ball python shedding with no eye caps? help.

Asked December 25, 2019, 12:12 AM EST

I just got a new baby ball python On Saturday it will be two weeks that I’ve had him. This is my first time having a snake and he is in a cage top 10 gallon tank considering he isn’t too big (ofc I will get a bigger tank once he’s a bit bigger) I have a 40 watt heat lamp for him and a 4 watt small heat pad for him on his basking side, and the temp stays about in the 80’s on that side, anyways I mist his tank a couple times a day, it is hard to keep the humidity high bc of the cage top but I think I’ve figured it out, I put a damp towel on top of half the tank and it seems to keep the humidity in the 60-70 range,(if u have any better tips please feel free to give me some) but yesterday overnight his skin got super dry/dull colored and wrinkly even tho since I’ve got him he was super smooth with bright colors, now Ik he is going into a shed right now but...he is already starting to shed with no cloudy eyecaps, the shed isn’t past his eyes yet but I don’t know if he has retained eye caps or what because they are COMPLETELY clear and doesn’t look like any skin is over them and I’ve never seen this before. What could this mean? Should I wait a few more days and see? Because he just started shedding today, just half of his head not his whole body yet it hasn’t gotten past his eyes yet but like I said, they are completely clear and doesn’t look like any skin is covering his eyes, he drinks plenty of water and I have a big water dish in there for him so idk..

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1 Response

Thank you for your question. When a snake is preparing to shed, its skin becomes dull and the eyes become cloudy. Just prior to shedding, however, the eyes become clear again. If the snake has not shed its old skin past the eyes yet, then you won't see the eye caps on the old skin. Once the snake's old skin reaches the eyes, then the caps should come off with the old skin.

If the shed works past the head, and you don't see any eye caps, then they have been retained over the new eye caps. Retained caps will cause problems with future sheds. If you have never removed retained caps, you should take your snake to a reptile vet where they can be removed.

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

Jim