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  1. #81
    Registered User Shadows Valkyrie's Avatar
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    RE: The Shedding Process

    Thank you for posting. I've been a lover of snakes for quite a few years but have just recently aquired my first, a baby ball python. Mine is shedding right now and its my first experience with it. Again, thank you. Very informative!

  2. #82
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    Re: The Shedding Process

    Very informative post for beginners like me. Thanks

  3. #83
    Registered User NR178's Avatar
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    Thanks this was very helpfull.

  4. #84
    Registered User Dante's_Girl's Avatar
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    Re: The Shedding Process

    Thank you so much for this artical! I am a very new BP owner, and I'm pretty sure my bp is getting ready to shed, and this has been extremely helpful and insightful!

  5. #85
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    Re: The Shedding Process

    Thank you Daniel. Very informative post.

  6. #86
    Registered User Jaxx's Avatar
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    That was an excellent article, very descriptive and informative. I thank you greatly as I am a new owner and am in the blue eye portion of the shed with my baby right now. I feel much better about the whole thing after reading this article. Thanks again.
    1.0.0 - Harlequin Crested Gecko. (Crestopher). 20G enclosure
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  7. #87
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    Oh thank god cloaca bleeding is normal. I was soo worried there for a minute. Whew.
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  8. #88
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    So I am having a slight problem with Scrambles.
    It has been about 3-4 days since eyes de-clouded, and he still has not shed.
    He is very wrinkly at the moment.

    I figure this is due to a lack of humidity, I try to keep it up by spraying around his hide, making the log and aspen bedding wet, but I am worried it isn't enough.

    Any tips on how to keep humidity at a good level in the tank?
    Is it worth investing in one of those Reptimed foggers?

    Side questions(don't want to clutter up the forums too much ):
    I currently have Scrambles in a 20gallon tank, at what point should I get a larger one?
    Any recommendations for vets in the Chicago (60035 zip) area?
    Corbins in Buffalo Grove closed, so I have been resorting to using Petsmart, anyone know of a better pet store in the area I could use?

  9. #89
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    Thumbs up Re: The Shedding Process

    Quote Originally Posted by daniel1983 View Post
    The Shedding Process
    By: Daniel Hill

    The process by which a reptile sheds its skin is called ecdysis. This process may last from 9-14 days depending on the reptile. Unlike lizards that generally shed in pieces, snakes will shed in one single piece if provided the proper conditions. A lot of first time ball python owners may panic at the signs of their snake's first shed because they do not know what is happening to their animal. In the following paragraphs, I will cover some of the main shedding topics and present pictures to help keepers get a visual image of what shedding looks like. I also have a short video clip of a yearling female ball python that I caught shedding.

    The process of shedding generally involves several steps. These steps will be outlined in the paragraphs and pictures below. I put times on these steps based on my visual observations and ball python records; however, the start of the shedding process may not be easily recognizable in some instances and the times may vary by a day or two. This is just a general guide and not a standard.

    Day 1-2: Dull skin with a slightly pink belly

    This step of the shedding process can vary from snake to snake. I have a few ball pythons that get the dull appearance but generally never show a pink belly; but, I have others that are dull with a very pink belly. Sometimes the ball python's eyes will become darker or dull in this step. Ball pythons get very shy during shedding time. It is not uncommon for ball pythons to remain in their hide throughout the entire process. The pictures below show the dull appearance and pink belly. Click on the pictures to enlarge.

    This young female ball python is just beginning the shedding process. She appears darker than normal and the dulling can really be seen in her side at the top left of the photo.

    This is the same female from above. Her belly has only a slight pink tint to it but the dull appearance is shown really well on her sides.

    The very beginning of the shedding process may be subtle in some ball pythons. This is the same female as in the above pictures.

    This is another female that is about to enter the next stage. Notice how her eyes have begun to get cloudy. This female also demonstrated a great example of 'pink belly'.

