Molting Question

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
4,991
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
For the past 2 days my BTS, Thistle, has been sleeping all day and ate almost nothing.

I have not been worried, and today I know why. Today she is buried under the substrate as much as she can be, and is slowly crawling all over the enclosure. She is scraping her old skin off with the coco chip!

My question is this...why for a couple days before shedding is she so withdrawn? Does she feel sick? More vulnerable? In pain?

She has no difficulty getting it off. It's coming off her in sizeable sheets, just like a really bad sunburn.
 

Chubbs the tegu

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2019
Messages
8,192
Location (City and/or State)
Ma
Its normal for them to hide and eat less while shedding. Mine does the same. It is a lil uncomfortable for them ( can be itchy and unpleasant) i usually sray down his substrate during shedding a bit and also him just to help out. Never had any stuck shed problems but always be sure to give a once over once hes finished ( especially around the toes and tip of the tail) they can lose toes if any gets restricted.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
53,772
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
For the past 2 days my BTS, Thistle, has been sleeping all day and ate almost nothing.

I have not been worried, and today I know why. Today she is buried under the substrate as much as she can be, and is slowly crawling all over the enclosure. She is scraping her old skin off with the coco chip!

My question is this...why for a couple days before shedding is she so withdrawn? Does she feel sick? More vulnerable? In pain?

She has no difficulty getting it off. It's coming off her in sizeable sheets, just like a really bad sunburn.
Funny you mention this today. I noticed when I fed Sushi today that he/she looked a little dull. An indicator of impending shedding. He/she only ate about half of the food today, which is not normal at all. The reduced appetite happens sometimes but not every time.

When moving is imminent, I dump water into the substrate, spray everything down, and make sure the humid hide is good and damp inside. The added humidity and moisture helps with shedding. When they are babies this is most important to prevent any shed from sticking on their tiny little hands and feet.
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
4,991
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Its normal for them to hide and eat less while shedding. Mine does the same. It is a lil uncomfortable for them ( can be itchy and unpleasant) i usually sray down his substrate during shedding a bit and also him just to help out. Never had any stuck shed problems but always be sure to give a once over once hes finished ( especially around the toes and tip of the tail) they can lose toes if any gets restricted.
Thanks, Jason! So far I haven't seen any sign that she's having trouble, but her humidity runs around 50-60%. One care sheet I read says keep them at 25-40%. That seems so low to me.

I'll keep an eye on her.
BTW, I missed you too! Good to have you back! You're a breath of fresh air! :)
 

Chubbs the tegu

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2019
Messages
8,192
Location (City and/or State)
Ma
Thanks, Jason! So far I haven't seen any sign that she's having trouble, but her humidity runs around 50-60%. One care sheet I read says keep them at 25-40%. That seems so low to me.

I'll keep an eye on her.
BTW, I missed you too! Good to have you back! You're a breath of fresh air! :)
Aww shucks. Its good to be back!
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
4,991
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Funny you mention this today. I noticed when I fed Sushi today that he/she looked a little dull. An indicator of impending shedding. He/she only ate about half of the food today, which is not normal at all. The reduced appetite happens sometimes but not every time.

When moving is imminent, I dump water into the substrate, spray everything down, and make sure the humid hide is good and damp inside. The added humidity and moisture helps with shedding. When they are babies this is most important to prevent any shed from sticking on their tiny little hands and feet.
I knew about checking them for stuck shed. Thing is, when she was small her hands and feet were microscopic. That's why I was so scared trying to extricate her from the duct tape... I just knew I was going to rip off a hand or arm!

Glad to know I can dampen down the substrate.

Sushi and Thistle seem to be in sync on molting. Now if Thistle would catch up in weight...naw, she's just fine like she is!

BTW, yesterday it was 126° here at my house! And no, the sensor was not in the sun! 🥵🔥

And my house AC compressor stopped working. Panic! But I was blessed...it was fixed in 2 hours.
 
Last edited:

Maro2Bear

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
12,127
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Greetings....just reading this thread out of interest. For some reason, i thought i had read somewhere that snakes and lizards etc are withdrawn (and prone to bite) right before/during molting cause their skin on their eyes clouds over.
So, they are more shy & reclusive right before molting.

Found this while trying to find info.

