The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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Ball pythons are quite popular because they make good pet snakes. If you love snakes, then owning one of these will be great.
If you already have a ball python, then you already know how satisfying they can be to care for. Sometimes certain things will go wrong, though.
You know that ball pythons shed their skin every so often. Sometimes the shedding process doesn’t go as planned.
If your ball python is having a hard time shedding normally, then it might need some help. However, you might not be sure how you can assist the ball python.
Keep reading to learn how you can help your ball python with shedding. This information will come in handy over the years in case you encounter problems with your snake.
The Skin Will Normally Shed in One Piece
Normally, the ball python is going to shed its skin in one piece. A healthy ball python is likely not going to have trouble shedding its skin.
Typically, ball pythons will only shed in multiple pieces when there is a problem with the environment. You’ll learn a bit more about this later on in the article.
How the Process Is Supposed to Go
If things are going normally, then the ball python’s scales should start to loosen as it’s getting ready to shed. During this time, you might notice that its eyes will go from blue to opaque.
You should place a large bowl of water in the habitat that the snake can use for soaking. It’s never appropriate to try to soak the ball python yourself, though.
Trying to do so would be very stressful for the snake. In fact, some snake owners have accidentally drowned their snakes by trying to soak them.
It’s best to prepare a moist hide for the snake. Fill a moist hide with sphagnum moss since it can help the ball python to shed its skin in one piece.
Avoid handling the snake while it’s shedding its skin. Also, never attempt to remove the shed from the snake yourself.
Use a Homemade Humidity Chamber
Using a homemade humidity chamber can help when your snake is having shedding issues. All you need to make a humidity chamber is a plastic food storage container, a heating pad, and a towel.
Ensure that the towel is wet and warm. Place it inside the plastic container.
The plastic container should be on top of the heating pad. Set the heating pad to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the inside of the plastic container is warm enough, you’ll be able to place the snake inside. Cover the plastic container with a towel or cloth of some sort to make things more comfortable for the snake.
Keep the snake in this humidity chamber for around an hour. Don’t keep the snake in there for longer than an hour.
You can then take the snake back to its normal habitat. Within a day, the rest of the shed should come off.
If the shed doesn’t come off, then you can use the same humidity chamber method the next day. It should force the shed to come off.
Give the Snake Something to Rub Against
Another idea is to give the snake something to rub against in its enclosure. This will give it a chance to rub the excess skin off.
Try placing driftwood or different types of rocks in the enclosure. You should notice that the ball python will start rubbing itself against these objects.
Over time, a ball python should be able to get rid of the excess skin by rubbing against these objects. It’s a pretty reliable and simple method to solve minor shedding issues.
The ball python won’t hurt itself during this process. Don’t try to help it out by removing the skin yourself since this will only cause the snake stress, and you don’t want to hurt the snake.
Why Would a Ball Python Have Issues Shedding?
Now that you know how to help your ball python, you might be wondering why it would have issues in the first place. What causes the ball python to have a hard time shedding its skin in one piece?
For the most part, low humidity levels will cause these snakes to encounter problems. A very low humidity level will make it so that a ball python will either not shed its skin or it’ll struggle to do so in some way.
A ball python cannot properly shed its skin in a low-humidity environment. Without enough moisture in the air, it’s not going to be possible for the snake to do what it needs to do.
Conversely, humidity levels being too high can cause issues. You want to keep the humidity in the snake’s enclosure in the right range to make shedding easy.
It was mentioned earlier that you should place a bowl of water in the tank with the ball python. This is done to increase the humidity.
Some people prefer to use a spray bottle, though. You can spray filtered water inside the enclosure a few times per day to raise the humidity level.
You also need to ensure that the ventilation is working properly. If the ventilation is too good, then the enclosure won’t be able to stay humid enough.
You also read earlier that healthy ball pythons don’t usually have problems shedding in one piece. As such, it makes sense that an unhealthy ball python would have more issues.
It’s possible that your ball python could have some type of health problem. The ball python could have a disease that is causing it to have issues shedding its skin.
Another potential health issue involves mites. If there is a mite infestation, then that can cause the snake to not shed normally.
Even something such as a cut can throw off the shedding process. You should be able to visually inspect the snake to see if it has any cuts.
You’ve now learned about how to help ball pythons when they are having shedding issues. There are a few different options that you can try.
Creating a humidity chamber for the snake will be a very reliable method. It’ll also be a good idea to try placing objects in the enclosure that the snake can rub itself up against.
Look after your snake and everything should be fine. Address any health problems that the snake might have and keep an eye on the humidity levels.
You should be able to avoid shedding issues in the future. Your ball python will be just fine when you try to be a proactive snake owner.