Shedding

Before (left) and after (right) shedding. It really is the same snake! Photo by Alissa Pendorf

Symptoms

  • Dull scales
  • Cloudy/milky/bluish eyes
  • Sagging skin under the chin/throat
  • Lethargy
  • Hiding more than usual
  • Loss of appetite
  • Timid/defensive behavior

Cause

  • Shedding skin to accommodate growth or weight gain/loss

Treatment

Like any other reptile, corn snakes shed their skin regularly as they grow and age. Hatchling and juvenile corn snakes can be expected to shed every 4-6 weeks, but adults only shed every 3 months or so.

As long as your humidity is correct and your corn snake is well hydrated, the skin should come off in one piece with little to no complication. Just check your snake after the shed to make sure that the eye caps and tip of the tail were shed successfully.

If there is some stuck shed, giving the snake a warm bath or offering a humid hide full of damp moss on the warm side of the enclosure should resolve the issue. Stuck shed should always be addressed immediately, as it can harden and restrict blood flow to the area, sometimes causing permanent injury. NEVER pull stuck shed off without soaking beforehand.

Corn snake shedding

An intact corn snake shed. This is your goal!