HELP!!! Baby Cherry Head Tortoise Shell Problem!

ButterTortoise

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I have had my baby cherry head tortoise for a month. I am getting worried about the condition of his shell. He began to have white spots. At first, I thought they were mineral deposits. When I put 50/50 water and vinegar I do not see any reaction. So I don't think they are mineral deposits. When I first got him, his shell has a small chip near his left rear leg. Near his left leg, part of his shell had an indent. His back shell is beginning to appear as it's almost "flaking" off. I put 4 pictures to help show what I mean. I am hoping that it is not shell rot.

Relatively he eats well and has a lot of strength when I pick him up after his soak (to let me know that he wants to be put down). He moves relatively fast to his favorite flowerpot, which I gave to him as shelter. I have a humidifier and moss to keep the humidity levels good and for him to hide and explore during the day. have his tank set up in a 24 x 18 x 10 enclosure. Humidity is at 75% and the temperature is between 70-80 degrees F.

I'm not sure what to do and I do not have an exotic vet near me. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated!

Thak you.
 

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ZEROPILOT

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That looks like fungus to me. And it's very odd.
Get some ATHLETES foot cream on those areas ASAP and get rid of the moss.
What substrate are you using?
What is the humidity level?
What does the carapace look like? (underside)

What type of enclosure are you using?
Please provide a detailed description and some photos.
 

Toddrickfl1

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It looks like shell fungus but that's usually found on the plastron. Is the white stuff all over the belly too? Get some athletes foot cream and apply it to the areas where the white is for a few days. See if that helps.
@ZEROPILOT
 

ZEROPILOT

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It looks like shell fungus but that's usually found on the plastron. Is the white stuff all over the belly too? Get some athletes foot cream and apply it to the areas where the white is for a few days. See if that helps.
@ZEROPILOT
It really is very odd.
I've never seen so much fungus before. And I'm wondering if its something else that might require a veterinarian
 

ButterTortoise

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That looks like fungus to me. And it's very odd.
Get some ATHLETES foot cream on those areas ASAP and get rid of the moss.
What substrate are you using?
What is the humidity level?
What does the carapace look like? (underside)

What type of enclosure are you using?
Please provide a detailed description and some photos.
The substrate I am using is Zoo Med Forst Floor Bedding and I mixed it with Organic Coco potting soil. There are no abnormal signs on his carapace. The abnormities only appear on his scutes.

I keep the humidity around 75%.

Is there a specific type of Foot cream I should use and how much should I apply to the areas?

Thank you for your reply.
 

ButterTortoise

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It looks like shell fungus but that's usually found on the plastron. Is the white stuff all over the belly too? Get some athletes foot cream and apply it to the areas where the white is for a few days. See if that helps.
@ZEROPILOT
Thank you for your reply - Is there a specific type of foot cream and how the amount I should be putting on?

And no, it is only on his scutes.
 

ButterTortoise

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The substrate I am using is Zoo Med Forst Floor Bedding and I mixed it with Organic Coco potting soil. There are no abnormal signs on his carapace. The abnormities only appear on his scutes.

I keep the humidity around 75%.

Is there a specific type of Foot cream I should use and how much should I apply to the areas?

Thank you for your reply.
Sorry about the foot cream - I got two messages mixed up - I am currently looking for an exotic vet.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Thank you for your reply - Is there a specific type of foot cream and how the amount I should be putting on?

And no, it is only on his scutes.
Any cheap tube will work. Just a dab enough to cover the affected areas. Hopefully it is fungus and that knocks it out. If it doesn't start improving within a week I'd say maybe find a good exotic Vet. Try the cream first though.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Thank you for your reply - Is there a specific type of foot cream and how the amount I should be putting on?

And no, it is only on his scutes.
ANY ATHLETES FOOT CREAM
I get mine at the dollar store.
Just being on the top and not the plastron. I don't think it's a common fungal infection. Especially with the brittle shell issue also present.
I do reccomend making a vet appointment and in the meantime get rid of all of the substrate and just use newspaper or paper towels for the immediate time being
 

ButterTortoise

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Any cheap tube will work. Just a dab enough to cover the affected areas. Hopefully it is fungus and that knocks it out. If it doesn't start improving within a week I'd say maybe find a good exotic Vet. Try the cream first though.
Thank you so much for your help! I've feel much better now. I've been super worried, but I'm glad I know the direction and steps I can take now.
 

ButterTortoise

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ANY ATHLETES FOOT CREAM
I get mine at the dollar store.
Just being on the top and not the plastron. I don't think it's a common fungal infection.
I do reccomend making a vet appointment and in the meantime get rid of all of the substrate and just use newspaper or paper towels for the immediate time being
Great, thank you so much for your help - I am new to the hobby and have been freaking out over this little guy. Your help and advice are greatly appreciated!
 

ZEROPILOT

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Thank you for your reply - Is there a specific type of foot cream and how the amount I should be putting on?

