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  • [Skin] Scales all jacked up?? Help please!

    So last shed I noticed a small patch of damaged scales and wondered what it was. Nothing changed about it over past few weeks. then I come down to check on her tonight and found she shed again and this time there were lots of these spots in various sequences all over her body. Even a splotch on the back of her head....

    What is happening and what do I need to do about it?






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    Jason
    0.1 Bolivian BCA-Granite
    1.0 S. Brazilian BCA-Flare

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  • #2
    Re: Scales all jacked up?? Help please!

    Are you using a heat lamp for a heat source? It looks like burns to me but haven't had this issue my self. For burns you can use antibiotic ointment without pain relief. What do you think is causing it?

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    • #3
      Re: Scales all jacked up?? Help please!

      No heat lamps. I use rhp.

      During the shedding process or maybe a few days before she started to get blue, she was all over the place appearing to be "scratching" and itch if you know what I mean. I observed her doing this maybe 2-3 days and then it stopped. She didn't do it for hours on end, it appeared to be maybe an hour at a time, then she would stop and chill as usual.

      Humidity is good, her shed came off all in in tact.

      Maybe she damaged it while going through those crazy spurts? I didn't see anything like this before the shed cycle started.

      I checked the rhp's and the flex watt and both appear under control.


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      Jason
      0.1 Bolivian BCA-Granite
      1.0 S. Brazilian BCA-Flare

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      • #4
        Re: Scales all jacked up?? Help please!

        I've not used an RHP so I'm not sure whether a snake can get burns or other damage by rubbing on them or not. The wound on the head looks to me like a burn, while the others...it's hard to say, but they look more
        like scrapes against something to me. Are you sure there's no mites? (they cause itching & irritation) You can safely use Neosporin ointment (make sure it's the version WITHOUT pain relief) on the wounds...hope you
        solve the mystery soon & safely. BTW, I use & swear by Flexwatt UTH*....and I think the belly-heat provided that way make more sense as it mimics laying on sun-warmed rocks, and the heat rises anyway. And the
        Flexwatt UTH is never IN the cage. ALL heating methods require control by thermostat or rheostats at the very least...are you doing that? (*I also augment the heat with overhead lamps outside the cages as needed)

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        • #5
          Re: Scales all jacked up?? Help please!

          Do you feed live? A couple of the patches look like pictures I've seen of rodent scratches. How hot does the surface of your RHP get? Mine gets 110°F maximum and my guy doesn't touch it for more than a second checking it out.

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          • #6
            Re: Scales all jacked up?? Help please!

            Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
            I've not used an RHP so I'm not sure whether a snake can get burns or other damage by rubbing on them or not. The wound on the head looks to me like a burn, while the others...it's hard to say, but they look more
            like scrapes against something to me. Are you sure there's no mites? (they cause itching & irritation) You can safely use Neosporin ointment (make sure it's the version WITHOUT pain relief) on the wounds...hope you
            solve the mystery soon & safely. BTW, I use & swear by Flexwatt UTH*....and I think the belly-heat provided that way make more sense as it mimics laying on sun-warmed rocks, and the heat rises anyway. And the
            Flexwatt UTH is never IN the cage. ALL heating methods require control by thermostat or rheostats at the very least...are you doing that? (*I also augment the heat with overhead lamps outside the cages as needed)
            Rhp's are controlled by thermostats as well as flex watt.

            She did have some mites a few weeks ago, and I went through normal removal techniques (soaking her and cleaning out cage) also used a permethrin product like PAM on the enclosure.

            The scraping thing makes sense to me, but is it possible she did the damage earlier and I didn't see or notice it because she was in shed cycle?


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            Jason
            0.1 Bolivian BCA-Granite
            1.0 S. Brazilian BCA-Flare

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            • #7
              Scales all jacked up?? Help please!

              Originally posted by acephantom903 View Post
              Do you feed live? A couple of the patches look like pictures I've seen of rodent scratches. How hot does the surface of your RHP get? Mine gets 110°F maximum and my guy doesn't touch it for more than a second checking it out.
              I'm not sure what the surface temp max is when it's on. I know that I can keep my hands directly on the surface with out needing to remove it due to being too hot for several minutes. My flex watt is the same way. I have checked and re-checked this.

              The RHP is mounted to the top of her enclosure and there is nothing she can do to get the top side of her body in contact with the RHP with the exception of her face obviously.

              Here is a pic of set up with RHP . I really don't believe the RHP is in any fashion related to this but I could be wrong. She has had this set up for almost 4 years now with no issues.

              The highest branch that she can layout on is 10" away from surface of RHP at its closest point. Surface temp on the log below is 86.

              Surface temp on the RHP reads mid 120's but again, she has no way of magically floating the back side of her body against the ceiling for more than 60 seconds.

              I have seen plenty of snakes upside down on the ceiling lol supporting themselves from the side wall, but she has no belly damage at all. At least nothing that I can see.

