Ball Python Scale Rot?

Scale rot is something you will come across at some time or another when owning a ball python. The problem is that this problem can quickly get out of control if not treated quickly, which can result in serious health problems for your reptilian pet.

Scale rot is a term used by veterinary professionals to describe a host of skin conditions that your snake may experience during its lifetime. All snakes are prone to scale rot, even those considered very low maintenance, such as the ball python.

If ignored, the bacteria will make its way into your pets bloodstream, resulting in septicemia , which can be fatal. The risk of the blisters rupturing and scales falling off on infected areas is also high. These scales should feel different to the touch when running your hand down your pet pythons body.

By understanding the cause of scale rot is important to help you remain informed and ensure the best care for your pet. Without being able to regulate their body temperature effectively, your python will become susceptible to various illnesses and diseases, which include increasing the risk of scale rot. Keeping the enclosure clean is essential in reducing the risk of scale rot.

When the enclosure is dirty, brimming with pee , poop , uneaten food, and unshedded skin, you put your pet at risk. An unhygienic enclosure is a breeding ground for bacteria and this can result in unwelcome scale rot in your ball python. In the event you only have one python, remove any substrate from the enclosure and replace with paper towels during the treatment and healing process.

If you dont notice an improvement within a few days, then its time to visit your vet for further assistance and treatment. Prevention is the best method, reducing the risk of your reptilian pet becoming susceptible to scale rot. There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of scale rot in your ball python.

The first step to preventing the risk of scale rot is to manage humidity levels. It is very important that you select substrate that isnt sharp and will not cause damage to your pet, while also helping you maintain humidity levels. Coco husk is preferred as it remains damp, helping maintain humidity inside the enclosure.

How do you treat scale rot on a ball python?

Fill a large bucket or container with lukewarm water, enough for the reptile to fully submerge without drowning. Add one part betadine for every ten parts of water, place your reptile inside, and then cover with a lid you’ve poked holes in. Let them soak for half an hour, then dry them off with a towel.

What do I do if my snake has scale rot?

Treat The Affected Area. If your snake has scale rot, you can help them by gently cleaning the affected area. You can use a chlorhexidine solution or a trusted reptile wound solution to gently clean the affected scales twice each day.

How do you know if a snake has scale rot?

An early sign that your snake may have scale rot is small blisters on their body. These small fluid-filled sacs will appear on the scales of your snake. Blisters will usually appear on the scales that have the MOST contact with the substrate. The fluid that is in these blisters is clear and yellowish.

How long does it take a snake to develop scale rot?

Re: How Long Does Scale Rot take to develop? It takes a while to pop up – usually a few weeks of near-swampy conditions before you start seeing the scales getting funky.

While snakes are among the hardiest pets you can have, they still have their health issues. One such issue is scale rot which is a term used to describe many forms of dermatitis among reptiles.

However, the best defense against scale rot is a clean and sterilized enclosure as well as proper husbandry practices depending on the snake species . Early detection ensures the reptile
barely suffers and treatment is least expensive.

However, when scale rot is left untreated, the blisters can become infected as bacteria enter the vesicles. In rare cases, fungi can enter the vesicles and cause skin fungal infection. If after all this, the blisters are still left untreated, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause septicemia.

Snakes that like to submerge themselves in
water are particularly at risk as they may fail to dry themselves properly
after their bath. If the temperature in the terrarium is not warm enough, the
moisture in substrates and the enclosure fails to dissipate. Scale rots, when left untreated, can encourage the growth of
bacteria such as Pseudomonas spp ,
which can lead to deadly diseases such as septicemia.

For
mild scale rot, you can easily treat it by sterilizing the enclosure and
cleaning the blisters. Once the enclosure is clean and dry, and the blisters
are properly treated, the snake should heal in no time. If the scale rot is severe, antibiotic treatment is necessary to ensure harmful bacteria is destroyed.

In severe cases, topical treatment and medications such as silver sulfadiazine, iodine solution, and antibiotic creams are used to create blisters. Remove all the objects in the enclosure including water dishes, hide boxes and decorations. They dry the snake easily after it has taken a bath in its water dish,
and are easy to replace once they are wet.

