Possible scale rot condition. Looking for opinions

I have a Orange Dream Enchi Ball python, I recently changed its cage and bedding from Aspen to a mixture of Zoo Med Eco earth and Zoo med Reptibark. Too help with humidity in the cage. I came across a patch of its scales that look concerning to me and I would like some others opinions. If you could shed some light that would be amazing. I hope the photo does its Justic

Looks a bit like some stuck shed mixed with the substrate.
Try ‘wash’ it off.

I’ve had this before with mine, the substrate I tried before kept sticking to them and was awful stuff

Thank you for the suggestion, I took a cotton pad with warm water and wiped it a few times and the patch is still there, here is a better picture i manged to take.

I would lean more toward an abrasion or shedding issue. Typically I think scale rot would present itself on the underside of the snake rather than the dorsal side.

Does the underside of the snake look alright?

Was its last shed a “rough” shed or a good one?

Do you feed live or frozen-thawed?


Its last few sheds weren’t the best, humidity has been low in the cage due to winter, hints the new bedding. The underside looks to be fine maybe a tiny bit more pink than normal hard to tell and i feed the snake Live since it would not take to frozen despite my efforts. Think this could be related to a scratch from a mouse?

Given that, it could be a stuck shed like @ghoulishcresties pointed out. Feeding live, it could be from that too if there was ever a bite/scratch. If a bite/scratch, it doesn’t look bad from what I can see. A slightly pinker belly can be an indicator that a snake is going into shed. When is the last time it shed? And how what kind of heat source are you using for the enclosure?

Its last shed was about 2 weeks ago give or take some days. and i use a heat mat under the cage that covers about 1/4th of the cage and a heat lamp during the day thats on a time. Its humidity stays between 55-70 most of the time ( still trying to keep it stable) and the temp during the day is typically 83 on the hot side and 72 during the night.

To rule out the chance it could be a burn since it’s on the dorsal and you are using an overhead heat source:
Is the heat lamp outside the enclosure itself?
Is the heat lamp on a thermostat?
And how are you measuring your temps?

The heat lamp is positioned outside of the cage sitting on the lid, I use low wattage heat bulbs. I do not currently have the lamp set to a thermostat and how I measure the cages temps is by a in cage Thermostat/Humidity unit and a stand alone thermostat on the colder end of the cage. I have noticed in the past few days it can spike up to the High 80’s in the cage when my room gets warm. if that happens i just turn the lamp off. should i see about removing the lamps or hooking them onto a thermostat?

If it is low enough wattage, I’m sure you could get by without a thermostat on the lamp as long as you’ve got one on the mat, but I’m a bit overly cautious myself and put all of my heat sources on a thermostat. If the hottest surface that the snake can touch in the enclosure is only ever reaching upper 80s then I wouldn’t think it could be a burn and would go back to thinking shed or abrasion. I keep my hotspot in the upper 80s regularly. Using a temp gun is probably the easiest and most accurate way to measure the temperature of surfaces in the enclosure. Overall, I would say keep an eye on it, but it should improve over time and proper shedding.

Alright I will keep an eye on it. Thank you for your time and info. You’ve been the most of help. I appreciate it and ill look into getting a thermostat that will control it just in case


Yes need that no question.

is it sticky?
Any fluid?

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