Stuck Shed

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by miki_k8, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. miki_k8

    miki_k8 Not so new Member

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    Feeling like a terrible snake owner right now. So my 6 month old spotted python has some stuck shed. It starts just past his chin, and goes for about 2 cm along the bottom side of his body. It's only on the bottom side of him, not on top at all, and seems very stuck. He had more previously, but with soaking him in water for 20 minutes and supplying a rougher rock, he managed to get that off himself, however this part is stuck still. I tried to soak him again tonight, however he seemed incredibly distressed and I couldn't get the last bit off due to it being so close to his head and him being an angry wet little snake.

    Would it be okay to leave this bit, considering doesn't appear to be constricting anything or bothering him, until the next shed, or should I persist with getting it off?

    Thanks!
     
  2. bluedragon

    bluedragon Well-Known Member

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    dont worry ive had the same thing happen to my snake and i just sprayed her daily with water and it came off over time
     
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  3. Iguana

    Iguana Well-Known Member

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    I'd say as a general rule try not to force the shed off if it looks like it's going to hurt the animal. You don't want to damage the skin underneath by trying to pull off the top layer.
    You just don't want this area to build up with stuck shed, if it doesn't come off this time you could always wait for next time, but it could also get stuck next time too. It depends how often he sheds, if he sheds frequently I'd say you could probably leave it, but if there's a long gap between sheds, ie older snakes, i'd try a couple more times to get it off.
    What i'd try is putting him in a tub with a wet towel on the bottom, maybe a small layer of warm water at the bottom to keep the towel soaked. he is more likely to rest his chin on the towel, as opposed to water where they generally lift their heads above.
    Hope this helps, I have a bad shedder too :)
     
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  4. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Hey there, at 6 months old, what are you feeding it? Got a pic of the enclosure it lives in?
     
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  5. saximus

    saximus Almost Legendary

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    What temperature was the water? I've never known a snake that enjoyed the bath but getting it to a comfortable temperature can help. You could also just leave it. In that spot it's not likely to cause any issue and should come off with the next one.

    If you're really set on getting it just head him, hold tight, and remove it quickly. It will only take a minute and he'll get over the "distress" very quickly.

    Don't know what caused it in your situation so ignore this advice as necessary but make sure he always has fresh water, especially during the shed cycle. IMO spraying them is all but useless and the real common culprit to poor shedding is dehydration.
     
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  6. Scutellatus

    Scutellatus Well-Known Member

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    You should never "just head them and remove it quickly". You run the risk of damaging the scales beneath the stuck shed. ALWAYS soak the area first then try to remove the shed.
     
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  7. saximus

    saximus Almost Legendary

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    Apologies, I should have mentioned that those points were intended to be followed after a bit of a soaking; not dry
     
  8. miki_k8

    miki_k8 Not so new Member

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    Thank you all for your replies. I'm at uni right now and don't have any photos of his enclosure. He is in a 7L sistema container with holes for ventilation on the cool end (pretty much a standard click clack). I use a heat cord to heat about a third of it, with the hottest part reaching 33-34 degrees on the hot end, and the cold end averaging between 25-28 degrees (depending on weather, had some crazy hot days over the last few weeks). There is multiple hides and a water bowl always available with fresh water (changed every second day) and I have seen him drinking from this on occasions. Previously, I have been feeding him pinky mouse, as the breeder gave me some and said to continue with them, however I am planning on upgrading these to fuzzies for his next feed.

    I think I will leave it for now, based on the advice given. It isn't going to cause damage based on the position, and I don't want to risk injuring the scales underneath by trying to get the stuck shed off. He is only young and shedding frequently. The water was roughly 28 degrees, I was using a thermostat and thermometer to monitor it.

    Thank you everyone for your replies!
     
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  9. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    33-34C is probably a bit too warm, and may be drying the skin out, causing it to stick. Drop it to 30-32C max and you may reduce the chance of it happening again. High 20s to low thirties is fine for these animals - we keep them too hot for too long most of the time in captivity. You can safely leave the animal in very shallow water overnight in a closed tub on a warm substrate to see if the skin will soften. Sometimes it takes a bit longer than a few minutes to unglue stuck skin. Keeping the warm end heated to 34C will dry out the enclosure atmosphere severely, causing problems during the shed cycle.

    Jamie
     
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