Is my snake losing her eye?

Asked November 5, 2017, 12:15 PM EST

my ball python is a female about 2 years old and she shedded around 3weeks-1 month ago and her eye socket either looks infected or like the skin didnt completely peel. Im not sure when it began or how long shes been like that, i washed her with a shed-ease 4 days ago but still nothing. Anybody know whats going on that can help me or shed some light on what i can do to "fix" it and what i can do to avoid it from happening again?

Texas reptile husbandry

1 Response

Thank you for your question. It appears from your photograph that the old lens separated from the old skin when your snake shed. In the past, I have had snakes that experienced this problem. I used a plastic storage box in which I had drilled air holes in the lid and around the sides. I put enough lukewarm water in the storage box so that the snake is floating on the surface of the water. Put the snake into the box and put the lid on the box. Make sure you use one of those boxes that has the clamps that snap down on the lid, so the snake can't force the lid off the box. I leave the snake in the water for about an hour. The warm water and the high humidity will usually loosen the lens enough that you can gently remove it with a pair of tweezers.

Hold the snakes head in such a way that it can't open it's mouth or jerk its head around. If there is any of the old skin still attached to the lens, start by gently lifting that up with the tweezers. If the lens is loose, you'll be able to gently work it free. If it doesn't break free right away with minimum pressure, put the snake back in the water to soak. If the lens isn't loose enough to break away, and you pull to hard, you can damage the eye.

If you've never done this before, or if you think this is not the problem and the eye is infected, for example, I recommend you take your snake to a reptile vet in your area, and have the vet examine it.

You can help reduce the chance of the lens failing to shed by ensuring you maintain adequate humidity in your snakes enclosure. You can also allow it to soak when it's getting ready to shed.

Hope this information helps, and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.

Jim