And no, it is only on his scutes.
ANY ATHLETES FOOT CREAM
I get mine at the dollar store.
Just being on the top and not the plastron. I don't think it's a common fungal infection.
I do reccomend making a vet appointment and in the meantime get rid of all of the substrate and just use newspaper or paper towels for the immediate time
Great, thank you so much for your help - I am new to the hobby and have been freaking out over this little guy. Your help and advice are greatly appreciated!
Hopefully another member can better diagnose this issue.
I've never encountered it before
 

zovick

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I have had my baby cherry head tortoise for a month. I am getting worried about the condition of his shell. He began to have white spots. At first, I thought they were mineral deposits. When I put 50/50 water and vinegar I do not see any reaction. So I don't think they are mineral deposits. When I first got him, his shell has a small chip near his left rear leg. Near his left leg, part of his shell had an indent. His back shell is beginning to appear as it's almost "flaking" off. I put 4 pictures to help show what I mean. I am hoping that it is not shell rot.

Relatively he eats well and has a lot of strength when I pick him up after his soak (to let me know that he wants to be put down). He moves relatively fast to his favorite flowerpot, which I gave to him as shelter. I have a humidifier and moss to keep the humidity levels good and for him to hide and explore during the day. have his tank set up in a 24 x 18 x 10 enclosure. Humidity is at 75% and the temperature is between 70-80 degrees F.

I'm not sure what to do and I do not have an exotic vet near me. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated!

Thak you.
To me, it looks like remnants of the amniotic membrane in which the tortoise is enclosed while in the egg, After they hatch and it dries out, it can be somewhat tenacious. If that is what it is, you could use a toothbrush to simply brush it off. Give that a try and see if it will come off with a toothbrush and some warm water.

If not, then you can try some of the athlete's foot cream (although the condition for which that is needed almost never occurs on the carapace).
 

ZEROPILOT

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To me, it looks like remnants of the amniotic membrane in which the tortoise is enclosed while in the egg, After they hatch and it dries out, it can be somewhat tenacious. If that is what it is, you could use a toothbrush to simply brush it off. Give that a try and see if it will come off with a toothbrush and some warm water.

If not, then you can try some of the athlete's foot cream (although the condition for which that is needed almost never occurs on the carapace).
Interesting
Thank you very much
 

Yvonne G

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@ButterTortoise : Just a note of explanation. 'Scutes' refers to each individual plate between the growth seams. The carapace (top shell) is covered in scutes, as is the plastron (bottom shell). We'd like to see a picture of the bottom shell please.

Temporarily, take out the substrate and moss and keep the tortoise on paper towels. Buy any athlete foot cream, generic is fine, and rub it into all those white spots. Soak the baby in warm water prior to each application then dry well before applying the cream.

Once the area has cleared up you can put the substrate back in, but if this IS fungus, the only way he got it on his carapace is from sitting under wet something - probably the moss, so don't use moss anymore.
 

ZenHerper

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I'm currently recommending against any substrate not made specifically for the pet trade -- bacterial or fungal cultures might be present in coco or bark produced for gardeners. They might also contain toxic pesticides, the same as bagged soils.

I was recently helping someone local trouble-shoot a problem with turtles dying from liver failure. Everything else was ruled out, but they had been using the large, way-cheap coco bricks made for the gardening market. They swapped out for one of the pet brands, and their remaining animals have started to recover. (My suspicion of pesticide toxicity: They were never able to keep isopod or springtail cultures alive in their habitats. Worms would die within an hour of being dropped on the surface.)

One anecdote, but my takeaway is to absorb the expense of for-pet products.
 

ButterTortoise

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@ButterTortoise : Just a note of explanation. 'Scutes' refers to each individual plate between the growth seams. The carapace (top shell) is covered in scutes, as is the plastron (bottom shell). We'd like to see a picture of the bottom shell please.

Temporarily, take out the substrate and moss and keep the tortoise on paper towels. Buy any athlete foot cream, generic is fine, and rub it into all those white spots. Soak the baby in warm water prior to each application then dry well before applying the cream.

Once the area has cleared up you can put the substrate back in, but if this IS fungus, the only way he got it on his carapace is from sitting under wet something - probably the moss, so don't use moss anymore.
Here are all the pictures I took of him today. I applied the athlete foot cream on his yesterday. Today I gave him a soak, brushed him softly with a toothbrush. The pictures I am posting are what he looks like this morning and his shell is dry in the photos.

Yesterday I changed his enclosure and I am only using paper towers I have a humidifier on and I am changing the paper towels regularly.

Today fed him Butter lettuce, strawberries, and vitamin pellets, topped with calcium powder. He was in good spirits and ate his food and ventured around his environment.

I am currently trying to get an appointment with an exotic animal vet.

Thank you for your reply and knowledge.
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Toddrickfl1

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Here are all the pictures I took of him today. I applied the athlete foot cream on his yesterday. Today I gave him a soak, brushed him softly with a toothbrush. The pictures I am posting are what he looks like this morning and his shell is dry in the photos.

Yesterday I changed his enclosure and I am only using paper towers I have a humidifier on and I am changing the paper towels regularly.

Today fed him Butter lettuce, strawberries, and vitamin pellets, topped with calcium powder. He was in good spirits and ate his food and ventured around his environment.

I am currently trying to get an appointment with an exotic animal vet.

Thank you for your reply and knowledge.
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Looks better today. Keep applying the cream for a few days. Hopefully that helps.
 

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