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Rosy boa shed issue?

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Posted by: parseltongue at Sat Jun 21 17:30:41 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by parseltongue ]  

Hi, all. This is my first time posting, with a couple of questions about a shed issue with my new (and only) rosy.

I bought her exactly a month ago, as a tiny little juvenile. She was approximately a foot long, and weighed in at about 17 grams. She's been a great snake, and a good eater so far, eating 2 pinkies every 5-6 days, gaining an inch and 5 grams within about 2 weeks. However, the last time I tried to feed her, she refused, even after being left alone with the pinkies for several hours.

I figured she was maybe about to shed, but I had never seen her go opaque, but being a rosy, she stays burrowed in her substrate (shredded newspaper) and out of view most of the time, so I could have just totally missed it. I decided to wait another 5-6 days to see if she'd shed before trying to feed her again.

Today, I got her out and did my usual up-close inspection before attempting to feed her, and I noticed a patch of partially shed skin just behind her head. Closer inspection didn't appear to reveal any signs of other skin patches, and she didn't appear to have any retained eyecaps. However, I'm thinking that maybe these areas have simply cleared from the previously unseen opaque state and haven't been shed yet. I dug around in the paper shreds, and didn't see any other shed skin, but if they were there, it'd be tough to find in the substrate.

I soaked some paper toweling in warm water, and let her crawl through these in my hands for about 10-15 minutes to try to help loosen the skin so I could help her along. This technique has always helped with my gray rat snake (who has always had perfect sheds, except for the occasional stubborn tail tip that needs assistance occasionally). I then attempted to slowly try to peel the patchy area, but I got a little nervous doing so, due to her small size. I've always been comfortable helping my rat snake along with her tail tip, but she's considerably larger (about 5 feet) than the rosy. However, my rosy seems so small in comparison, I was really paranoid about accidentally injuring her.

I took a deli cup, cut a small hole for entry, and placed some damp, warm paper toweling inside, and placed this on the warm side of her enclosure, in hopes of helping the shed along with a higher humidity retreat. I'm hoping that this is simply a humidity issue, and not indicative of any other more serious underlying problems. Based on care suggestions from, I've only been providing her with a small bowl of water for a couple of days every couple of weeks.

Basically, my questions are as follows:

1. How long should I leave the humidity retreat in her enclosure?
2. How long should I wait this out before I really start to panic or further intervene in the shedding process?
3. If this seems to be a humidity issue, should I make a small water dish available more frequently in her enclosure?
4. How long should I wait before I attempt to feed her again during this process? I'd love to try to feed her today, but I'm worried I may have stressed her out a bit in my panic over her shed.

Sorry if I sound a bit frantic, but as most of you probably understand, this is my baby I'm talking about here. It's just a new experience to me, firstly because I've never owned a rosy until now, secondly because it's been a long time since I've had a snake this small (my rat snake is about 3.5 years old now), and third, because as far as shedding goes, I've never had a shedding problem of this magnitude with my rat snake, except for the aforementioned occasional few millimeters of tail tip.

I'm also considering changing substrates, at least to unshredded paper, and perhaps providing a large bowl of shredded paper for burrowing, so as to make finding possible sheds much easier.

Any and all advice, particularly direct answers to my above numbered questions, would be GREATLY appreciated...I just want to make sure my new little girl is healthy and happy!




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>> Next Message:  RE: Rosy boa shed issue? - parseltongue, Sun Jun 29 17:32:04 2008