Keeping humidity levels right is essential to preventing scale rot as we have mentioned several times. Species endemic to dry climates such as deserts require low humidity levels. Additional tips include Using heat lamps to dissipate moisture and keep
habitat dry.

Ensure, the heat lamps dont increase temperatures pass acceptable
levels. The last type of substrate are the loose ones such as calcium sand , coco coir , aspen shavings , Repti bark , and moss (peat and vermiculite). With early detection and treatment, you can easily conquer this common skin condition.

Scale rot is a very common issue that many snake owners face. This condition can quickly spiral out of control, leading to serious health complications for your pet.

Scale rot is common in snakes (even low-maintenance ones like the ball python), but can occur with other reptiles as well. Preventing scale rot from ever becoming an issue with your pet snake will lead to a happier and longer life for them.

While most of the things that can cause scale rot have to do with a suboptimal or unsanitary enclosure, there are a couple others you should be aware of as well. Understanding the cause is incredibly important if you want to treat and prevent this condition from coming back in the future. Remember, as an owner its your responsibility to stay informed on the general health of your snake and the state of their enclosure.

Your snakes enclosure needs to have the right amount of humidity in order for your pet to thrie and avoid scale rot. This is why its incredibly important to verify how much humidity your specific breed of snake needs, since all species are different. Expert Tip: You will need to purchase a high-quality and reliable hygrometer to accurately measure the humidity level in your snakes enclosure.

The enclosures humidity level plays a role in your snakes ability to shed correctly. If your snake cannot shed completely, the places skin is retained are susceptible to scale rot. Use proper bedding, use heat lamps appropriately, and cover two-thirds of the top screen with plastic wrap to help control humidity.

The cave should have a measured heating source underneath it, and this spot should be kept at the snakes ideal temperature. Wear rubber gloves and goggles to protect your hands and eyes while cleaning the enclosure. To prevent this, remove anything sharp from your snakes terrarium that could potentially scratch or cut their skin.

If your snake doesnt eat their prey, mice or rats can bite them, leaving them with a wound that can become infected. Its a good idea to examine your snakes body every few days for signs of scale rot. However, if scale rot is left untreated, bacteria can enter the blisters and cause them to become affected.

Expert Tip: If your snake lives in their enclosure alone, it is still advisable to remove their substrate and use paper towels to line the bottom until the scale rot is gone. Reptile Wound And Skin Care Solution Safely cleans wounds and other ailments Wont cause a painful sting or burn for your pet Recommended by veterinarians Manufactured under strict international guidelines in an FDA-registered facility If your snakes scale rot is more severe, your vet may need to prescribe a stronger antibiotic ointment for their treatment.

In comparison with other household pets, reptiles seem like categorically low-maintenance animals. But their hard exterior doesnt protect them from everythingthey have scales, not an impenetrable suit of armor.

You wouldnt let your child sleep in a soiled crib, so dont let your pet snake slither around in a dirty terrarium. Improper habitat regulation The temperature and humidity of your pets enclosure play a key role in scale rot.

There are more severe signs that warrant immediate medical attention, in addition to the early symptoms mentioned above: The best advice is to consult a herpetologist (or herp vet) when you feel uncertain about treating the issue properly. The vet may administer antibiotic injections and, in a severe case, sedate the animal to perform a full-scale (no pun intended) removal and cleaning of the infected areas.

Transport to a temporary enclosure Remove your reptile from their usual home and place them in a short-term lodginglike a brief stint in a luxury hotel while your apartment is being fumigated. You could use a large tote or container, as long as the environment is clean and dry, and at the correct temperature and humidity level. Remove soiled substances Throw out all disposable substrate and thoroughly clean any dishes, bowls, and accessories in hot, soapy water.

Your scaly sidekick requires a certain humidity level, but too much can lead to the development and prolongation of scale rot and other bacterial infections. The perfect balance is entirely dependent on the species, plus snakes require increased humidity as they shed their outer layer, so it may change throughout the year. Instead, they depend on their environment: when theyre cold, they bask in the sun, and when theyre hot, they cool off in the shadethey live a simple lifestyle.

