Removing unshed snake eyecaps
©1995, 2002 Melissa Kaplan
Retained eyecaps are a common occurrence in ball pythons but may occur in any snake. Problems with shedding (incomplete, patchy, delayed) are due to environmental problems (too hot, too cold, too dry) and health problems (systemic bacterial or parasitic infections). If a bad shed or retained eyecaps happen for more than one shed on newly acquired snakes, or at all with established snakes, you will need to evaluate your environment and, if that is set up properly, get your snake to a reptile vet.
Dented eyes are common in snakes that are dehydrated or who have previously retained eye sheds. Thus, the eyecap may appear to be still on the eye when it fact it was shed off. Always check the sheds to see if the eyecaps have in fact shed.
If you are unable to easily get the shed off, get the snake to an experienced reptile vet. Injuries can occur all too easily due to forcible removal and infections can develop under the retained shed. These are not treatable at home - they must be examined by a reptile vet.
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