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my young black rat snake just shed his skin, but the last time he did there was the tiniest bit left at the tip of his tail. i bathed him, rubbed it gently with a towel, to the point where i thought i had it, but then the same thing happened today. only this time when i wet it and rubbed it, the smallest part of his tail came with it. there was very little (and i mean very little) blood, but there is what looks to be a small amount of the tail bone showing. ive been keeping snakes for years and this has never happened before, i will obviously take him to the vet, but i was wondering if anyone else has had this happen, and how dangerous is this for him? i feel awful :(
 

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As long as it's kept clean Malky it should be ok, but as you say a visit to the vet is in order. Sounds like there may have been some constriction taking place that may have cut the blood supply off to it.
 

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oh dear!! thats a shame, my king had probs shedding like that, baths worked but maybe try a damp hide/ humid box for next time. Sphagnm moss is good. hope the vets goes ok :?
 

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On the subject of shedding...

I just got myself a ball python from a local rescue centre. They couldn't really tell me much, however, she feeds well, and is roughly 6. Problem is, she shed about a week ago at the centre, but she has a lot of old skin on her head, a cap over one eye, and simply looks a state. this leads to me acquiring a highly stressed snake, since she cant see out one eye, and is ver suspicous of people for that reason.

I left a huge bowl of water in with her last night, which she sat in for hours. then she went to sleep and hasn't moved since. It was really steamed up in her viv this morning, so I assume Im doing the right thing to loosen the skin.

Thing is, what do i do when i get home tonight? Try and take off the skin? leave it? The eye cap seems uncomfortable, coz she spent a while rubbing it against stuff last night.

I was told that if all else fails, to wrap a little sellotape round my fingr, and get the cap...should I be doing this? seems like too delicate an area to go at with sellotape!

Will the cap come off in the next shed, or should I really try to get it off now?

Please help...this is my first royal and Im so chuffed with her, but I want her to be comfortable and looking good.

Skimp
 

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You are doing the right thing by keeping her ncie and humid, but I would try putting her in a damp pillow case. The humidity coupled with the abrasive action of the fabric should loosen and remove the old shed, or at least soften it enough for you to gently and carefully remove.
 

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try holding her in a damp towel and as she pushes her way through it the skin will loosen itself, i've heard the pillow case thing works as PendleHog said.
 

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i have had this happen. i think everyone else who's commented means their snakes just leaves the end of the shed skin on the tip of the tail and don't actually damage the tail itself, but i have actually done the same and pulled of part of the tail whilst removing skin on my royal. this exposed what looked like bone. i worried about it for months as every time it re shed it bled again and looked sore.
eventually the sore just kinda grew out and got smaller with every shed. it healed itself in other words.
i applied no anti septic and the snake is fine for it now.
i wouldn't worry but it is awful when you see your snake bleed
 

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one of my royals is a complete nightmare when it comes to shedding. she either sheds 100% perfect or just sheds her head... and last time she didnt even attempt to shed the old skin off at all - even though every action (humidty etc) is taken to try and help! the towel method does work, but not always everywhere. ive seen this problem in a few snakes, increasing the humidty does help, but if the snake feels that it has already gone through with the shedding process it can be quite difficult to get them going again.

so, take an old casserole dish, fill with luke warm water and a small dose of shed ease if you have some, let the snake bathe for 15-20 minutes (chances are they'll do a runner as soon as you put them in). keep them in the warm water and the very carefully loosen and old skin with a cotton bud, and remove with a small pair of tweezers or if confident enough your fingers.
around the head and eyes is a delicate job, so time must be taken, you dont want to end up pulling skin too hard and ripping the scales underneath. eye caps can be tricky, you must have a good grip on the snake to prevent it from wiggling about whilst you remove them, employ the help of another person if necessary to keep it still.
for the most part, the skin down the body can be simply rolled off by letting the snake move through your thumb and first finger. once you have completely 'skinned' the snake wash them down with a little clean water to remove any excess shed ease or loose bits of skin left sticking to the body, dry thoroughly and voila, a nice shiny new snake.

remember, only remove skin once it has had time to soak - never pull at dry skin, and also only remove it in the direction from head end to tail end as to avoid damaging new skin underneath. and dont be surprised if you get pooped on 8)
 

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The last comment was great. I let my royal soak for a day and a bit, then took the bowl away. the skin doesn't seem any looser. I got her from a rescue centre, and unfortunately it look like the eye cap has been there for some time, possibly more than one shed. Is it possible that her eye is damaged? I think I will take her to the vet (we, amazingly have a good one in the Highlands of Scotland!) get her checked over properly, and see what's up wi this eye. I dont want to go at her with sellotape!

Did someone say baby oil was an option? for the eye??

The shed came off everywhere except the head...

Skimp

P.S. if i can, i will post pics of the situation
 

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OK, I just enquired a little more, and it seems these eye caps can damage eyesight permanently. I think she has 2 now. They were there when I got her, but one looks like its been there ages, and the other eye is like well she can see out it for a start, but it seems like it has a film over it. I tried soaking her then the towel thing. What now. We are not properly acquainted yet for me to go at her eyes with Tweezers or cotton wool for that matter. Has her not even a week yet so keeping handling minimal and trying to de-stress. I think the eye cap is stressing her more, coz she cant see. Please someone offer a good suggestion I haven't already tried, dnt want snake to be blind forever.

Skimpy
 

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Cara, you are right. We are booked in to see a nive man at 4.30. I will post upon our return and let you know if my snake is now patially blind... :(
 

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It was a waste of time! Went there after being late for work this morning and having to leave early, then all he did was give me some paraffin. I will try it again tomorrow nite...Kath the reptile vet is back on monday and she is really good. if i have no luck by then she will sort it out im sure.

£20 to tell the vet how to do it!!
 

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Sorry to hear that! Its a shame theres not more vets that know about reptiles really, well I hope you manage to sort it out, or the vet can on monday.
 

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She hasn't come out of her hide since I took her to the vet. Had to tae her out on Saturday night to re=apply the stuff I was given, but she is hissing. Needless to say, this makes me a little nervous around her. We need the skin off her eye, establish if the eye is damaged, and then to let her hide for as long as she wants, without disturbing her. Poor snakee has had a turbulent time the past coupla weeks, and the shed issue is adding to it.

Why cant she just shed again and see if that works?? :(
 

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a single retained eyecap is not really of any consequence and the chance of damage to the eye is minimal,i have seen imports with up to three retained eyecaps and they have all sloughed out perfectly once conditions were returned to optimal.
regards gaz
 

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what vet did that???? where u from.

there r a few products that i use that have worked wonders in the past...

1) ACE high (Vetark) vitamin A,C & E food sup, i use this for my Boa, i stuff it down the rats mouths before feeding (sounds yuk, is yuk)

2) Shedease (i guess its like reptile baby oil??)

3) the VERY BEST a box of sphagnum moss!!!

good luck with your snake and hope alls ok. :wink:
 
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