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"shedding"/minor broken belly scales
Total Views: 525 - Total Replies: 5
Feb 15 2012, 3:16 pm - By littleliz

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Hey, im new here :) i adopted a beautiful year old corn snake from the last reptile expo in my area about two weeks ago. she seems to be in very good health so far. alert, active (a bit lazy i suppose but nothing im alarmed by), and she ate her first meal very well. im concerned though about the edges of her belly scales. they are randomly shedding off in singular pieces, like tiny belly scale shaped pieces of cellophane being left on my hands when she moves about. little crackly noises too. im starting to notice small breakages in some of the scale segments as well, only on the edges. i cant imagine its scale rot, there isnt too much moisture in her tank (maybe its too dry?) and the broken areas dont seem irritated. i might just be over-reacting and its probably something simple but i feel like a worried mother! lol i want to fix whatever it is as soon as possible, id like to be able to hold her without worrying about her breaking more belly scales. any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Feb 15 2012, 9:16 pm - Replied by: sabotage39k

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If you have a picture, that may help. It does not sound like your regular stuck shed or scale rot when referring to the breakage  on the edges. The pieces coming off may just be stuck shed and that of course is a humidity issue. A humidity hide usually does the trick for that.

 But the breakage on the edges of the belly scales is concerning. It could be an area where the snake had ticks and were clipped off with possibly twissers or nail clippers. Don't know though. Has the snake defecate yet. Look to see if the urates are coming out green. If so, this can be an indication of internal parasites. Don't get alarmed!!! I am just assuming now. I am not a vet or an expert, but if it's what I think it is; I had a red tail rat snake with a similar sounding problem. Other information that can be helpful is weight of the snake. Is it a normal weight, overweight, or is it underweight. How does the snake's skin feel. Is it smooth or does it feel dry and rough. This is usually an indication of dehydration. Look to see if there are folds in the skins. Is it tight or can you pinch it with significant folding. If the breakage in the belly scales have brownish residue then it could be scale rot. Then the opposite is needed. There maybe to much humidity or was exposed during previous ownership. Without a picture it will be hard for anyone to tell you anything. Post a pic and I bet a lot more people will recognize what it is.
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Feb 22 2012, 12:02 pm - Replied by: littleliz

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ok soo, it looks like she is about to shed. how long does it normally take? its been a long time since ive had a snake. im hoping that after this shed the belly scales will stop flaking off. it not, i'll take her the vet. theyre flaking off even more so now. i tried to get some pictures but i cant find my good camera so you wouldnt be able to see anything really. i'll continue looking for it and try to get some pictures up here. but again, if her shedding process is going normally, i hope the issue will be resolved
Feb 22 2012, 7:32 pm - Replied by: walt

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as sabotage stated a humidity hide may help solve the problem as you stated crackling noises you can take a tupperware type container large enough for her or him to get completely inside easily cut a hole large enough in the lid for him to pass thru line the bottom with a few layers of paper towels and keep them damp but not soaked and if you using an under the tank heater place over the heat pad and im betting he will hang out in it from time to time

Feb 22 2012, 11:00 pm - Replied by: sabotage39k

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The snake may have already shed, but not as a whole. It usually takes anywhere from 4-6 days. I would take the snake a nice warm bath and help get the rest of the shed off. My red tail rat snake had the problem where the shed would come off in pieces and when I gave him a bath the shed came off differently than normal. The shedding would come off, but it felt spoiled (for lack of a better word). It just had a darker slimy sticky feel to it, like wet old lettuce. It also kept shedding very frequently. More than normal for a juvenile. It eventually died due to internal parasites. I made the mistake of not taking him to the vet to have antibiotics administered. It had internal parasites and ticks. I hope you don't have the same problem. Hopefully you don't and a nice bath will do the trick, but I just wanted to showcase some of my experiences I had with certain symptoms in order to help you take quicker action than I did, if needed. I don't want to sound so negative, but it is always better to be prepared just in case. Hopefully with a good humid hide she will be alright. You can also use moss in the humid hide as substrate as instructed by member above.
A life time commitment to achieve extrodinary beauty
May 02 2012, 6:51 pm - Replied by: littleliz

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well the snake i was previously talking about has now deceased. she escaped from her enclosure and had a run in with my cat it looks like. i have gotten a new snake, a bit older, he is absolutely lovely but it appears hes experiencing the same problem! could it be the choice of substrate? i use felt. ive been giving him baths and using a spray bottle. i will try the moist hide suggestion. i am heavily considering taking him to the vet as he will not eat for me either..
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