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Shedding Problems??

Discussion in 'Milksnakes' started by kirschepuppe, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. kirschepuppe

    kirschepuppe Member

    I have a snow Honduran milksnake. I've had her since last August. She is getting these brown spots all over her, and I'm concerned as to whether it's scale rot. She's had them on her tail once before, but it went away when she shed. She looks like she's about to now, but I can't understand why she's having such a hard time shedding. I spray her cage once daily, but is that not enough? Do I need a humidifier? She has a wood chip substrate, 20 gal glass tank with screen, hide box, and water bowl. Lights are a 50 watt and a 5.0 UVB. Please help!
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Scale rot usually manifests itself on the belly.
    Can you put up pictures of the snake and enclosure?
    What is the temperature and humidity levels?

    Oh and milksnakes do not need UVB.
  3. kirschepuppe

    kirschepuppe Member

    I don't have anything to monitor temperature and humidity. I've never thought to get more than a basic set-up until now. Can you recommend more appropriate lighting?
    Having trouble posting images directly, but here's a link to them: Flickr: kirschepuppe's Photostream
    There's two pictures of my snake with the spots, and 1 of the enclosure that I have.
  4. kirschepuppe

    kirschepuppe Member

    IMG00328-20130116-0037.jpg IMG00353-20130117-1535.jpg IMG00329-20130116-0037.jpg

    I don't have anything to monitor temperature or humidity. I had not thought to get anything more than a basic set-up until now. What kind of lighting should she have?
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I'm not sure what the spots are but they are not normal
    What kind of shavings do you have in there? Its hard to tell from the photo but it looks reddish like cedar.

    You really don't need anything special in the way of lighting. My snakes have just the ambient light in the room.

    A good thermometer is part of a basic set up. Reptiles are temperature driven and you have to know the correct temperatures both hot and cold end of the tank. You can get a good digital thermometer (with a remote probe) and hygrometer at the hardware store or even Walmart for less then 20 dollars.
  6. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    Snakes don't need UVB lights because they get all their needs from the animals they eat. Some theories suggest it improves their tempers but it's only in certain species that I'm aware of, but for yours you're finr without. As to getting thermometers and hygrometers get digital with probes. May be a little bit more up front but for the sake of your snake well worth every penny. You need to be able to monitor the enclosure to ensure proper temps and humidity for the animal in comparison to their natural needs. Start with basic husbandry and it may be able to answer more about what's going on with your guy.
  7. categoryfour

    categoryfour Well-Known Member

    You can get an acurite indoor outdoor thermometer/hygrometer with an attached probe at walmart for $12 which is cheaper than what i spent on the crappy analogue ones. Also if I'm not mistaken you need at least another hide in its enclosure. One for the cool side and one for the hot. you can make them out of lots of household items too if you're not worried about appearence.
  8. Wyldrose

    Wyldrose Elite Member

    Do you feed live? If you do, do you supervise the feeding or do you just toss a mouse in and leave?
    Is there anything sharp in the tank or lid she could be scratching herself on? To me those look like wounds/cuts, which will explain why they go away when she sheds. As a snake shed's the new skin often is often better/healed.

    I would remove all the bedding, put in paper towels and soak her in a betadine bath. Mix a couple drops of betadine into warm water and either bath her in it or dab it on with paper towels. Don't let her drink it.
  9. kirschepuppe

    kirschepuppe Member

    They are cedar chips. I feed her frozen...she refused live too frequently. I did recently change her substrate from orchid/coco bark to cedar, only because the store that sold the orchid bark was too far away for me. Right around when I changed the substrate is when I believe she started having this issue. At the pet store, they mentioned some kind of coconut substrate? And I've been told they need a shed box filled with sphagnum moss or something similar, but never a 2nd hide box. Also, I'm not sure if her cage can fit 2 boxes and a water bowl.

    *adds hygrometer/thermometer to shopping list*

    The paper towels were recommended to me, but I was told to use dish soap, not betadine. What is betadine?
  10. Wifi

    Wifi Active Member

    Cedar is the problem, it is not meant to be used for reptiles. It has a toxin in it that is poisonous to reptiles and the majority of small mammals. Betadine is an antiseptic, you can usually get it at Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy I believe. Dish soap should not be used on reptiles, either. I would say until she is better, just use paper towels. Coco fiber is also called Eco Earth, and is made by I think Zoo Med. It's around $3 for one brick of it, or around $6-7 for three bricks of it. Eco Earth holds humidity well, too which is good for a snake that needs to be at around 40-60% humidity.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  11. kirschepuppe

    kirschepuppe Member

    Actually, I think it's fir substrate from ZooMed. I looked it up and the package looks familiar. I switched to that from orchid bark. But I will try the paper towels.
  12. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    that was a good suggestion. Isolate the possible issue and you'll be able to see what the issue is. Just give it time with the paper towels to see if it improves
  13. Wyldrose

    Wyldrose Elite Member

    I would keep her on paper towels until it's cleared up. The bark may be the cause of it.

    Yep Betadine is avaliable from your pharmacy. Never use soap on a snake it will dry out the skin, which will cause more problems. If you have been using soap to bath her then that could also be what is causing it. Like Merlin said it is not something normal and if it doesn't clear up in a few days then it would be in her best interest to see a vet who specializes in reptiles.
  14. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Looks like it's dye from the shavings to me. They look like the colored shavings sold as rodent bedding. If those get wet sometimes the dye will transfer. That would also explain why the spots go away when the snake sheds. Could just be the way the picture is showing it though.
  15. kirschepuppe

    kirschepuppe Member

    So my Pearl shed today, but she shed in pieces. The brown spots are 99% gone. One is on a bit of shed skin that is stuck to her still. Should I continue with the paper towels and weekly baths? Or now that she has shed (albeit improperly), move to the coconut fiber?

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