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Ask Dr. Ellie Your Own Question
Dr. Ellie
Dr. Ellie, Veterinarian
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 305
Experience:  emergency and critical care resident
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My ball python has blisters. I've kept her cage clean and

Customer Question

My ball python has blisters. I've kept her cage clean and handle her every day. She just fed two days ago. She is active. She shed a week ago. I use paper towels for bedding.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 1 month ago.

Are you able to post a picture? My first thought is a burn from the under tank heater or any heating device you have in the cage. Is there a hot rock in the cage? Can she crawl up into a light fixture and come into contact with a hot bulb?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No I do not use a heat rock I use a heat pad I maintain a good temperature and humidity. The next morning her blisters looked better not as pink and some have deflated. Now my only worries is that it will get infected.
Expert:  Joan replied 1 month ago.


My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with special interest in Reptiles and Reptiles rescue.

I have looked at the Picture and this looks like the onset of Vesicular dermatitis or scale rot. Right now it looks clean but should be addressed by a Herp Vet hands on to get started on an antibiotic. Right now you can clean the area with some diluted Betadine and warm water to help keep the area clean. I would not keep the moist paper dowel on the top of the tank right now as that can be causing part of the problem. This is some information about Vesicular Dermatitis: If you need a Herp Vet please let me know and I can locate some for you if you supply a State.


Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 1 month ago.

Joan's advice to see a veterinarian is sound and to that I would add that "blister disease" is only one potential cause of the lesions notes. A thorough veterinary exam can rule out the other causes and suggest proper treatment which may include antibiotics, soaking, debridement or changes in husbandry as indicated.

Additionally you can provide humidity by the use of a humidity box which is an upside down tupperware container with a hole in it and moss underneath to keep that area humid thus she can go in and out as necessary to adjust the humidity she needs. Use of a hygrometer can tell you how humid the cage is and just like thermometers you can have them in different areas of the cage to provide dry side and a humid side. Here is a link to a care sheet on Ball Pythons so that you can make any necessary adjustments to the environment while you re waiting to have your snake seen by a veterinarian.

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