              All damage is along the back. And mostly towards the rear of her body which I would assume would need to be on the ground supporting the other half of the body in the air if the RHP theory were to be correct.


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              Jason
              0.1 Bolivian BCA-Granite
              1.0 S. Brazilian BCA-Flare

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              • #8
                Re: Scales all jacked up?? Help please!

                She definitely needs medication on those spots since there is flesh showing. I agree with everyone else, it looks like burns/bites/punctures. Check your wiring that is in the cage and make sure there are not any bare wires first thing. I can't imagine what she could have rubbed on that would open her up like that but if you could switch her to a tub with paper towels for bedding until she heals should keep things clean. This is quite a mystery.
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                • #9
                  Re: Scales all jacked up?? Help please!

                  Yeah, I don't think the RHP is the cause. I don't know at what temp snake's skins actually begin to burn, but in this case that shouldn't be the cause. My RHP Is purely to keep the air temp at night and in the winter in the safe range.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Scales all jacked up?? Help please!

                    I've also seen this with snakes that have a hide with too low of an opening. She could possibly be scraping too hard on the decorations. Just treat as suggested and keep an eye on those areas to make sure infection does not set in.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Scales all jacked up?? Help please!

                      Originally posted by thesignguy21 View Post
                      ....The scraping thing makes sense to me, but is it possible she did the damage earlier and I didn't see or notice it because she was in shed cycle? ....
                      I do think that's possible...and when she shed, she removed the scabbed-over damage.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Scales all jacked up?? Help please!

                        Originally posted by zamora View Post
                        ... Check your wiring that is in the cage and make sure there are not any bare wires first thing.....
                        I was wondering that too...I don't like ANY lights IN cages for that reason...they must be shielded (covered) so a snake that's wet from the water bowl doesn't manage to touch & short them- getting what can be
                        a fatal shock as well as burns.

                        As far as the skin scrapes, it's hard for me to tell what all the decor on the cage floor is made of, but IF any is fake & made of plastic with 'caves' (generally sold for tropical fish) keep in mind that INSIDE those things
                        are VERY sharp edges and holes too narrow that can trap & injure a snake. Never use them for reptiles unless modified* for their safety. (fix all sharp edges- they cut like knives! and permanently plug any holes
                        or openings that your snake -let's say after a meal?- could have trouble going thru...and remember that your snake is growing rapidly too.)

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                        • #13
                          Re: Scales all jacked up?? Help please!

                          Originally posted by acephantom903 View Post
                          Do you feed live?
                          no i dont! F/T all the way
                          Jason
                          0.1 Bolivian BCA-Granite
                          1.0 S. Brazilian BCA-Flare

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                          • #14
                            Re: Scales all jacked up?? Help please!

                            Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
                            ...I don't like ANY lights IN cages for that reason...they must be shielded (covered).....
                            it's hard for me to tell what all the decor on the cage floor is made of.....
                            and remember that your snake is growing rapidly too.)
                            All great concerns/suggestions...

                            The lights have a clear poly-carbonate cover over them so that she cant come in contact with the lights at all. Most of the wiring in the enclosure is taped off or run through the wood logs so that she cant entangle herself or interfere with them. There is only about 16" of exposed power chords which are ziptied and secured to the cieling along the lights so that she cant screw with them.

                            All the rocks that make up her soaking area are smooth river rocks that i collected from the river. All corners (if any) have been shaved down. I also coated all the rocks in aquarium silicone which also soften the rocks up alot. All the logs and tree branches are drift wood and is smooth all over. The only plastic is the greenery itself which is all shrubbery that is easily flattened and squashed. The bottom of the enclosure is about 4" deep bed of aspen bedding. The jumble of rocks/wood under RHP is a custom hide that i built and is completely hollow inside and has no sharp objects. (made me double check that...haha....but its good to go).

                            I also did double check all the tight spaces again too, there is one spot that needs some adjusting and taking care of that. She is pretty much full grown at this point so i don't anticipate having to change too much. She is a BCA and here mother was only 5.5'...she is about 5-7 now. She will get a little fatter, but i think she is done with legnth.

                            I want to thank everyone very much for chiming in and helping me with this. I did finally apply some ointment as suggested this morning. The spots seemed to start to scab a little bit but not completely so at least i got some of that ointment on there.

                            After listening to everyone, I really think it was irritation from the mites (as suggested) and the behavior i observed of here rubbing or scratching due to the irritation, that probably was the cause. It seems to make the most sense at this point.
                            I will give it a few days of observation and applying that ointment and see what comes out of it.

                            Thank you very much for all the help.
                            Jason
                            0.1 Bolivian BCA-Granite
                            1.0 S. Brazilian BCA-Flare

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                            • #15
                              Re: Scales all jacked up?? Help please!

                              I would take that vine-looking/ropey thing out, it looks as if maybe she is getting stuck up in it and scraping herself trying to get loose of it. Maybe. Also keep her just on paper towel, hide and water bowl until she is healed up.

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