Shell condition, us it shell rot or growth


New Member
Nov 2, 2017
Location (City and/or State)
I got my Russian tortoise about three months ago. His shell didn't look too great then, but I'm noticing that the 'flaking' isn't getting better. Could this be shell rot, or shedding from growth? I got him from a pet store where they said he had been for about a year. They had no idea on origin or age of my guy. He has grown since I've got him, eats well, stays active. He's soaked about 2-3 times per week.


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Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Oct 26, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
That is a perfectly normal Russian’s shell. They don’t grow as smoothly as other species.

The wild caught ones will have years of wear and tear as well.

Shell rot starts on the plastron not on top and there is absolutely no sign of it there.

We are happy to look over photos of your enclosure and lighting to see if there are improvements that could be made. :)

I recommend you read the TFO care guides and compare them with your setup.

They're written by species experts working hard to correct the outdated information widely available on the internet and from pet stores and, sadly, from some breeders and vets too.

Beginner Mistakes

Russian Tortoise Care