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How do ball pythons shed? It is very common for all kinds of snakes to replace their skin. This skin replacement process is called snake shedding. What a lot of people are sometimes now aware of is that snakes aren’t the only animals that shed their skin. How do ball pythons shed? Many animals also shed the outer skin or even shell over time. This is also true for us humans! We shed constantly, it’s just for some animals like snake breeds; their shedding process tend to be more noticeable and usually take a couple of days from the very start of the shedding season. The shedding process is quite dramatic for snakes. They would need to crawl out of their old skin covering and come out with a new full skin. In this article, you’ll learn how do ball pythons shed?

Shedding: The Basic Process

How do ball pythons shed? When it comes to shedding; you will start to see that your ball python’s skin will look kind of dull and you will also notice that its eyes will turn into a bluish color. This is caused by a layer of fluid that builds up between your snake’s outermost layer of skin and the one immediately beneath it. This fluid will help the old skin to slide off relatively easily.

The shedding process usually lasts for a week but it depends as some snakes might take longer. You will notice your pet ball python will be kind of shy or lethargic. It’s also normal that your pet loses its appetite while it’s undergoing the shedding process. Your ball python might also be nervous or even defensive so just let it be as these are normal shedding symptoms.

How do ball pythons shed? You will know that shedding time is near if the eye is already start to become clear; and not bluish anymore. The body skin may also start to become clear. After a few days, you will start seeing your pet crawl around its cage. You may also see that he is rubbing his body in the enclosure ornaments. This is being done because your ball python would want some help in peeling out the old layer of skin.  

Once the outer skin on the face starts to peel away; you will see your pet crawl out of its old skin. You might see your ball python weave its body in the branches; or plants in its enclosure as this will help the body create some friction to help them shed easier. This can take in a few minutes or for a few hours. How do ball pythons shed? Once your ball python has finished its shedding, you will see your pet gradually regain back its appetite. You will also notice that the new skin color will appear very vibrant and bright.

What You Need to Do When Your Ball Python Sheds

How do ball pythons shed? If your ball python is healthy; and you are also keeping its enclosure cleaned and sanitary; then you don’t have anything to worry about when your pet goes through the shedding process. However, keep in mind that you even if you have good husbandry and your snake is healthy; it’s not guarantee that your pet will have a successful shedding. Sometimes there could be shedding problems which is why as the owner; its best that you know what you can do to help ensure that the shedding process will go smoothly if ever something comes up. Here are some tips for you:

Tip #1

Your ball python needs to be properly hydrated as this is very important so that the shedding will go smoothly. You can provide your ball python with drinking water available at all times. You can also try increasing the humidity in the cage as it also helps during shedding.

When it comes to increasing the humidity levels; just spray or mist some water in the substrate or on the side of the cage. You can use a spray bottle but make sure that the water’s temperature is at normal. Spray down the substrate, habitat furniture and the enclosure walls. A little of water won’t harm your ball python, but make sure to not spray your pet in the face; this might stress your pet or make him become defensive.

Tip #2

Many ball pythons will refuse food while the shedding is happening but you might find that your pet will want some. For some snake breeders they continue to give food to their snake even if they’re undergoing a shed cycle. However; if you are just a newbie to snake keeping, it’s probably best that you do not feed your pet yet; and wait for the whole process to be over.

How do ball pythons shed? Feeding your ball python will not create a risk on its shedding process; but due to the constriction, some portions of the skin might rip. This means that it might result in a bad shedding. It can also happen if you feed your ball python a large meal before the shedding takes place. This is why it’s best to wait until your snake’s next regularly scheduled meal. A healthy ball python can skip a meal or two without suffering any ill effects.

Tip #3

Ball pythons can become defensive during the shedding cycle. This is because while they are shedding, they can become temporarily blind – this happens when their eyes turn to blue. You have to know that during this time, they don’t want to be handled or bothered. They can become stressed, and if you bother your pet, he might respond by hissing, defecating or biting.

It’s better to leave your snake alone while he’s undergoing a shed cycle. He’ll likely remain in one of his hiding spaces for the bulk of this time anyway; so just allow him to rest undisturbed. It’s still a good idea to check on him about once per day, by simply lifting the hide box, giving him a quick visual inspection; and then lowering the hide box back down over him gently.

Shedding Problems

How do ball pythons shed? From time to time, your pet might experience some shedding problems. It’s best that you become familiar with them so that you won’t panic if ever it happens and you can aid them if need be.

Incomplete Shedding

How do ball pythons shed? Having incomplete shedding problems is quite common not only in ball pythons but also in other snake breeds. If the shedding is done completely, what happens normally is that the old skin will break in your pet’s body and this will allow some portion to peel off. If the shedding is incomplete, the older portion will not completely get peeled off and it will remain attached to the body which doesn’t look good.

Old skin that remains on your ball python’s body is not really something to be alarmed. Usually the snake will naturally get rid of it during the next shed cycle. However, it is typically wise to try to remove the retained skin when possible, to help reduce the likelihood of infections or other skin problems from occurring.

Retained Eye Caps

The eye cap of your ball python is called the spectacle. This spectacle typically sheds along with its skin, but there could be instances that it can remain stuck on your pet’s eye. This could be quite a serious issue and you may need to come to your pet’s rescue. Retained eye caps can cause infections to set in and ultimately lead to the loss of vision.

Don’t try to remove the eye cap by hand, you can do some soaking techniques and do it in a gentle way. However, if you find this hard or unsuccessful, it’s best that you take your pet snake to the vet for assistance.

Tail Skin

How do ball pythons shed? Bad sheds can occasionally cause the ball python to wrap the unpeeled skin to the tip of its tail. This isn’t something as dangerous as retained eye caps. However, it can also some cause issues. It can prevent blood from flowing into the tail’s tip which can lead to infections, and even the tip of the tail being lost if you don’t do anything about it.   

Keep in mind that ball pythons have pretty thick tails which is why having a retained tail skin may not be that common compared to other snake breed. If ever it still happened to your pet, you can simply moisten the tail area and then try rolling it off to keep the blood flowing. Just be sure not to apply too much pressure or force anything. If you can’t do it, it’s best that you take your snake to the vet for assistance.

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