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It sounds like he is trying to get rid of them...

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Posted by yani45 on May 11, 2003 at 17:39:40:

In Reply to: It sounds like he is trying to get rid of them... posted by oldherper on May 11, 2003 at 09:08:54:

:Thanks for the advice... I'll give the damp towels a shot and let you know how it went.


:Sometimes when a snake has a problem, such as an injury or is trying to heal from a skin infection (or maybe retained eyecaps) he will go through accellerated ecdysis cycles. What I would suggest trying at first is to wait until he goes blue again, clears up and starts to try to shed. Then put him in some sort of container, like as plastic sweater box or something, full of damp towels. Fill the box with damp towels to the point that he is forced to crawl through them and can't just lay on top of them. What I do is to put a layer of towels in, put the snake in, then fill the rest of the box with towels. Put the box with him and the towels inside in a fairly warm place (85 to 90 F.) and leave him for several hours. Most of the time they will shed everything inside the box from crawling through the towels. If that doesn't work, then the eyecaps will have to be manually removed. There are a number of techniques for doing that, all have some degree of risk associated with them:

:1. They can be removed with forceps or tweezers. This is the most dangerous technique, because you have to be able to locate the edge of the retained eycap and grab it with the forceps without getting the cuticle and healthy eycap. If you accidentally get the healthy eyecap you can accidentally remove it leaving the eyeball unprotected or you can actually pull the eyeball right out of it's socket. If you are not absolutely positive you can do this, best to have a herp vet do it.

:2. Scotch tape. Some people remove unshed eyecaps by rolling a small piece of scotch tape around their first two fingers, sticky side out, and just rolling that across the eyecap. I have seen this technique, on one or two occasions, also actually pull the eyeball from the socket. It is, however, safer than the forceps method.

:3. Vaseline or K-Y Jelly and a Q-tip. Sometimes this method is also successful. Coat the eyecap with Vaseline or K-Y Jelly and let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes, then using a Q-tip, try to "tease" the edge of the eyecap loose by gently rubbing it with the cotton end of the Q-tip. This is probably the safest of the 3 methods, but you are still messing around with the snake's eye trying to mechanically remove the eyecap, so there is still a potential for accidental injury.


::I came across a 4 ft. Male Brazilian Rainbow Boa and a Petco. While they do have a few reptiles, they usually have nothing exotic. The boa hadn't shed his eye scales in the last few moltings and they didn'y know quite what to do with him. I took him off their hands for a small fee thinking I could help. I've raised the humidity in his cage to 70-75% with plenty of spaghum moss and a dish for soaking. I've had him for 6 weeks now and he's shed three times in that span (why so much I don't know...) and the eye scales still won't come off nor is he accepting food. Does any one have any ideas??


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