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  1. #1
    Registered User Claire&snek's Avatar
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    PLEASE HELP! Possible scale rot!

    Hi everyone! Iím freaking out today because right in the midst of doing school (busy homework) a slew of things just happened and Iím stressing out! So for one my sister found weird little bugs in her bearded dragonís enclosure, and so we decided to do a full bleach clean and everything just in case it was mites and we separated the other reptiles from the beardie. But as I was moving my ball pythonís glass 40 gallon enclosure outside to clean it it fell on the grass funny and half of the front of the glass cage shattered. So I was upset but I guess it wasnít that hard to just run out and buy/order a new cage, but then as I was checking my snake for mites I found what looks like scale rot.

    She has eco earth substrate which, stays pretty damp and the condensation will build at the top of the hide making it kind of wet. I know that is perfect breeding ground for scale rot so now I donít know what to do. I am literally so stressed and disoriented from my busy school day and I just want to fix everything but I have a feeling this is going to be a very long involved recovery. I donít know for sure if it is scale rot but Iíll send pics. Any advice is much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Pics a good idea- I've seen ppl mistake dirt & stains from substrate for "scale rot". Have you tried to gently wipe it off with a damp cloth or paper towel?

    Bleach (even just the fumes) is very toxic to herps & to you too- it can sicken or kill them. Please- Use it as a LAST resort for cleaning & disinfection. It requires very thorough rinsing until NO smell remains.

    What I'm saying is that 'bugs' drown in mild soap water- you did NOT need to panic over bugs in the dragon's tank, NOR did you need to haul a heavy glass tank outside to clean it.

    Unless you have a herp that actually dies from a medically-confirmed diagnosis of something horrible & contagious like IBD or cryptosporidiosis (etc), I would NOT USE BLEACH for cleaning. And in that case, I'd probably trash the tank & replace it.

    I've kept many many herps for literally decades in glass tanks, & I've never bleached the tanks & certainly never hauled them outside to clean them. I use diluted chlorhexidine to wipe them clean- or in the past I've used Nolvasan & F10- diluted as per instructions. If you are worried, you can clean them a couple times but don't haul heavy glass tanks around- there's just no need.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 10-01-2021 at 03:32 PM.
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  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    Pics would certainly help but either way, if there is too high of humidity, that's something I would remedy. The ecoearth is too wet when being placed in there, or over sprayed or something. You can bake it on a cookie sheet at like 200F for a bit to help dry it out faster if you need to. Since you live in SC, I would advise that when you have to do full cage clean and replace it, you make it up a while ahead of time and let it sit out in the house somewhere to dry a while before putting it in the enclosure. Another option is to change to a different substrate. I know cocoblox from freedom breeder breaks apart pretty easily with less water compared to a lot of other coco products, so you could put a very small amount of water. Aspen bedding, reptizorb or paper might be necessary if your native humidity is just too high all together.

    Sorry things all seem to be going wrong right now.

    It's probably worth a vet visit to check the snake for scale rot, so I would go ahead and call and set up an appointment. We can give you an educated guess with a decent photo but can't really diagnose for sure.
    7.22 BP 1.4 corn 1.1 SD retic 0.1 hognose

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  6. #4
    Registered User Claire&snek's Avatar
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    PLEASE HELP! Possible scale rot!






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    Last edited by Claire&snek; 10-01-2021 at 03:40 PM.

  7. #5
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Not seeing "scale rot". Not really close enough to be sure, but could be a few scales that were nicked (minor & rather normal damage), like we all got "skinned knees" as kids playing. Or debris?

    You could dab on some Vetericyn antiseptic ointment or diluted Betadine (povidone-iodine) but really, it's probably not even needed. This is stuff that wouldn't even show up on a 'normal' BP.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  9. #6
    Registered User Claire&snek's Avatar
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    PLEASE HELP! Possible scale rot!

    Ok thank you! Iím sorry that I got flustered over a few simple thingsÖMy reptiles are my babies and I am still new to the hobby and make mistakesÖstill learning How would I know if it looks like it turns out to be scale rot?


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    Last edited by Claire&snek; 10-01-2021 at 03:44 PM.

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  11. #7
    Registered User Claire&snek's Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE HELP! Possible scale rot!


    (Full body)


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    Registered User Hugsplox's Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE HELP! Possible scale rot!

    I'm with Bogertophis, I don't see anything that would consider scale rot. However based on your initial post if your ubstrate "stays pretty damp" you're either misting too much, or not letting it dry out enough before putting it in there. I would 100% follow Nikkubus' instructions and try to dry that stuff out before putting your snake back in.

    I'll also second the comments made about using bleach in your enclosures and taking them outside to do this level of cleaning over seeing some bugs. This type of shotgun approach will probably get rid of whatever you saw in the bearded dragon enclosure, but you're opening up your animals to other risks. Point is, there are safer ways to address these situations, and I encourage you if/when something like this happens again that you take a deep breath and really plan out what you need to do to address the problem.

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  14. #9
    Registered User Claire&snek's Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE HELP! Possible scale rot!

    OkÖalso I donít use straight up bleachÖI use a 1:10 bleach water solution and let it sit for about 15 minutes before thoroughly wiping it down and spraying it with water. However I am about to switch to bio active so I wont have to worry about this anymore.


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    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE HELP! Possible scale rot!

    Quote Originally Posted by Claire&snek View Post
    Ok thank you! I’m sorry that I got flustered over a few simple things…My reptiles are my babies and I am still new to the hobby and make mistakes…still learning How would I know if it looks like it turns out to be scale rot?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    I know...it can feel overwhelming & awful when you think something's wrong- I love that you care so much about your "babies", but just try to slow down & not panic. We're here to help you figure it out, & btw, you're lucky- when I first got into keeping snakes, there wasn't any forum for me to run to & ask. And herp vets were much harder to find than they are now too.

    Listen, I totally "get" that it was awful finding bugs in your bearded dragon's tank, but it's like they say in medicine, "first do no harm", & if you aren't calm & thinking things thru, well, you end up having a worse day than it should have been. 40+ gal. tanks are heavy & awkward, I have plenty of them & they stay put for cleaning.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 10-01-2021 at 04:07 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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