Snake STUCK SHED – What TO DO / What NOT TO DO !

Are you dealing with a snake that is stuck in its shed? Unsure of what to do or what not to do in such a situation? Look no further as this blog post provides you with all the essential information and guidance on how to handle this issue effectively. Discover the key steps to take and the common mistakes to avoid when dealing with a snake in a stuck shed. Don’t let uncertainty hinder your actions – read on to find the best course of action for both you and the snake.

Snake STUCK SHED – What TO DO / What NOT TO DO!


If you’re a proud snake owner, you have probably encountered the issue of shedding. Shedding is a natural process for snakes, ensuring their growth and providing them with fresh, healthy skin. However, sometimes snakes can experience stuck shed, where the old skin is not shed completely. This can be uncomfortable for your snake and even lead to serious health issues if not addressed promptly and properly. In this article, we will discuss what to do and what not to do when your snake is experiencing stuck shed.

What TO DO:

  1. Soak your snake in a shallow bath:

    • Fill a container with lukewarm water, just deep enough to cover your snake’s body.
    • Gently place your snake in the water, allowing it to soak for about 15-20 minutes.
    • This will help to loosen the old skin and make it easier for your snake to shed.
  2. Use a damp cloth or paper towel instead:

    • If your snake is small or you prefer not to soak it in water, you can use a damp cloth or paper towel.
    • Gently rub the damp cloth over the stuck shed areas, applying slight pressure.
    • Be cautious not to pull or tug forcefully as this may injure your snake.
  3. Put the snake in a container with the damp cloth:

    • Line a container with a damp cloth or paper towel.
    • Place your snake in the container, ensuring that the stuck shed areas are in contact with the damp cloth.
    • This method allows the humidity from the damp cloth to soften the skin and aid in shedding.
  4. Keep the container in a warm place:

    • Snakes require a warm environment for healthy shedding.
    • Place the container with your snake in a warm spot, such as near a heat source or in a warm room.
    • The heat will help to create a suitable environment for shedding.
  5. Let the humidity do its work for about an hour:

    • Leave your snake in the container for approximately an hour, allowing the humidity to work its magic.
    • The moisture will help to soften the stuck shed, making it easier for your snake to shed naturally.
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  1. Avoid putting ball pythons in straight water as it can be fatal:

    • Ball pythons are particularly sensitive to waterlogged environments.
    • It is crucial not to immerse them in standing water or submerge them completely.
    • Waterlogged scales can lead to respiratory issues and even death.
  2. Do not forcefully pull the stuck shed:

    • Although it can be tempting to pull or peel off the stuck shed, this can cause harm to your snake.
    • Forcibly removing the old skin can result in injury, tearing the new skin beneath it.
  3. Do not use oils or lubricants:

    • Some sources suggest using oils or lubricants to assist with shedding.
    • However, these substances can be toxic to snakes if ingested or absorbed through their skin.
    • It is best to rely on natural methods and not introduce any potentially harmful substances.
  4. Avoid rough handling:

    • During the shedding process, your snake may be more sensitive and irritable.
    • Handle your snake with care and avoid any unnecessary roughness or stress.
    • Gentle and calm interactions will help your snake feel secure and comfortable.
  5. Do not ignore prolonged stuck shed:

    • If your snake’s shedding problem persists for an extended period or if it is happening frequently, seek veterinary advice.
    • Prolonged stuck shed could indicate underlying health issues that need professional attention.


Properly addressing stuck shed is essential for the well-being of your snake. Remember to soak your snake in a shallow bath or use a damp cloth, provide a warm environment, and let the humidity aid in the shedding process. Avoid using oils or lubricants and refrain from forcefully pulling the stuck shed. Also, be cautious with ball pythons and never put them in straight water. With these tips, you can help your snake shed its skin comfortably and prevent any potential health complications.

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  1. Can I use warm tap water for soaking my snake?

    • Yes, you can use warm tap water, but ensure that you test the temperature to avoid burning your snake.
  2. How often should snakes shed their skin?

    • Snakes shed their skin approximately every 4-6 weeks, depending on their age and growth rate.
  3. What should I do if my snake’s shed does not come off completely even after following these steps?

    • If the shed remains stuck, consult a reptile veterinarian who can provide further advice and assistance.
  4. Are there any signs of distress I should watch out for during shedding?

    • Some signs of distress during shedding include decreased appetite, increased aggression, and excessive rubbing against enclosure surfaces.
  5. Can I assist in removing very stubborn stuck shed?

    • It is best to let the snake shed naturally, but if the stuck shed persists, consult a professional reptile veterinarian for guidance.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional veterinary advice. Always consult with a qualified reptile veterinarian for specific concerns about your snake’s health and shedding.