Molting in Snakes

Snakes are quite fascinating pets. These beautiful, scaled animals are quite captivating, and have a charm all their own. Caring for a snake is, of course, very different from caring for a dog or cat. If your Grandview pet is a snake, then sooner or later you will experience your pet shedding, or molting.

Snakes need to molt as they outgrow their skin. Adult snakes will generally molt two to five times a year. Most of the time, your snake will not need help in shedding, but you will need to be able to tell when your snake is about to shed, and know what to expect.

Signs Your Snake Will Shed Soon

When your snake is getting ready to shed his skin, his skin will appear dull or even hazy. You might see a bit of pink on his tummy. Your scaled pet may also hide, and lose interest in his supper. His eyes will take on a milky or clouded appearance, which will affect his sight. Since your snake won’t be able to see as well during this phase, he may feel a bit vulnerable, and could be more defensive.

The Shedding Process

When a snake starts shedding, he loses skin first at the head, and then at the tail. When your pet has finished shedding, check the shed skin to be sure there are no holes. Your snake should shed his skin in one whole piece, including the eye caps. If the skin comes off in patches, this could be a problem; your snake could have an infection or parasitic infection. Another common problem when snakes shed is retained eye caps, when the skin around their eyes doesn’t shed properly. Contact your vet immediately if your snake has not shed its entire skin.

Caring for a Shedding Snake

Your snake will want to slough off his old skin by rubbing himself along rough surfaces. You can help your snake out by putting materials in his cage, such as clean driftwood or rocks, which he can rub against. Try not to pick up your snake while he is shedding, as his new skin will be quite tender at first.

Problems With Shedding

There are a few things you can try if your snake does not shed its entire skin at once. Soak your snake in lukewarm water. Be sure the water isn’t too deep, as you don’t want to drown your pet! You can also try wrapping your snake in wet towels, or a wet cloth bag.

Check with your Grandview vet for advice if your snake is having trouble shedding, and visit our site frequently for more articles on pets and pet care.