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  1. #1
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    Stuck shed or part of the process?

    Noticed blue eyes on my ball python on September 10th and since I have a lamp heater, I made a humidity box on the 12th with wet moss (no noticeable shed yet). I put my python in it and she crawled out of it shortly after but I left it in there, figuring she knew where it was and could regulate her own humidity if/when she needs it.

    On the 14th I thought she had shed completely because there was old skin outside the hide. But then I removed the hide and saw she was in active shed, with skin peeling all over. Fast forward to yesterday (the 17th) and I take a look at her and really think she's done shedding and tried to feed her (first time transition to f/t) and she didn't take it at all, but I noticed there's still some shed close to her head.

    Pictures attached, including how much skin I've collected (sidenote, I had my son handle her a little just now for the longest he has and she uncurled on her own but then was in this striking pose, and actually tried to strike my other son who was moving his legs nearby. If they get in this position while handling, should I return them to their cage immediately or is it not a big deal?).

    Is this a stuck shed? Do I need to do anything about it? I took out the humidity box a few days ago because honestly didn't think she was using it but can put it back.



  2. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Stuck shed or part of the process?

    Quote Originally Posted by MedicalAuthor View Post
    Noticed blue eyes on my ball python on September 10th and since I have a lamp heater, I made a humidity box on the 12th with wet moss (no noticeable shed yet). I put my python in it and she crawled out of it shortly after but I left it in there, figuring she knew where it was and could regulate her own humidity if/when she needs it.

    On the 14th I thought she had shed completely because there was old skin outside the hide. But then I removed the hide and saw she was in active shed, with skin peeling all over. Fast forward to yesterday (the 17th) and I take a look at her and really think she's done shedding and tried to feed her (first time transition to f/t) and she didn't take it at all, but I noticed there's still some shed close to her head.

    Pictures attached, including how much skin I've collected (sidenote, I had my son handle her a little just now for the longest he has and she uncurled on her own but then was in this striking pose, and actually tried to strike my other son who was moving his legs nearby. If they get in this position while handling, should I return them to their cage immediately or is it not a big deal?).

    Is this a stuck shed? Do I need to do anything about it? I took out the humidity box a few days ago because honestly didn't think she was using it but can put it back.


    She most likely didn't eat because she still perceives that her shed isn't complete. Personally, I'd help her remove it (give her a soak or put her in a very damp pillowcase for a while, etc.), then give her a couple days to chill out before offering food- or wait until she's acting hungry (as if waiting to ambush prey in the evening).

    Sounds like too much was going on when you all tried to handle her, & she felt threatened. Snakes are not "trainable" the way other pets are, so putting them back in their cage when they're stressed out is probably the best way to handle that (it's not "rewarding them for bad behavior"), unless you're good at calming them down while handling them, or don't mind risking a bite.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Albert Clark (09-27-2022),Homebody (09-19-2022)

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    Thinking of using the method below in the Youtube video. Any objections?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7xOHVMvrPo

    Basically

    • Place BP in cotton pillowcase
    • Close off end
    • Spray pillowcase until it's nice and damp
    • Put in warm end of enclosure
    • Take out after 20 minutes
    • Help off any remaining shed

  5. #4
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Sounds okay, except I wouldn't put in the warmest location- we mostly all do some variations of the above- do what works & whatever you're comfortable with.

    The warmest location might be too warm with no escape from the pillowcase- I assume the idea is that the snake will be more mobile if warm enough, & obviously you don't want them cold, either, but just bear in mind that heat tends to "help" the dried-on shed to stay put. I'd suggest midway as far as ambient temps.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  7. #5
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    Tried the pillowcase method. First time the snake stayed balled up the whole time. Stretched the time by waiting 30 minutes. Once I took him out he was active around the enclosure, though. I tried to see if I could rub some of the head shed off but it felt like I was pulling at attached skin/scales.

    I gave it a few minutes and tried in the pillowcase again. This time I could see snake moving around inside. Still, after the stuck shed is still there (see below).

    It looks like the rest of the body shed fine. What next?


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    I was thinking this method might not work, since the snake doesn't make enough contact with the top of his head or neck to the damp fabric. If that was my snake, I'd cuddle him on my lap for a while & either keep misting the top of his head/neck, or see if I could sneak a little wet piece of cloth-paper towel-or makeup sponge pad onto the area(s) for a while, then manually peel it off. But that's me- I'm a "butt-insky" type, partly because in my experience, time only makes shed skin stick on harder with possible damage to the good skin underneath. So I help. Your call though. I think some members are in the "wait & see" camp too?

    FYI- the head/eye caps/neck & tail tips are the areas snakes have the most trouble with, & when they fail to shed all at once, they often need help to get these areas done. When it works as it's supposed to, they rub their face around the jaws, peeling back the top of the head, & the chin goes back underneath, & they slowly slide forward while the old skin ends up inside out..."when it works". In the wild, snakes have a lot more abrasive things around to rub against.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 09-20-2022 at 01:09 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  11. #7
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    What's the risk of 'wait and see?' I ask because Viper hasn't eaten for about 3 weeks now (eating weekly before that so I know it's not dire yet but she's young and I hear they are hungry after a shed) and last night I saw her watching the entrance of her hide. She usually doesn't do this and I recently read this is a sign they are hungry because they are watching for prey. So I'm wondering if she may be open to eating now, despite the incomplete shed. She had refused f/t food (my first time attempting non-live prey) this past weekend.

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    Albert Clark (09-26-2022)

  13. #8
    BPnet Senior Member Albert Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Stuck shed or part of the process?

    Quote Originally Posted by MedicalAuthor View Post
    What's the risk of 'wait and see?' I ask because Viper hasn't eaten for about 3 weeks now (eating weekly before that so I know it's not dire yet but she's young and I hear they are hungry after a shed) and last night I saw her watching the entrance of her hide. She usually doesn't do this and I recently read this is a sign they are hungry because they are watching for prey. So I'm wondering if she may be open to eating now, despite the incomplete shed. She had refused f/t food (my first time attempting non-live prey) this past weekend.
    He/ she looks very healthy and I wouldn’t be too concerned about missing a couple of meals. The reptile is young and that’s typical ball python hatchling/ juvenile behavior for them to be afraid and get defensive quicker than a older, established ball python. They usually grow out of the defensive behaviors. Because the reptile is young, it should be feeding on a regular basis and not really missing more than a couple of meals. That is if you normally feed on a weekly basis. The shedding


    can be easily resolved going forward. There is a tweaking of the enclosure that needs to be done. All pretty minor adjustments and you will be fine.
    Last edited by Albert Clark; 09-26-2022 at 08:47 PM.
    Stay in peace and not pieces.

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