Many people enjoy keeping snakes as pets, and it can really be a good experience to care for snakes. There are many different types of snakes that people decide to keep as pets, but they all share certain things in common.
For example, all snakes shed their skin at some point in time. Certain types of snakes will do this more or less often than others, though.
If you’re noticing that your snake is shedding its skin but everything is coming off in pieces, then you might be concerned. If you’ve been told that snakes should shed their skin in one piece, then you might be wondering what’s going on.
Keep reading to learn about why snakes might not be able to shed their skin in one piece. You’ll learn a bit about what you can do in this situation to help your snake as well.
Sometimes Snakes Have Problems Shedding Skin
It isn’t completely unusual for things like this to happen to snakes. Snakes will usually shed their skin around once a month, but this can differ depending on the species of the snake and how old the snake is.
Shedding usually starts at the nose and goes down the body from there. Typically, the skin should come off in one complete sheet, but this might not happen if something goes awry.
When a snake has problems with shedding its skin, it’s possible that the skin will start to come off in patches. There are even times when certain sections of the skin won’t come off at all.
Under normal circumstances, a snake should be able to have the skin come off in one piece, though. If your snake has the skin shed in pieces or if something else goes wrong, then it’s a sign that something is off.
Don’t be too concerned, though, because abnormal skin shedding isn’t a sign of disease in and of itself. Read on to learn what can cause snakes to have issues with this.
1 – Malnutrition
Sometimes snakes will have a difficult time shedding in one piece when they aren’t being cared for properly. It might be a good idea to make sure that your snake has been eating right and getting the proper nutrients.
If you’re sure that you’ve been feeding your snake well, then you’ll likely need to figure out what else could be going wrong. Those who aren’t sure what to do for their snakes might need to get advice from professionals.
You can always ask your veterinarian if you need assistance. A veterinarian will be able to give you information about what you should be feeding your snake and how often you should be feeding it.
It’s possible that you could be making mistakes because you aren’t feeding the snake the right amount of food. People will sometimes make mistakes like this when they’re used to caring for one type of snake and neglect to look up specific information when caring for a new species.
Do your best to ensure that the snake is receiving the right food and it should be able to return to having a normal skin-shedding experience. Usually, all it takes is to correct whatever is wrong for things to go back to normal.
2 – Humidity Issues
The other common cause of skin shedding issues in snakes has to do with improper humidity levels. Different snakes like to have different humidity levels, and it’s possible that your snake might not thrive in the humidity levels that you’re currently providing for it.
It might be best to look up specific information about humidity levels and how they impact the species of snake that you’re caring for. This will allow you to make adjustments so that you can keep the humidity levels in the right range.
When humidity levels are too high or too low, it can cause snakes to have issues when shedding their skin. It could very well be the cause of the skin not coming off in one piece like normal.
Adjusting humidity levels shouldn’t be all that tough. You can use humidifiers and other methods to try to get things where they need to be in many circumstances.
3 – Handling Issues
Handling issues can also cause snakes to have issues with shedding their skin. This is often referred to as a “husbandry” issue, and it basically means that you’re not handling the snake in the way that you’re supposed to.
Snakes can become stressed when you handle them in certain ways. This stress could cause the snake to have problems when shedding its skin.
You should be able to get much better results if you make an effort to handle your snake correctly. Some snake owners need to stop handling their snakes as often and others are just not using the right techniques.
If you need advice, then you could ask your veterinarian or look up information about how to handle the type of snake that you have. It should help you to turn things around so that you can stop stressing the snake and it’ll be able to have an easier time shedding its skin like normal.
Let the Snake Soak in Warm Water
Letting the snake soak in warm water a few times a day might help it out when it’s having a hard time shedding its skin like normal. Many snake owners will do this to help soothe the snake, but you do need to be careful with how you’re setting things up.
You want to have enough warm water in the tub to cover the snake’s body, but you don’t want it to be too deep. If you go overboard, then the snake could drown, and you certainly don’t want that.
Some also recommend wrapping the snake in warm wet towels to try to provide the snake with the friction it needs to get the rest of the skin off. It’s something that could make a difference if you want to try it.
There are also owners who have placed snakes with shedding issues inside of wet pillowcases for several hours. Some have noted that this has allowed the snakes to do what they needed to do to get rid of the rest of the skin.
Now that you know more about snakes and skin shedding issues, it should be easier to turn things around. It isn’t normal for snakes to shed skin in patches, but it isn’t completely unusual either.
This can sometimes happen, but it’s usually a sign that something is wrong. You should always have your snake evaluated by a veterinarian when something is amiss to ensure that nothing serious is happening.
That being said, the most likely problems that are causing your snake to have issues with shedding skin are easy to remedy. The snake might be malnourished or it could simply be stressed due to how it’s being handled.
Even humidity issues can wind up causing snakes to shed skin improperly. All of these problems are things that you can fix if you know what you’re doing.
Do your best to care for your snake so that you can continue to have a good time with your pet. Snakes need to be handled with care so that they can stay healthy and thrive in captivity.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.