Ball Python Shedding – Shedding Problems


Ball Python She​dding Behavior

Ball Python Shedding occurs naturally as a snake grows.

The Ball Pythons belly begins to turn pink and the eyes begin to fog over. Providing the proper humidity required by your Ball python is important to prevent non-problematic sheds. Maintain a humidity of 60%-70% during a shed cycle.

Baby/Juvenile Ball Pythons shed their skin every few weeks because they are continuously growing. While an adult Ball Pythons may only shed their skin every few months. Some Ball Pythons may also shed their skin because their skin is irritated due to mites, If you notice mites or your snake is bathing more frequently or small black specs are appearing in the bottom of the water dish. I would recommend giving the snakes enclosure a treatment or two with Provent-a-Mite.

Dysecdysis is a word used to describe a variety of shedding difficulties. It occurs when a snake attempts to shed but some old skin is retained on some part of the body. The definition is as follows.

Dysecdysis means an abnormal shedding of the dead outer skin of a reptile. It often indicates suboptimal husbandry, however it may be a sign of certain infectious diseases, such as external or internal parasites, septicemia, inclusion body disease of boids, ophidian paramyxovirus, internal abscesses, among others.

Whenever your Ball Python sheds, you should inspect it closely to make sure all old skin has come off, particularly in the eye area.

Ball Python She​dding Problems

Shedding problems may occur when the humidity is too low. Anything below 60% humidity is too low. There are several reasons why humidity levels could be too low:

  • Substrate to dry
  • Too much ventilation
  • No water in the water dish
  • Water dish is too small

Ball Pythons retained eye cap

I would not suggest to trying the tape and dabbing method too much damage could be caused to the snake. Try putting the Ball Python in a pillow case with a damp cloth. That can help tremendously for the removal of retained eye caps.

Ball Python shedding tips

My personal trick for ensuring a clean shed is to spray the snake with warm water as soon as you notice the fogging of the eyes disappearing. The Ball Python will shed within the next couple of days.

Soaking the Ball Python as soon as its belly begins to turn pink and its eyes begin to fog over is the method most people use. I find that even though it helps some of the back of the snake can still retain skin causing improper shedding.

Snakes mites treatment

Treating your snake for mites.

Remove the snake from its enclosure. Snakes should be soaked in a dilute Beta-dine water bath the color of a light tea. Place it in a plastic, lidded container into which air holes have been punched, filling it 3/4 full of the Beta-dine/water solution. Place the snake in the solution for 15 minutes. Remove and re-peat every two days until your snakes mite free. This treatment also works well for snake scale rot.

Treating the enclosure.

Remove and dispose of all the substrate in the snakes enclosure. Treat the enclosure using NIX (an over-the-counter preparation for human lice infestations). After treatment clean the enclosure with a 50/50 water to bleach mix. Allow it to air dry. Place clean paper towels down for bedding. Place the snake back in. Re-peat every six weeks as needed to kill all mites.

Common shedding questions

Question: Is it normal for my snake to defecate while shedding?
Answer: Yes this is normal! The snake will defecate while shedding to use the weight to help assist in removing the old skin.

Question: What do I do if my snake doesn’t shed in one piece?
Answer: Soak your snake in lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes to help loosen the remaining skin.

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