Plastron shell damage on Hermann's tortoise

GalFriday

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Jul 24, 2016
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I was cleaning my indoor Hermann's habitat today and noticed damage to the plastron - looks like it's on the femoral scute. It's a small round hole - the outside shell is just gone. It's not very deep.
I'm not sure if this is damage from climbing around obstacles in his cage (though I can't imagine what in there could do this) or the beginning of rot.

I'm a newer tortoise owner: I've had my Russian for about a year and this Hermann's for about 9 or so months.
I'm not positive of the age - but he fits in the palm of my hand, so maybe a couple years old?

We certainly will follow-up with the vet, but would love feedback from more seasoned tort parents in the meantime.

Thank you in advance!!
 
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Yvonne G

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I see some scrape marks from dragging across a rough surface, but I don't see the hole you're concerned about.
 

GalFriday

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This is what I am referring to when I say hole - may not be the right word for it, though.

Image Image
 

GalFriday

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Brian, you are correct. It is "shell rot" - though it is in the bone. :-(

It looks like she came to us with it from the breeder. The vet cut away a lot of her plastron from two areas on her femoral scute. It looks like it has been under the shell, in the bone, and drying the shell out as it spread. All of her activity in the cage started chipping away at the shell, which allowed us to see the damage underneath.

As I said, he chipped away a lot of the plastron to open up the area and now we will be doing Betadine debridement, ointment, and shot regimen. We also are going to have to completely revamp her cage; remove all the normal substrate and replace with an indoor/outdoor carpet bottom to make sure no particles get jammed up in the wounds.

She is all wrapped up right now, but the next time we change her dressings I will post pictures of the area. Hopefully this will help anyone else on here who is in a similar situation.
 

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