Shell Rot? Eye problems?

Southernbellecn

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Joined
Sep 17, 2021
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Gilbert, AZ
20210917 180000
Hi there! I'm a first time owner of the Russian Tortoise. This is "Snacks". I got him yesterday but I'm worried about his shell. Is this rot? Also, I just gave him a soak and my sister got some water in his eye. He is drying off and rubbing his eyes. He tried opening it and it looked a little inflammed. Please help with any advice.
 

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Krista S

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Welcome to the forum!

I don’t see any shell rot. Shell rot is actually not very common for tortoises, and when it does happen, it’s almost always on their plastron. This just looks like an aged and very likely wild caught tortoise who has had a rough life. As for the eyes, it’s normal for their eyes to puff up a bit when they get water in them. With my tortoise his eyes almost always swell a little bit when he first gets in his soak, then he rubs them once or twice and the eyes return to normal. Did you notice that the puffiness went away pretty quickly? If not, something else may be going on.

The water dish you’re using (I can see just the corner of it in the picture) appears to be one of the ramped bowls sold for reptiles. Those are major hazards for tortoises. A tortoise has a really hard time getting in and out of those ramped dishes and this becomes a tipping hazard. You’re better off using a terracotta saucer like you’d put under a plant pot. Just get one large enough that the tortoise can fit into and sink it into the substrate.

Although your tortoise is small in size, they actually require a lot of space. The minimum size enclosure for this species is 4ft x 8ft. In the wild, they wander a many miles to help aid in their digestion. It also helps keep their nails trim and maintain their little leg muscles amongst other things.

If you haven’t already seen if, here is a care sheet with excellent information on caring for your tortoise. It was created by one of our members. There’s a lot of conflicting information with regards to tortoises on the internet, so I would delete what you’ve learned elsewhere and stick to this forum and this care sheet for your knowledge.


Here is another thread you might find interesting.


If you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
 

Southernbellecn

New Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2021
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Gilbert, AZ
Welcome to the forum!

I don’t see any shell rot. Shell rot is actually not very common for tortoises, and when it does happen, it’s almost always on their plastron. This just looks like an aged and very likely wild caught tortoise who has had a rough life. As for the eyes, it’s normal for their eyes to puff up a bit when they get water in them. With my tortoise his eyes almost always swell a little bit when he first gets in his soak, then he rubs them once or twice and the eyes return to normal. Did you notice that the puffiness went away pretty quickly? If not, something else may be going on.

The water dish you’re using (I can see just the corner of it in the picture) appears to be one of the ramped bowls sold for reptiles. Those are major hazards for tortoises. A tortoise has a really hard time getting in and out of those ramped dishes and this becomes a tipping hazard. You’re better off using a terracotta saucer like you’d put under a plant pot. Just get one large enough that the tortoise can fit into and sink it into the substrate.

Although your tortoise is small in size, they actually require a lot of space. The minimum size enclosure for this species is 4ft x 8ft. In the wild, they wander a many miles to help aid in their digestion. It also helps keep their nails trim and maintain their little leg muscles amongst other things.

If you haven’t already seen if, here is a care sheet with excellent information on caring for your tortoise. It was created by one of our members. There’s a lot of conflicting information with regards to tortoises on the internet, so I would delete what you’ve learned elsewhere and stick to this forum and this care sheet for your knowledge.


Here is another thread you might find interesting.


If you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
Thank you so much for your tips!! I have since changed my enclosure. The tortoise went back to the guy I got it from. Turns out he was not captive bred and very sick.
 

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