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Big Shedding Problem! Please Help!

Discussion in 'Ratsnakes' started by delightfulwirdo223, Jan 6, 2016.


Is this normal?

  1. Yes, he is just healing.

    1 vote(s)
  2. No! Get him to the vet!

    0 vote(s)
  1. Cosmo, my rat snake, recently began his shed cycle about two weeks too early.
    From his middle down, his skin was sticky and slightly wet. Once two more weeks had passed, he shed the rest, but this skin seemed perfectly healthy. The rest of him felt dry, but I didn't think much of it.
    It's been another week, and the area that shed fist is very dry and some areas seem... scabby?
    I need to know if this is just his little body healing, or if this is the beginning of some sort of infection.
    I've lost animals, and I just couldn't bear to lose little Cosmo.
    I thought about taking him to the vet, but they're far away, and very, very expenisve.

    Other Info:
    He gets his water changed daily
    His tank stays at 30-36 degrees celsius
    He eats a thawed pinkie once a week
    He is about five months old
    He is handled regularly and seems to enjoy it
  2. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

    Could just be a stuck shed but it could also be serious.

    Pictures of the snake and it's tank would be helpful.
  3. Sure!
    Here is his tank
    tankleft.JPG tankright.JPG
    I'm sorry about image quality, I only have an iPhone camera at the moment. I circled the scab in red and the spot where his bad skin meets his good skin in green.
    Please let me know anything you think might help! I'm so worried about my baby that I haven't slept in three days!
  4. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

    I still can't really see where the problem is. When you say "scabby" is the skin actually wounded or is it just dry and loose? If the latter is what you're seeing, then I'd bet it's a stuck shed. Whats the humidity and temperatures in the tank and how do you measure them?

    Putting your little guy in a damp pillowcase overnight and giving him a soak should help.
  5. It looks like he had little scabs here and there on his skin. I tried putting him in a lukewarm bath, and gently rubbed, but it seemed to have raw skin underneath.
    His tank is kept at around 85-93 degrees Fahrenheit, and although I don't have anything to measure his humidity, I know that it is kept low.
  6. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Just to be clear, is this damage on the snakes back or its belly? I tried zooming in on the pictures but they aren't clear enough.
  7. His back. Sorry about the picture quality.
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I don`t know anything much about this species but you absolutely must have the means to accurately measure the humidity (a digital hygrometer). Even if these snakes require a low/moderate range much of the time, during the shedding process it`s always advisable to provide more humid areas.
    I don`t see anything either, can you crop the pics to zoom right in?
    Edit: How are you measuring the temps, also, does this fishtank have a solid top or is it screen?
    Darkbird likes this.
  9. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    OK, my next question would be what type of lamp is that you have for the basking area? My main concern is that this might be a burn possibly caused by using the wrong type of bulb. Otherwise this might just be the results of a really bad shed. Murrindindi also posed some good questions that may help if we get answers.
  10. Thank you for your answers, but I ran into a nearby vet, who was willing to check Cosmo out for a much lower price. It was just a bad shed. It came off to early and his skin just wasn't ready. It was basically just raw skin and what I saw was just him healing. Cosmo will be perfectly fine, and his skin will be back to normal in just a shed or two. Thank you once again for your help!
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    OK a couple of things need addressed.
    Snakes do not shed on a timetable. they shed as they need to based on growth or injury.
    NEVER pull the skin off of a shedding snake. If it isn't ready, you can damage the skin underneath. Think pulling on a peeling sunburn. Its fine and then OUCH!
  12. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, the "bad shed" indicates the conditions may not be quite right, you haven`t said what the humidity range is or how you measure the temps?
  13. I understand both of these things, and, to be honest, trying to rub off the skin has been the first, and only time I have or will ever peel off any reptiles skin. I have had about four others besides this snake. It was probably my own paranoia of losing Cosmo that led me to do it. I know they don't really have a schedule for when they shed, but since he's a growing baby, he always seems to shed about a week after each meal or so. This began not even a few days after his latest meal. Beforehand I had noticed a small hole in the top layer, opening up to what appeared to be normal skin, until it peeled off after he shed the lower half, leading to the events described in my first post in this thread.
  14. I have a digital thermometer that reads the temperature of a gauge that cam be moved around his tank. It's a nat geo brand. His warm side averages around 34 degrees C and his cooler side around 29 degrees. I did not have a humidity gauge until quite recently, and it is currently measured to be just above the 'low' area. In the couple of days I have had it, I have been carefully monitoring it. It has not gone any higher.
  15. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    You haven`t said what the recommended humidity range for this species needs to be, but irrespective of that there should be an increase in the humidity during the shedding process, at least in the hides.
  16. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Are you saying the humidity gauge doesn`t actually give the specific figure, it only reads high, medium, low?
    Edit: You haven`t said whether the enclosure has a solid top?
  17. Yes. The top is mesh.
  18. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    It will be virtually impossible to stabilise both the temps and humidity, I advise you cover the screen as completely as possible (you can use kitchen foil temporarily) though you`ll need to check the figures carefully as they are likely to rise.

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