Theyre subjected to the temperature of the enclosure, aside from the small variation in heat caused by placing a basking lamp at one end of the cage. The number varies for each species and season, but a standard temperature for reptiles is between 70 and 85F , with warmer areas for basking. Betadine bath These are especially important for treating any blisters and can be useful no matter how mild or severe the scale rot is.

Fill a large bucket or container with lukewarm water, enough for the reptile to fully submerge without drowning. Vetericyns non-toxic, antimicrobial spray is a safe way to clean and moisturize any open wounds and initiate the healing process. Preventing scale rot requires diligent reptile care , starting with a few straightforward steps:

Check to make sure the substrate is drying correctly; if not, consider raising the temperature slightly or lowering the humidity.

Discoloration

Skin discoloration is one of the first signs that your pet may have a problem. Discoloration is usually noticed on the scales under your pet’s body. The area most affected is the scales that are found above the cloacal region.Some discoloration may include scales looking brown, green/black, or even yellow or red.Note that while the scales under the snake are often the first infected, the rest of the scales on the body can also be infected.

Blisters

Blisters are pus-filled and will appear on the scales of your pet. The blisters are more likely to be seen on scales that have contact with the substrate. The pus that comes out of these blisters can be clear or yellow.Blisters are not always infected, but if you ignore the signs of scale rot, the bacteria can get into the blisters, causing them to become infected and resulting in a fungal infection.Infected blisters are swollen and red in color with pus. The risk of the blisters rupturing and scales falling off on infected areas is also high.

Raised Scales

Scale rot has the ability to cause blood to collect under the scales, which causes them to lift. These scales should feel different to the touch when running your hand down your pet python’s body.If you feel any raised scales, look for other signs of scale rot, such as discoloration and blistering.By understanding the cause of scale rot is important to help you remain informed and ensure the best care for your pet. Some of the causes of scale rot include:

High Humidity

Ball pythons thrive in a humid environment of between 50% and 65%. When they have high humidity, the risk of scale rot is significantly increased.The humidity you provide plays a vital role in the shedding process, but too much humidity can cause scale problems, including scale rot.

Incorrect Temperatures

Your ball python needs a warm and cool side to its enclosure. The basking area should range between 88ºF and 96ºF with the cooler side being around 78ºF to 80ºF. Temperatures should never drop lower than 75ºF.Keeping the enclosure at the right temperature is vital to your pet’s overall health. Without being able to regulate their body temperature effectively, your python will become susceptible to various illnesses and diseases, which include increasing the risk of scale rot.

Dirty Habitat

Keeping the enclosure clean is essential in reducing the risk of scale rot. When the enclosure is dirty, brimming with pee, poop, uneaten food, and unshedded skin, you put your pet at risk.An unhygienic enclosure is a breeding ground for bacteria and this can result in unwelcome scale rot in your ball python.

Damaged Scales

If your pet’s skin has been damaged, then it is easier for scale rot to make its way in. Maybe you have something sharp in the enclosure that your pet cut itself on.This can also be a result of uneaten food, which has fought back. An uneaten mouse can bite your snake, protecting itself against a predator.If you think you have noticed scale rot on your ball python, then you are going to want to act quickly.

Quarantine

Scale rot is contagious to other pet snakes, so if you have more than one ball python, remove the one with scale rot immediately and put it in a quarantine enclosure.Never use substrate in the quarantine enclosure, rather use paper towels, which are quicker and easier to clean.In the event you only have one python, remove any substrate from the enclosure and replace with paper towels during the treatment and healing process.

Clean the Infected Area

The next step is to soak the infected area in diluted Betadine solution, using one part Betadine to three parts water. Soak the scales in this solution for five minutes twice daily for a week or two. Gently dry the scales with paper towels after soaking.

