It would probably be good to keep on eye on your fish for this to recur...that really does sound/look parasite-ish, and it wouldn't be unheard of to have it happen again.
Stuff sticking out of your betta is never innocent. If something is protruding from the scales, you can bet it's a hitchhiker...
But I am glad he is doing better. He was probably terrified of that whole business! As far as KevinVA said, I'm not sure they are more prone to illness, but I will say that bettas are way more neurotic than other fish, perhaps because they are smarter. And stress causes illness. Mine just can't live with any other fish, because they would either a.)kill tankmates b.)drive themselves crazy/die due to the tankmates. Maybe both.
1 - 55 gallon planted community
3 - 10 to 20 gallon planted betta tanks
My advice: slow down, think, and be willing to learn. Then you'll be fine, no matter what.