beautiful either way! They do look cool and you never know how they will look. I will keep you updated with pics in the next week or so I should know the fate of her tail.

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Tail is still looking good, but now that I have been interacting with her I think she is blind or has very limited sight. She has to lick everything. She finds the entrance of her hide by bumping her head along the front of it. If I put worms on the ground in front if her she has no reaction, I have to hold it in front of her nose and then she will grab it. Does anyone have experience with this? I wonder if she will do well in a big enclosure or if the bin is better since it’s more straightforward.

It’s likely limited sight, sometimes my geckos won’t notice a feeder on the ground just because they aren’t paying attention. When I hold it up to them and put it back on the ground with them watching they’ll chase it. If she has trouble navigating I would make sure there isn’t anything sharp and not change the layout of the enclosure so she doesn’t have to re-figure it out. It would likely be best to feed out of a dish most of the time unless she’s able to chase and catch food. In this case I would say the smaller is better, too big of an enclosure can mean trouble finding food, water, and heat. Even for a healthy gecko.

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Yeah I’m always surprised how not with it my crested geckos and leopard geckos are in general haha like how often they miss whatever they are going after, or how long it takes them to hunt something down, but this is different. I would agree it’s probably limited sight. I think shadows catch her eye if I’m overhead. I was going to build out a 40 gallon for her because I have one on hand and because she is huge, but maybe a 20 long will be more comfortable for her to navigate. Does anyone think keeping a super giant 110g Leo in a 20L is too small, even with her sight issues?

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I don’t think that a 20L is too small, given her size. I’ve had a couple leos that went blind, and here’s some stuff I did to try and help:

  • always use paper towel or other flat/even substrate.
  • don’t use any cage furniture that shifts at all when climbed on, stick with heavy furniture, but not so heavy that you are likely to drop it while cage cleaning.
  • sand the edges of everything to make them smooth. I bought a dremel for this, and after getting the big edges off, I sanded all edges by hand. You don’t want to make all edges round, since she will need some edges to start her skin shedding when she needs it.
  • do not vary the layout of the cage as much as you are able.
  • for mental stimulation (after she has gotten used to her new cage) you do want something in her cage other than hides and her food & water dishes. For that, I used things that were pet-safe & pretty small. For example, some smooth, round stones, too large to be ingested, sourced from stones they sell for aquariums in pet stores. I would only add one piece of environmental enrichment at a time, keep it clear from the main paths she takes around her cage, and don’t change it out as often as you would for a sighted gecko.
  • I’m not sure what you use for a humid hide, but don’t use one that she would need to climb to access. For my blind geckos I use those houses with the clay water reservoirs on top, that can just be walked into like a normal hide.

Once you get to know her & how she navigates, it’s possible you could house her in a 40 gallon, but I wouldn’t start there. I would only consider it if she seems to adapt very smoothly to any and all changes. I do think it might be a better idea to stick with a 20L

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Thanks for all of the info! I had her in a sweater bin for quarantine, but it was the equivalent of a 40 gallon floor space wise. I could see she was getting nervous navigating all the open space between the warm and cool side. I moved her to a 20 gallon one and kept the layout the same it’s just more compact now. She already walked the enclosure and slowly navigated it by bumping into things and licking. So I think this is much more manageable. There are no sharp edges in the enclosure and her hide is a Tupperware with the entrance on the side so nothing tricky there. She’s comes in and out of her three hides easily. I attached a picture or her tail she seems to be healing great. It’s almost completely closed now. I can’t believe that is only one week of healing!

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That’s great, both that she’s navigating good and the tail’s mostly healed.

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I’ve never owned a leopard gecko, so nothing useful to contribute, just wanted to say I’ve been following this post hoping to see an update on the tail and am happy to see it looking so good!

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