Is this that dreaded, vile yellow bump issue?

ReiGuy

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Sep 4, 2020
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Hi All,

I first wanted to say, a big thank you to everyone on this forum. All of the info, caresheets, posts etc., you've worked so hard on have made my first time with a sulcata a good one. Cannot express how grateful I am to have found this forum in my initial research, as it helped me setup my closed chamber and get all of the correct products.(my enclosure is the same model 6×3 grow tent Chubbs tegu used for his sulcata)

To give some background, I have my enclosure dialed in to the specs on Tom's carehsheet. Led light for ambient lighting, arcadia tube for UVB, and incandescent flood bulb for basking. Using a CHE to maintain ambient temps at night, set to go no lower than 83/84 in the farthest corners from the CHEs. Basking slate is 100 directly under the bulb. Humidity remains consistently in the 93-99 % range. Substrate is 2/3 coir and 1/3 orchid bark, with orchid bark covering the top. I get a 3.5 on my solarmeter directly under the arcadia tube, which I based on other posts I saw.

My tortoise eats a highly varied diet with grass, weeds being staples, as well as grocery greens like endive and escarole. I also grow my own wheat grass, and include other grocery store greens like cilantro, cactus pads, dandelion greens, bok choy, chicory, radish leaves, turnip leaves, collard greens, mustard greens, etc., all in moderation and variety. I also feed zoo med grassland diet, mazuri ls(he/ she doesn't like the original,) as well as organic tortoise hay, dried flowers, and other dried mix-ins. I supplemental calcium and vitamin powder a couple times per week.

I got my tortoise in September from a member on this forum who had good reviews. I will not disclose on this post who but please DM me if you'd like to know. It was in the 50 gram range when getting it and yesterday weighed in at 133 grams.

After settling in the first week, the tortoise began to do well, eating, drinking, pooping but sometimes the poop schedule was off and I noticed it seemed to be growing slower than I would have anticipated. However, I saw they all grow at different rates do didn't want to be alarmed.

After about two - three weeks with my tort, I noticed a black scab in the belly, which after reading found it could be an umbilical scar. From older posts, I saw this could mean the tort was started too dry or maybe put on substrate too soon, instead of leaving it in the browser box until the egg sack absorbed. The seller advised me they did daily soaks and hosted in a humid closed chamber, so I am suspecting maybe put on substrate too soon.

None the less, with time it healed completely and by the week of new years she was in the 80s gram range. Apparently the tort was born sometime in July.

Since December, she's really been taking off and weighed 133 grams yesterday. Overall a very active and happy tort now and seeming to finally be growing how I would have anticipated.

However, a few days a ago I discovered this bump. And this AM I noticed what I beleive is another that is super small and barely visible, under her chin on her neck area. No puss or anything oozing, and almost look like she may have just nicked her back neck on her shell but now seeing the other very tiny one I'm concerned.

I've attached pictures and id really appreciate if someone could let me know their thoughts. Please also let me know if you have any questions, would like more pics etc.

Everything for enclosure was bought brand new and she was the last reptile in my house. But I have an extensive snake collection, which Predates her I am concerned about. They are in completely different areas of the home and I tend to my tort during the day and snakes at night but am very concerned for my snakes if this is the yellow bumps. I also don't share anything like temp guns and gadgets, snakes all have their own and tortoise does too. And I am washing my hands like crazy but still concerned if it can travel in the vents and air system of the house, etc.

Thank you for any insight you can lend. I've put so much time into my little tort, like all of my fantastic beasts and I want nothing more than her to thrive and grow. (And to also keep my other friends safe. I've put so many years into my snakes and would be devastated if something happened)

Anthony
 

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Yossarian

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Im really sorry to say it but yes, it looks like it. Its not about your care unfortunately, if it is what it looks like, it was exposed to a bacteria called Austwickia Chelonia. Its serious.
 
Last edited:

ReiGuy

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78
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NJ
Oh my.... just what I was afraid of. Maybe this explains why she wasn't growing a lot at first to begin with then?

Becasue from my research yearling sulacatas can get up to 800-1000 grams if started well and cared for properly with no health issues. But I can confirm this is the first time I've ever seen any bump or abrasion on her.

