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Old 03-17-17, 12:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Help! Bad Shed!

My 6mo gopher snake is going through a bad shed. This is her second shed with me, and #1 went really well and came off in one nice piece without increasing humidity or anything special. This time, however, she lost her head and eye caps in one piece, but the rest has been coming off in 1/2 inch bits here and there. She's been shedding for 16 days now, and still has about 1/2 her body to go!

Any tips to get her shed are appreciated.

Here's my current situation:
-20 gal tank with coconut substrate and various wood hides.
-swimming pool/large water dish
-shed box with moist paper (I've never seen any evidence that she's uses this)
-soaked towel over 1/2 of screen lid
-Daily misting of walls
Current humidity is a tad over 60% (I can't seem to get it any higher)
Temp is 70/90
Humidity at the start of shed was around 55%

I've tried soaking her in shallow warm water, but she just panics. She does better if I hold her under a warm running tap and let her rub on my hands, but this still hasn't gotten results.
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Old 03-17-17, 09:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Help! Bad Shed!

You can use a few methods.

First, check the snake over. Is the old shed constricting around the body anywhere? Especially check over the tail and the tail tip. If this IS NOT the case the snake simply doesn't care anymore and will just wait until the next shed cycle to get the back off.

How you can help, you can get a wash cloth, dampen it and hold it the palm of your hand. Ensure it's big enough to wrap entirely around the snake and have the snake slither through your hand but keep a firm grip to help pull the shed off.
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Old 03-17-17, 04:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Help! Bad Shed!

Thank you for the tip, Aaron! I'll try the washcloth technique tonight. If I understand you correctly, though, as long as there is no constricting, it is okay to leave retained shed portions on until next shed?
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Old 03-17-17, 04:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Help! Bad Shed!

Brian B. @ BHBReptiles has this little video out there in case you need any more assistance with your shed problem...
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Old 03-17-17, 08:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Help! Bad Shed!

You can also make a humid hide with moist sphagnum moss and the snake can work off the retained shed.
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Old 03-17-17, 11:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Help! Bad Shed!

Success!

I guess the week and a half of higher humidity finally got her going, as it looks like she worked on shedding while I was at work today (she'd made no real progress in over a week until today). Long strips were hanging off her and littered around the cage. About 30 mins of letting her crawl through a wet washcloth got the last 6" off. Yay!

Thank you everyone for the tips. The video was a great visual, too, as I'd read about soaking, but it was useful to see an expert do it step by step, and to see how the skin can be rubbed off. I'm really feeling my nubie status!

My goal now is to keep that humidity up so I don't have to do this again!
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