New owner worried about shell rot on plastron

Shellelujah

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Feb 2, 2024
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Pennsylvania
I recently took in this Russian tortoise. I noticed this mark on the plastron? Is it an old healing injury, shell rot or something else? The guy who gave it to me only said he’d had the tortoise for awhile, no mention of health issues. I asked the age, history etc but he didn’t answer much before dropping it off. I do know he’d been keeping it in just sand with a compact uvb bulb, I don’t remember seeing a heat bulb. i was told it’d been fed romaine and red lettuce and soaking him 2-3 times a week. I don’t know how long the tortoise was kept in that type of substrate, but since I have him now, i bought a UVB strip bulb and a dome light heat bulb. I got him in 50/50 Coco coir and reptile soil. I am soaking him 3 times a week, he’s going to the bathroom fine and eating great, I’ve fed him collard greens, kale and Timmothy hay and I got some dried wildflowers because it’s winter and my wildflower garden is dead. IMG_3027.jpegIMG_3025.jpeg
 

Sarah2020

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Mar 16, 2020
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London, UK
Hi and welcome ,

Please read this to check set up a d environment. I use orchid bark substrate which works well. If you search on here you will find USA explamples. It lasts well and does not get tra pled I to the good dish and water etc.. ensure diet, calcium, water etc.. is provides and hope the shell improves as it grows.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Jan 9, 2010
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64,194
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I recently took in this Russian tortoise. I noticed this mark on the plastron? Is it an old healing injury, shell rot or something else? The guy who gave it to me only said he’d had the tortoise for awhile, no mention of health issues. I asked the age, history etc but he didn’t answer much before dropping it off. I do know he’d been keeping it in just sand with a compact uvb bulb, I don’t remember seeing a heat bulb. i was told it’d been fed romaine and red lettuce and soaking him 2-3 times a week. I don’t know how long the tortoise was kept in that type of substrate, but since I have him now, i bought a UVB strip bulb and a dome light heat bulb. I got him in 50/50 Coco coir and reptile soil. I am soaking him 3 times a week, he’s going to the bathroom fine and eating great, I’ve fed him collard greens, kale and Timmothy hay and I got some dried wildflowers because it’s winter and my wildflower garden is dead. View attachment 366066View attachment 366067
Hello and welcome!

Russians don't usually get shell rot. That is an old injury and this guy is likely wild caught.

Collards and kale are okay as a small part of the diet once in a while but not as staples. Russians are not grass eaters, so hay in inappropriate, and Timothy hay is the wrong type of hay to use. Just skip the hay. Use endive, escarole, arugula, dandelion greens, and even lettuce is okay when mixed with the dried wildflowers, and other such food amendments. Kapidolofarms.com sells all sorts of different dried food offerings that can be mixed in with greens when real weeds aren't available in winter.

Read that link from Sarah. There is a heating and lighting breakdown and a temperate species care sheet toward the bottom. Questions are welcome.
 

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