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Ball pythons are known for their majestic beauty and calm demeanor, making them a popular choice among reptile enthusiasts. However, just like any other snake species, ball pythons go through the shedding process regularly to accommodate their growing bodies. Shedding is a natural and crucial part of their lifecycle, but sometimes, a ball python may experience stuck shed, which can lead to complications if not addressed promptly. In this blog post, we will explore effective techniques to help you remove stuck shed from your ball python safely and ensure its continued health and well-being.

Understanding the Shedding Process: Before delving into the methods to remove stuck shed, it's important to grasp the shedding process itself. Shedding, or ecdysis, is a natural process where a snake sheds its old skin to make way for new growth. It usually occurs every few weeks or months, depending on the snake's age and growth rate. During the shedding process, the snake's eyes become cloudy or "blue," and its skin loosens as a result of the build-up of lymphatic fluid.


Causes of Stuck Shed: Stuck shed can happen for various reasons, such as inadequate humidity levels in the enclosure, insufficient hydration, or underlying health issues. When the shed skin fails to come off entirely, it can constrict the snake's body and lead to circulation problems, causing discomfort and potential infections. Therefore, it is crucial to address stuck shed promptly to ensure your ball python's well-being.

Tips to Remove Stuck Shed on a Ball Python:

  1. Provide Adequate Humidity: Maintaining the correct humidity level is essential for a ball python's healthy shedding. Aim for a humidity level of 50-60% during regular periods and increase it to 70-80% when your snake is in the shedding process. You can achieve this by misting the enclosure daily, using a reptile humidifier, or placing a moist hide box inside the enclosure.

  2. Offer a Humid Hide: Create a humid hide by placing a small container with damp sphagnum moss or paper towels inside the enclosure. This will provide a moist microclimate that will aid in the shedding process. Make sure the hide is easily accessible to the snake.

  3. Soaking: If your ball python has stuck shed, you can try a gentle soaking method. Fill a shallow container with lukewarm water (about 85-88°F) and allow your snake to soak for 15-20 minutes. Ensure that the water level is shallow enough to prevent the snake from being submerged and provide a textured surface for them to grip. The moisture will help soften the skin, making it easier to remove.

  4. Gently Assist Shedding: Once the shed has softened, you can assist your ball python in removing the stuck shed. Use a pair of fine-tipped forceps or your fingers (if the shed is loose enough) to gently grip the loose skin and slowly peel it away. Be cautious not to pull forcefully or cause any discomfort to the snake.

  5. Seek Veterinary Assistance: If you have tried the above methods and are unable to remove the stuck shed, or if you notice any signs of injury or infection, it is best to consult a reptile veterinarian. They have the expertise and proper equipment to safely address the issue and provide any necessary treatment.


How We Remove Stuck Shed at Bomb City Balls: Run warm water over a snake bag or pillow case that is large enough for your ball python. Place the snake in the bag and tie off the end. Place the bag in a clean empty tub and put the tub back in your rack system if you use racks, otherwise just place in a warm spot. The snake will move around in the bag trying to find a comfortable temperature as well as trying to get out of the bag. We set a timer for 30 minutes and then remove the snake from the bag. Often all stuck shed comes off in the bag. If it does not,it is typically easy to assist with removing the skin. If not all comes off, start over from step one and allow them another 30 minutes in the bag. Stuck shed on the head, eyes and neck can be tricky to remove. If it does not come off in the bag, and your snake resists you assisting with removing stuck skin close to the head, simply place the snake back in the bag, tie it off and locate the head inside the bag and gently rub the snakes head through the bag. This almost always works on the head and eye caps and will usually get most off of the neck as well.

Preventing Stuck Shed in the Future: Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to stuck shed. Here are some preventive measures you can take to minimize the chances of your ball python experiencing this issue:

  • Monitor and maintain appropriate humidity levels in the enclosure.

  • Provide a humid hide box to create a moist microclimate for shedding.

  • Ensure

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