White spots on shell. Shell rot or keratin stress?

Spurs2131

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Aberdeenshire
My 4 year old meditteranean spur thigh has recently completed a successful 8 week hibernation. He has been eating well since 2 days after waking and he is hydrated and toileting as normal.

Since waking he has developed some white spots all over his shell. The top pic was during his pre hibernation check. The second pic is today (4 weeks after waking)
What is it?! I'm thinking possibly keratin stress but concerned it could be more serious. It's almost as if it is in the layer below the top layer of shell.... if that makes sense?! He did get something similar in summer (swirly lines) which I know was keratin related and it went away within a few weeks but this seems to be sticking around and has a different shape. It's also ALL OVER his shell. Plastron included.

His environment is basking 32 degrees on thermostat. 20 degrees at cool end. Substrate is coco coir. 12% UVB tube. He gets nutrobal and calcium alternate days. In his enclosure are safe plants along with campanula for him to graze on which he usually does.
He usually gets nothing but safe weeds and flowers but am currently under 3ft of snow.... my indoor supplies of the ones I grow myself are running low so since waking he has been getting whatever weeds I can find, some "moderate feed" salad types, collard greens. He is also offered dried weeds and flowers but he rarely eats them. Wondering if his current diet could be the reason?

Any ideas would be much appreciated!

20210213_112506.jpg
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
These spots do not rub off? Are they within or just under the keratin of the scutes rather than on the surface of the scutes?
 

Spurs2131

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Aberdeenshire
These spots do not rub off? Are they within or just under the keratin of the scutes rather than on the surface of the scutes?
Nope they definitely dont rub off. It looks like they are just below the surface. Like they have a transparent layer over the top.
 

Markw84

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
It looks to me like some condensation spots just under the keratin layer from the transition to constant cool temps to now a warmer temperature. The differential in warming of the keratin vs the underlying bone and tissue could cause this to form. Aquatic turtles have scutes that look like this often, especially when getting closer to time to shed. Although a tortoise does not shed, it certainly has the look of simply moisture under the keratin layer. Certainly does not look like rot.

I do not personally keep hibernating species so have not had a chance to follow the progression of moisture build up under keratin. I would think much of it would go away as body vs external temps stabalize and remain warmer. Let us know with updates.
 

Spurs2131

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Aberdeenshire
It looks to me like some condensation spots just under the keratin layer from the transition to constant cool temps to now a warmer temperature. The differential in warming of the keratin vs the underlying bone and tissue could cause this to form. Aquatic turtles have scutes that look like this often, especially when getting closer to time to shed. Although a tortoise does not shed, it certainly has the look of simply moisture under the keratin layer. Certainly does not look like rot.

I do not personally keep hibernating species so have not had a chance to follow the progression of moisture build up under keratin. I would think much of it would go away as body vs external temps stabalize and remain warmer. Let us know with updates.
Thanks so much for your reply. I will keep a close eye on him and update when there are changes.
 

Spurs2131

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Aberdeenshire
Just updating this thread incase anyone has the same question/problem in the future... The white spots have now changed to swirly bits which I'm told are usually associated with growth. He is absolutely fine anyway and the odd bits seem to be fading.
Thanks for the help.
20210307_110242.jpg
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top