Preventing Stuck Sheds

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by Gem, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. Gem

    Gem Not so new Member

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    Hey all,
    This morning I had my first experience with a stuck shed.

    8 month old stimmi, never had problems shedding before but this time he had a bit about 5cms or so long stuck under his head and neck.

    No problems getting it off, just soaked him in warm water for about ten minutes and it came off easily with a damp cloth. I'm glad he is a very tolerant individual : )

    But I was just wondering what may have caused this?

    Usually when I notice initial shedding signs I increase the humidity in their containers usually by adding a warm damp sponge but I didn't do it this time until later in the cycle because another snake I have shed without it a couple of weeks ago so I started to wonder if it was unnecessary.

    What would everyone recommend? Is there anything I should be doing or should I just not change anything yet since this was a first time thing.

    Thanks guys
     
  2. kittycat17

    kittycat17 Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'll be honest I don't do anything while my guys are in shed, I just make sure there water bowls are full and that's it, I completely leave them alone. :)


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  3. kittycat17

    kittycat17 Subscriber Subscriber

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    Do they have water bowls large enough to soak in?
    My guys do so maybe that's the difference?


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  4. Gem

    Gem Not so new Member

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    Thanks for the reply KC
    Yes they do have large water bowls, this little guy isn't much of a soaker though :)
    It is just strange that he has never had an issue before, I haven't changed anything at all but he suddenly had a stuck shed.
    Snake children like to keep you on your toes hehe
     
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  5. kittycat17

    kittycat17 Subscriber Subscriber

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    Sometimes it does happen, I find more with the younger ones
    Kinda like the adult snakes have it sorted out but the babies are still learning hahaaa

    It could be the change in temp? Or something slightly changed in the environment it's hard to say


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  6. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    My spotted's first ever shed in my care was a total shambles, none of it got stuck to her but it was far from being in 1 piece... It's caused by a lack of humidity. So, I turned to Youtube and found this video - I copied the technique and the following 3 sheds have been perfect. Both my Spotted and Stimsons use their humid hides regularly. Too easy.
     
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  7. Nero Egernia

    Nero Egernia Subscriber Subscriber

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    A shed skin that fails to come off in one piece doesn't necessarily mean that the humidity is too low. Sometimes the old skin will snag on a rough surface, such as a branch, and tear. So long as it all comes off there's nothing to worry about. I don't think I've ever seen a perfect shed in the wild.
     
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  8. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    That' is true however in a click clack setup with a water dish and paper towel there was little for my snake's skin to snag on and my spotted never once has soaked in its water dish but will use the humid hide filled with damp moss on the warm end of the tub readily. Since providing a humid hide in the same setup (for my spotted - which I've read several times on here are notorious for being problem shedders) and observing the snakes, (spotted and Stimsons) using them pre-shed, my sheds have been perfect. I have also found several intact 6+ ft sheds from carpet pythons in the wild on my parent's property, always amongst tussock grass and on mornings after rain during the night or a really heavy dew when the humidity is 90+% My kids took them to school for show and tell. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  9. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a problem with people using humidity hides and can see that they can be of some use but in all reality if an enclosure (or for that matter a click clack) is set up correctly snakes should have no problems shedding (sloughing). I've literally kept or cared for thousands of snakes of many different species throughout my life and never used a humidity hide. Up until a couple of years ago such things were never around. Sure there has been the odd number of occasions when sheds haven't come off whole and in these situations I've just soaked the snakes in water along with a camomile tea bag with excellent results.

    As I've mentioned in previous threads the process of shedding is called ecdysis and improper shedding is referred to as dysecdysis. It can be a result of stress, malnutrition, parasites, metabolic irregularities, injury, disease, infections and viruses but more often as a result of providing a less than favourable environment for the snake (e.g - dry substrate, no suitable rough cage furnishings, too hot or too cold, insufficient diet. insufficient fluids). Providing humidity relative to the species kept is important but, unlike what some people seem to think, only plays a small role in softening the snake's skin to help with shedding. It is more to assists the snake with maintaining sufficient levels of hydration. The main cause of the softening of the skin is due to the naturally occurring process of fluid build up between the old and new skin which is designed to assist the old skin to separate from the new and allow the old skin to be removed easily, so it's more relevant for a snake's health to be well hydrated.

    I've also come across many, many complete sloughs (large and small) in the field that have been that perfect I could easily identify the species. In the wild snakes will seek out micro areas within their habitat that provides a suitable level of humidity to maintain hydration but I don't think snakes necessarily wait for the overall relative humidity to be right or need the assistance of wet or damp conditions to shed their skin. I've found complete fresh sheds in some very dry areas and others at times during exceptionally dry periods. When it's time to come off, it has to come off regardless of weather conditions.

    Cheers,

    GW.
     
  10. Nero Egernia

    Nero Egernia Subscriber Subscriber

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    Perhaps it's simply bad luck on my part. As a kid we would occasionally see old carpet python skins in the shearing sheds and around the sheep yards. I remember I was always disappointed that none of them were perfect as I wanted to keep them. Did see a couple of what I believe were Tiger Snakes skins as well but they weren't perfect either.
     
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  11. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    It's been our experience that antaresias have more imperfect sheds than other pythons. Even in a click clack setup, you can put a small rock to assist shedding.
     
  12. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    The largest intact skin I ever found was from an 7-8ft carpet python and I found it one morning laying across the ceiling beams in our horse stable... I would have only been 12-13 years old and I remember dad saying to me... "the scary thing is the snake that came out of that is even bigger now." Serious question, when a snake sheds, how much growth are we talking exactly, length wise?? I can't imagine it would be more than a cm or so??

    This is what I have found and with the only variable being the addition of a humid hide, which corrected the problem, it's hard to refute that humidity plays a substantial part in the process, for children's pythons anyway. I can easily leave the humid hides out for the next sheds and see if they are perfect still or in 37 pieces like they were prior to me using the humid hides. Pretty sure I already know the result though.
     
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  13. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    Well a snake shed stretches, so the snake would be smaller than that shed for quite a while :p sorry to burst the memories.
     
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  14. RickB

    RickB Not so new Member

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    My Coastal female has a few scales still stuck to her after her last shed, happened Sunday 18 feb. Tried putting in a click clack with a hand towel I had soaked in warm water for about 40 minutes. When I got her out there was no real change to the stuck scales. Will try again tomorrow with Cammomile tea in warm water bath, just need to get the Cammomile tea at the local shops.
     
  15. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller

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    Cammomile tea????
    Really. What on earth is that going to do?
     
  16. Scutellatus

    Scutellatus Well-Known Member

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    It is used as a skin softener in alternative beauty therapies. Whether or not a snakes skin will benefit from it I am not sure. It can't hurt to try though.
     
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  17. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    Hi PP,

    My wife and have been using it for years if and when the need arises. We were told about it by an old herp friend years ago. It just seems to soften the shed (especially if it's really dried out) and allows it to come off very easily.

    Cheers,

    George.
     
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  18. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    Good stuff that chamomile tea. It also calms our dog when he gets anxious or upset. A weak brew mixed into his water bowl does the trick.
     
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  19. Foozil

    Foozil Well-Known Member

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    Well you learn something new every day. :) Had no idea tea could to that!
     
  20. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller

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    Thanks for that George.
    Do we know/understand why this helps specifically? Is it a specific chemical in this particular tea or would say green tea do the same thing?

    I was advised by a very well known vet to use Sorbolene many years ago which is my go to.
     

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