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Eastern scale concern

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Posted by: bigfoot90 at Wed Mar 5 17:47:50 2014  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by bigfoot90 ]  
   

I recently acquired a wonderful 2 year old eastern indigo. I've noticed that this individual has started to develop scales that appear to "peel" or keel. The area of concern strictly applies to the upper dorsal scales. I've noticed little white/discolored marks appear on the top 1/4 of some of the dorsal scales. If gently rubbed, only the 1/4 portion comes off leaving what looks to be a fresh scale underneath. Some bits and pieces also come off simply from holding the snake. Also, the little bits of “skin” between each of the upper dorsal scales appear dry and seem to exhibit the same problem. At first, I thought it was from a bad shed, but this individual has had perfect one-piece sheds during the time I've owned her. She’s shed 2 or 3 times, all in one piece and the scales remain in the same condition. She does not have mites and I’ve never used any oil/polysporin on her. I believe this has something to do with my husbandry, specifically humidity.

She’s housed in a 6 foot well ventilated PVC cage. Hot side 80-81F and the cool side drops into the low 70’s. The humidity in the room fluctuates between 20-30 % as of now. I keep her on newspaper. She’s fed mice and fish on a weekly basis. She has three Rubbermaid hides (smooth openings, nothing sharp): one on the hot side, one on the cool side, and a humid hide in the middle towards the hot side. The humid hide is filled with sphagnum moss. I spray it down lightly and mix the moss up and it usually completely dries up overnight or the next day. I spray more frequently towards the end of her shed cycle. I will spray down her entire cage when I know she’s about to shed, but it’s by no means wet. I was told to keep the moss moist and not wet. She spends most of her time in her humid hide. Would this issue be a result from high humidity/too damp conditions in her humid hide? Or would it occur if the snake in question is being kept too dry/if the humidity in the hide is too low? Or does it not have anything to do with humidity at all? I’ve heard this species is susceptible to blisters from wet conditions and I’ve also heard that this species develops chronic dehydration if their kept too dry (even if they consistently drink water from their waterbowl). Maybe someone with more knowledge/experience can explain or debunk this.

Any insight would be much appreciated as I would like to have this corrected as soon as possible.

Thanks


   

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>> Next Message:  RE: Eastern scale concern - OrangeHeterodon, Wed Apr 2 21:42:55 2014