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Q: Has anyone actually gone to a vet for scale rot?
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I'm very upset. One of my Ball Pythons I'm sure has Scale Rot.

His viv is beyond clean. In fact I had originally had him in a tub. The heating always just right and I use paper towels and or newspaper not to mention it's not wet to touch ever to keep the humidity.

He started off with a pink belly and now it's just brown. No scabs coming off at the moment. I waited for a shed and it's just bee bits of shed.

My question: Has anyone gone to a vet for Scale Rot? Does the vet diagnois to site or test? Are home remedies just as good or is it really worth going to a vet. I just don't understand how this happened and will end up going to the vet this Tues. His condition seemed to have gotten worse after the shed or perhaps its just more apparent. No need to quarantine him as I've all my snakes is separate vivs and or tubs and wash my hands in between handling.


Points: 150
Topics: General Health , Skin , Infectious Disease
Tags: Rot, Scale, Vet
Administrative: Show/Hide

Accepted Answer 2/2/2013 8:53:16 PM


a good washing and everyday use of a triple antibiotic (without pain meds) will do wonders for minor cases .....after about a week it will lighten up and the next shed should drop the coloration from the scales...if its a worse case....

In technical terms, scale rot is called ulcerative or necrotic dermatitis; it a very bad skin infection.  The areas eventually turn into blisters and then open sores, at which point the condition difficult to treat. Antibiotics from a vet are the best way to treat this illness though.

It's normally caused by having the humidity too high, and the snake running through it's own fecal matter. The vet will tell you to clean the enclosure really well and keep the little guy very dry (take out any bedding that will hold moisture and such) until the infection has cleared.

Author Comment 2/2/2013 9:04:58 PM


Thank you very much! I will go out tomorrow and buy what's needed and give it a week to see what happens. It's not that I'm trying to avoid the vet but I rather learn how to care for him even in times like this than to give in to the vet that could've told me the same thing you've said. I see what happens after a week.

Member Comment 2/5/2013 8:39:39 AM

Sonja K. Reptiles

Do you have pics? Many times what people think might be scale rot is actually a burn from an undertank heat pad. Is it on  T-Stat? Check the temp.

Author Comment 2/6/2013 5:50:30 PM


Hi all, treated  him now for 3 days with Betadine. After the first day it appeared to look cleared up but it's very hard to tell with the stains that this solution leaves with him being a pied ball.  Now it appears he's got blisters. I'd take pictures but for now will leave him alone because I'm beyond frantic and really upset. I keep my vivs extremely clean!!!! and don't know how  this came to be honestly. I held off on the vet because there was no reason for him to get this way and I thought to clear it up on my own but there's no recorse now and I don't want to risk it. 

The vet opens up at 8:30am tomorrow and I'll be sure to let you know. Where I'm located it's too late to make an appointment so I'll just have to show up! 

Member Comment 2/6/2013 5:52:32 PM

Sonja K. Reptiles

My bet is it is a burn and not scale rot. Take the temp of the hot spot.

Author Comment 2/9/2013 8:29:26 AM


Update: Rameses did have some sort of bug and most likely scale rot but the vet said that it could've been due to a number of things. He said that it's very hard to diagnose accurately wihtout doing a swab but he gave him:

  • 1 shot Baytril
  • Bevidine Scrub
  • Fuciderm Gel

He told me to take ALL substrate out which I had done already but to sanitise the viv and preferably put him in a tub with paper towels as the bedding would need to be changed daily after each bathing applicaition. The reason being was so that there weren't any possiblities for reinfeciton etc. between any open skin wounds not seen by me. He told me to bath him in the Bevidine Scrub for about 15 min daily dry him off and apply the gel.

This was Thursday and today is Saturday. I can see that things haven't progressed at least and have scabed but it's just a waiting game from here. I've bathed 3 days in a row so far and since his body seems to be in automatic mode of healing I'll skip sunday to allow him a break from being handled and to allow for his skin to harden a little. He's got solution all over since crawling up into a ball and honestly he's got such a sanitary area one day of leaving him alone seems like it will do him some good. 

I'm to go back to the vet next Saturday... I'm hoping by then he'll have some sort of a shed that will show great improvement. 

Author Comment 2/15/2013 4:21:26 AM


Hi Everyone....

Sadly I woke up ths morning only to find my Pied Ball had died over night...Cry

I'm very unhappy about this! I haven't had a pet die in my care in over 20 years!!!!! I don't know what happend how he got ill but because I don't even know the source behind his death I will need to find out from the vet so it doesn't spead. Either way, I will be disposing of the viv and tub. 

He appeared to be getting well, but still raw in some places... he lost weight and refused to eat even assisted was of no success. So sad. 

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