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Scale Wound - Anyone with Snakes Please Take A Look!

Discussion in 'Burmese Pythons' started by AjaMichelle, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    So Monty just finished his first shed in his new enclosure. This is probably the tenth shed he's gone through since I got him eight months ago. All have gone flawlessly except the first. The first time took two days and came off in shreds. :( But since that first time, he typically sheds in just a few hours and in one piece. :)

    This shed was a little different than the rest. The buildup was like ten days and he turned bright red at points and back to the lemon color he usually is. Then two days ago I woke up to find a few of his scales were bleeding. Then yesterday I woke up and he had shed and pooped and made the awful mess he usually does. However, he still had some strips of skin stuck to his back.

    I took him out this evening and cleaned his enclosure and rubbed the rest of the skin off. Then I checked the bloody patch and I found a scab.

    Humidity is at least 70% and his temps are right.

    I'm not really worried about it. I'm thinking he pinched or scraped himself somehow, but I thought I would post to make sure this doesn't look like a precursor to some kind of skin malady I am not currently familiar with.




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  2. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Looks like he scratched/caught himself on something. Are there any hooked branches or things he could "snag" on?
    (It doesn't look like a rodent bite, but if you feed live, it could be...)

    It doesn't look too serious. If you have some, dab some betadine/iodine solution on it. Keep an eye out for any signs of infection (blistering/pus) but otherwise, it'll heal by itself over several sheds.

    Don't be surprised if he goes into shed again sooner than expected, it's part of the healing process.

    My Rainbow boa once climbed up onto the metal mesh basket that covered the CHE. She crushed it, caught herself on a metal spur and tore a huge gash in her side. Check EVERYTHING for sharp corners. (Drag an old nylon stocking around the enclosure, if it snags, take a closer look!)
  3. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    Hey! thanks for responding. :)
    There's virtually nothing in his enclosure. There's a water box, radiant heat panel, temperature probe, and fluorescent light. I can't see anything that could result in an injury.

    I feed frozen/thawed for that reason. :)

    I have some betadine, I'll be sure to apply some.

    Ouch! Sounds like your boa really did a number on herself.

    The nylon stocking idea is a good one! It seems like if there's a way to injury yourself in an enclosure, snakes will find it. :)
  4. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    I agree with Andrea, keep it clean and if you have any Neosporin WITHOUT pain believer, you can use that also. I can tell you, I have a female albino Burm and she sometimes has problems with her skin- she has a few places like that at time when she sheds (not often, mind you) and in a couple of sheds she is fine. She also developed blisters on her skin once and the veterinarian thought it might be scale rot, but I think it was from the bleach water I used to sanitize the enclosure. A load of oral antibiotics (Super tons of FUN!)and my stopping the use of the bleach water and it never happened again. Personally, I think it was the bleach water-even though I rinsed the enclosure SEVERAL times.
  5. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    That's interesting. I had Monty in a converted walk in closet until I posted that thread about finishing his enclosure and I used a dilute bleach solution to clean the floor and walls every two weeks. I didn't exactly rinse it off but wiped it up and let it dry. I'm now using Nolvasan (chlorhexidine) as a disinfectant. It's slightly concentrated: 30mL to 32oz instead of 15mL:32oz. But because Nolvasan is often used as an antiseptic, I don't think it's the culprit. He didn't seem to have any problems when I was using the bleach. I mixed 3/4 cup to one gallon.
  6. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    I use 1/2 an ounce of chlorhexidine with 24 oz of water! I have never had any problems.
  7. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    Yeah I think the chlorhexidine, if diluted properly would be better. When I was using the bleach solution, she never had a problem...except that one single event. I was using a slightly higher concentration of bleach. I was mixing 1:10, so I was using basically 12.8 ounces per 128 fluid ounces per gallon. This is the standard mix for hospital cleaning solutions (I worked in a hospital for 15 years) and I thought if I rinsed it out REALLY well so that I could not even smell it anywhere, it would be okay. It was, until that one and only time. I stopped immediately after that and have had no problems since then. I am extremely happy about it too, because putting a tube down the throat of an 8 foot Burmese python and administering oral antibiotics is no walk in the park, let me tell you. I think I got nearly as much on me as I did IN her.
  8. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    That's about the concentration I'm using :) chlorhexidine is awesome!
  9. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I was using half the concentration your were- about 6oz to 128oz. I feel better about using the Chlohexidine because there's lots of room for error if I'm not able to remove all of it; I can basically let it dry. Another reason I didn't want to use bleach is because I didn't want it dissolving my sealer. There's also not a whole lot of air circulation in his enclosure and I wanted to avoid that bleachy smell.

