I have owned my leopard geckos since 2017, and have never had any issues with shed getting stuck on their toes, however I noticed that my female gecko had some white skin accumulating on one of her front toes.
Luckily there wasn’t much to remove, and I noticed it before too many subsequent sheds were able to accumulate and cause problems like her losing a toe.
However it looked like there were multiple layers of skin, which tells me that I regrettably missed the signs that she’d had a bad shed a month or two ago, and that perhaps her conditions were not adequate.
This is why it’s so important to check your geckos frequently – even if it is tough to get them to come out of their favourite spots.
I think the combination of warmer weather, a new routine brought on by their recent house move, and perhaps stress of moving house meant that she didn’t shed as efficiently as before.
Firstly I tried using shedding aid with a cotton bud/q-tip to peel back the skin, but with limited success – she wouldn’t stay still and I got impatient, so instead I filled a dish with warm, shallow water – just enough that her feet would be immersed. I put this shallow dish within a smooth-sided container in case she tried to escape.
Once she had soaked for a few minutes, I gradually managed to pick away the skin bit by bit with my finger nail and it came away pretty easily (see video below).
My fingernail ended up being more efficient than the cotton bud, and therefore less distressing for her, because I was more accurate with my attempts to peel back the skin. She eventually sat still and let me remove the remainder, and I managed to get all of this done in under 30 minutes.
Overall this was much less stressful than I imagined – it helped that I had the assistance of my sister, so if you’re struggling just having someone else gives you that extra confidence and another pair of hands. Thankfully there was not a great deal to remove, and I am just so glad that I caught it early.
I have written in more detail about shedding and other methods for removing shed, because a shallow water bath may not be appropriate for all geckos, particularly if the shed is stuck around their face: How to remove stuck shed from a leopard gecko