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Q: Scales discoloration (uneven color) after shedding
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Hi, i need some help with my Radiated Ratsnake. It shed today and the scale color suddenly turned uneven / having patches of pale scales towards the tail. Before this, the color was evenly brown and i have not seen it being like this before. I keep it since baby for about 8 years already. It looks kinda weak too now. No sign of R.I. though and the shedding is complete, there is no old skin sticking on it.

Can anyone let me know what this might be?

Points: 150
Topics: General Health , Skin , Medications
Tags: Discoloration, Elaphe, Ratsnake, Scale
Species: Other Colubrids > Ratsnakes > Elaphe radiata
Administrative: Show/Hide

Member Comment 3/14/2019 3:45:46 PM


Hmmmmm. Is it still eating? Was it brumated? Can you describe the housing/setup in detail? I have no experience with Asian colubrids but wish you the best of luck.

Member Comment 3/14/2019 7:50:36 PM

Sonja K. Reptiles

By chance, while he was in shed, did he dump his water dish, and (for lack of a better description) sit in "poop soup" for a little while? Or something similar where the substrate was more damp,  or humidity got too high?OrOrit was too dry? Using a new or different substrate?


For starters, if he seems weak,Ihe could be dehydrated. I would let him soak in a bin with an inch or two of water for a good while to encourage drinking and make sure he  gets some added internal hydration. (He will also absorb some through his vent.)

If the areas appear irritated, you can apply some Neosporin to the areas, but it may only be loss of pigmentation due to a poor shed.

Author Comment 3/15/2019 3:15:26 PM



Yea it is still eating, but not much appetite though. Fed him 2 small rats but only took 1, well at least it is still eating.
Not brumating, at the place i live it's hot and humid all year long. Setup is simple, newspaper, hide, water bowl. Thanks and i really hope it will be ok real soon!

Author Comment 3/15/2019 3:22:12 PM


@Sonja K. Reptiles

Yeah!!! Exactly what happened 1 - 2 weeks before it shed yesterday, my mom was cleaning the rack and spilled some of the water from water bowl, substrate was wet and mixed with poop, the tank was a mess! But it didn't expose to that condition too long enough, maybe maximum 1 day long as i cleaned it after i noticed that when i got back from work.

Do you have similar experience before and your snake displayed the same symptom as well? What did you do to get it recover or it just got back to normal after few more sheds?

The affected skin areas are not irritated though. Already soaked it in water for half day. 

Accepted Answer 3/15/2019 7:29:36 PM

Sonja K. Reptiles

Somewhat similar, but I thought it was linked to the fact sitting inthe mess happened soon after a shed? I had been out of town for a weekend. When I returned, I found he had shed and defecated, and had knocked over his water dish. I soaked him and cleaned his tote, and a couple days later, he got this odd dull look. Anyway, it happened to this animal. You can look back in the tracking to July/Aug 2013 to read my thoughts at the time. His profile pic was taken in 2018, and there are pics of him before it happened. Some pigment returned but not a lot. As far as health, he had no issues after it. I just sold the animal last summer. 

May or may not be the same, but possibly related?

It's hard to predict if the pigment will come back or not.

Author Comment 3/16/2019 1:13:07 AM


@Sonja K. Reptiles

Yea! Looks exactly like what happened to you BP. Just that your BP colors faded more evenly and mine is just uneven patches towards the tail, first 1/3 of the body looks good.

But the difference is so apparent in your BP's case it's like totally different animal altogether. Well guess i don't have to worry much and just keep it well fed and hydrated then.

Thank you so much for your sharing!!!

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