Hi, I thought there was another dead rat in the ceiling but apparently it's Bebe the Florida Kingsnake getting ready to shed. She usually doesn't smell bad, but this time it's nasty. She seems healthy, goes in and out of her hut easily (although she's blind right now), and ate last Friday. There's a wet sponge in her cage to increase humidity, and I'll probably give her a bath later today. No lumps or bumps and no open sores to be seen.
Should I worry about the smell, or does this just happen sometimes?

Jeannie
Hi, I thought there was another dead rat in the ceiling but apparently it's Bebe the Florida Kingsnake getting ready ... bumps and no open sores to be seen. Should I worry about the smell, or does this just happen sometimes?

Huh, I've never heard of that, Jeannie. I just went in and did a sniff test on the Best Beloved's rosy, who is looking close to a shed (he doesn't exhibit the classic signs, but we've learned), and he is a bit whiffy. I'm wondering if this is a smell of the lymphy stuff between the old and new skin layers? ew shed, when still wet, can be a little gamey.
I can't think of why it would be so noticeably different for your girl this time, though. Could she have musked and it's staying on the skin to be shed a little more than it might have otherwise?

I looked on the web and couldn't find anything immediately, though this link is extra cool:
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/12/17/squirrel-predator-scent.html

Squirrels eat snake sheds, and then smell more like snakes, which makes them less tasty to rattlesnakes. Kingsnakes might have a field day, though!
nj"no, no, I'm really a mammal!"m

the handcuffed heartaches up against the car
like you're up against me darling in my dreams
Hi, I thought there was another dead rat in the ceiling but apparently it's Bebe the Florida Kingsnake getting ready ... and no open sores to be seen. Should I worry about the smell, or does this just happen sometimes? Jeannie

I've noticed that if a snake sheds and the shed is laying for a few days and stay moist, then it can smell really bad when you unroll it. But it never smells while still on the snake.
Could it be a starting mouth rot, perhaps (if it's a rotten smell)? Or some poop or vomit laying somewhere in the cage, which the snake has crawled on?

Ulrik Smed
Aarhus, Denmark