Whats happened to my shell ?! (white squiggly lines)

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Esme and Torty

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Only recently I have noticed these little swirls on his shell get worse, they were very faint before but now it has raised concern. He's still his chirpy self, I just hope this isnt a bad sign :(

Love, Esme and Torty x
 

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wellington

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RE: Whats happened to my shell ?!

I can't remember what they are called or caused by. I do know they are nothing to worry about.
 

felicia9211

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Re: Whats happened to my shell ?!

Growth lines I believe, could be wrong tho

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Tom

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RE: Whats happened to my shell ?!

We've had a couple of threads on these squiggly lines. Can't seem to reach a consensus on what they are or what they do, but they are totally normal and there is nothing wrong. They tend to show up more after soaks.
 

guille24

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Whats happened to my shell ?!

One of my Russians has the same thing I put some athlete's foot Cream on the shell but the lines just don't go away , I notice they appear more visible after I soak my tortoise so I try not to get the top of the shell wet, after soaking my tortoise I let her dry and put some athlete's foot cream on the shell just in case
 

yagyujubei

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RE: Whats happened to my shell ?!

Stop with the athletes foot cream.
guille24 said:
One of my Russians has the same thing I put some athlete's foot Cream on the shell but the lines just don't go away , I notice they appear more visible after I soak my tortoise so I try not to get the top of the shell wet, after soaking my tortoise I let her dry and put some athlete's foot cream on the shell just in case
 

Tom

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RE: Whats happened to my shell ?!

And let the top of the shell get wet every day too. It helps it grow normally.
 

Yvonne G

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RE: Whats happened to my shell ?!

The little white squiggly lines are inside the keratin. Any topicals you put on the shell won't have any affect on them.

The lines are perfectly normal and you see it quite a bit in the Mediterranean species of tortoises when they'r actively growing youngsters.
 

guille24

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My tortoise is about 8 inches long so that means she's still growing ??
 

mikeh

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Another species it is highly visible is Manouria, due to their dark color, it can even be seen in their spurs.

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james1974

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Do these lines disappear as they get older?Does over feeding and humidity play a role in these lines?Im real curious about this...

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Yvonne G

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Not to get too far off topic, but if a tortoise is allowed plenty of space, so he gets lots of exercise, its hard to over feed them. For instance, if you have a Russian tortoise in a 20 gallon tank, and have food in front of him all the time, he's going to get fat. If you feed that same amount of food to a tortoise that's outside in a large pen, he won't get fat. And the lines have nothing to do with this subject.

I was told years ago that it was the calcium working its way through the keratin. Don't know if this is true or not, but it satisfied my curiosity.
 

Tom

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james1974 said:
Do these lines disappear as they get older?Does over feeding and humidity play a role in these lines?Im real curious about this...

I don't think they disappear. I don't think whatever these lines are doing stops happening. I just think they get harder to see as the shell thickens and weathers with age.

I don't think food has anything to do with these lines. Not sure about humidity. Because the lines become more visible during or after a soak, I suspect humidity might have some effect on them, but I can't say with any certainty. I see these lines the most right after a soak, after my tortoises have been outside sunning in my hot dry climate. Its like the sun and lack of humidity dries the shell out, and the soak water rehydrates the shell and these squiggly lines become very obvious. If the tortoises have been in their humid enclosures and I soak them, the lines aren't nearly so noticeable. I do not have an explanation for this. Only sharing my observations. I see these lines on young russians, sulcatas, and CDTs. All burrowing species BTW. These lines are absent or not as noticeable on leopards, stars or pancakes.
 

kanalomele

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These lines are not a cause for concern at all. I call them "water lines" because they are a sign of a well hydrated tortoise. As the outer keratin thickens and if the tort gets natural uv from the sun you will see them less and less.
 

immayo

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I'm glad someone posted this! I can see these lines on my hypos... probably because they are more visible on a lighter shell than on normal redfoots. I wasn't sure what it was either and tried foot cream with no luck. I'm proud to hear it's nothing bad!!
 

james1974

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Re: RE: Whats happened to my shell ?! (white squiggly lines)

Tom said:
james1974 said:
Do these lines disappear as they get older?Does over feeding and humidity play a role in these lines?Im real curious about this...

I don't think they disappear. I don't think whatever these lines are doing stops happening. I just think they get harder to see as the shell thickens and weathers with age.

I don't think food has anything to do with these lines. Not sure about humidity. Because the lines become more visible during or after a soak, I suspect humidity might have some effect on them, but I can't say with any certainty. I see these lines the most right after a soak, after my tortoises have been outside sunning in my hot dry climate. Its like the sun and lack of humidity dries the shell out, and the soak water rehydrates the shell and these squiggly lines become very obvious. If the tortoises have been in their humid enclosures and I soak them, the lines aren't nearly so noticeable. I do not have an explanation for this. Only sharing my observations. I see these lines on young russians, sulcatas, and CDTs. All burrowing species BTW. These lines are absent or not as noticeable on leopards, stars or pancakes.

Have you seen any difference in tortoises raised outside and tortoises raised inside with theses lines.I have young greeks that have these lines being raised inside but there shell is hard,I just hope they disappear as they get older.There shells are perfect other wise,they have access to calcium 24/7.Plus I see it mostly on young animals so I am hopeful they will disappear anyway.

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Esme and Torty

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Thank you so much everyone for your help. I have nothing to worry about, yippy !

Lots of Love,
Esme and Torty xxx
 
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