Most snakes will shed around once a month or less.  This usually depends on their growth rate but occasionally an illness may cause them to shed more frequently.  This can be seen with ectoparasites like mites, wounds or trauma such as burns or bites, or even systemic illness.  Repeated shedding is a sign that your snake’s body is trying to HEAL something.

 Miracle started exhibiting hyper-ecdydysis in October 2018.  Her records show that she had shed 7 times between mid-October and mid-December! She had no signs of any wounds or parasites and is eating well.  The most likely explanation for hyper-ecdysis with no other clinical signs is hyperthyroidism.  We were extremely worried about this because it is difficult to treat in snakes.  Miracles first round of blood work shows normal thyroid, mild uric acid elevation (post-prandial), and moderately elevated white blood cells.    Due to these findings she will be going on a 3-6 weeks course of antibiotics followed by recheck blood work.  I am not yet convinced her thyroid is normal so we will continue to monitor that in the coming months, especially if her hyper-ecdysis continues despite antibiotic therapy.

UPDATE: after 4 weeks on antibiotics Miracle skin has returned to normal and she is no longer shedding repeatedly. Hurray!!

Miracle at work with Dr. Mayes.

We use insulated cooler bags for transporting snakes.  I you put an aftermarket care seat heater inside the bag and then the snake in a pillow case on top of the heater they can stay cozy and happy for many hours.  The heat keeps them comfy and the enclosed feeling of the make helps them feel safe.

Posted by Sara Mayes on Wednesday, December 12, 2018