Please help! Tail dropped during shipping!

I just received my boy from FedEx and he’s dropped his tail during shipping!! This is my first leopard gecko and first reptile, and I don’t know what to do! I guess he’s ok but I can’t tell really. I put him in his enclosure to relax and put paper towel over the substrate. Now what do I do? Should I try to immediately feed him? Any help much appreciated. I could honestly cry.

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First thing I would clean the area with betadine (povidone iodine) than I would apply some triple antibiotic ointment (without pain killer) and let it heal.

I would also let the breeder know so the breeder is aware of the issue.


Best to do what Deb stated above. Though I would like to add that the container it was shipped in seems rather small for a lizard that size. It doesn’t seem they have really any room to move, and that may be part of the reason for a dropped tail. I would imagine the inability to move well would stress it out quite a lot. Also, I would recommend taking the substrate in your enclosure out and replacing it with paper towels all together until it heals up.


If I were you I most certainly would not be happy that the breeder supplied that container for shipping. I f he is a member than please feel free to back yourself but this container is inadequate for a LG to go through the mail.

Dont worry though buddy, the tail will sort it self out, it won’t be the same as the original but it will do the job of storing fat.

The other comments are right. Iodine should be fine but a mild topical antibiotic wouldn’t hurt.

Good luck with your little guy :+1:


Yes it’s a seller here. I don’t think I’d be given any kind of compensation for a too small container. What about feeding? He’s 1 1/2 years old. What’s protocol for a dropped tail?

That is a shame

When I kept LGs and I had quite a few only 2 of them lost their tale, and like the previous comments I just gently applied some tamodine, which is a iodine based wound cleanser suitable for reptiles and waited. The tail will never look as good as the original but your gecko will be absolutely fine buddy.

I’m just very surprised to see a LG shopped like that… the container has a conical bowl shape and a little to small for shipping an animal which is prone to dropping its tail. I would avoid this breeder in the future for sure. If you need any more advice just use this community, nobody here would steer you in the wrong direction.

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Sorry, feeding, I missed that :rofl:. Just feed as you would of normally, what ever you were going to feed but it wouldn’t hurt to offer for a short time during healing a higher fat worm like supers, giant meal worms or if you can get them butter worms but only feed butter worms until the tail is healed (to much fat).
Good luck buddy.

You have a certain amount of days where you can go edit your review. I would definitely recommend that. Don’t be nasty but be truthful. People should be aware of your experience.


100% crawd. Keep it professional but you may mention that it’s not just you that thinks the container was unsuitable. Any breeder worth his or her salt would give some form of compensation, maybe not a full refund but an offering… even if you dont take it.

Take care of that little fella, I’m sure he will give you years of enjoyment buddy.


I’m concerned about it healing. It’s been 4 days, and the right side looks pink and nice but the left is red and looks like clotted blood? No evidence of blood in his enclosure, paper towel substrate, but when it dropped I could tell it bled some. He peed/pooped in the cup he shipped in and then crawled around in it. So I’m concerned that he aggravated the stump in shipping which caused the blood clot look, and then it possibly got urine in it too. I put a dab of neosporin on it but i couldn’t do much because he doesn’t know me and does not want anything to do with being held/picked up right now. Is it just not pink on both sides because of some kind of trauma to the stub during shipping (i think he dropped it early on then got knocked around?) . Anyway, long story short, is it ok if it looks red not pink? It seems like it’s healing really slowly. Maybe it just heals slow? But 4 days going into 5 this morning and no scabbing or anything, pretty much the same as when he arrived.

It can take over 60 days to heal, so if you don’t see any noticeable improvements I wouldn’t worry too much. If you’re worried about the tail getting infected then it might be a good idea to take him to the vet. As for handling it might be a good idea to be around his enclosure so he can observe you and know that you’re not a threat, then you could put your hand in his enclosure so he knows it isn’t a threat, doing that he might be better about handling. I would assume that if it’s red this early on it wouldn’t be a problem but I’m not sure.

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does this look ok? First reptile, first gecko so i have no clue.

It’s what you can expect from an animal that loses it’s tail, what it need is a minimalist enclosure (small tub) with paper towel as substrate, one hide, one moist hide and minimum interaction except for maintenance.


Stewart is absolutely spot on, low or no holding for the time being, keep in mind your hands are a breeding ground for bacterium, steph A mainly and your little guy doesn’t need that with an open wound. Keeping the substrate simple and clinical for the time being is also important. Regular cleaning of his habitat with a safe reptile bacteria and viralcide is important.

I know it a headache for a new keeper but for the time being it is important for a decent heal.

Hope you are well.

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How’s he doing now?

He’ll live, he’s biologically built for this circumstance, he’ll grow a new tail. It won’t be pretty tho…

Prettiness is in the eye of the beholder. I don’t think it’s called for to disparage the future appearance of someone else’s pet.


That is the correct answer.