If you own a pet snake, shedding is just a normal part of her life. Snakes in good physical condition typically shed their skin with ease. Many of them shed often, too, especially if they're youngsters and developing rapidly. If you suspect that your snake might be having difficulties with shedding, you can do several things to make the process go smoother.
Shedding the Right Way
When snakes are in glowing health, shedding is usually a piece of cake. Their skin usually falls off their body neatly and intact -- not in many tiny segments. Normal shedding in snakes is known as ecdysis. Not all snakes have it that easy, however. When shedding in snakes is rather messy and taxing, it's known as dysecdysis. A lot of different factors can trigger dysecdysis in snakes, notably issues with their surroundings. Insufficient moisture in the air is one common issue that frequently leads to shedding problems.
Shedding Snakes and Baths
Pay close attention to your snake during the shedding process. If she's shedding messily or you see that remnants of skin are clinging onto her body, you might be able to assist her. Put a basin with warm water inside of her enclosure. The basin needs to be big enough to comfortably accommodate your pet. It also needs to have sufficient water to coat your snake's physique, but only narrowly. Carefully look over your snake the entire time she's in the bath. Once you take her out of the bath after roughly 30 minutes, look at her closely. If you still spot bits of skin clinging to her, consult a reptile veterinarian immediately.
The bath route isn't the only way you can help your shedding snake. You can also try putting something with a coarse texture in her living environment. Tree branches and stones often do the trick. If your snake can massage her body against something rather uneven, it might help her skin come off easier. If your snake is shedding, you might see her doing a lot of pressing up against things. They do this mostly with their heads and noses.
Other Shedding Considerations
Try to make shedding in the future as simple as possible for your snake by acknowledging possible problematic factors. Inadequate humidity isn't the only thing that can bring upon shedding woes in snakes. Other common factors include health issues such as tumors, improper diet and parasites. Extreme frustration and anxiety can also frequently lead to problems shedding. Lifestyle tweaks and veterinary care and management often can go a long way in making shedding straightforward and effortless for snakes. If you think that your snake's shedding might be related to a health problem, get her to a vet as soon as possible.
- Snakes; Sonia Hernandez-Divers
- Corn Snakes; R.D. Bartlett and Patricia Bartlett
- Corn Snakes and Other Rat Snakes; Richard D. Bartlett and Patricia Pope Bartlett
- Snakes; Richard D. Bartlett and Patricia Pope Bartlett
- What's Wrong With My Snake?; John Rossi and Roxanne Rossi
- Venomous Snakes; Cynthia Berger
- Becoming Best Friends With Your Iguana, Snake or Turtle; Bill Gutman
- The Center for Bird & Exotic Animal Medicine: Shedding (Ecdysis)
- NA/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images