- What is scale rot?
- Scale rot is a bacterial infection often found in captive reptiles, especially snakes. It is caused by the conditions being too moist and also by improper husbandry practices involving failure to properly clean the animal’s enclosure. Basically they slither around in their own excrement and come down with an infection on their stomachs. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Left untreated and allowed to grow scale rot is fatal, literally eating away at the snake from the outside. If you have a snake with scale rot, or you suspect scale rot get on it right away.
- How do you tell if it’s scale rot?
- Scale rot will usually initially show up as ulcerations on a snakes belly, reddish brown in color. It will begin to compromise and erode the scales on the snakes underside with large blisters not being uncommon. You shouldn’t confuse a reddish colored belly with a snake preparing to shed as both scale rot and shedding are often marked by red underbellies on many snakes.
Inspecting your snake should be a thrice weekly event where you take an inventory of it to ensure there are no health problems. Snakes won’t tell you they’re hurting so you need to learn to observer for your self.
- How to treat scale rot
- If you notice the scale rot before blisters begin to form you will often be successful in treating the condition by taking some simple steps.
- Get the temperature right
- Get the humidity right
- Get the tank cleaned up
- Use triple anti-biotic ointment (WITHOUT painkiller)
- A bath in a betadine solution (10% betadine)
If you don’t catch it until blisters are forming it is necessary to take a trip to the vets. It might even be necessary before they form, but only you know your own snake well enough to know what it needs. You should always err on the side of caution when it comes to dealing with your pets health. That’s why it is always important to chose a vet for your snakes before an emergency happens.