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Albino Ball Python
Albino Ball Python  
QUESTION: I have a question and was wondering if you can please help. I currently have an albino ball python-male and got it about a week ago. All of the sudden I've been noticing that his skin has turned pale. Also, I see dots that appear to be little cuts or scars. Some appear a little pink reddish. His normal eye color is red and now looks real dull. Do you know what the problem might be? Please help? Appreciate it!

ANSWER: Hello Samuel,

What a beautiful ball python.  The albinos are gorgeous!  
It appears that he is going to shed.  :-)
When they shed, the skin becomes pinkish as well as dull.  They even shed their eye caps, too which is why the eyes have changed colors.
The pinkish dots should just be part of the upcoming shed & once the old skin sloughs off should disappear.
Do you have a humid hide in the tank for him?
Has he been eating well also?


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks you so much!! :) But its been looking like that for the past 3 days or so, but no actual shedding has occured, is it still normal? You don't think it might start having scale rot? :( because I would not want that at all.. And is the saggy looking skin normal before shedding? And no I don't have a humid hide but I do spray water constantly because I thought it might had been dehydration & I've only had him for about 1 whole week so I've only fed it once a live hopper mice & he did very well. Tommorow is his next feeding day & I'm hoping he'll do good (:

ANSWER: Hello Samuel,

You are welcome.  :-)
It will take up to a week or two for them to go through several phases before actually shedding.
I don't think it appears to be scale rot.  As long as it is not too humid in there for him he should be fine.  Though when he is pre-shed he does need a bit more humidity though.  
The skin will get saggy/drier looking, yes.  
Did he eat for you again?

What are the temperatures in the tank?

Let me know how he is doing.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks, and today I really looked closely at his belly and some scales do appear to look brown and dry.. I looked it up and I think it might be getting some scale rot but its very mild and at the first stages of scale rot, so I removed the aspen bedding & replaced with newspaper, I also gave him a soak with povidone-iodine water solution for about 20 minutes .. Dried him off with a towel and put him back in his enclosure.. I have a 100 watt blue daylight bulb & a 50 watt red nightlight bulb .. His daytime temps are at about 90F & at night I keep it at about 85/90 F .. Do you think I should change those temps? Do you think they are too high? & well i still need to buy a humidity thermometer so I really don't know the humidity levels. Also I tried feeding him a small live hopper mice today and he DID NOT eat :( do you think its safe to pre-kill the mice & let it freeze in the freezer so I can try again in about 2-3 days? Or is that bad? Sorry for asking so much questions, this is my first snake & i just wanna be the best owner to my pet (:

Hello Samuel,

Sure, that sounds good.  It you get it early then he wont have any trouble with scale issues.
The temperatures are fine, the 88-90 on the warm side is great.  What are the cooler end temps around?  
The nighttime temperatures could maybe drop a little bit to a 78-82 range with a warmer area in case he needs that to digest.  We use a ceramic heat emitter day/night instead of a heat bulb as he is in a brightly lit room to regulate day & night cycles.  
Newspaper is good for a liner or you can also consider a felt material too, cut to size.  
Do you have a water dish in there for him?  That may help if he can soak & you can move it over on the warmer end right before he is going to shed to help with humidity.  When he is done with his shed you can move it over to the cooler end.  
How do you pre-kill the mice?  Yes, that is fine to freeze after that to feed later.  A lot of times before shedding, they don't eat as their vision is partially impaired with shedding.  

You are doing great!  
Let me know how he is doing.



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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