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Scale & Shell Rot in Reptiles

SHELL/SCALE Rot in REPTILES

Shell/scale rot is as a catch-all term for any problem with your pet reptile’s scales or skin, including:

  • Blister disease (vesicular dermatitis)
  • Ulcerative dermatitis
  • Bacterial abscesses
  • Secondary infections as a result of burns or abrasions

What are causes of shell/ scale rot ?

  • Unsanitary living environment – Caring for a living creature is hard work, whether it’s a pet snake or a newborn baby. Appropriate reptile husbandry includes adequately cleaning their enclosure on a regular basis. You wouldn’t let your child sleep in a soiled crib, so don’t let your pet snake slither around in a dirty terrarium.
  • Improper habitat regulation – The temperature and humidity of your pet’s enclosure play a key role in scale and shell rot. Often, when their habitat is too wet and cold, the substrate (bedding) never fully dries, creating the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi that often lead to scale rot /shell rot —perfect for the bacteria, not so perfect for your pet.
  • Deficiency of vitamins A or C – This is less commonly cited as a trigger for scale/shell rot but can contribute to its development. If the living conditions are optimal, this may mean the reptile lacks sufficient nutrients.

What is the signs of Shell/Scale rot :

  • Skin or scales or Shell are cracked and crusty
  • Raised or swollen scales/shell scoot
  • Red, brown, or otherwise dark discolored skin, especially near the tail or on the abdomen / shell
  • Loss of appetite

How to prevent shell/scale rot ?

  •  Preventing scale/shell rot requires diligent reptile care, starting with a few straightforward steps:
  • Daily cleaning – Clean up any spilled liquids, shed skin, or eliminated waste at least once a day. Again, if you wouldn’t let your newborn baby live in those conditions, you shouldn’t let your reptile pal, either.
  • Weekly cleaning – Once every week or two, you should perform a more in-depth cleaning, following the sterilization procedure outlined earlier.
  • Sturdy water bowl – This may seem deceptively simple, but a sturdy bowl will prevent spillage that leads to damp living conditions and increased bacteria.
  • Optimal environment – Maintain the ideal humidity and temperature at all times. Check to make sure the substrate is drying correctly; if not, consider raising the temperature slightly or lowering the humidity. You can reduce the humidity by increasing the ventilation or scaling back on the regular misting.
  • Contact your exotic savvy vet immediately if you notice any of these symptoms, or if your reptile seems unusually lethargic or depressed.

INFO SOURCED FROM https://vetericyn.com/blog/how-to-treat-scale-rot-on-reptiles/