I really appreciate you both chiming in and will await other feedback. My jaw literally dropped and heart started going 173638282 MPH the moment I noticed this spot.
 

mastershake

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327
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sadly yes that does look to be it. the only way to be 100% sure though is to take that off and test it but they need to go a bit deeper when they remove it not just the bump on the surface. and yes be VERY VERY careful if you have other reptiles. this is proven highly contagious.
 

ReiGuy

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Messages
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sadly yes that does look to be it. the only way to be 100% sure though is to take that off and test it but they need to go a bit deeper when they remove it not just the bump on the surface. and yes be VERY VERY careful if you have other reptiles. this is proven highly contagious.
Thank you for this response. Can any exotic/reptiles vets do this or do you have any sources you recommend? I'll certainly call all of the herp vets by me. I will begin using gloves when I handle my tort and touch anything pertaining to the enclosure, prepping the food, etc.

I feel as if I am in a big dilemma here, though. I have had my snakes for many years and now that I know this deadly infectious stuff is in my home, I don't feel safe for my snakes. Even if i wear gloves, etc. I'm sure it could spread somehow...(I don't want to test my luck)

Another member pm'd me and throughout our convo one thing I noted is, I have my snakes and the time I've put into them, knowing each personality, knowing all the quirks, watching them grow! It is worth a lifetime of beautiful memories to me, something worth more than anything in the world to me.... so do I risk all my other friends for this one?

I also told that member I know there are members on this site that have far more extensive collections than me, who have even put in many more decades than I have, of love and passion for their animals, and what if something like that happened in their facilities.

My tortoise is just as important to me as my other pets, but could I live with myself if I wiped out all my animals(reptiles)?

So I'd like to know what others would do IF the tort were to have the disease confirmed through testing. Would you still keep it and knowing it could spread? This seems like life or death to me(and many dead torts) so want to exercise ultimate caution. If you wouldn't keep it, then what would you do? Are there any scientists or herp vets you guys know that are taking in these animals in an effort to try to save them and study them? I would never give my tort to someone who would kill it but if genuinely trying to care for it then that could be a consideration.

I also wanted to know, where am I permitted to post reviews of the seller and what am I permitted to say?

I 100% want to follow all guidelines and I will never jump the gun and will wait for testing.... But if it is confirmed, I need to get this out on this site because I'm afraid others will make the same mistake I did and risk killing their other pets. The person who pm'd me also said they were aware of this person having the bumps. In fact they directly asked me was it "blank" and I confirmed yes.

This person i bought from has great reviews(people recommending them still as recently as last month,) which is why I bought from them. And I also noted to the member that pm'd me, I didn't realize Tom and Mark were breeders at that time, or else I 100% would have went with them(would have waited months or a year for a baby from them...) And now I also see norcal tortoise guy and Austin at az sulcate produce great babies and have great websites, etc.

But I don't see a lot of reviews for tom and mark and Austin and norcal in the review section. But lots of this other person and I do not see any posts about this person and yellow bumps. I should have dug deeper in my research of a breeder but I also want to try to share my experience so others folks ask this seller the right questions if they consider buying from them.

This seller also has a morph market and other outlets they sell through and you cannot post there unless you buy something. So at least if I make a review here, It'll be around for someone to see.

Thank you to everyone on here again. Really cannot express how appreciative I am of all the knowledge shared.
 

ReiGuy

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did you let the seller know? they may need to be alerted asap to save any of their other animals from contact
I was told by another member they already know... so I do hope they are taking the right steps and I sincerely wish them well.

I will be advising them as well once I have calmed down and am in a better state of mind. I do also want to get the testing done becasue I want to have it confirmed by a vet. But I will at least let them know what I found and say that I am taking them for further testing.

And for the record, this person was very nice and kind. I could tell this person doesn't have a bad bone in their body. This is a VERY unfortunate mishap but if the person truly has the character, which I perceived, I am sure they would be just as devastated to learn about this as anyone.
 

ReiGuy

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I was told by another member they already know... so I do hope they are taking the right steps and I sincerely wish them well.

I will be advising them as well once I have calmed down and am in a better state of mind. I do also want to get the testing done becasue I want to have it confirmed by a vet. But I will at least let them know what I found and say that I am taking them for further testing.

And for the record, this person was very nice and kind. I could tell this person doesn't have a bad bone in their body. This is a VERY unfortunate mishap but if the person truly has the character, which I perceived, I am sure they would be just as devastated to learn about this as anyone.

