Shell Health Question

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TommyZ

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I flipped the little one over for an inspection, can someone let me know please if these markings are something to worry about? Please advise, thank you.


To add on this is where he spends most of his time hiding under his log it is most moist in there being that it is right above the heating pad. underneath the layer of cypress mulch is also have a layer of sphagnum moss. When touched the ground is definitely moist but not wet, I don't know if perhaps it is too humid of a hide? If this is a shell rot issue perhaps I should move his hide across the viv to where it is not directly above the heating pad? The heating pad is necessary though for me to maintain the right humidity. Sorry to rant, but I just got worried here.
 

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Joanne

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I'd probably move the hide from over the heat mat... from what I've read, you shouldn't use heat mats with tortoises because they have their bellies so low to the ground. Have you tried having a second bulb in there instead?
 

wellington

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I am not real familiar with shell rot or burn. I would take out the heat mat. You want high humidity for RF, but they are prone to shell rot, so you don't want the top layer to always be damp/wet. I would put coconut coir on the bottom, with the substrate you are now using on top. Then wet the bottom coir by pouring water down into a corner. The other thing you could do, is when you wet the substrate, stir it so the wet goes to the bottom and the dry is on top. You will get humidity without the wet always on your tort. I think you have shell rot happening. Read this thread for treating it. http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread-25715.html
 

EchoTheLeoTort

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looks kind of like either a shell rot or a fungus to me, but I have never seen pics or had experience with a burn on a tortoise so I'm not quite sure. Maybe google pictures of funguses/shell rot and compare the images to see if its one of those. and take the above suggestions with the humidity and the heat pad. :)
 

N2TORTS

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Assuming it is shell rot .......
Most of organisms that cause shell rot thrive and multiply quickly in an atmosphere with little or no oxygen, so it is very important to keep your tortoises’ enclosure well ventilated. A damp substrate with very warm temperatures and a tortoise nestled to the surface is a breeding grounds for bacteria. I would opt for a different heating source than
“ underground type”: I’m not convinced they provide ambient room temps( which you need to control humidity)….they just keep the ground warm. Now the catch 22.……
One of the most occurring problems and a start for an outbreak also has to do with humidity. All of the various species of tortoises we keep in captivity, they should be kept in their appropriate humidity requirements...... – if it is too dry, the carapace ( shell) will crack, allowing bacteria and fungi spores in to the break. If it is too damp, the carapace can become soft and the plates may lift, again allowing disease causing organisms in. Once some adjustments have been made to the enclosure ( make sure you dump it ALL out and clean with rubbing alcohol) you can now focus on the tort itself. A soft tooth brush and Iodine/Betadine-(which is 10% Iodine and Povidone) can be used to clean infected areas. .…..After the initial cleaning, use this method just a couple of times as the chemicals/cleaners themselves have an adverse effect on new tissue growth. Keep it clean, dry and on sterile substrate…..as the healing begins .. If you don’t see results or it spreading ….a trip to the vet might be needed.

JD~
 

TommyZ

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Ok, i dont think its a burn as ive got 3+ inches of substrate, but to be safe ill add another inch. Ive got mixed reviews on heat pads/ropes, but until i got my pad, i was unable to keep himidity up. Also, i was moistening wrong, i was watering the entire enclosure, i just learned I was supposed to just pour the water in one corner. it would probably be best if I poured just in the corner where the heat mat is, so the hot moist air rises. I am going to redesign the setup, I currently have the hide above the heat mat and the lamp perpendicular to the hide and mat. The water dish is under the lamp. I'll put the water dish above the mat so that will keep the swimming hole nice and warm and I'll put the hide perpendicular to the wet corner . I thought it best to have to hide originally above the heat mat being that it should be a humid hide that would be the most humid place. Below is what I currently have I'll just flip flop the placement.


Barb,

I just had a head slap, D'oh moment when I saw you say to "pour the water into a corner", my numbskull self has been spreading the water out evenly across the entire substrate. D'oh! Thanks, ill begin making my adjustments.
 

