HELP Russian tortoise shell damage?


New Member
Jul 17, 2016
Hello everyone! I've owned my Russian tortoise, Ivan, for around 3 years now (he's the first tort I've ever owned).

Maybe 3 weeks ago I noticed that a small spot of his lower shell, on his belly, had an odd reddish-brown color. I assumed it was a small abrasion of some kind, I didn't think much of it and resolved to soak him more regularly.

Today I had him out in the backyard, and I noticed the spot had become larger, and that some kind of flaking seemed to be going on around the spot. I've attached a picture. Could this be shell rot, or is it just an injury that I didn't keep a close enough eye on that he's irritated since then? It seems like the red-brown stuff could be some kind of discharge, or maybe dried blood.

I haven't noticed any big changes in behavior, he seems to be moving/eating fine.

I'm really, really concerned for my little guy, so if anyone has any thoughts or advice (preferably RT owners) I would love to hear it!

Thanks everybody


  • ivan shell.jpg
    ivan shell.jpg
    1.8 MB · Views: 35


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Jul 11, 2014
Location (City and/or State)
Spokane Valley WA
I think it looks like an old injury, and the keratin cover is peeling off. Not an issue. I am sure others with more rehab experience than I will chime in.

New Posts