I have been having a scale rot issue that has caused me to re-think the way I maintain my habitat. I am feeling responsible because I knew nothing about the possibility of such a thing. I believe the cause was too much moisture in substrate. I was using wood based material I bought at the local pet store. Package said it was okay for lizard. I found this to be untrue. I was paying attention to the humidity level in the enclosure, but not the moisture level in the substrate. It got too wet.
Also, when feeding crickets, I would buy large ones and eventually the crickets laid eggs and soon there were hundreds of little crickets. I fed the crickets and the crickets were food for the lizard. I thought this was okay. Again, I was wrong. Bottom line: I was a bad parent.
The lizard developed the scale rot on its back right above the hind legs. I noticed that small crickets were on him in the area of the infection. I did not notice any wound at first. After a few days I noticed what looked like water on his back. I thought he had been in his water dish, shallow though it was. I was mistaken, as the water was still there the next day. That is when I panicked. I got online and googled the heck out of terms: watery blister, lizard, weeping sore, etc.
I found a few pages on scale rot and realized that this is what I was dealing with. By this time the wound was an open sore that was weeping. There were a lot of opinions on what to do. I read as much as I could and made a list. Betadine, latex gloves. cotton balls. and paper towels.... (lots of paper towels with no printing.). I also bought wound healing ointment at the pet store.
FIRST: Eliminate Cause. I dumped the habitat and thoroughly washed and sanitized it using soap and lots of hot water. Wiped it dry, COMPLETELY. I lined the tank with paper towels and put the water dish in (Empty). I used a shot glass to fill is with a little water at a time. (Don't want anything to get wet.)
SECOND: Clean. I put the lizard back in the cage and immediately gave him a betadine bath. I soaked a cotton ball in diluted betadine. (20 to 1 with warm water) I liberally applied the betadine on as much of him as he allowed. He was okay with it.
THIRD: Treatment. I herded him onto a dry paper towel and made sure there was no excess betadine dripping from him. I then applied the wound healing agent. I used a couple of drops. I didn't want to use the swabs that came with is as the wound was raw and I didn't want to hurt him further. After the wound healing agent, I changed all of the paper towels that got wet and crumpled up a few so he could hide if he wanted. I turned on his heat lamp to a medium setting to keep the temp constant. There is almost no insulation in his new hospital room so I wanted to keep him comfortable. I repeated the treatment ritual a couple of times a day.
After a couple of days I noticed the wound was improving. He was healing. I bought some super worms to feed him. I was pleasantly surprised to see him eat. I shouted out loud because I knew that if he didn't eat, he would die. He ate well. In just over a week, the wound was no longer open. It had begun to cover over. It did drain pus off and on for a day, but looked good. The wound is now covered over and he is eating and drinking, and pooping, I might add, like a healthy lizard.
I wanted to share this experience since I was helped by so many. I am looking forward to sharing his progress as he gets better. I will no longer use wood based materials. I am going to research what is best for him before I put anything back in his enclosure. For those who want to criticize me for allowing this to happen, I am all ears. I deserve it. I was ignorant. I feel very bad that I allowed this to happen.