Another thought. Shouldn't this person proactively be notifying everyone they sold a tort to, just in case?

Finding out this person has known for some time upsets me, as I believe they should have notified all customers in good faith. I will certainly still tell them but golly, I feel as if there needs to be a little more compassion and proactivity.
 

crimson_lotus

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Another thought. Shouldn't this person proactively be notifying everyone they sold a tort to, just in case?

Finding out this person has known for some time upsets me, as I believe they should have notified all customers in good faith. I will certainly still tell them but golly, I feel as if there needs to be a little more compassion and proactivity.

it depends - if the tortoises sold were in the same clutch as yours, or exposed to yours at all, yes. but I bet its really hard to pinpoint the source if you have a ton of tortoises, and they probably are trying to keep their business open by selling what they believe to be healthy babies.

I have no idea who the seller is and I don't need to. Just thinking about both sides.
 

ZenHerper

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Another thought. Shouldn't this person proactively be notifying everyone they sold a tort to, just in case?

Finding out this person has known for some time upsets me, as I believe they should have notified all customers in good faith. I will certainly still tell them but golly, I feel as if there needs to be a little more compassion and proactivity.

So sorry you're going through this!

Do make sure your horse is out in front of the cart at all times...get the testing out of the way.

Some reading:
 

ReiGuy

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it depends - if the tortoises sold were in the same clutch as yours, or exposed to yours at all, yes. but I bet its really hard to pinpoint the source if you have a ton of tortoises, and they probably are trying to keep their business open by selling what they believe to be healthy babies.

I have no idea who the seller is and I don't need to. Just thinking about both sides.
Thank you for your reply. I do know mine was mixed in with many other babies in large soaking bins. I still have the pictures to show it.

And I do agree, it is tough here. I don't want them to shut down their operation but I just think something more needs to be done. At the least, if they are still selling tortoises, I would hope all of them are tested, so they can separate the sick form the healthy and that each baby is tested before they sell it. I can't speak for others, but I couldn't sleep at night unless I did this myself.

Also, this person sells and maintains many other species of reptiles. With that, I'd expect same as above.

I will ask them for feedback on this when I contact them. As I would really like to know how they're caring for the issues. (Heavens forbid, I could have the same issues on my hands if my snakes somehow already got it, so their insight could be very valuable)

And I understand all of this testing etc., must be costly for them but with fantastic beasts come fantastic responsibilities.
 

ReiGuy

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So sorry you're going through this!

Do make sure your horse is out in front of the cart at all times...get the testing out of the way.

Some reading:

I appreciate your support! I will give this a read later tonight and begin contacting all of the reptile vets I can tomorrow to see who has the quickest opening.

I told the member that PM'd me that growing up on a farm, I learned from a young age life isn't fair but this is really hard for me. This tort was supposed to live longer than me and be passed down to my kids. But none the less, I will learn something from it and maybe the tort wont have it after all.

But in any regard, maybe there is also a way the tort can still thrive even if it has it. (id still have to figure out the contagious part.) I saw on another post, that someone had a local vet that said their tortoises grew to full size, with great appetites, etc., despite having the condition. So I want to hold on to some hope even if just a glimmer.
 

ReiGuy

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Just got off the phone with an office that has reptile vets. The office staff couldn't confirm they can indeed do the testing but said it is very likely, and I am calling back tomorrow to speak to one of the reptile vets for them to confirm. I am hoping one of them will have knowledge of this and I'll also share them info I've got on the forum.

They said I likely cannot get an appointment tomorrow but they can hopefully get me in for an emergency visit as this could be life threatening.

I also contacted the seller and let them know what I've encountered so far and that I am working to get testing done to confirm what is going on with my tort. I also asked them if they have had this issue with any of their tortoises or other reptiles and am awaiting their reply.
 

Jan A

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Thank you for this response. Can any exotic/reptiles vets do this or do you have any sources you recommend? I'll certainly call all of the herp vets by me. I will begin using gloves when I handle my tort and touch anything pertaining to the enclosure, prepping the food, etc.

