View Full Version : snake/mineral oil bath?

11-08-2007, 06:22 PM
a helpful person suggested that as shedding approaches, and during shedding, if i allow my snake to swim in a tub, i could put a teaspoon of mineral oil in the water. ( where i live in alaska is very dry, especially in winter). i am wondering what people here would think?

btw: what are the first signs that a snake is going to shed? my snake is albino, so already white.

11-08-2007, 08:13 PM
I have heard of it, never tried it. Not sure if it's actually good for them, but I can't imagine it would hurt. I'd wait on additional advice on that one.

However, regarding your snake - if it's white, it's not albino. Albino corns are red/orange, like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dvd5/129672817/

White corns are blizzards and snows (without a pic, can't say which yours is). Blizzards are more of a true white though.

An opaque blueish/cloudy look to the eyes is your best bet to look for, for an impending shed.

11-09-2007, 01:23 AM
well, now, that is SO interesting!!! i thought all albinos were white! my corn must be a blizzard or a snow. (his name IS snowball...) it is all white, but there is a pattern, but the pattern is in a muted beige... just so subtle. most would just call it white. but there is definitely a pattern. i promise to take pics this weekend.

about the shed, i do think it's eyes are cloudy. it's whole head seems not as perfectly scaled as the rest of it's body. to the ignorant eye one might think it is starting a shed. what do you look for besides cloudy eyes, or is there anything? will it eat it's shed? or will i see an obvious snake skin?

there is a very knowledgable guy at petco who keeps snakes, and i am inviting him to visit my snake and help me out a bit. he said he would be glad to. although i got the snake at petco, he did not get to see it before it was quickly adopted, so he would really like to.


11-09-2007, 09:51 AM
Sounds like you have a snow - they have a pretty distinct pattern.

You will see the shed, they don't eat it. I'm sure some snake, somewhere, eats its shed....but generally speaking, I've never known one to eat it like a lizard does.

11-09-2007, 11:28 AM
a helpful person suggested that as shedding approaches, and during shedding, if i allow my snake to swim in a tub, i could put a teaspoon of mineral oil in the water.

I honestly have never tried this technique. With the occasional difficult shed, I first soak the snake in a couple inches of lukewarm water for a couple hours then place the snake in an tuppaware box that contains a small towel soaked in warm water. Eventually the snake will begin shed and have a surface that it can rub any difficult pieces of skin off on. It works every time.

However, if you keep the animal in the proper humidity then bad sheds shouldn't be a problem. if the air is too dry then you may want to look into providing hide boxes packed full of a moist medium (peat mos, spagham moss, etc). Tuppaware boxes with a hole cut on in the top work well for my high humidity ground dwelling species. Also, increase the size of your water bowl as you'll get more humidity in the cage to an increased surface area for the water to evaporate.

On the snows, albinos, sunglows, etc, I always look at the ventral (belly) scales they will have a milky hue to them prior to shed.

11-09-2007, 02:46 PM
Snowball shed!=D> he is beautiful and shiny... we have the shed of his head which includes his eyes!

11-09-2007, 05:20 PM
i was in a hurry earlier... yes, my snake shed! not all in one piece... but it looks very good. i am going to let him swim in a tub later today just to make sure that he gets all the pieces off. i was worried earlier about the skin on his head and face because it seemed to be rough as if it was going to peel in some places, and it was off color, kinda yellowish around the nose, and where ears would be if he had ears. that color peeled off with the shed... so that may be also a sign of impending shed.

anyway, just so excited!

11-11-2007, 12:01 AM
haha I remember my first shed! (well not mine, but you know...) I am surprised that I didn't give my snake a RI with all the misting and soaking I did trying to keep the shed a good one piece as I didn't want to work with sticky eye caps or such. NEVER a fun thing to work with BTW. #-o But in any case, Corn snakes and King snakes never seem to have any problem. I heard from one person that 90% of shedding has to do with their fresh water. If you give them very fresh water that never runs dry it keeps their bodies moisturized therefore they don't have shedding issues. Of course with high humidity snakes like Amazon Tree Boas, Green Tree Pythons and such its a little different. But anyway, I have only worked with one bad shed, and in the end everything worked out!

Considering you just made it through the shed, Everything looks great!! :) I can't wait to see some pictures of this Snowball!! :)

11-11-2007, 01:46 AM

what's funny is that my snake had *not* shed yet except for his head. what do i know??? after we let him soak in warm water, then, he began to shed, and we loved being able to watch it! the pictures that i did post were before shed...

thanks for commenting on my corn snake when you have such amazing beautiful snakes!

11-11-2007, 04:08 AM
Ugh, I throw my dumerils into the bath tub about once a month. This last time I had 2 girls going into shed, which, of course broke, and I was stuck trying to rub it all off, when they decided it would be a SWELL idea to MUSK ME! Black tar... everywhere. Pieces of shed everything. Everything stank, and I just threw the snakes back in the tank with a tub full of water and some pieces of cork. I might attempt it again later, but nothing discourages you quite like getting musked!

11-11-2007, 01:58 PM
do all snakes "musk" ? not sure what that is, but it sounds unpleasant!

11-11-2007, 03:03 PM
Good question. They all may have the ability, but some are notorious for doing it more than others. I have never been musked or pooped on in any fashion by my RTB, but kings and milks are horrible about it until you get them tamed down. Even then...if you catch them on a bad day, you're gonna get musked.

11-11-2007, 03:56 PM
musk is basically a stinky liquid that they spray out of their butts that smells AWFUL to detour predators. I dont know if ALL snakes can, but a decent amount can. Our red tailed green ratsnake is notorious for musking, earned him the name "lil stinky" because he would go off any time you touched him, but his doesnt smell NEARLY as bad as the black tar that comes out of a dumerils boas butt. Imagine a smell that makes you gag and want to vomit and pass out all at the same time.

11-12-2007, 01:28 AM
Imagine a smell that makes you gag and want to vomit and pass out all at the same time.


04-12-2008, 01:11 AM
I have heard of people using a drop of mineral oil on the eyes if the caps do not shed, but never adding it to a "bath". I can't see how that would hurt the snake in any way.
I ran down to my snake room when I read your post and took a 2 quick shots of my stripedsnow corn. The other is a striped/motley ghost.