Black scales - shed damage, fungus, or worse?

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We've taken a look at an adoption that we'll be (most likely) taking home in march- a 3-year-old male who's not handled much - and he has a few disconcerting patches on him. His owners say they are 'left over from stuck shed'.

He doesn't have anything on his abdomen, just a few black patches on his back, one thigh, and under/on his epaulet. They aren't raised at all, they do just look like blackened/dead scales. I'm inclined to agree with them that it is from shed damage, as it looks like he has remnants from past sheds still on some of his side scales and epaulets and on one toe.

Or could this be something worse? Yellow fungus, scale rot, melanoma?

We will definitely be taking him to the vet once we acquire him next month, but wanting to get some preemptive knowledge!


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AHBD Sicko
It doesn't look like fungus, could be old stuck shed but you could ask for updated pics after a couple of weeks to see how much of that came off. If they give him a couple of soaks and use a soft toothbrush it should take the loose scales off.

Drache613 Sicko
Staff member

I agree, it doesn't really look like fungus to me either. They can have trouble with stuck scales often but usually it will work itself loose.
The area on his back almost looks like a possible burn but not sure. Perhaps he got too close to a basking light? Overall, he is a very
handsome dragon!



Original Poster
Whew, I'm glad it doesn't look fungusy. It COULD be a burn; they have him in an exoterra that is around 12" tall. maybe they had a log too close and he got a bit singed.

we've already decided to go ahead with this goober for next month. he is a bit grouchy but they admit they do not handle him as much as he should be.

AHBD Sicko
He does look pretty healthy so hopefully you can tame the little dragon and give him a good home. :)
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