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  1. #1
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    Possible scale rot by trying to raise humidity

    Hello everyone, after being stumped everywhere else I decided to make an account here and maybe find some answers.

    I got my first ball python last year in August from an expo. Hes a 9 month old Banana morph and things have been going great. He's never missed a meal, has a nice 4x2x2 enclosure with lots of climbing opportunities and clutter. The only thing I have struggled with is humidity.

    I done all the tricks I know. Like 95% of the top of his cage is coveres with duct tape, he has a large water bowl that sits under his heat source, I have been using coconut fiber/husk mixed together with sphagnum moss, and have been pouring tons of water in corners with no results. Finally, I thought inwas getting somewhere when his humidity was sitting between 50-60%. But I got him out Saturday night and found all these roughed up areas on him.

    I have been told it could be either the start of scale rot or its just because he hasnt shed in awhile (his last shed was in late october). I plan on calling the vet tomorrow get him seen but maybe you guys can inpart some knowledge on me?





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    I'm not seeing a problem, but you're doing the right thing by asking questions. Snakes go thru life by sliding against things, so there's bound to be some abrasions to their skin- that's normal- also they can get bent scales from being coiled up in their hides- especially snakes like BPs that have fairly "soft" scales that are not keeled. (Keeled scales have ridges that add a lot of strength & resistance.)

    Snakes shed their skin to replace it when it gets worn, but also to accommodate their growth; since, as you said, it's been a few months since his last shed, he's due & you'll see these minor issues disappear after he sheds. No matter what kind of creature we're talking about, the skin (including scales) is there to protect the internal body- snakes get scrapes in the same way we all got skinned knees- while it's nice to prevent damage whenever we can, remember that it's also pretty normal. But for paying close attention to the care of your snake- it sounds like you've got things dialed in pretty well- when you notice he actually clouds up for a shed, you'll want to raise his humidity at that time to about 75%. Or provide a "humid hide" so he has higher humidity available.

    By the way-
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Possible scale rot by trying to raise humidity

    It looks fine to me! The underscales being a bit darker may just be a part of that morph. From what I've seen, scale-rot usually starts on singular scales that get darker and look "soggy" compared to the rest and it slowly spreads. Not all at the same time

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    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    By the way, scale rot tends to become a problem when a snake has both excessive moisture in the substrate & it's kept dirty (fecal contamination not cleaned regularly), also with no dryer, cleaner areas of their enclosure to "escape to". Remember many pathogens tend to like the same habitat that BPs do- ie. warm & humid. So it's important to provide the warmth & humidity for your BP, but keep it clean, AND not too "swampy". That's why the best substrates for this purpose are things like mulch or orchid bark- things that hold humidity well but have air spaces between the fibers or chunks- but those are also a challenge to see fecal material, so a little vigilance (& maybe a "good nose") will help tell you when to spot clean or do a total clean out.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 01-16-2023 at 05:43 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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