Rot on plastron? :(

Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
49
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas, NV
Hello!
I posted a bit ago about how Beans had suffered a dog attack, and since then he’s just been in a completely separate room and it’s been working quite well. He had suffered some damage to his top shell which seems to be fine, and the plastron which I’m more concerned about. Initially I had been applying the neosporin every day after a 30 minute soak, and then after about a week I was applying it every 2-3 days, and the past week or so I’ve applied it twice.

I went to soak him today and noticed what looks potentially like mold??? While he’s been adjusting he’s been mostly burrowed in the damp portion of the substrate and he’ll stay there for over 12 hours sometimes overnight. Perhaps I have it too damp? I usually keep the humidity around 50-60% and it drops to about 30-40% for a couple hours of the day while I have the top off and I’m soaking/feeding him. When I’m building the humidity back up I put the lid on the enclosure and it can get up to 70-80%, so I’ll keep the lid off slightly so it’ll get back to around 60%.

Ive seen various pictures of shell rot but I’m still not entirely sure if that’s what this is or if it’s literally just urate.. He has been urating while he’s eating on the days that I don’t soak him, and a few days ago when I went to soak him I did notice there was urate on his plastron.. but to me what’s in this picture really looks like mold.

Just now I soaked him for a bit and then gently cleaned him with a soft bristle tooth brush and put some Neosporin on it. I also have a picture of what it looked like before just in case there’s anything I’m not noticing that I should be paying attention to or be worried about.. The damage to the plastron isn’t from rot, it’s from the dogs, but I’m worried that it’s somehow infected or rotting or something along those lines... perhaps I should go back to Neosporin every day?

Should I take him into the vet? I haven’t yet because things were looking all right and he has been alert/eating/pooping.. and I figured his inactivity was due to being uncomfortable in a new area and post being attacked by my dogs, because he has VERY slowly been becoming more active and comfortable in his space. However, the vets that I’ve called so far have all sounded like they wouldn’t even know what to do with him... a couple of them kept referring to him as a turtle, and while I don’t mind the verbal mix up, they also kept insinuating that he was an aquatic animal LOL so I was like uhhh... not this one. There’s a vet I was considering, but it’s quite far away and I don’t mind taking him but I wanted to get an opinion here first. If it were an emergency I would bring him in to any vet that would take him regardless, but it’s quite frustrating to have a pet that isn’t a dog or cat that I can’t readily get help with when I’m concerned for his health. :(
 

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zovick

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5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,898
Hello!
I posted a bit ago about how Beans had suffered a dog attack, and since then he’s just been in a completely separate room and it’s been working quite well. He had suffered some damage to his top shell which seems to be fine, and the plastron which I’m more concerned about. Initially I had been applying the neosporin every day after a 30 minute soak, and then after about a week I was applying it every 2-3 days, and the past week or so I’ve applied it twice.

I went to soak him today and noticed what looks potentially like mold??? While he’s been adjusting he’s been mostly burrowed in the damp portion of the substrate and he’ll stay there for over 12 hours sometimes overnight. Perhaps I have it too damp? I usually keep the humidity around 50-60% and it drops to about 30-40% for a couple hours of the day while I have the top off and I’m soaking/feeding him. When I’m building the humidity back up I put the lid on the enclosure and it can get up to 70-80%, so I’ll keep the lid off slightly so it’ll get back to around 60%.

Ive seen various pictures of shell rot but I’m still not entirely sure if that’s what this is or if it’s literally just urate.. He has been urating while he’s eating on the days that I don’t soak him, and a few days ago when I went to soak him I did notice there was urate on his plastron.. but to me what’s in this picture really looks like mold.

Just now I soaked him for a bit and then gently cleaned him with a soft bristle tooth brush and put some Neosporin on it. I also have a picture of what it looked like before just in case there’s anything I’m not noticing that I should be paying attention to or be worried about.. The damage to the plastron isn’t from rot, it’s from the dogs, but I’m worried that it’s somehow infected or rotting or something along those lines... perhaps I should go back to Neosporin every day?

Should I take him into the vet? I haven’t yet because things were looking all right and he has been alert/eating/pooping.. and I figured his inactivity was due to being uncomfortable in a new area and post being attacked by my dogs, because he has VERY slowly been becoming more active and comfortable in his space. However, the vets that I’ve called so far have all sounded like they wouldn’t even know what to do with him... a couple of them kept referring to him as a turtle, and while I don’t mind the verbal mix up, they also kept insinuating that he was an aquatic animal LOL so I was like uhhh... not this one. There’s a vet I was considering, but it’s quite far away and I don’t mind taking him but I wanted to get an opinion here first. If it were an emergency I would bring him in to any vet that would take him regardless, but it’s quite frustrating to have a pet that isn’t a dog or cat that I can’t readily get help with when I’m concerned for his health. :(
It is not shell rot. It does not look like anything to worry about. Probably as you surmised it was some urate crystals which had adhered to the shell after the tortoise walked through it.
 
Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
49
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas, NV
I would wait for an expert. Is he on his substrate? If so what is it? @Yvonne G @zovick
Thank you I completely forgot to mention his substrate! I’ve been using about 3 inches depth of ReptiChip which is compressed coconut chips (more chunky and not soil-like like coco coir is). I keep it damp but not wet, although it is more damp the deeper down you dig. He usually burrows just about 1/3-1/2 of the way down.


It is not shell rot. It does not look like anything to worry about. Probably as you surmised it was some urate crystals which had adhered to the shell after the tortoise walked through it.
That’s good, thank you! I’ll keep a more watchful eye out to see if anything changes just to make sure and be a bit more thorough if I see he’s particularly dirty.
 

wellington

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I don't see anything to worry about either. Looks good infact.
If it does start to look bad get him off the substrate and onto paper towel.
That should have been done from the start, a step that was missed. However keep that in mind for if he is ever injured again. For now it didn't seem to hinder the healing so just keep doing what you have been doing.
 
Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
49
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas, NV
I don't see anything to worry about either. Looks good infact.
If it does start to look bad get him off the substrate and onto paper towel.
That should have been done from the start, a step that was missed. However keep that in mind for if he is ever injured again. For now it didn't seem to hinder the healing so just keep doing what you have been doing.
Oh that’s good to know. Is the paper towel used to absorb extra moisture? I don’t always dry him off after a soak because right after he usually basks for an hour or two, but the first week I was drying him off thoroughly (and gently!) It’s been two weeks exactly since he was injured and he didn’t have a proper enclosure yet at that point because I was mid school finals and we just happened to find him in our backyard. Initially he wasn’t on substrate while I was researching how to care for him, he was on a towel.
 

wellington

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Oh that’s good to know. Is the paper towel used to absorb extra moisture? I don’t always dry him off after a soak because right after he usually basks for an hour or two, but the first week I was drying him off thoroughly (and gently!) It’s been two weeks exactly since he was injured and he didn’t have a proper enclosure yet at that point because I was mid school finals and we just happened to find him in our backyard. Initially he wasn’t on substrate while I was researching how to care for him, he was on a towel.
No, use the paper towel instead of substrate. Just while healing. This keeps the dirt and stuff from the substrate out of the wound.
 
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