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Q: My snake has scale rot I believe
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I am hoping I'm doing enough. So today I soaked her and cleaned her up. Then I soaked her in beta dine and warm water. I totally switched cages and layered it with paper. I then put triple antibiotic cream with no pain relief on her belly. She also is shedding. What do you think?

Points: 150
Topics: Skin
Species: Pythons > Pythons > Python regius
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Member Comment 12/11/2016 9:35:35 AM



Member Comment 12/11/2016 11:53:26 AM

Sonja K. Reptiles

I agree, pics would be good.

I also have to ask what the heat source is and if it's an undertank heat pad, do you have it on a thermostat? Have you checked what the temperature is directly above it? Quite often when people think the animal has scale rot, it is actually burns. 

Member Comment 12/11/2016 3:36:05 PM


What Sonja said ^. Whichever it is need to fix cause.

Author Comment 12/11/2016 7:51:33 PM


Author Comment 12/11/2016 7:53:45 PM


Member Comment 12/11/2016 10:41:56 PM

Sonja K. Reptiles

What about the heat source and the temp above it? Looks like a thermal burn to me.

Member Comment 12/11/2016 11:04:54 PM


I agree, looks like belly burns, from contact with hot floor I can only assume.

Author Comment 12/11/2016 11:32:24 PM

I am using an under tank heating pad.
Member Comment 12/12/2016 7:47:15 AM

Are you using a thermostat to control temperature? Do you have a thermometer that can measure the hot spot? If not controlled, heat pads can reach upwards of 130 F and give really bad burns.
Author Comment 12/12/2016 9:49:43 AM


No I did not know that a heating pad would get that hot.  I have since turned it off but the damage is done.  I am going to the pet store today to get a thermometer

Member Comment 12/12/2016 10:02:41 AM

Sonja K. Reptiles

My advise would be to get a thermostat and a temp gun vs a thermometer. The temp gun doesn't need to be reptile specific. Something similar to one of these on Amazon would be great. You can find them at the hardware store, too. A temp gun is probably the best, most important, piece of husbamdry equipment you can get.

An option to a thermostat would be a rheostat or dimmer switch - such as this. You simply plug the heat pad into the dimmer and by using the temp gun directly above the heat pad, you can adjust until the hot spot is in safe range. My hot spots are set to ~90F. 

As far as the care you are giving her, it sounds appropriate. I would continue to keep her on paper or paper towel. Be hyper diligent in keeping the enclosure clean to prevent the burn from getting infected. She will likely shed pretty frequently while she tries to heal.

Author Comment 12/12/2016 10:06:47 AM


I have ordered the temp gun.  I will do the paper towel option for under her hide.  Thank you for your help.  I really want to be a good owner.  She is such a good snake.  The kids love her.  

Member Comment 12/12/2016 5:24:25 PM

Sonja K. Reptiles

That's great! Don't forget something to regulate the temperature of the heat pad, too.

Author Comment 12/13/2016 8:40:42 AM



I also ordered this.

Member Comment 12/13/2016 8:46:47 AM

Sonja K. Reptiles

That will work. Let us know if you need any help setting it up. You'll want to secure the probe on top of the heat and always double check with the temp gun on a regular basis. You said you have kids - they will think the temp gun is fun to use and you can give them the job of checking and letting you know what it is. : )

Author Comment 12/13/2016 12:42:37 PM


Just got back from the vet.  Got some conflicting information.  The vet says they never recommend under tank heaters.  He said that all of their heat should come from bulbs.  They gave me more of the cream I was putting on her and they told me not to soak her anymore.  

Member Comment 12/13/2016 2:12:34 PM

Sonja K. Reptiles

That is not accurate. While it's a way, it is certainly not the best way. Bulbs and ceramic heat emitters are very drying. Add that to a glass tank with a screen top and the chance of getting the humidity anywhere near to what the animal needs is slim. It'd be a constant battle. Belly heat is wonderful for digestion. If a person wished to go with overhead heat, a Radiated Heat Panel would be the way to go. 

The vet likely doesn't recommend undertank heat because of the risk of belly burns. However, if they are used with a thermostat, dimmer, rheostat, like I mentioned, and then the temp confirmed with a temp gun, it will be good. It's frustrating, and a tough lesson about the heat pads needing to be regulated. Most pet store employees don't know or recommend such, and when you're starting out, those are the ones you trust.

Did the vet just give neosporin? If I knew you were going to the vet, I would have told you to ask for silver sulfa cream. That stuff is amazing!

Author Comment 12/13/2016 2:39:56 PM


They gave me the silver sulfa.  I am still planning on using the under the tank heat but just regulating it like others have said.  The vet did recommend a humidity box with sphagnum moss for help with shedding.  

Member Comment 12/14/2016 11:52:16 AM


I used to use one of those zoo med UTH like you see at pet stores in my BP tank but they get way too hot. Temps with a gun could see 140 easily. You could not place your hand on it without getting burned after a bit. I switched over to one of these from Reptile Basics  http://www.reptilebasics.com/ultratherm-undertank-heater-uth-11-x11 and they work great. They don't get very hot at all. Mine is not hooked up to any controller because it doesn't get hot, I just have a thin layer of aspen on it but he sometimes moves that around and lays directly on the glass. It's definitely safer to have it controlled, especially other types of heating pads.

Member Comment 12/14/2016 12:00:28 PM

Sonja K. Reptiles

I have a couple of the ultratherms, too. It states it in the description, but just to bring it to attention - with those, the heat output can vary depending on the temp in the room. In my dedicated reptile bldg where the temp of the room averages 78F, I have to use a thermostat with them or the temp of the heat pad is too high - I've measured it at 120F when it was running without a T-Stat. Good to doublecheck the output from time to time.

Member Comment 12/14/2016 12:02:37 PM

Sonja K. Reptiles

Copy/paste from website re: ultratherm undertank heat mats:

"The low wattage density of this product means in most cases it will maintain "reptile friendly" temps below 95 degrees. This can vary with the room temps so if precise control of temperature is needed these pads can also be used with a thermostat/rheostat. "

Author Comment 12/14/2016 9:54:03 PM

I have the temp control installed and have been putting the special salve on her. She's doing pretty good so far. I have a question about offering her to eat. It has been about 2.5 weeks since she has eaten. She usually eats once a week but she wouldn't eat the last time I offered but she was in the middle of a shed. Should I offer her again this week? I hate to unfreeze another rat if she's most likely not going to eat. Opinions?
Member Comment 12/15/2016 8:28:43 AM


I'd wait at least a month before even attempting.

Member Comment 12/22/2016 11:25:35 AM

Sonja K. Reptiles

How's her belly looking?

Author Comment 12/25/2016 10:03:19 PM

Her belly is looking real good. She's gets a shot every three days and her salve two times a day. The vet rechecked her and she is recovering awesome.
Member Comment 12/25/2016 11:06:50 PM

Sonja K. Reptiles

So good to hear!

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