I feel as if I am in a big dilemma here, though. I have had my snakes for many years and now that I know this deadly infectious stuff is in my home, I don't feel safe for my snakes. Even if i wear gloves, etc. I'm sure it could spread somehow...(I don't want to test my luck)

Another member pm'd me and throughout our convo one thing I noted is, I have my snakes and the time I've put into them, knowing each personality, knowing all the quirks, watching them grow! It is worth a lifetime of beautiful memories to me, something worth more than anything in the world to me.... so do I risk all my other friends for this one?

I also told that member I know there are members on this site that have far more extensive collections than me, who have even put in many more decades than I have, of love and passion for their animals, and what if something like that happened in their facilities.

My tortoise is just as important to me as my other pets, but could I live with myself if I wiped out all my animals(reptiles)?

So I'd like to know what others would do IF the tort were to have the disease confirmed through testing. Would you still keep it and knowing it could spread? This seems like life or death to me(and many dead torts) so want to exercise ultimate caution. If you wouldn't keep it, then what would you do? Are there any scientists or herp vets you guys know that are taking in these animals in an effort to try to save them and study them? I would never give my tort to someone who would kill it but if genuinely trying to care for it then that could be a consideration.

I also wanted to know, where am I permitted to post reviews of the seller and what am I permitted to say?

I 100% want to follow all guidelines and I will never jump the gun and will wait for testing.... But if it is confirmed, I need to get this out on this site because I'm afraid others will make the same mistake I did and risk killing their other pets. The person who pm'd me also said they were aware of this person having the bumps. In fact they directly asked me was it "blank" and I confirmed yes.

This person i bought from has great reviews(people recommending them still as recently as last month,) which is why I bought from them. And I also noted to the member that pm'd me, I didn't realize Tom and Mark were breeders at that time, or else I 100% would have went with them(would have waited months or a year for a baby from them...) And now I also see norcal tortoise guy and Austin at az sulcate produce great babies and have great websites, etc.

But I don't see a lot of reviews for tom and mark and Austin and norcal in the review section. But lots of this other person and I do not see any posts about this person and yellow bumps. I should have dug deeper in my research of a breeder but I also want to try to share my experience so others folks ask this seller the right questions if they consider buying from them.

This seller also has a morph market and other outlets they sell through and you cannot post there unless you buy something. So at least if I make a review here, It'll be around for someone to see.

Thank you to everyone on here again. Really cannot express how appreciative I am of all the knowledge shared.
Just got off the phone with an office that has reptile vets. The office staff couldn't confirm they can indeed do the testing but said it is very likely, and I am calling back tomorrow to speak to one of the reptile vets for them to confirm. I am hoping one of them will have knowledge of this and I'll also share them info I've got on the forum.

They said I likely cannot get an appointment tomorrow but they can hopefully get me in for an emergency visit as this could be life threatening.

I also contacted the seller and let them know what I've encountered so far and that I am working to get testing done to confirm what is going on with my tort. I also asked them if they have had this issue with any of their tortoises or other reptiles and am awaiting their reply.
No words to convey my deep sympathies for what you're going thru. Mastershake is doing top research & I know that our experienced tort owners are concerned as well. We care so don't despair that you're all alone in this.
 

ReiGuy

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78
Location (City and/or State)
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No words to convey my deep sympathies for what you're going thru. Mastershake is doing top research & I know that our experienced tort owners are concerned as well. We care so don't despair that you're all alone in this.

Thank you so much, I really appreciate the support. I'm looking forward to speaking with the vet tomorrow and will continue posting updates on this forum, as well as to the seller to keep them notified about what is going on.

Still concerned for my snakes but will bring this all up to the vets as well tomorrow, to see what their advice is around keeping these animals under the same roof.

As Dave Grohl once said, it's time like these you're thankful all your other pets can't get the yellow bumps at least (or something like that)
 

mastershake

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shoot me a message and we can go over more there. i have been dealing with / testing / working with labs on this since the beginning of 2020. i can go over more there and hopefully give you some more advice and let you know what we did in the end etc. sadly if this is autwickia there is really nothing you can do. there are no known subjects who are thriving with it i know of (in hundreds or more of cases) and generally this will just continue to recur and get worse over time.
 

mastershake

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also sorry for the late reply i was at the eye cancer place all day monday for testing or i would have posted sooner. hoping you see the pm message before the vet so we can over some details before you go in so you have some info on your side as many vets honestly have never seen a case of this before and really have no idea what to do with it and throw meds that dont work at it.
 
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