Cleaning

The next step is thoroughly clean the enclosure. Remove everything and thoroughly wash and disinfect the tank and any accessories.Place paper towels in the bottom as a substrate for now.Check the temperature and humidity levels a few times daily, making any necessary adjustments.

Vet

If you don’t notice an improvement within a few days, then it’s time to visit your vet for further assistance and treatment.Prevention is the best method, reducing the risk of your reptilian pet becoming susceptible to scale rot. There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of scale rot in your ball python. This includes:

Manage Humidity Levels

The first step to preventing the risk of scale rot is to manage humidity levels. This is easily achievable with two digital hygrometers, one on the warm and one on the cool side of the enclosure.Monitor your humidity by regularly checking the digital displays to ensure they stay within the preferred 50% to 65% humidity levels. If you notice humidity levels dropping, mist the enclosure to increase the levels again.

Heating

The type of heater you use will determine if your humidity levels are increased or reduced. Heat lamps and ceramic heat emitters tend to dry up the habitat.In some instances, heat lamps can also increase the temperature, making it too high. Ensure you keep the enclosure within required temperature limits.If you are using a heat lamp or CHE and you are struggling to maintain accurate temperature and humidity, opt for a heating pad instead.

Symptoms of Scale Rot

As with any health issue, the early the complication is discovered, the easier it is to treat. Early detection ensures the reptile barely suffers and treatment is least expensive. Here are the signs to watch out for.There may be discoloration of the ventral scales of the snake. This region is right above the cloacal and anal region of the snake. The ventral scales may become red, greenish-black, yellow or brown. The scales have to look stained. The red ulcerations caused by scale rot can be confused with shedding. Look out for other symptoms such as blisters, and pus.While ventral scales are usually the first to be affected, the tail and any other areas can also be affected.These are small fluid-filled sacs that appear on the scales of the snake. Blisters usually appear on scales with the most contact with the substrate. The fluid in the blisters is clear and yellowish.Early blisters are usually not infected. However, when scale rot is left untreated, the blisters can become infected as bacteria enter the vesicles. In rare cases, fungi can enter the vesicles and cause skin fungal infection. Similarly, mites can transmit bacteria into the blisters.Once the blisters are infected, they become red and oozes fluid. The entire area becomes swollen and the blister can rupture. The scales may even dislodge and fall off. Pus then leaks from the affected area once the snake sheds.After the shed, sores/ulcers appear where the blisters are. Several blisters may combine to form infected blots of skin. If after all this, the blisters are still left untreated, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause septicemia. This disease can kill snakes within days.As scale rot causes blood to pool, the scales which have blood pooled underneath them become raised.These are the three main signs to watch out for when it comes to scale rot. The early you notice these symptoms the easier you can treat it. Once treated the skin should return to normal after a few sheds.

Treating Scale Rot

Scale rot is particularly common among captive snakes particularly boas and pythons. The leading cause of scale rot and other skin diseases is poor husbandry. This includes failure to maintain the appropriate temperature and moisture levels in the enclosure.As you know, humidity is important for shedding and maintaining good health among snakes. However, if the substrate isn’t allowed to dry between misting, or if the snake doesn’t require moist substrate but the substrate is, it can lead to skin diseases such as scale rot.This is further worsened if the damp bedding is contaminated with pieces of food and excrement. Snakes that like to submerge themselves in water are particularly at risk as they may fail to dry themselves properly after their bath. With such species, ensure the bedding is dry so they can properly dry themselves.If the temperature in the terrarium is not warm enough, the moisture in substrates and the enclosure fails to dissipate. This exacerbates the problem. Ensure the enclosure has a heating pad or heat light that produces enough heat to dissipate moisture in the substrate depending on the snake.If the enclosure is clean, dry, and warm enough yet still scale rot plagues the snakes, then it is likely the snakes are suffering from vitamin A or C deficiency. Snakes are supposed to receive all needed nutrition from the preys they are fed. However, if the prey is of low quality, it may lack important nutrients.Scale rots, when left untreated, can encourage the growth of bacteria such asScale rot can be contagious. As such, it is important that affected snakes are quarantined in a separate enclosure until they recover. This enclosure needs to be lined with paper towels or newspaper.This substrate dries easily and is easy to clean. If one snake has scale rot, then conditions in the terrarium, which is shared with other snakes, may not be optimal. Check the humidity levels of the enclosure and ensure it is clean and warm.

