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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran Luvyna's Avatar
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    Can stress trigger shedding?

    I've had to move my BP twice to temporarily stay elsewhere (about a 1 hr drive away) and one thing I noticed was that every time I move to a new environment (or return to an old one) with my BP, he will go into shed within ~1-2 weeks of moving, even if it's only been 2 months since his last shed when he typically sheds every 3 months.

    When I first brought my BP home from the breeder he also went into shed within 2 weeks. I think I'm seeing a pattern now so I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed anything similar? I've heard stories about people finding snakes that were shipped to them in shed, or even mid-shed when they are removed from the box! I wonder if something about the process of moving or the stress involved triggers the snakes to go into shed.

    Other than the shedding, my BP behaves normally during these moves - he never refuses a meal and continues to hide in the day and come out to roam at night. The sheds are also nice, complete sheds that are all in one piece.

  2. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Maybe- like indirectly. Stress impacts their immune system, & if there's anything "going on" health-wise (parasites, minor injury, fighting an infection) I can see how that could maybe have some influence. Maybe he just wants a "fresh start" in your new place? More likely, this is just a coincidence & means nothing- they don't shed at perfect intervals, they don't grow at the same precise rate all the time either, any more than we do.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  4. #3
    rhac wrangler mlededee's Avatar
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    I am not sure if it is a documented phenomenon, but yes, in my experience stress can absolutely trigger a snake (or any reptile) to shed. And I think the stress associated with moving or shipping is a big trigger. Growth hormone levels are increased by stress, so it makes sense.
    - Emily


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  6. #4
    BPnet Veteran Luvyna's Avatar
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    Thank you both for the input! I also wondered if the shedding was a coincidence but it's just happened the same way a few times now so I feel like it's a pattern. I wish there was more research about snakes, even though they are kept as pets it seems like there is still so much we don't know about them and even though lots of people have anecdotes it's hard to find info about them that is confirmed scientifically.

  7. #5
    Registered User Erie_herps's Avatar
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    I know it's not snakes but I have 9 leopard geckos and I notice that more often than not when one sheds the others shed within that week.

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