    This is a belly shot of the female above. In both pictures, a wrinkle of skin can be seen around her neck. I have noticed that skin winkles may sometimes show in shedding ball pythons. This may be the result of dehydration, so make sure that clean water and proper humidity are provided.

    Days 3-7: Opaque or In-blue

    This step of the shedding process is the most easily recognizable. The eyes turn a grey/blueish color and the skin becomes very dull and faded. This step is caused by fluid buildup between the new and old skin layers. At this stage of the shedding process, handling or feeding ball pythons is not a recommended action. The opaque eyes may cause the ball python to strike defensively at both you and the prey item. During this time, the ball python is visually impaired and can also become stressed due to excess activity. Imagine yourself being tossed around and having animals running around near you, but you can't see. That could be a stressful situation for any creature. Below are several pictures of my ball pythons in this step of the shedding process. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

    This is a normal female that has just become opaque. Her eyes are slightly blue and she is developing the faded appearance.

    This is the same female in the pictue above.

    This is another female that was angry with me for opening her enclosure. I was changing her water, but the movement around her caused her to get very defensive. She actually struck at me several times. This is one of the reasons that ball pythons should not be handled at this time.

    The same female as in the picture before. Like most ball pythons during shed, she is comforted by her hide and will remain there throughout the process.

    This is my het pied male in his opaque stage. He usually has a very strong color to him but it is very dull in this stage.

    This is a belly shot of the het pied male. His belly has a very pinkish look to it and the black pattern on the side of his belly appears to be blue. Again, I do not recommend handling during shed. I had to take him out because I tipped his water bowl over when I was filling it up (he struck at me and I bumped the side of the tub...LOL).

    Day 7-10: Clearing up

    During this stage of the shedding process, the opaqueness of the eyes clears up and the ball python is preparing to shed. The body will clear up slightly but may keep a dull appearance. At this point, it may be hard to recognize that your ball python is in shed. They generally look like they normally do, but slightly darker. I have never taken pictures of this step because it is not drastically different than normal. I will take some pics when a few of my girls get there this week.

    Day 10-12: Getting rid of the old skin

    This is the final stage of the shedding process. The 'sloughing' of the skin is generally a very quick process and it may take a new keeper a while before they witness the act. During this step, the ball python will rub its nose against the enclosure (or something in the enclosure) to loosen the skin. Once the skin has begun to 'peel off', the ball python will either use things in its environment like a water bowl or hide or simply pass over itself to pull the shed off. This is something that never gets boring to watch in my opinion. Also, if any problems occur with the shed this is generally the point where they become obvious. The pictures and video below show what happens in this process. Click on the pictures to view a larger image.

    This is a yearling female ball python caught in the act of shedding her skin. Notice the color difference between the section already shed and the section left to be shed.

    This is a closeup photo of the ball python above.

    This is a picture showing the during shed and after shed contrast of my normal male ball python.

    This is a 39 second video clip of the female ball python in the above pictures shedding. This clip can help someone that has not witnessed the act of shedding understand what takes place. Click on the link to view the video.

    This thread and clip was awesome! I've been searching the net for find out about my daughter's Ball Python's shedding process. You answered all my questions! Thank you!
    Last edited by Miss Beffy; 09-29-2011 at 02:23 PM. Reason: typo

  10. #90
    Registered User AZ_Equine's Avatar
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    I always assist when I notice my BP's skin ready to come off. He knows my scent as safe but because he can't see well if he doesn't have his skin off of his eyes yet I take my time and handle him gently.
    I soak him in the bathroom sink for about 10 minutes or more. His skin becomes soft from the water and comes off quite easily. I help some but mostly let him use me in his own time.

    It's harder to help with one hand holding the snake and the other holding the camera. I could have helped him more if I had the other hand free. Next time I will have my husband do the video...
    Last edited by AZ_Equine; 10-21-2011 at 11:41 AM. Reason: Trying to get video to embed- can't get it to work

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to AZ_Equine For This Useful Post:

    Reakt20 (10-21-2011)

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