Russian tortoise with damaged/flaky/cracked shell

plutoparty

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Hi, I just recently adopted a male Russian tortoise from my local animal shelter, but he previously had a very rough life. It seems like at some point something tried eating him (?) and the lower right part of his shell is completely missing. He was found as a stray in someone's yard and was most likely not eating a good diet prior to that. The vet at the animal shelter checked him out and noted all the damage, but deemed him adoptable since he is otherwise in good health (eating normally, no other signs of illness). I was wondering if anyone has seen this before and if there is anything I can do to help him out. He does have another vet visit scheduled in a few days, but I am curious if any of you know anything about this.

Also - we have no idea how old he is... does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks!
 

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wellington

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Wow poor fella. He really did have a ruff time. Thank you for taking him in and not worrying that he doesn't look perfect.
@Yvonne G probably knows more about this as she does a tortoise rescue. She's seen some bad ones.
My guess would be burned from a light too close along with some possible chew damage with the missing portion.
One thing that will help is 50%humidity in his enclosure and some warm water soaks.
 

plutoparty

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Wow poor fella. He really did have a ruff time. Thank you for taking him in and not worrying that he doesn't look perfect.
@Yvonne G probably knows more about this as she does a tortoise rescue. She's seen some bad ones.
My guess would be burned from a light too close along with some possible chew damage with the missing portion.
One thing that will help is 50%humidity in his enclosure and some warm water soaks.
Thank you, I will try to up the humidity in his enclosure and keep up the soaking. Hopefully he continues healing up! I didn't really expect to get a tortoise like this, but once I saw him in the shelter I knew I needed to take him home.
 

Sarah2020

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Well done for taking this in. Your on the right forum for help. Please read the care sheet so you can ensure correct environment.


If it was me..... I would provide daily shallow warm water soaks in a high sided container like a washing up bowl x 2 for around 30 mins change over to fresh warm water when cooled or dirty , this will improve hydration as they drink and the tail soaks in water. This can encourage poo and wee there may be white discharge this is urate. Pour water in garden or toilet when used avoid mixing with your human env. You can also use a small toothbrush to go over top and bottom shell and claws to remove grime avoid face.
I would apply very gently coconut oil to the shell to try and moisturise. Next is patience .... good diet, good set up heat, uvb light, fresh water am and pm a shallow dish they can sit in and walk through fresh leaves and watch for new smooth shell growth in forthcoming month. The damage will not be fully repaired but you have a chance to provide your shelled warrior a happy safe future.
 

Sarah2020

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Send us pics as you progress also start a weekly weigh in log using digital scales, to monitor weight gain and loss. Ask questions as you go, there is lots of help available. I think he is a she :):tort: You can send more tail pics to be sure or it is still a young juvenile to tell.
 

TammyJ

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Thanks for taking him. He is a lucky little guy! Let us know his progress!
 

plutoparty

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Well done for taking this in. Your on the right forum for help. Please read the care sheet so you can ensure correct environment.


If it was me..... I would provide daily shallow warm water soaks in a high sided container like a washing up bowl x 2 for around 30 mins change over to fresh warm water when cooled or dirty , this will improve hydration as they drink and the tail soaks in water. This can encourage poo and wee there may be white discharge this is urate. Pour water in garden or toilet when used avoid mixing with your human env. You can also use a small toothbrush to go over top and bottom shell and claws to remove grime avoid face.
I would apply very gently coconut oil to the shell to try and moisturise. Next is patience .... good diet, good set up heat, uvb light, fresh water am and pm a shallow dish they can sit in and walk through fresh leaves and watch for new smooth shell growth in forthcoming month. The damage will not be fully repaired but you have a chance to provide your shelled warrior a happy safe future.
Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it! I'll try to provide updates on him (or her :)) as more healing and growth happens! I'll see what the vet has to say about age/sex, and anything else health-wise...I am going to a pretty experienced one in my area.
 

Beasty_Artemis

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Spoil that poor fart! His/her life has been a long horrible existence 💔 I rescued one like that as a kid. But I can't remember what happened to her in the end. I gave her away to one of my friends I would imagine. I only had them for a week while I rescued them from a pet store. My friend and I were always doing this stuff....
 
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