Cleaning The Enclosure

First, you must remove snakes with blisters from the enclosure and place them in a dry environment with the right ambient temperature, good ventilation, dry bedding, and the right humidity.This enclosure can be a rubber box such as a Rubbermaid. In the temporary enclosure such as a Rubbermaid enclosure, a temperature gradient may not be essential but the ambient temperature must be right.Next, you should have a herp vet diagnose the snake through a physical checkup. If the scale rot is severe, antibiotic treatment is necessary to ensure harmful bacteria is destroyed.However, in superficial cases where scale rot is caught early, antibiotic treatment is usually not necessary. In severe cases, topical treatment and medications such as silver sulfadiazine, iodine solution, and antibiotic creams are used to create blisters.While the snake is in its temporary enclosure, you need to identify the conditions that need to be corrected so the health issue doesn’t occur again. This usually includes cleaning the enclosure. Remove all the objects in the enclosure including water dishes, hide boxes and decorations.Porous objects such as wood should be thrown away and replaced with new ones. They may just be too dirty to salvage. Plastics and ceramics should be cleaned with a 5% bleach solution. The bleach should sit for about 10 minutes before you properly rinse the object with clean water and properly dry them.Similarly, wipe down the entire enclosure with the 5% bleach solution. This is 1-part bleach for 30 parts of water. With a rag clean all surfaces of the enclosure with the bleach solution. After you are done, left the enclosure for 10 minutes before you properly rinse the object with clean water and properly dry them.It can be tedious to clean the enclosure every week. So unless the snake is ill or infected, clean the enclosure once every two to three months. It is important to spot clean every day and change the substrate every two weeks.Once the enclosure is clean, set it up once more with the new substrate. Until the snake is healed it is best to use plain old paper towels. They dry the snake easily after it has taken a bath in its water dish, and are easy to replace once they are wet. Once all the blisters and discoloration disappear, you can switch back to any other substrate you use.

Betadine Baths

Treat the blisters on the snake with a betadine bath. This is useful, whether the case is superficial or severe. Get a large container such as a Rubbermaid. This should be large enough that if it is filled with water, the snake can submerge in and still breathe.The container must have lid. Make several holes in the lid so the snake can breathe. Pour lukewarm water into the container and add betadine solution. For every 10 parts of water, add 1 part of Betadine.The water should be lukewarm, about 80 F in temperature. The solution should be high enough for the snake to submerge in without drowning. After the snake has soaked for about 30 minutes, remove it, and dry it using a towel or paper towels.Place the snake back into its clean enclosure. Bath the snake twice a day until the blisters disappear.Treat affected areas with Vetericyn Reptile Antimicrobial Wound and Skin Care Plus.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure. These words ring true when it comes to scale rot. How do you prevent this and many other skin issues?

Moisture Control

Keeping humidity levels right is essential to preventing scale rot as we have mentioned several times. Depending on the snake, different humidity levels must be maintained. This is directly in relation to the snake’s natural habitat in the wild.If the snake is endemic to rainforests, humidity levels must be about 70%. Species endemic to dry climates such as deserts require low humidity levels. Most North American snakes such as corn snake thrive in household humidity levels.Snakes such as sunbeam snakes that live in swampy areas require humidity levels of 80 to 100%. Such snakes are rare among hobbyists and can be difficult to care for.Even if you must mist enclosures of snakes that require high humidity, ensure the enclosure dries between misting.

Appropriate Substrate

With the help of a digital hygrometer such as the Habor Digital Hygrometer & Thermometer, monitor humidity levels and ensure levels aren’t too high or low.

