A friend is asking for help!

Rocketgay

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Hello!
I told a friend of mine about this forum, and they asked me to help identify an issue with one of their two tortoises’ shells.
,,These markings have been there for about a year, and it happened after a few scutes fell off. What could it be? Apologise for the dirt on the tortoise’s shell as it just had rained.”
Thank you
 

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Rocketgay

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Edit : My friend informed me their tortoises live outside, one shady and one sunny side in their backyard, they get soaked twice a week.
 

Yvonne G

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OK, here's what my experience with damaged shells tells me about your picture:

A LONG time ago, maybe over a year, this tortoise's carapace was damaged. Your friend might know about that, but WE have know way of knowing what caused the damage. However, it was severe enough that the blood supply to the top of the carapace was damaged causing the bone to die. But all was not lost, because tortoises are magical in that a dead bone doesn't mean a dead tortoise. Over time new bone and keratin grows UNDER that dead bone and old keratin. As the new shell grows it becomes bigger that the dead shell, and as it grows it slowly causes the old, dead parts to lift and come off, leaving the brand new shell exposed. Because this new shell didn't grow in increments between scutes like the old shell did, it has an overall mottled look instead of a pattern. What you see on that tortoise is new keratin. It's just as strong and healthy as the original shell, just not as familiar-looking.
 

Rocketgay

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OK, here's what my experience with damaged shells tells me about your picture:

A LONG time ago, maybe over a year, this tortoise's carapace was damaged. Your friend might know about that, but WE have know way of knowing what caused the damage. However, it was severe enough that the blood supply to the top of the carapace was damaged causing the bone to die. But all was not lost, because tortoises are magical in that a dead bone doesn't mean a dead tortoise. Over time new bone and keratin grows UNDER that dead bone and old keratin. As the new shell grows it becomes bigger that the dead shell, and as it grows it slowly causes the old, dead parts to lift and come off, leaving the brand new shell exposed. Because this new shell didn't grow in increments between scutes like the old shell did, it has an overall mottled look instead of a pattern. What you see on that tortoise is new keratin. It's just as strong and healthy as the original shell, just not as familiar-looking.
Thank you for the information! This really helps understand the situation better. Is it alright if I copy and paste this to them?
 

Sarah2020

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Suggest you share the care sheet as tortoise need heat to digest. As it has had trau a I would also insure it has calcium to avoid other issues coming to light. .....Maybe someone else can link the care sheet as I am on mob and can not find it.
 

Rocketgay

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Is it possible to get more pictures, showing the entire animal, carapace, etc.

I think it looks more from a fungus than from burning.
Here is a photo given earlier ( my friend said that this photo is from a few months ago and the shell is now better )
 

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jaizei

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Here is a photo given earlier ( my friend said that this photo is from a few months ago and the shell is now better )

I'd still lean towards something fungal. If the first picture is more recent, I'm not sure I'd call it better. If it is fungus and left untreated it might prevent the scutes from growing back properly.
 

Rocketgay

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I'd still lean towards something fungal. If the first picture is more recent, I'm not sure I'd call it better. If it is fungus and left untreated it might prevent the scutes from growing back properly.
Thank you! I am leaning toward advising them to contact a vet, since it may require medication.
 

wellington

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Tell your friend to put over the counter athletes foot cream on it. If it is fungal as Jaizei thinks, this will help to heal it and wont hurt if its not.
Tell them to clean the area with water and put the cream on. Keep it off the grow line areas between the scutes. They should do this daily and if after a few weeks no improvement they can stop. If it improves, they should continue until healed.
 

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