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Yvonne G

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It's either shell rot or fungus. Because of the moisture involved with keeping redfooted tortoises, it happens quite frequently. If you can somehow figure out how to keep the lower level of substrate moist, while the top layer being able to dry out, this would help immensely.

In the meantime, you'll have to allow the plastron to dry out. There is a good article on shell fungus/rot in the Tortoise Library

Here is a link directly to the article:


For some reason my copy/paste of the article's link isn't working properly. Here's the article copy/pasted:

Shell Rot
This is another 'catch-all' term for a variety of conditions that can include bacterial, fungal, or environmental factors. In most forms of shell rot, micro-organisms get under the protective layers of the scutes and begin to 'eat away' at the tissues they find there. This means that there needs to be a pathogen in the habitat, and usually some form of damage to allow it to get under the top layer of scutes. An example of a specific form of this type of shell rot is Septic Cutaneous Ulcerative Disease (SCUD), which is caused by the bacteria Citobacter freundii, most often associated with shellfish. SCUD is most often associated with aquatic chelonians.

'Wet' shell rot (dark pockets or pits, bad smell, etc.) is most often bacterial, while 'dry' shell rot ('cheesy' growths) is rarer and usually fungal, but any form of rot causes damage that invites secondary infections and other complications. Shell rot can eat deeply into the shell, causing more severe issues, and even death.

Prevention
Minimize the growth of bacteria, viruses, molds and mildew in the habitat.
Arrange things to minimize scratches, abrasions, and chips to the shell.
Prevent overly-wet substrates. These conditions can lead to environmental 'rots' that behave like 'immersion foot' does for humans. In my opinion and experience, wet acidic materials such as sphagnum mosses seem to make things worse.
Bacterial and fungal forms of shell rot are infectious, so new animals should be quarantined and if one animal shows it, all animals should be monitored.
Treatment
Isolate the affected tortoise(s) someplace with a dryer, cleaner substrate (see Nursing Care).
Correct any issues in the habitat, environment, cares, and diet.
Clean the affected area with gentle scrubbing or scraping to remove loosened materials. Try to remove all dead, dried-out, or damaged scute materials, but do not force anything.
Swab the area completely with a multipurpose skin disinfectant such as Betadine Solution. Let dry completely. Betadine is effective against many micro-organisms, but also inhibits healthy growth so do not use it past the first 2-3 days. This may be all you need to do for a minor case.
Treat the affected area twice a day with an antibiotic ointment, preferably something like silver sulfadiazine ointment or 2% mupirocin ointment. Keep the tortoise on newspaper or paper towel for a couple hours or so to let the ointment work.
Repeat ointment for about a week. Re-evaluate.
If the antibacterial is not doing anything, switch to or add an anti-fungal ointment. Any over-the-counter antifungal used for humans will work, such as that for athlete's foot or 'jock itch'. Use for a week like steps #5 and 6 above.
Contrinue treatment until the plastron is smooth, dry, odor-free, and shows no signs of discharge.
If it does not help, see a vet or other expert.
Outcomes
Most forms of shell rot, caught early and treated aggressively, should be OK although it may take months or even years for some of the shell damage to fully heal and there may always be scars.
 

TommyZ

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Thanks all for the replies and info. Ive changed the bedding, wiped it out with alcohol like JD said, and have put down and extra inch more then last time. I came to find a bit of mold on the i underside of the log hide, so ill switch to a hide that is plastic. I bet you that mold was the culprit! Ive put reptibark as the last inch of substrate since it sort of seems to dry faster then the cypress. Ill run to store now to get some lotrimin, i figure it must be fungal after seeing mold in the log.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using TortForum mobile app
 

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theelectraco

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I have also had a mold problem in my Redfoots enclosure, from what I was told, its from humidity and cold. Your log having mold could be a sign that your tortoise is too cold in his hide..
 
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