Most dragon owners get anxious when its time for their pet to shed. Well, there is nothing to worry. Shedding is a normal process which occurs when your pet grows larger or wants to get rid of old skin. This process is more frequent in baby water dragons compared to mature or adult dragons. The entire process may take about two weeks time. Normally dragons begin to shed starting from their front legs and head followed by the upper body and then lower body.
Your pet has a long tail, and it is the last to shed. If you maintain the ideal humidity conditions, your pet will not face many problems and its skin will look clean and healthy again. However, improper shedding may become a source of concern especially if the old skin is retained in any of the body areas. Improper shedding is not only due to poor humidity control as it can be a warning signal for serious systemic illness.
As Chinese water dragons start to shed, you would notice the skin area to get dark. Your pet will spend more time soaking in water to remove the loose skin. You should never attempt to help your dragon by pulling or peeling off loose skin using excessive force. Sometimes old skin may remain stuck to the toe or tail end which reduces blood flow to the area.
If this constriction of blood flow continues for a long period of time it may lead to gangrene or tissue infection. Eventually, your pet may suffer from extensive tissue damage which is seen as a broken toe or snapped tail. This may not be very serious as your pet will continue to move and climb but it may never look the same.
It is always better if you take your pet to a vet and get the problem evaluated. As mentioned earlier, snapped tail or broken toes may be a sign of serious medical condition therefore you should never assume it to be a case of improper shedding. It is wise to get the problem fixed before it becomes untreatable.
If you notice your pet to struggle with shedding even if it is perfectly healthy, you can make some simple changes. You should monitor the humidity conditions in the enclosure and provide a tub for your pet to remain soaked. Soaking your dragon for 20 minutes a day can greatly help in getting rid of loose skin.