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Mike McIntyre
Mike McIntyre,
Category: Large Animal
Satisfied Customers: 17015
Experience:  Veterinarian at Sioux Nation Pet Clinic
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I believe my ball python has retained eye caps.

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Hi. I believe my ball python has retained eye caps.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. This is Dr Mike and it will be my pleasure to assist you with your questions today. I have over 20 years of experience in small animal medicine and surgery. I am sorry to hear that you are having trouble with your little one, I can understand how stressful it is for you. I will do my utmost to assist today and to see if we will be able to resolve this quickly for you. Please be patient with me as it takes time to review and write detailed recommendations. Shortly you will receive an offer from Just Answer for a phone call, this is not directly from me and you do not have to accept it. If you prefer we can continue this whole conversation here. I will begin our discussion today with some questions to better understand your concerns.

How long has this been going on for?


There are four things you can do to help your snake’s eye caps come off:

  1. Increasing Humidity

A humidity level that is optimal for your species of snake is essential. By increasing the humidity level in your snake’s vivarium, a snake’s retained eye caps may come loose. Here are some ways that you can do this:

  • Get a reliable humidifier for your snake’s tank.
  • Adding an extra water dish into the vivarium or move the existing water dish to the warm end of the enclosure
  • Mist the inside of the enclosure with water once per day, including the sides, decorations, and your snake’s body.
  • Add a humidity box. This is a small plastic tub, large enough for your snake to curl up inside, with an entrance hole cut out of the side. Fill the tub with damp sphagnum moss, or damp paper towels.

2. Soaking.

The moisture and steam from the warm water add to the humidity inside your snake’s enclosure. Also, snakes enjoy bathing in warm water. This helps to soften a snake’s skin and get rid of parasites, such as mites.

Use a large plastic tub with air-holes cut into the lid, and fill it up to chin-height for your snake. The snake should be able to poke its head out of the water to breathe. The water should be 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place your snake into the tub and allow it to soak for 15-20 minutes. Afterwards, you’ll notice that the snake’s skin is softer. Gently run a damp washcloth over the snake and its eye caps should come off more easily.

3. Damp Pillowcase Technique

Take a clean cotton pillowcase and soak it in warm water, the same temperature that you used for the bath. Wring the pillowcase out so that it remains damp, but isn’t dripping wet. Then, place your snake inside it. Secure the end with a clip, hair tie or string, so that your snake can’t get out.

Place the pillowcase, with your snake inside, into a plastic tub. Your snake will naturally move around inside the pillowcase, pressing its body up against the damp cloth. This will loosen any stuck shed. After about 20 minutes, take your snake out and carefully dry it off.

4. Remove the Eye Caps Manually

If the ‘spectacles’ are still present, you can remove them manually. Here are some ways to remove stuck eye caps:

  • Moist Q-tip. Either soak the Q-tip in warm water or add a dab of petroleum jelly. Gently rub it against the eye to coax the eye cap away, while holding your snake still with your other hand.
  • Masking Tape. Press a piece of masking tape to the eye cap and pull it away. The eye cap may stick to the masking tape and come away.
  • Rubbing. Wearing a disposable latex finger cot to create some traction, use your finger to rub the old eye cap away.
  • Peeling. You can carefully peel away the layer of dead skin.

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
This is really amazing advice & guidance thank you so much! I’ll try some of these methods in the hope they help!


You are more than welcome. We can keep this message open for some days also, I am here daily and am readily available for follow-up. Please keep me updated as to any changes or concerns that may arise. If you wish for my help in the future. You can ask customer service to forward your questions to me, Doctor Mike. Start the questions “For Dr Mike only and no other expert” I am here daily and will be happy to follow up. It has been a pleasure assisting you and your little one  today. I wish for a speedy recovery and have a wonderful day. Thank you for using Just Answer. Dr. Mike.

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Thank you very much

Happy to help my friend:-).

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
eye caps are gone!
That is so good to hear !!  Thanks for letting me know.
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