Possible Shell Deformation

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dhu2154

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My girlfriend and I brought home a hatchling sully 2 weeks ago. His name is Orson and from his petite size I'm assuming he's only a few weeks old. I have an indoor and outdoor enclosure for him here in San Diego. His indoor enclosure is the ZooMed Tortoise House. I have a MVB on a 12 hour timer and an inferred lamp for night. Coconut substrate, a large water dish always available and I keep a combination of St. Augustine grass, dandelion greens and flowers, mixed lettuces (from my garden) and hibiscus. Every other day I sprinkle a calcium/vitamin mix on the grass.

Orson is an early riser. He wakes me in the morning with his scratching on the wall. I take him outside into his rather large outdoor enclosure. He will spend anywhere from 2-8 hours outside almost everyday.

He is very active and adventurous as well as a voracious eater. From what I can see he is a very happy and healthy little tort.

My only concern is that on the right side of his shell one of the sections indented. The rest of his shell is round and looks great, but that one section isn't rounding out.

I keep hoping that with ample sunlight, healthy diet, proper soaking and hydration that it will correct itself. Is this safe to assume or should I be concerned??
 

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Laurie

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My hatchling Russian tortoise had a shell indentation like this. He is now 5 months old. It has gotten better with growth, I was worried about it too, but it's hardly noticeable anymore and I suspect the more he grows, the more it will disappear.

They are kind of folded in the egg. I guess some just need more time than others to straighten out. Even if it doesn't show improvement, I would think its cosmetic only. It will make him unique :)
 

Kristina

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Hello and welcome to the forum!

Sometimes babies are pretty squished in the egg, and can take a long time to straighten out. At this point all you can do is keep a close eye on the spot. Make sure to mist him directly on the carapace at least twice a day. Keeping the growth lines well hydrated will help a lot. Chances are that even if he does have kind of a "funky" spot there, it will be nothing but cosmetic and he will still lead a normal and healthy life. I have tortoises and box turtles that are WAY deformed and still have great lives.
 
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