Conclusion

While scale rot can be a nightmarish health condition, it need not be. With early detection and treatment, you can easily conquer this common skin condition. Since the main causes of scale rot are high humidity levels and low temperatures.It is important that the enclosure records adequate humidity levels. With the help of a hygrometer, you can easily track humidity levels. Similarly, the substrate needs to be dry.Change the substrate regularly and spot clean daily. If the enclosure has to be misted because the snake needs it, ensure the bedding dries between each misting session. Lastly, ensure the substrate and enclosure is always clean.

Scale Rot Causes

Scale rot in snakes can be caused by several things. While most of the things that can cause scale rot have to do with a suboptimal or unsanitary enclosure, there are a couple others you should be aware of as well.Understanding the cause is incredibly important if you want to treat and prevent this condition from coming back in the future. Remember, as an owner it’s your responsibility to stay informed on the general health of your snake and the state of their enclosure.

Elevated Humidity

Your snake’s enclosure needs to have the right amount of humidity in order for your pet to thrie and avoid scale rot. This is why it’s incredibly important to verify how much humidity your specific breed of snake needs, since all species are different.If your snake’s enclosure has too much humidity for them, it can lead to problems with their scales (such as scale rot). The enclosure’s humidity level plays a role in your snake’s ability to shed correctly. If your snake cannot shed completely, the places skin is retained are susceptible to scale rot.There are several things you can do to manage your snake’s terrarium humidity level. Use proper bedding, use heat lamps appropriately, and cover two-thirds of the top screen with plastic wrap to help control humidity. Placing your snake’s enclosure in direct sunlight or near drafts can decrease the humidity level too much, so avoid placing the terrarium in these areas.

Insufficient Temperature In Their Habitat

The temperature you keep your snake’s enclosure at will depend on the breed of snake you have. In general though, most snakes need an enclosure between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. If you fail to meet their temperature needs, scale rot can develop.Your snake should have a cave to sleep in. The cave should have a measured heating source underneath it, and this spot should be kept at the snake’s ideal temperature. Other places in your snake’s enclosure should be kept a degree or two warmer or a few degrees cooler than their sleeping spot.Keeping your snake’s enclosure at the right temperature is important, so you will want to invest in several thermometers to measure the floor, walls, and air in your snake’s terrarium.

A Filthy Enclosure

A sanitary enclosure is also essential to preventing scale rot in snakes.When you do a thorough cleaning of your snake’s enclosure, take everything out. Clean the terrarium as well as everything that goes in it. Wait until everything dries before you put your snake’s enclosure back together.You can use Q-tips, toothpicks, or razor blades to clean the corners of the terrarium more easily. Only use cleaning cloths and towels you have designated for cleaning your snake’s enclosure to clean the terrarium.Some people like to put their own rocks into their snake’s terrarium. If you want to put your own rocks from the outdoors into your snake’s home, always clean the rocks and then boil them in water for 30 minutes. Let them dry completely before placing them into the enclosure.Paper towels or newspaper is recommended as snake substrate. Both materials are cheap and easily replaced when they get dirty.

Damaged Scales

It is easier for scale rot to occur when your snake’s skin has been broken. To prevent this, remove anything sharp from your snake’s terrarium that could potentially scratch or cut their skin.To do this, inspect all surfaces and imagine your snake sliding over it. Anything that seems a bit sharp should be removed or adjusted.If you feed your snake live mice or rats, make sure that they eat their prey. If your snake doesn’t eat their prey, mice or rats can bite them, leaving them with a wound that can become infected.

What Scale Rot Looks Like

The sooner you can spot signs of scale rot, the better. It’s a good idea to examine your snake’s body every few days for signs of scale rot.Don’t handle your snake shortly after they eat, though, because they could regurgitate their meal on you! They might not wish to be handled during this time as well (leading to a possible bite).Here are the main signs of scale rot for you to watch out for:

Discoloration

You may notice that the ventral scales (the scales on the underside of your snake’s body) are discolored if they have scale rot.The scales may look greenish-black, brown, yellow, or red. Be aware, though, that the red ulcerations seen with scale rot can look similar to shedding. If you aren’t sure whether the redness you are seeing around your snake’s scales is from shedding or scale rot, look for other signs of scale rot, such as pus or blisters.

