What to do about stuck sheds?
Ideally we want to see all shed come off in a single piece. This is the healthiest of situations.
However, from time to time, a snake’s shed will come off in pieces, and sometimes even stick and not come off all the way at all.
This is not painful for the snake, but I can imagine it’s uncomfortable, like if you had sunburned, and you start pealing. Also, if the stuck shed is over the snake’s eyes, this can cause health problems.
First, if I have any doubts about a snakes eyecaps, I will mark the snakes habitat, and check thoroughly for eyecaps in the next shed. If we have stuck eyecaps, then we will start with the same procedure for any stuck shed.
A little bit of shed on a snake’s back isn’t too much to worry about. Less than one square inch, as long as it’s not near the head, I would normally not be concerned with.
We will fill up a tub, with a small amount of water. No more water than will go ½ way up the side of the snake, at its widest point. Too much water can make a snake panic. Do not forget to add conditioning drops.
Before adding the snake, we will warm this tub on a standard household heating pad, until the water is between 85 and 92 degrees, and it maintains the same temperature. On our heating pad, this is the medium-high setting.
Once the water temperature is stable, you may introduce the snake.
You may leave the snake in this tepid bath for up to 24 hours if necessary. Be sure to check on your snake regularly. You may remove as soon as the stuck sheds are floating in the water, or can be pulled off easily.
When you check regularly, you may find the snake has pooped in the water. If so, change the water and start again. The worst mess I’ve ever seen was a snake that regurgitated a half of a rat into the water, after pooping. Maybe it was before. Warm rat and poop soup was the nastiest snake mess I’ve ever flushed. I will never again, give a tepid bath, to a snake within 48 hours after a feeding.
If you had stuck eyecaps, that still have not loosened, you may now take a cotton swab, and attempt to remove the eyecaps while they are soft. Only do this if you are 100% sure the snake has stuck eyecaps.
Thoroughly sterilize the tub after each use.
You may also give your snake a rub down with shed-aid at this point, it should help with its next shed.