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Posted by oldherper on April 08, 2003 at 22:33:47:
In Reply to: Pre-shedding Question posted by SnakeNewbie on April 08, 2003 at 20:40:52:
The belly doesn't necessarily turn "pink" unless it was already pink or the snake has a skin condition. For instance, a snake with a black belly isn't going to turn pink, it's just going to look like a sort of cloudy black belly. It will take on sort of a cloudy appearance, but the color doesn't really change. The eyes will become very cloudy and the colors of the snake's whole body dull. The snake will become less active during this time and perhaps a little more snappy or skittish. That's because he can't see and he's irritable. This phase of skin shedding, or ecdysis, is commonly called the "opaque" or "blue" phase. The snake will usually refuse to eat during this phase. You should handle him as little as possible at this time.
He should shed his skin in one piece. If he doesn't, this condition is called dysecdysis, or commonly "stuck shed". If that happens, place him in a plastic sweater box or plasic shoe box or something like that filled with damp paper towels for a couple of hours, then manually remove the shed if he doesn't shed it in the sweater box. Usually they will shed it right off in the sweater box. Pay close attention to his spectacles, or "eyecaps" and the tip of his tail. Look at the part of the skin that was shed from his head and make sure both spectacles came off with it. Then look at the snake's tail and make sure all the skin shed off the tail. These are two particular areas of trouble with snake sheds. If the eyecaps are still on the snake, then you need to soak him as described above in wet paper towels and GENTLY try to remove them with a damp Q-tip. If you don't easily get the eyecap off, then take him to someone more experienced or a vet. Do not try to use forceps or scotch tape if you don't have experience with that because you can permanently damage the snake's eyes.
:I realize that the signs of a snake shedding are cloudy eyes and its stomach starts turning a pinkish color. My question is does one or the other come first or do they both happen at about the same time? My ball python's eyes look like they are starting to get cloudy but his stomach still looks white. Plus, do they become more sluggish before a shed? Mine has been active at times but spends most of the time in his hides, day and night. I know that since I tend to stay up late. Anyway, any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!