    Geez!!! I can't imagine!!! I can BARELY lift Monty by myself. He only weighs 39 pounds right now (that's six pounds gained in two weeks apparently!) but he doesn't even try to help when I pick him up lol and he's 15 feet! I can't imagine trying to administer antibiotics.

    I may not be able to apply the betadine very soon because I don't handle him without another person present, and that person isn't available right now. The last superficial wound he had was a head scrape and I tried applying neosporin (without pain relief) to it, but the wound seemed to heal better without it. And by "heal better," i mean it started to shrink when I stopped using the neosporin. :)
  10. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    At 15 feet, I ABSOLUTELY do not recommend trying to do anything without a 2nd (possibly a 3rd person present- general rule of thumb is one person for every 6 feet). Although, I freely admit to occasionally breaking that rule --only when I KNOW he is well fed and I have to "feel" his attitude, if I have even the SLIGHTEST doubt, he stays right in his cage! Now that he is 85+ pounds, I do not chance it.

    If the snake is healthy, a little scrape should heal with little to no problems ibm a couple of sheds- the Neosporin is just extra precaution to promote healing. ;)
  11. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I didn't quite know what I was getting into when I adopted Monty. He's my first and only snake! He's very nice and typically docile and his last owner told me it would be a cake walk... Uhhhh not so much. :) he bit me about a month ago which reinforced my handling rules, the most important rule being no handling without at least one other person present. I usually have two people present. A very close friend of mine has years of experience with large constrictors and is teaching me how to handle him and read his body language. So I only handle Monty when my friend is present.
  12. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    It is a great idea to learn to read to body language. I had to figure it out myself and I can tell you- it has been one heck of a learning experience!!
  13. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    Yes I can imagine! I have learned a whole LOT since he bit me... The first thing I learned was to watch out for the uncharacteristic behavior he displayed before biting me.

    I feel so special lol I'm the only person he's ever bitten and he's 20. This was only my second snake bite too!
  14. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    I've only been tagged once (knock on wood) by a ball at feeding time. Keeping chondros now I hope it stays that way! It's a good idea that you have someone around for handling.
  15. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    Yeah I was pretty surprised! It's been a struggle because the person who was helping me decided they didn't want the responsibility after Monty bit me...they were more upset about it than I was... I wanted to take pics of the bite immediately once the bleeding slowed down but but he wouldn't let me ha ha

    But thank goodness my friend is so supportive! there's no way I would be able to keep Monty if I didn't have another person to help me. I think you've gotta have a snake buddy once your snake surpasses about 6 feet (depending) and Monty is a 3 buddy snake ha ha

    I'm positive it was a defensive bite (no coils were thrown)... the temps in his temporary enclosure dropped embarrassingly low (my area experienced an unseasonal freeze) in the days before I moved him into his permanent enclosure and I happened to be feeding him at the time. So I had to remove the food and get my heater up and running and he was trying to warm up when I went to handle him, I misread his body language, and BAM! snake on my arm. What a surprise lol
  16. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    By the way, his scale wound has become darker but looks the same other wise. Most importantly, it hasn't gotten worse so I think it'll be fine. :)
  17. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I figured out what caused the injuries to Monty's scales. I stabbed myself on a sharp projection on one of the walls of his enclosure the last time I cleaned it! Well problem resolved. :)
  18. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Glad to hear you found the culprit, won't have to worry about Monty getting injured again!

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