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Behavior General topics or questions concerning the way your cornsnake may be acting.

Weird shed story . . .
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Old 05-18-2005, 08:48 PM   #1
Weird shed story . . .

First I have to let you all know that the snake that was formerly known as Monty is now Rhiannon. After we found out that he was a she, we decided she needed a prettier name. Actually we renamed all the snakes but one after discovering they were mis-sexed. But I'll deal with that another time, it has nothing to do with my story . . . All I can say is it's a good thing they're not dogs and actually learn their names . . . LOL but then who ever heard of a mis-sexed dog? Hey, but I did get a mis-sexed kitten once . . .

Rhiannon went blue, then cleared, then went blue again! It was already past the day I usually feed her so I decided to offer her a mouse and see if she'd eat it. Boy, did she! She has always been a good eater so it didn't surprise me too much. I didn't think about it much and returned her to her viv. A few hours later I saw her in her viv going CRAZY trying to shed. It seemed like something was wrong . . . I'd never seen her have any trouble. I left her alone for another hour and when I checked again she was still at it and had bits of skin hanging off around her neck. And I mean she was freaking out! Thrashing around, digging in and out of the aspen, rubbing up against things furiously. She was starting to make me nervous, because she'd eaten only a few hours before and I didn't think going crazy like that would be too good for her. I wanted to take her out and let her run through a towel but I didn't want to handle her!!! So I left her alone for another hour. By that time she was really getting tired, she'd go crazy and then she'd stop and lay there with her sides heaving. I finally decided that if she kept that up long enough she'd regurge for sure anyway, so I might as well try to help her. Besides, she is VERY docile, so I figured that even though she just ate handling her wouldn't be any more stressful than what she was doing!

So I got a wet towel and got her out and let her run through it. She finally got the shed off her body, but she still had the shed on her head. We really worked to get that off, but FINALLY she got all that off too. I know it's weird, but she almost seemed grateful for the help! I finally realized that because she ate and stretched the skin on her neck, it broke there instead of on her face. I guess at that point she really couldn't get any leverage to pull out of it, which is why she was going all crazy like that. It's been 3 days now and she kept her mouse down too, so I guess I made the right decision! But that was a really tough call for me, and I'm so glad she's okay. She may be a boring ol' normal but she's really my favorit snake (shhh - don't tell the others!) LOL

Here's a kinda lame indoor post-shed picture . . . I'll put some other cute ones in the photo gallery. Sheesh, I wasn't even sure where to put this story, but I did want to share. I hadn't heard of anything like this ever happening to anyone else. I know they can have a rough shed now and again, but having her go all crazy right after she ate really freaked me out!
Old 05-19-2005, 01:49 AM   #2
Wow, what a crazy story! I'm glad she's o.k. I hate when something goes wrong and you're not sure what to do.
Old 05-19-2005, 02:58 AM   #3
Man, I relocated my snakes awhile ago and I think because of the change in altitude possibly they were having difficult times sheding. One "shed" but pretty much the entire body was still in the old skin.
I read that s/he could grow and die from being squeezed in by the old skin. This scared me a lot so I spent about an hour with a wet towel.
I was so relieved when that shed finally came off.

Since then I've invested in moist hides. Glad to hear your helped shed was sucessfull
Old 05-19-2005, 10:43 AM   #4
Yeah . . .

It was scary! I think my humidity was okay, it's usually around 40% in that tank, but it's hard to say for sure as I moved my thermometer with the humidity sensor to one of the tubs. She'd never had a problem before, and I really think that it was just cause she ate a big fat fuzzy and when the skin on her neck stretched out the old skin weakened there instead of on her face. I think from here out if a snake is in shed I will offer a smaller than usually mouse (if possible!), if it had been any of the other 3 I doubt I would have had as good results . . . they aren't as calm about being handled as Rhiannon, tho they are getting better. She is really puppy dog tame, and I have to admit that it was pretty cool to hold up that wet towel for her and have her rub her face on it.
Old 05-20-2005, 01:17 AM   #5
Wow, scary! Glad to hear it came to a good conclusion! And even MORE glad that she didn't regurge I think helplessness strikes fear in me more than anything else...I bet it was nerve racking!

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