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  1. #1
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Stuck shed - tail tip

    All - I am trying to find solutions for a friend whose young Carpet Python has a ring of stuck shed around her tail. It's quite tight, and so far is not responding to warm water soaks or applications of a drop or two of oil. It just isn't budging at all. The tail tip and area around the shed still look normal, but the constriction is noticeable.

    Obviously she is concerned about the tail tip losing circulation - I don't have any solutions other than the ones she has already tried. Are there any solutions you can think of, or is it time for veterinary assistance?

    Last edited by Caitlin; 03-28-2021 at 08:32 PM.
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    BPnet Senior Member jmcrook's Avatar
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    Stuck shed - tail tip

    I havenít had to deal with stuck tail sheds in some time, but an edge of a thumbnail to help free a bit of shed after soaking used to work for me. Obviously as gently as possible especially with a small snake. Canít tell the severity at all based on that picture


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by jmcrook; 03-28-2021 at 08:38 PM.

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  4. #3
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Thanks, and yes, it is hard to see in that photo, sorry! The ring of shed goes completely around the tail. Both my friend and I have veterinary medical experience and steady hands so I think we may try to have one of us hold the snake while the other tries to get an edge of the stuck shed with the tip of a 20-gauge needle.

    But I'm not sure even that will work. That ring is tight. Any other suggestions are very welcome.
    1.0 Jungle Carpet Python 'Ziggy'
    0.1 Brazilian Rainbow Boa 'Mara'
    1.1 Tarahumara Mountain Boas 'Paco' and 'Frida'
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  5. #4
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Stuck shed - tail tip

    How long did you soak the snake and tail?

    Figment - my male corn, had a similar issue. I soaked him for a few hours and it came off, but so did the scales at the tip of his tail exposing the bone (1mm worth or so). I put neosporin (original without the pain killing agent that can be deadly to snakes) on it and it healed up quickly without getting infected.

    After the long soak (which you might want to do on multiple occasions over several days) you can also try putting the CP in a small container full of moist and warm - not hot - paper towels and see if she can rub it off herself. If all that fails, I would go the route you were talking and/or a vet.

    Below is the post on Figment's tail. I felt terrible, as I should have caught it earlier, but he seems no worse for the wear. I think the big issue is if the snake loses scales and/or has circulation issues, make sure it doesn't get infected for the former and probably need to see a vet for the latter.

    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...rn-Baby/page11

    I will add that he's had issues since then with his tail and I have to help with most sheds. Doesn't matter how high I make humidity etc. That's an ongoing problem for him. Shed comes off perfect everywhere else and then I help with that little bit. He's pretty cool about it which helps.

    I know I am preaching to the choir here, but wanted to point out a) that I've been there and b) the longer you can soak the better.

    Keep us posted.
    Last edited by dakski; 03-28-2021 at 09:31 PM.

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  7. #5
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I agree with dakski, you probably just need a longer "soak", which can also be in a very wet towel in lieu of shallow water, for example. But it can take a couple hours- & whatever it takes, it may already be too late for this tail tip.

    This isn't the best use of a vet's time (or your $), since it's not something you can rush, & I can't think of anything they might do differently. It goes without saying to be careful using a needle! With a long soak, you shouldn't need it anyway. All I've ever used besides water (to soak) is my short fingernail.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 03-28-2021 at 09:57 PM.
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  9. #6
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Stuck shed - tail tip

    I don't know what it is with the snakes in the 4X2' stack! Yafe shed today and looks great, except I had to help him with the very tip of his tail! He's above Solana and Figment (the corns). Both need help in one way or another most sheds regardless of how humid. I guess Yafe is joining the party. Only Shayna (BP) seems to have perfect sheds every time.

    Anyway, a quick soak and Yafe is good as new.

    My point for posting this is that it can happen.

  10. #7
    BPnet Royalty Zincubus's Avatar
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    Stuck shed - tail tip

    Iíve had this issue a few times over the years and itís was solved easily each time ..

    All cases are slightly different of course but I just got a very damp , rough textured towel and let the continuously slither through it then when it gets to the tail part just apply very , very gentle pressure to that region.. after 5 or 6 times it will have rubbed off gently on the towel .. never fails in my experience.


    This method also works well with retained eye-caps and of course with stubborn, stuck skin/shed .

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Zincubus; 03-29-2021 at 02:16 PM.




  11. #8
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Stuck tail tips are way more common in snakes with skinny tails, like colubrids, than in BPs & boas- which makes sense, right?

    Also, some kinds of snakes have way thicker skin than other snakes do, &/or they have keeled scales. I never had to help any pituophis (bull & gopher snakes) shed, nor any rattlesnakes, because their scales are keeled (which makes them stronger) and their skin is substantially thicker to survive their active lifestyle on rough terrain, so it holds together better when it comes off. When you compare them to BPs & corn snakes, both of which feel silky smooth with flat scales, it's like comparing a farmer or cowboy's hands to those of an office worker or someone who always wears protective gloves to keep their hands soft & smooth.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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