Help please (dent in shell)

DWaller

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Hi, my baby has settled in great, really pleased with his progress. He is a little digger. He dug himself slightly under a stone yesterday and seemed happy so I left him there for the night. When I got him up this morning his shell looks a little dented. Now I feel really bad and upset. Is this something that might correct itself. I have removed all stones. Not sure if you can see in the photo I attach, top right.

shell.jpg
 
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lismar79

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I don't seeit but if there is a dent it will smooth out as he grows.
 

Tom

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I don't see a dent either. I think you are okay.

In your avatar it looks like you are using the Pets At Home substrate with the limestone bits in it. I highly recommend changing out your substrate before it becomes a problem. Encouraging your tortoise to eat its substrate to satisfy its calcium cravings is a bad idea any way you look at it. I don't know whose idea that was or how it got so popular, but its bad. Really bad. We just had a member whose tortoise was all blocked up and we suspect it was due to that substrate. Waiting on X-rays to confirm.
 

DWaller

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I don't see a dent either. I think you are okay.

In your avatar it looks like you are using the Pets At Home substrate with the limestone bits in it. I highly recommend changing out your substrate before it becomes a problem. Encouraging your tortoise to eat its substrate to satisfy its calcium cravings is a bad idea any way you look at it. I don't know whose idea that was or how it got so popular, but its bad. Really bad. We just had a member whose tortoise was all blocked up and we suspect it was due to that substrate. Waiting on X-rays to confirm.

Thanks for the comments, the dent seems to have righted itself over the morning after his bath. I have him on topsoil/playsand now and he is a lot happier. I have removed the big stones and he seems just content with digging down in the dirt. I just panicked this morning.
 

DWaller

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He's in there somewhere lol

WP_20151113_13_44_02_Pro.jpg
 
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Tom

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Thanks for the comments, the dent seems to have righted itself over the morning after his bath. I have him on topsoil/playsand now and he is a lot happier. I have removed the big stones and he seems just content with digging down in the dirt. I just panicked this morning.

I'm sorry to be a pain in the rear, but sand is no good either. Slowly over time they will ingest small amounts and it stuck to the food and eventually causes a blockage in their intestine. This happens all the time. I am friends with several reptile specialist veterinarians and they see cases of this all the time unfortunately.

The sand/soil recipe was a standard for many years and has historically been repeated very often. It was cheap and easy, and it seemed to make sense. Over time we saw the flaws and problems with it and some of us understood why it can't work. Unfortunately, the words were already written that recommended it, and to this day those old incorrect words are repeated in many books and websites. Many people use it for years and think everything is fine, right up until the day they go to the vet, get an x-ray and finally realize that its not fine.

In addition to the impaction risk, it can also be the cause of skin and eye irritation. Sand in the substrate has caused many an eye infection…

I prefer to use coco coir for small Testudo species, like yours, and at some point I switch to orchid bark as they get bigger.

Hope this helps.
 
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