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Old 03-29-21, 05:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Mar-2021
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Unhappy Baby's First Shed

Hi all!
I am a new snake owner, however have worked with all sorts of animals including snakes, so I know a little bit in addition to all the online research.

So, I got my baby a little less than a month ago. She's a baby blue-eyed leucistic ball python, though I wasn't told just how old, nor do I really know the sex. But when I first got her, I gave her a week to acclimate to her new terrarium, which she seemed to love. However, at the beginning it was really difficult to balance the cool and the hot side. But alas! I finally perfected the temps I wanted (which I read the cool should be in the lower to mid 70s, and the warmer in the low 90s, but please correct me if my research was wrong!) and I keep the humidity around 50.
So after this first week, I wanted to feed her. Right now I have pinkies, but I could see from the start they're already a little too small, so I'm planning to feed her a few of these until I get the bigger size. But I warmed it up, and used the tongs to dangle it in front of her. At first she seemed confused/interested, but wouldn't eat it. Then, she striked at it, but still didn't eat. So, I rested it in a box near her, and eventually she finally ate it after about 15 minutes.
Only a few hours later did I notice her skin starting to shed, which I figured was why she was hesitant about eating combined with maybe still being a little scared of the new environment. During this time, I've kept a close eye on her, cleaning up her skin and being REALLY paranoid about the humidity, which I tried to keep up to at least the mid 60s (should I do more?). This past Monday would've been 2 weeks, but I noticed she still had some skin left, and I've been really anxious about her finishing her shed so I can feed her again. So yesterday I gave her a soak, which definitely helped, but I noticed the leftover skin was more towards her head, and mostly on her underside, which I was wondering: wouldn't that skin be more the first to go since they usually break out of their shed at the head?
ANYWAYS, almost all of the skin is off, except one small piece just under her head. Do you think it will come off on its own? Or should I do one more soak to help?

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Old 03-30-21, 10:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Nov-2014
Posts: 724
Re: Baby's First Shed

First, it can be hard to tell when the BELs are shedding. My snake's skin starts to retain dirt and the belly turns pink when my BEL is about to shed.

The primary things to worry about with bad sheds are retained eye caps and pieces of skin that entirely encircle a part of the snake. Both can cause health issues down the road and efforts should be made (raising humidity, soaks, providing a good rock to rub on) to help the snake remove the skin itself. You can soak a snake and let it slither through a damp towel or your hand to shed stubborn pieces.

That said, a couple pieces of skin here and there shouldn't be a problem. They will come off next time. Just keep an eye on your snake and the next time it looks like it will shed then dump the water bowl out in the cage to raise the humidity. (Obviously, refill the bowl...). Keep the substrate moist for a couple days and the snake should shed just fine. 50% humidity is adequate the rest of the time.
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ball python, feeding, shedding, shedding issues

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