Bathing a gecko heavily depends on the type of species you have – some geckos are from dry environments and they do not require regular bathe. Bathing is customized according to the type of gecko you have. Overbathing some species of geckos can make their skin sensitive and can lead to certain diseases.
Your gecko needs to be bathed when it has difficulty in shedding its skin. Bathe the gecko only when it is dirty. You must provide a shallow dish inside the enclosure to maintain humidity and to wet themselves whenever required.
The process of bathing a gecko:
Do not use any soap, as it can disturb the health of your gecko. To make your gecko feel comfortable, you may add a small amount of sphagnum moss to the water. If your gecko is suffering from shedding difficulty, soaking can help them; soaking will help to moisten and soften the skin.
After a good 30-minute soak, gently remove the dead skins using a pair of tweezers. Do not do this process when their skin is not soft, this will hurt your gecko. After consulting your veterinarian, you can also add mineral oil to the water. Mineral oil has the property of softening the skin, this can make the removing process easier.
If your gecko has an enduring fungal infection, then, under the guidance of their veterinarian, add betadine solution to water. This will help your gecko to get well sooner. Always use warm water to bathe your gecko. Avoid wetting the eyes of the gecko, this can dry their eyes.
Avoid scrubbing hard, it can tear off the gecko’s skin. In certain places, the shedding skin will be stuck to the new skin. Rub the gecko with your fingertips gently. Do not pluck the flakes of the dead skin of your gecko. Use a toothbrush to remove the dead skin.
Checking for Excess Shedding
Inspect for excess skin. Sometimes your gecko may not shed their skin entirely, those excess skin may still be stagnant in certain places. When this excess skin is around your gecko’s tail and toes it can cause problems to the gecko as these areas are prone to blood constriction.
If the problem goes untreated, your gecko might lose its toes or tail due to a lack of oxygen. Fortunately, its tail will grow back. However, the toes will be gone forever. If you notice a buildup, you may want to moisten your gecko’s skin to help the excess fall off.
Massaging the Gecko During Bath Time
Have a regular practice of massaging your gecko when giving it a bath. Wet your fingertips or Q tip in warm water and massage the built-up areas on the skin of the gecko. Rub the skin delicately, a harsh approach can tear the skin of the gecko.
Sugar Bath for Geckos
Your gecko requires a sugar bath when its hemipenis is prolapsed for more than 24 hours. Sometimes, following the mating, the hemipenis will not be withdrawn easily.
If the prolapsed hemipenis is infected or suffers from necrosis, add some sugar to the bathing water and allow it to dissolve. Follow this daily till it heals. You can also apply Vaseline to the tip of the hemipenis.
For impaction bathe, prepare the tub as usual and start massaging the gecko starting from the top to vent expect the throat. Soak the gecko for 5 minutes and continue massaging for 5 minutes. Do this several times till your gecko poops.
Time and Temperature of the Water
Soak your gecko for 10-15 minutes in the warm water, a tiny tub can be a great choice. The temperature of the water should not exceed 95°F
Geckos cannot swim, so make sure your gecko’s head is always above the water level. Geckos do not have a membrane around their ears, so if they drown the water will get inside their ears. Hold your gecko till the end of bathing.
Can I use Salt Water to Bathe my Gecko?
The salt content in the water is considerably small but it can affect small creatures like geckos. The increased sodium quantity can cause bloating and can lead to thirst. This is a type of impaction, which needs to be treated by the vet as soon as possible.