Substrate built up into my tortoises leg cavity

Franco F

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If you look closely into his leg cavity you can see how much meat he’s missing in there. It’s much better now than when it was when the vet cleaned all that dirt buildup. Seems like it’s balancing back out and will go back to normalcy when he gains his weight back
 

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SasquatchTortoise

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If you look closely into his leg cavity you can see how much meat he’s missing in there. It’s much better now than when it was when the vet cleaned all that dirt buildup. Seems like it’s balancing back out and will go back to normalcy when he gains his weight back
Well that's certainly strange, but it doesn't look too bad. I hope he feels better soon.
 

TammyJ

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This has been intriguing for sure, but no fun for your tortoise! Can we have a shot of him full body so we can see the star of the show in person? When he is rested?
 

TammyJ

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Yeah. Seems like the normal cavity where most torts n turtles retract their appendages. It probably seems worse to human observers than the tort itself.
I agree. But I am no expert.
 

Farcryjj

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If you look closely into his leg cavity you can see how much meat he’s missing in there. It’s much better now than when it was when the vet cleaned all that dirt buildup. Seems like it’s balancing back out and will go back to normalcy when he gains his weight back
My Princess Clydie is on the other hand, too well fed, her armpit is borderline bulging. 😅
 

Pebbles Roberts

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First and foremost, I'm just really glad you discovered the problem and the tortoise is okay now. I have never seen or heard of this, so thank you for sharing this with the group. It might help someone else in the future.
I love this forum. It’s so good to know where to turn for informed, sensible advice. It’s essential when, as in my case, one is a caring but inexperienced owner.
 

MenagerieGrl

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I love this forum. It’s so good to know where to turn for informed, sensible advice. It’s essential when, as in my case, one is a caring but inexperienced owner.
Yes, and welcome! There is a LOT of old (misinformation) on the "web".
Coming here you get a lot of Sage advice from folks who have had Tortie's for a long time, and breeders like @Tom, and @Markw84, just to name a few, who have tried many things and have found out what works, and what doesn't work. Without you having to experience a loss.
A lot of that Sage advice gets repeated as new members join.
We have a lot of really helpful folks here, a community of Tort lovers. Hope you enjoy it here, and are able to learn, about best care practices. I do everyday (Thank you friends)!
 

Sarah2020

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I find this amazing. I soak 3 times a week in high sided container and check all over . The leg activity from speedy would remove any debris 🤣:tort:. I have had to remove orchid bark that was jammed in the neck, but that was quickly found and removed. I also clean his shell with a small toothbrush so would see any obstructions. He appears to be happier if the motions are happening so that is a positive.
 

LJL1982

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I’m glad too. He’s basically my son. I love him to death. I’m just really disappointed I didn’t catch this sooner because he probably was in pain the whole time. And I hope his tissue in his leg cavity will regenerate over time with eating regularly
While Tortoises do not appreciate petting and handling constantly, I believe there is a place for getting a Tortoise happy with being inspected frequently including full visuals of all parts of legs, under tail etc and into shell.
 

Sue Ann

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Hi All,

A while back I posted about weird behavior my tortoise was experiencing with his diet and pooping habits. He was barely eating for months and would rarely poop. I brought him to the vet because this behavior was really really starting to worry me that he was experiencing some sort of renal failure. It turns out, he had a large collection of dirt packed into his leg cavity that basically calcified into like a rock.

Honestly, I guess I never really thought to pull his legs back and check to see inside his leg cavity, but the vet said this was preventing him from pooping or wanting to eat because it was putting a stress on his organs. As soon as the vet cleaned it out, he instantly pooped out a log and became very hyper, like he used to be.

The vet is recommending that I get rid of substrate all together to prevent this from happening again, and using slate with different areas of sphagnum moss for burrowing. I was hoping to get some opinions on this. This whole thing has been really stressful and I’m afraid that if I leave the substrate, this could happen again.

He doesn’t have any permanent damage to his organs, but they were shifting to the other side of his body. The vet can’t give me any guarantee, but we hope that they will shift back into place over time.
You have not been soaking your tort enough if this is happening. What are you using?Please check the care sheet . Glad you caught it.
 

Tom

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Hey just wanted to provide an update to everyone who responded in this thread. My tortoise made a full recovery. His leg socket filled out again and he’s totally back to his old self. Thank you everyone for caring
Thank you. I was wondering about this one. So glad that everything worked out.
 

MenagerieGrl

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Hey just wanted to provide an update to everyone who responded in this thread. My tortoise made a full recovery. His leg socket filled out again and he’s totally back to his old self. Thank you everyone for caring
Yay, that's such wonderful news. Thank you for the update....
 

Carlann

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I usually make it deep enough so that basically his neck is sticking out of the water. I don’t know for how long, just seems like a total freak thing that the dirt would be lodged in there like that and starting affecting his bladder function. It could have been like that for a while
Hey,

New here 😊 just thought I would mention and not sure if others may do this but as well as a bath about 3 times a weeks my tort actually loves a shower a couple times a week as well and he has a good walk around the tub and then kinda just chills under the falling water for a few minutes then has another run around the tub and keeps repeating that for about 10/15 mins (I have something that covers the hole but still allows the water to drain) just thinking this may keep him mobile and wet enough that the substrate may just come straight out if any does get in there again 🐢
 

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