Once in a while a reptile will have a problem while it is shedding. This is not the normal color change or swollen and milky eyes, but other things that can go wrong such as patches that aren’t coming off properly. Problems can be new or they can be left over from previous sheds.
Things that Can Cause the Problem
These problems can be directly related to the skin, or they can come from outside sources such as parasites. Shedding won’t cause parasites, but they can aggravate the skin during the shed and even cause disease. Other factors can include undernourishment and not enough humidity.
What to do about Issues
In the case of patches that are stubborn as far as coming off, soaking the pet in warm water may help. You can do this a few times per day until you see results. You can also create a hide large enough to put a warm, damp cloth and encourage your pet to stay in that for a while.
It’s important to keep an eye on your exotic pet to check for these patches. They interfere with the new skin that is coming in, and they can even choke the skin, limbs and digits. This can cut of blood flow and result in a loss of an appendage. Just be sure to allow plenty of time for the shed to be completed before assuming there is a problem.
How to Ensure Your Pet Sheds Properly
The best way to avoid shedding problems is to provide plenty of humidity for your snake, lizard or other reptile, as well as the proper food and supplements. Regular misting of the cage can help, as can dusting of the food with vitamin and mineral supplements. Always be sure to check the animal for parasites whether or not it is shedding, and always keep the cage as clean as possible.
Keep in mind that if your pet is new to you, it may have to go through an acclimation period before its natural process return to normal. If you have an episode or two of shedding being a problem, just know that it may go away after a couple months or so.
There is really not much more to it than that. If your reptile is having a problem with shedding and these remedies do not work, your best option is to consult a veterinarian that works with snakes, lizards or turtles. He or she may be able to give you advice or some supplements to help with the issue. If something worse is happening, the vet will know how to respond effectively.