Helping Your Reptile Shed

Have you recently adopted your first reptile? Congratulations, and welcome to the wonderful world of reptile ownership. One thing that many first-time owners find themselves facing learning curves on is shedding behaviors. Shedding is a natural process, but there are times that it may not go according to plan. A local Anderson, IN vet offers some advice on helping your pet dinosaur get through their wardrobe change safely in this article.


Do Specific Research

Shedding cycles and methods vary from animal to animal. It will also change over time. For instance, a baby iguana may shed every month or so, while an adult one may only shed once a year. Read up on your specific pet, so you know what to expect. 


Watch For Signs


If you pay close attention to your reptilian pal, you’ll learn to recognize the signs of an impending shed. Some reptiles stop eating just before a shed. Others may act a little odd or grumpy. You may also notice lethargy, cloudy or milky eyes, and/or dull-looking scales. Your reptile may also not want to be handled. (Note: If your pet’s eyes are cloudy, avoid handling them unless it’s absolutely necessary. They won’t be able to see well, and may get scared and/or bite.) 




Make sure that your scaled friend’s tank is set up in a way that is conducive to shedding. In most cases, that means adding a second hide. This should contain materials that help with shedding, such as sphagnum moss. Shedding skin can be a bit itchy, as anyone who has dealt with severe sunburn can attest to. Your reptile will appreciate having things to rub against, such as rocks, branches, or vines. Humidity is also important. Your pet may need higher humidity levels, more bath/soak time, or extra mistings. Again, exact requirements vary from pet to pet, so ask your vet for recommendations.


Do’s and Don’ts


Usually, healthy reptiles will get through their wardrobe changes with no issues. Just look them over carefully after. If you see stuck skin, pus, swelling, and/or bleeding, contact your vet immediately and ask for specific advice. Shedding problems can cause very painful and serious issues, including infections and even vision loss.


Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions about your pet’s health or care. As your Anderson, IN animal clinic, we’re here to help! 

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