I rescued a tortoise but I'm a first timer.

Jason427

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Hello, I've been wanting a tortoise for a long time and did extensive research before obtaining this rescue. I got her from a friend who didn't want to look after her and was stuck in a shed so I've gave her a new home, but I need help!! She has been injured before and rewelded by the vet but my issue is cracks and holes in her shell!! I have soaked and used antibiotics and antibacterial cream for about 3 weeks but I see no improvement can anyone help!!

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zovick

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Hello, I've been wanting a tortoise for a long time and did extensive research before obtaining this rescue. I got her from a friend who didn't want to look after her and was stuck in a shed so I've gave her a new home, but I need help!! She has been injured before and rewelded by the vet but my issue is cracks and holes in her shell!! I have soaked and used antibiotics and antibacterial cream for about 3 weeks but I see no improvement can anyone help!!
Tortoises heal much more slowly than humans. When tortoises have surgery on their soft tissue which requires stitches, the stitches are left in for 4 weeks, compared to about 5-7 days for humans.

Three weeks is not nearly enough time for a shell injury like that to heal to the point where you will be able to notice very much improvement. Can you get a better shot of the injury from the side so we can tell how it was treated by the vet to repair the shell? Sometimes holes are drilled for that reason by the vet. If the holes are not from that, then they could be from a dog's teeth.

Do you know how it was injured and how long it has been since the vet saw it?
 

Jason427

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The weld on the side is from a dog clawing her and split her shell but this was originally on top of her shell (so I'm told) and is slowly growing out. But my worry is with the holes and cracks around the shell. I'll attach a photo, there is a hole in the top right, but now you mention it it could be dog teeth.

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Kim&Tim

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Hello, I've been wanting a tortoise for a long time and did extensive research before obtaining this rescue. I got her from a friend who didn't want to look after her and was stuck in a shed so I've gave her a new home, but I need help!! She has been injured before and rewelded by the vet but my issue is cracks and holes in her shell!! I have soaked and used antibiotics and antibacterial cream for about 3 weeks but I see no improvement can anyone help!!
I see the repaired part, but I don't see any holes or cracks. What I do see, is a tort who was very dehydrated and grew up ultra dry. I have a rescue tort who grew up horribly and he has a similar shell. The cracks arent's really cracks. When a tortoise grows up with good nutrition, is hydrated, good humidy and uvb, the shell grows smooth. When all of this lacks, it becomes like this, pyramided. But because Russian don't really pyramid easily unlike other tortoises tend to do, you get this uneven cracked look.
IMG 20200529 104657
 

Kim&Tim

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The weld on the side is from a dog clawing her and split her shell but this was originally on top of her shell (so I'm told) and is slowly growing out. But my worry is with the holes and cracks around the shell. I'll attach a photo, there is a hole in the top right, but now you mention it it could be dog teeth.
Yes I see a dog definitely had a go at her, but the rest, uneven, bumpy, cracked look is from growing up deprived, like mine. There is nothing you can do, except do better. Soak her every day, make sure she has water, correct food, uvb, correct lamp, correct substrate and correct temperatures.
As she grows the dogbite will disappear, new growth. She will be a bit smoother, but not a whole lot. You can't undo that damage.
 

Jason427

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I see the repaired part, but I don't see any holes or cracks. What I do see, is a tort who was very dehydrated and grew up ultra dry. I have a rescue tort who grew up horribly and he has a similar shell. The cracks arent's really cracks. When a tortoise grows up with good nutrition, is hydrated, good humidy and uvb, the shell grows smooth. When all of this lacks, it becomes like this, pyramided. But because Russian don't really pyramid easily unlike other tortoises tend to do, you get this uneven cracked look.
View attachment 296925
Oh ok how long have you had your tort for because his/her shell is looking very clean and in good condition? I know that mine is dehydrated, like you say all the key signs are there so I have been bathing her every 2 days at the moment making sure she's dry and applying antibactial so the cracks/ holes dont get infected but I just need to know if I'm taking the correct approach ?
 

Yvonne G

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Don't worry about that dinky hole. It looks old. It will always be there. Shells don't heal like skin. Sometimes new shell grows UNDER a badly injured shell. but in the case of that little hole, it will always look like that.
 

Jason427

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Yes I see a dog definitely had a go at her, but the rest, uneven, bumpy, cracked look is from growing up deprived, like mine. There is nothing you can do, except do better. Soak her every day, make sure she has water, correct food, uvb, correct lamp, correct substrate and correct temperatures.
As she grows the dogbite will disappear, new growth. She will be a bit smoother, but not a whole lot. You can't undo that damage.
Ahh as long as I know I'm taking the correct steps to making her happy again, I don't want her to get any worse ?
 

Jason427

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Don't worry about that dinky hole. It looks old. It will always be there. Shells don't heal like skin. Sometimes new shell grows UNDER a badly injured shell. but in the case of that little hole, it will always look like that.
So there is no chance of infection just she'll rot if it's not dryed correctly?
 

Kim&Tim

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Oh ok how long have you had your tort for because his/her shell is looking very clean and in good condition? I know that mine is dehydrated, like you say all the key signs are there so I have been bathing her every 2 days at the moment making sure she's dry and applying antibactial so the cracks/ holes dont get infected but I just need to know if I'm taking the correct approach ?
A year now. But I don't see cracks? I see the repaired dogbite, a missing piece and the rest I see is russian pyramiding, I don't see open wounds etc? So I would stop putting antibiotics on there.
 

Kim&Tim

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So there is no chance of infection just she'll rot if it's not dryed correctly?
No, she'll be fine! Dry her of after a bath, make sure humidity is 35/50. Make sure substrate isn't wet, just a bit damp. Make sure temps are ok in the enclosure. That's enough.
 

Jason427

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A year now. But I don't see cracks? I see the repaired dogbite, a missing piece and the rest I see is russian pyramiding, I don't see open wounds etc? So I would stop putting antibiotics on there.
I will take some pictures underneither in a moment to show the cracks, would you still consider antibacterial for the holes though?
 

Jason427

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I will take some pictures underneither in a moment to show the cracks, would you still consider antibacterial for the holes though?
 

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Kim&Tim

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I will take some pictures underneither in a moment to show the cracks, would you still consider antibacterial for the holes though?
No I wouldn't unless there are open wounds and I see any. A shell is like a fingernail, a very thick fingernail. I would feed her normally btw, I would not increase proteine/calcium! Feed what's on the care sheet; leafy greens, weeds etc. Give her a cuttlefish bone that she can usr. You are new to this and there can be issues with doing this. There is not a whole lot you can do, except for the things I already said, take good care of her and the rest will come. I would also read the care sheet in the Russian section.
 

Kim&Tim

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I would do nothing with this, just let it heal like a damaged fingernail. All she needs is good basic care and the rest will come. She will never be smooth ever! Like mine will never be smooth. But it will be better and look a bit better.
 

Jason427

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No I wouldn't unless there are open wounds and I see any. A shell is like a fingernail, a very thick fingernail. I would feed her normally btw, I would not increase proteine/calcium! Feed what's on the care sheet; leafy greens, weeds etc. Give her a cuttlefish bone that she can usr. You are new to this and there can be issues with doing this. There is not a whole lot you can do, except for the things I already said, take good care of her and the rest will come. I would also read the care sheet in the Russian section.
Thank you I will take a look at that now, her food is normal I she has a cuttlefish so I hope she's happy ?
 

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