Scale rot (red lifted scales)

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Dratth
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Scale rot (red lifted scales)

Postby Dratth » Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:30 am

Hey guys. I have my indonesian BTS "Gimli" almost 1 year now. I want write this topic and update it as much as i can if someone have similar problem, i'll add some photo later too. I still dont know cause of the problem but i'll try to describe my husbandry here too.

Husbandry
ENCLOSURE - exo terra 90x45x45 (36x18x18)
TEMPERATURE - basking area on cork bark is 100-110F, 90F hot side, 82F cool side ...night drops to 72F.
HUMIDITY - humidity probe is in middle of the enclosure now, daytime humidity 55-60, night time with little misting on evening 80-90, without misting 75.
DIET - arcadia omnigold, repashy bluey buffet, dog/cat food with vegetables, superworms, locusts, occasionally crickets.
SUBSTRATE - he start on bioactive mix of coco fiber, arcadia earth mix, sphagnum moss, cypress mulch, playground sand, orchid bark and with live plants. It works good i think but there was later (5 months) many soil mites (and less springtails), which i didn't like. He buried himself alot there too and many times he was covered with soil when he dug up (he didnt mind that or it looked that way), which was another think i didnt like on that substrate.
I was looking for some "cleaner" solution. 2 months ago i make him substrate from 2.5 bags of cypress mulch with 2 bricks of coco fiber and with live plants too. It looks nice, no soil mites (but i saw springtails) but i think 1 brick of coco fiber would be enough. BUT i baked substrate in the oven before i put it in enclosure from fear of mites and this was first time i do something like this. It was 40-50mins on 150C / 300F.
LIGHTING - 1x50W basking light, 1x35W MVB (this two bulbs make basking area wider and hotter - is only 96F under MVB), 1x T5HO 6500 daylight bulb and 1xT5HO Arcadia 12% UVB

Problem
As every couple weeks, he burrow himself and i didn't saw him 5-6 days. 26.2. i saw him basking with some old skin still on him but there was some lifted red scales. Immediately i took him out of cage for closer look and 1 scale even fall off with low to no pressure and there was naked skin with drop of blood. I give him luke warm water bath with some betadine drops.
Next day i call my vet and i took him to my vet 28.2. He then told me it looks like some kind of strong fungal infection.
He give me BETADINE ointment/unguentum for first two days 1 time per day and after that antifungal oil 2 times per day (IMAVEROL) for week or more, depending on condition of BTS).
Dry enviroment is must too, he is on paper towels now with only small water dish for some hours - he always soak paper towels there if i let it there whole day.
He eats as normal, but hissing little more (i can understand he's mad at me now). Today is second day of oil treatment, i can't say if it is better or not, scales are still red but atleast not lifted.
I'll keep you posted guys.
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Re: Scale rot (red lifted scales)

Postby mb606587 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:56 pm

I had a similar infection with one of my skinks before. I treated exactly as you are for about 2 weeks. She healed very nicely and have not experienced any problems since.
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Re: Scale rot (red lifted scales)

Postby Dratth » Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:33 am

Thanks for reply mb - do you know why your skink had it? I'm trying to figure out what i have done wrong, maybe baking that substrate or wrong ratio cypress:coco fiber? Maybe some sharp piece of cypress? Or can this be from sick feeder insects maybe? (not that i have sick insects but there is possiblity they have something i didnt know)

If i remember right you using mix of organic top soil with sphagnum moss for indos? Or you mix it with something else? Any bad experience with it or something i should avoid? Have you ever problem with substrate sticking to eyes for example?

For now i have already bought arcadia earth mix and i plan to use it with sphagnum moss and some leaf litter (from oak). Should i bleach/sterilise sphagnum before mix it or it's own antibacterial/antifungal ability is enough?
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Re: Scale rot (red lifted scales)

Postby mb606587 » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:34 am

No I don't know for sure why my one skink developed that. I suspect the temperatures were a bit low and humidity high as it was in the dead of winter. But as I said, with a fresh batch of substrate and a thorough cleaning, never had the issue again. These things happen from time to time, even if you are cleaning the enclosure regularly. It happens more frequently with Indos, as they are typically in higher humidity environments, which helps microorganisms thrive. I would suggest ensuring you have proper ventilation and air flow and also not overly wet conditions. Typically fungal infections and bacterial infections occur due to inadequate temperatures, excessively high humidity and moisture, especially with improper ventilation, dirty enclosures, or exposure to an open wound.

And yes I use a mix of top soil, peat moss, coco coir, play sand, and lots of sphagnum moss. It holds the humidity very well and I haven't had any of those issues you mentioned. And I suggest buying all substrate at the garden store over the pet store. Not only is it cheaper but less of a risk of harboring parasitic reptile mites so no I don't sterilize.
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Re: Scale rot (red lifted scales)

Postby Dratth » Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:17 am

Thanks for reply. I apologize for the following many questions but i need to do my substrate "right" now :).

Sadly, i dont think we have sphagnum moss here in local garden stores so i ordering it in bricks. I only saw "peat", not peat moss. But this i found on wikipedia "Sphagnum is a genus of approximately 380 accepted species[2][3] of mosses, commonly known as "peat moss"". So is there peat and peat moss and sphagnum moss or sphagnum moss is peat moss?
With coco coir you mean coco bricks like zoomed eco earth bricks? (1brick is 8L of substrate)

What ratio do u use if i can ask? Like i said i already have 3x10L bags of arcadia earth mix (organic top soil - check). I plan to buy 2x100g of sphagnum moss brick (2x4,5L). If you use playground sand and peat, i can add them to my shoping list. We have minimum of 10Kg playground sand - how much of it you use? Peat is in 10L bags too so maybe 1bag would be enough? Or should i add more sphagnum moss? Normal or New england type?

I have 90x45x45 exo terra so with 10cm (4inch) of substrate depth, i need 40.5L of substrate minimum (i can go to no more than 60 i think because of doors).
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Re: Scale rot (red lifted scales)

Postby mb606587 » Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:06 am

Yes, the bricks of Eco Earth are the same thing. I use equal ratios of the sand, top soil, coco coir, and peat. After the substrate is several inches deep, I personally use the regular sphagnum moss on top, only because my garden store sells those and not the New Zealand moss, in 7 L. bags for very cheap. However, NZ sphagnum moss works just as well. I use about 3.5 L. (half of the bag) per enclosure. That's not a golden rule or anything, just my personal preference for my skinks that has worked well for me. Misting as I add and mix the substrate keeps all layers damp, and I find that mix tends to retain the moisture very well, up to a week or two without drying out.
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Re: Scale rot (red lifted scales)

Postby Dratth » Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:15 pm

Sorry for long break. He is now in enclosure with substrate after shed. Shedding was little difficult in so dry enviroment so i gave him bath 1 time to help him. It looks like he totally recover, problematic scales just drop off after shed and there is some new ones without color for now.

For substrate, i use all things as you did mb606587 but with different ratio because i didn't have everything and we have shops closed because of covid-19.
I used almost 3bags of arcadia earth mix, 2 bags of peat, 1bag of playsand, 500g brick of eco earth and 7.5l of sphagnum moss. Then i added some oak leaves.
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Re: Scale rot (red lifted scales)

Postby mb606587 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:56 am

Looks good :thumbs:

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