Lizards
Most lizards shed their skin in pieces. As one area sheds other areas may not be ready to shed. Thus peeling off dead layers of skin, which may expose and damage new skin that isn’t ready yet, should be avoided. The skin on the tips of the toes sometimes fails to shed at the same time as the rest of the foot. As the skin dries it shrinks and may cause the loss of the toe tip. This skin should be gently removed after soaking the lizard in shallow lukewarm water for 30 to 60 minutes. If skin is left on the tail tip extreme caution must be used in removing it because the tails of many lizard species fall completely off even with gentle handling. Some lizards eat their shed skins. If the skin is left on the toes or tail tip, a lack of humidity may be the problem. The humidity may be increased with a humidity box (see above) or by misting the cage periodically.
Source - https://www.cascadekennels.com/reptile-shedding-2/
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
4,991
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Greetings....just reading this thread out of interest. For some reason, i thought i had read somewhere that snakes and lizards etc are withdrawn (and prone to bite) right before/during molting cause their skin on their eyes clouds over.
So, they are more shy & reclusive right before molting.

Found this while trying to find info.

Lizards
Most lizards shed their skin in pieces. As one area sheds other areas may not be ready to shed. Thus peeling off dead layers of skin, which may expose and damage new skin that isn’t ready yet, should be avoided. The skin on the tips of the toes sometimes fails to shed at the same time as the rest of the foot. As the skin dries it shrinks and may cause the loss of the toe tip. This skin should be gently removed after soaking the lizard in shallow lukewarm water for 30 to 60 minutes. If skin is left on the tail tip extreme caution must be used in removing it because the tails of many lizard species fall completely off even with gentle handling. Some lizards eat their shed skins. If the skin is left on the toes or tail tip, a lack of humidity may be the problem. The humidity may be increased with a humidity box (see above) or by misting the cage periodically.
Source - https://www.cascadekennels.com/reptile-shedding-2/
Thank you so much Mark! That makes perfect sense, so I will try to get a really close look at her eyes. If clear, maybe she already got it off from them.

I am continually surprised how poor her visual acuity is! She can't tell the difference between my finger and a blueberry resting on it. She bites for the berry, and gets a bunch of fingerpad with it. She's getting big enough her bites hurt, so no more finger feeding.
 

Maro2Bear

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
12,127
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Thank you so much Mark! That makes perfect sense, so I will try to get a really close look at her eyes. If clear, maybe she already got it off from them.

I am continually surprised how poor her visual acuity is! She can't tell the difference between my finger and a blueberry resting on it. She bites for the berry, and gets a bunch of fingerpad with it. She's getting big enough her bites hurt, so no more finger feeding.

Just read this,

➡️ Lizards too shed their skin in pieces and some lizards eat their sloughed skin. Iguanas shed their skin in pieces on the outside of their bodies except for their eyeballs. In rapidly growing reptiles shedding occurs every 2 weeks. Snakes shed their skin in one piece except for the giant snakes which may tear their skin. During shedding the snakes are very irritable and temperamental and may strike if handled. Handling during this time damages their new skin. A healthy growing snake sheds at least once a month.
Source - https://vet.purdue.edu/vth/files/documents/Shedding in Reptiles.pdf
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
53,772
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I knew about checking them for stuck shed. Thing is, when she was small her hands and feet were microscopic. That's why I was so scared trying to extricate her from the duct tape... I just knew I was going to rip off a hand or arm!

Glad to know I can dampen down the substrate.

Sushi and Thistle seem to be in sync on molting. Now if Thistle would catch up in weight...naw, she's just fine like she is!

BTW, yesterday it was 126° here at my house! And no, the sensor was not in the sun! 🥵🔥

And my house AC compressor stopped working. Panic! But I was blessed...it was fixed in 2 hours.
Oh wow! I hope that AC tech got a nice tall glass of ice water! It was ONLY 118 here...

The weather here is so nice for most of the year, but there are those few cold winter days and these few roasting hot summer days that are just punishing. Well, back to the pool for me. :)
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
4,991
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Just read this,

➡ Lizards too shed their skin in pieces and some lizards eat their sloughed skin. Iguanas shed their skin in pieces on the outside of their bodies except for their eyeballs. In rapidly growing reptiles shedding occurs every 2 weeks. Snakes shed their skin in one piece except for the giant snakes which may tear their skin. During shedding the snakes are very irritable and temperamental and may strike if handled. Handling during this time damages their new skin. A healthy growing snake sheds at least once a month.
Source - https://vet.purdue.edu/vth/files/documents/Shedding in Reptiles.pdf
Pretty cool! There are small sheets of shed skin all over the habitat. She totally ignores them.
 

Pastel Tortie

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Messages
4,259
Location (City and/or State)
North Florida
I am continually surprised how poor her visual acuity is! She can't tell the difference between my finger and a blueberry resting on it. She bites for the berry, and gets a bunch of fingerpad with it. She's getting big enough her bites hurt, so no more finger feeding.
I use a small set of tongs in lieu of my fingers when hand feeding my male beardie. Small lizard teeth... are still teeth. (Ouch.)
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top