Blisters

Another sign of scale rot is pus-filled blisters on your snake’s scales. Blisters are most likely to appear on the scales that have the most contact with the substrate in your snake’s enclosure. The pus within these blisters is either clear or yellow in color.Blisters are usually not infected initially. However, if scale rot is left untreated, bacteria can enter the blisters and cause them to become affected. In rare cases, fungi can enter the blisters and cause a fungal infection.If blisters become infected with bacteria, they will become red, swollen, and ooze pus. Blisters may rupture. Scales may fall off in areas where infected blisters are present on your snake’s body. You’ll be able to see sores and ulcers in the area of infected blisters after your snake sheds.

Raised Scales

Scale rot can cause blood to pool under your snake’s scales, raising them. You should be able to feel a difference in these scales if you run your hands down your snake’s body.If you notice raised scales, look for other signs of scale rot and inspect them more often to play it safe.

How To Treat It

If you notice scale rot on your snake, you may be able to treat it at home. Many owners do this successfully (depending on how serious it is).However, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian. Your snake may need antibiotics or debridement as part of their treatment.

Quarantine Your Snake

If you have more than one snake in the same enclosure, remove the one who has scale rot, and put it in a separate terrarium.

Clean The Enclosure

If your snake has scale rot, you can help them by gently cleaning the affected area. You can use a chlorhexidine solution or a trusted reptile wound solution to gently clean the affected scales twice each day.Alternatively, you can soak the affected scales in a diluted betadine solution. To make the betadine solution, mix one part betadine to three parts water. Soak your snake’s scales in the solution for five minutes twice a day for one to two weeks. After each soaking, gently dry the scales with paper towels.After drying the affected area, apply an over-the-counter triple antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin.If your snake’s scale rot is more severe, your vet may need to prescribe a stronger antibiotic ointment for their treatment.

Clean and Sterilize the Enclosure

Scale rot is as a catch-all term for any problem with your pet reptile’s scales or skin, including:Curing and preventing scale rot relies partly on identifying what caused it. The primary causes are somewhat interconnected, so it may be a combination of these factors:Scale rot is similar to wood rot in that it can breed in one damp area and spread throughout the structure—or creature, in this case. The longer it goes unchecked, the more likely it is to create a larger problem. Check regularly for early signs of scale rot:

Adjust the Temperature and Humidity

Your scaly sidekick requires a certain humidity level, but too much can lead to the development and prolongation of scale rot and other bacterial infections. Similarly, they necessitate a specific temperature.There’s no magic number when it comes to how humid their enclosure should be. The perfect balance is entirely dependent on the species, plus snakes require increased humidity as they shed their outer layer, so it may change throughout the year.You’ll know the enclosure is too humid when the substrate never fully dries between mistings, or at all. If their bedding is consistently damp, bacteria and fungi are likely to grow in it and eventually affect your pet.Reptiles aren’t able to internally regulate their body temperature the same way humans and other mammals can. Instead, they depend on their environment: when they’re cold, they bask in the sun, and when they’re hot, they cool off in the shade—they live a simple lifestyle.But reptiles living in captivity are hardly able to do this. They’re subjected to the temperature of the enclosure, aside from the small variation in heat caused by placing a basking lamp at one end of the cage. They can move away from or towards it, but they’ve lost the ability to self-regulate in the same way. This is why it’s so important to maintain the perfect temperature.The number varies for each species and season, but a standard temperature for reptiles is between 70 and 85°F, with warmer areas for basking.If the enclosure isn’t warm enough, this can contribute to the consistently damp substrate. Raising the temperature slightly can decrease the risk of mold and bacteria.

Preventing Scale Rot

Now that the environment is perfectly suitable for your animal’s homecoming, it’s time to address the issue first-hand. With mild instances of scale rot, a topical disinfectant—in conjunction with the essential environmental changes listed above—can be enough to alleviate your reptile of their scale rot.There are two primary steps involved in a thorough cleaning process:It’s crucial to maintain consistent treatment and keep the enclosure as clean as possible.