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Old 08-19-2006, 12:42 PM   #1
stuck shed

Hello all,

I just recieved some ball pythons that have stuck shed. Thankfully they have no retained eye caps, mainly on the top of the head that i have not been able to remove via soaking. There was some shed stuck to the back of one, which came off in a few minutes in a warm bath.
Should i just let nature take it's course and it will come off in the next shed? How long is safe to soak them? Humidity is normal, should i raise it for the time being? the last thing i want to put these poor things through is a URI.

Old 08-19-2006, 01:18 PM   #2
Ed Clark
Sara, Hello. Repeated soakings in luke warm water will do the trick. Just dont leave them in long enought for the water to cool down. I like to soak maybe 15-20 minutes. If there is some small areas of stuck shed that you don't want to peel off by hand, Just rub some mineral oil on it and it will fall off by itself. Good luck , ED CLARK
Old 08-19-2006, 01:37 PM   #3

If your not able to get it all off,would it be detrimental to leave bits of it on till next shed?
Will it make the next shed difficult?
Old 08-19-2006, 01:53 PM   #4
Ed Clark
Chris, Its much better to remove all of the old shed. Like i said if there are small areas of stuck shed , just use a little mineral oil and it will fall off by itself. Always check to see that the eye caps are in the shed that just came off also.

I would like to add, That poor shedding is normally the result of no or low humidity. If you keep your snakes on paper you will have shedding problems if you don't add a little water to the cage every week. If you use aspen or cypress just add about a half a cup of water to the substrate every week. Hope this is helpful to you.
Old 08-19-2006, 05:22 PM   #5
thanks, it's coming off bit by bit. They are just so tiny, i'm afraid i'll hurt them!
Old 08-19-2006, 09:00 PM   #6
Agreed - poor shedding is usually the result of low humidity...but there are too many variables to make the overgeneralization that if you use paper (or any other substrate) you will have shedding problems.

A word about the mineral oil - if you choose to use it, do so very sparingly. Once upon a time, wiping the snake down with mineral oil was a "recommended" way of getting rid of mites...I tried it once and was cleaning up shed scales for weeks.

Another thing you can try with the stubborn sheds is to put the snake in a small container or sack with a damp washcloth or towel (for best results, do this after soaking)
Old 08-20-2006, 12:48 AM   #7
Question. Now I read this about Corn Snakes but...well I read that wet substrate can cause skin blisters. I'm sure thats true. Are you going to tell me DAMP not wet??
Old 08-20-2006, 02:21 AM   #8
Kristin, I'm not really sure what you are asking.
Too wet and/or dirty conditions can cause blisters (over time)...doesn't matter if it is a cornsnake, BP, or ATB.
Regarding my reference above to putting in a damp towel to help with a problematic shed - wet the towel with tepid water, wring dry. Good enough. Can the towel be wetter - say, dripping wet - sure, but that just means more water in the container. Leaving a snake in "wet" conditions overnite will not cause blisters
Old 08-20-2006, 09:15 AM   #9
I've always had the best luck removing stuck shed by soaking them in the warm water, and then letting them slide through my towel-covered hands. The soak loosens the shed, and the roughness of the terry cloth seems to be just enough to slough off the shed that doesn't want to come off. If they have a lot of it, you may need to do it a couple of times, but it's usually quite successful the first time. Watch to see that the eyecaps come off as well.

Kristin, wet substrate of any kind can and will cause blisters over time, as Harald said. But if you have a problem keeping your humidity up, lightly misting the substrate a couple of times a week will help to keep the humidity up where it needs to be. You don't want it soaking wet, no.
Old 08-20-2006, 06:08 PM   #10
thanks all for the great info!

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