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Cracked plastron


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#1 Guest_Erin_*

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 02:53 PM

Can anyone give me some advice? I've just noticed that my 20 month old Hermanns has got what appears to be a small chip/split in her plastron (see photo) and the area around it seems to have gone brown. The vet checked her 2 months ago and all was well. It doesn't seem to be bothering her.

Thankyou

#2 Guest_egyptiandan64_*

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 03:08 PM

Hi Erin
It looks to me like the beginning of shell rot. You need to make an appointment with your vet ASAP. It hasn't spread and you've caught it early, which makes treating much easier.
How do you have her set-up, enclosure, lighting, substrate, diet, temperatures?

Dan

#3 Guest_Erin_*

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 03:18 PM

Thanks so much for replying! She is in a glass vivarium (60x40x35). Her UV light runs the length of it (which is on 10-12 hours a day) and she has a heat bulb at one end. Her substrate is bark chippings. I heard peat was better but could only find compost at the garden centre. What causes shell rot? For food she gets dandelions every morning. Sometimes she has half a cherry tomato (which she loves), apple or cabbage.
Her heat bulb is on a timer. It keeps one end 25-28 degrees, the other end is roughly 20 degrees.
There is so much contradicting info out there!
Thank you!!!

#4 Guest_egyptiandan64_*

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 04:05 PM

She probably got the shell rot from bacteria that entered from the "chip" in the plastron. The high humidity that happens in a vivarium probably contributed to it. Vivariums aren't good enclosures for Hermanns tortoises. They need a table top type enclosure with low sides and good air circulation.
A better substrate would be a 50% play sand/50% top soil mix or hemp.
The dandelions are good, but the apples and cabbage are a no no. The tomato every once in awhile is fine.
Your heat and lighting are just fine.
There are some great people here with great advise so please ask as many questions as you like.
Here are some websites to help out with diet and enclosures

http://www.tlady.clara.net/id16.htm
http://www.tortoiset...les/webdiet.htm
http://www.tortoisetrust.org/
http://www.thetortoisehouse.com/

#5 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 04:14 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 22-01-06 AT 04:17 PM (GMT)]Hate to say it but compost holds too much moisture and won't help with shell rot, get the substrate in the enclosure changed ASAP and I would probably keep the tort on dry clean paper for a good while until you have it under control, any moisture from substrates will not help the situation. Once you have the condition controlled then I agree with Dan, 50/50 top soil and sand. Top soil doesn't hold as much moisture as compost. Make sure your UV is not old and if so get a new one thats a number 10 if you can get one and get the tort out of the vivarium, they really are no good for em. Hope all goes well at the vet honey.:) Heres a link for a UV light.
http://www.livefoods...products_id=578

#6 Guest_Calamity Jane_*

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 06:26 PM

Hi There!
I totaly agree about the viv, They are bad news,
Table top enclosures are much better for your tortoise they provide an airy & healther atmosphere & easier to keep clean,
There are lots of different ideas on this forum, Mine is made from a potting bench which we bought from our local DIY shop and we built the sides up with skirting boards so they cant fall out,
They are really easy and cheap to make and look quite nice too.
Heres a picture of mine what we made. ;-)






Yours
Joanne
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#7 Guest_Erin_*

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 07:15 PM

Thank you all so much! I will take her out of the vivarium immediately. I hadn't changed the chippings for compost as I didn't think that was suitable. I will be getting rid of them too! I'm really angry with the place I got her (Evie) from as it was them who advised the set up. I had read about the open enclosures (one of which is being made for her) but I though the vivarium would be good for the winter for her as she is so small and our house can be quite cool.
I'm so very impressed with this site and all its wonderful users! Thank you.

#8 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 07:19 PM

Hello and wellcome, here is a post i put on a while back have a read.
http://www.hermann-t...co.uk/main.html

#9 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 07:23 PM

Sorry I carnt get it to link

http://www.ikea.com/...561*16296*15776
The above link is to ikea and it shows you the tub i use but a smaller one. Mine cost 9 and is much bigger. I really dont understand why people are buying tortoise tables they are still expensive unless you build your own.
It is every easy to clean and can be easly moved, all that for 9.


http://www.hermann-t...13b28305fa1.jpg

Some other points about this tub
1. nice deep substrate
2. easy to sterilise
3. no joins or knots for bacteria to grow
4. water proof
5. cheap

#10 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 07:55 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 22-01-06 AT 07:57 PM (GMT)]Hello Erin
As you've been told change the substrate to either paper. Towels are another good option, you can boil them.
You also need to get as much loose shell off as you can and get some Betadine from Boots, they do a small bottle and dilute it to 10 parts water and 1 part Betadine, you could mix this into a small bottle seperately, keep it cool and dark it will keep for a few days ok. Clean the area with warm water and dry throughly then apply more Betadine solution daily, so there is no buid up of Betadine. Depending on how bad it is the vet might put the tortoise on anti-biotics too, acting quickly will be good in the long term, but it will take a while to heal over, now it's only the shell, the damage comes if it penetrates the bone beneath.Good luck at the vets
Arnie

#11 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 08:00 PM

Found this on another forum, something for you to read

http://www.livefoods...showtopic=42851

#12 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 09:04 PM

Hello Omare
Sounds like the tortoise had Septacmia, not many young torts recover from this, My only worry is, was the lady administering the drug and she never thawed it out, I have used this type of drug before and had no problems.
Never will get used to hearing about tortoises dying, still upsets me
Arnie

#13 Guest_Erin_*

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 10:10 PM

You've all been great thank you so much. I have e-mailed the pet store to tell them to stop recommending vivariums for hermanns. I will take Evie to the vets tomorrow and let you know how it goes. We only got linked to the internet last week and it has paid for itself a million times over now!! Thank you all again:-)

#14 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 09:38 AM

Hello Omare
Found this photo to show the difference. Septicaemia is shown by bleeding under the plastron mainly, where as Shell rot is on the external part of the shell and the owner of that poor tortoise definately said under the shell, sometimes anti-biotics can delay the inevitable, but sadly in most cases they lose their fight on life, thankfully it's not something that crops up very often in my experience
Arnie

#15 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 04:31 PM

Thanks for the photo Arnie, that looks nasty, poor tort, makes me real sad to see something like that.:)

#16 Guest_Calamity Jane_*

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 05:25 PM

Thats awful,, Poor little tort.:)


Yours
Joanne
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#17 Guest_Erin_*

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 08:40 PM

Hello Everybody,

I took Evie to the vets today! She does have a shell infection but it was caught very early! He cleaned it up & I've been given flamazine to apply twice daily and told me to put only newspaper down on her new(!) home for the two weeks.
My wonderful Dad was very busy today building her an enclosure. See photos. I hope it meets approval! The mesh was a must as our cats aren't to be trusted!

Again you're all wonderful, thank you!

(That poor little tortoise in the picture, that really is dreadful.)

#18 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 09:03 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 23-01-06 AT 09:04 PM (GMT)]That a good enclosure, just make sure your tortoise cannot see out, else they wont stop trying to get out. I cannot see the lighting im guessing you have a heat light and uvb

#19 Guest_Calamity Jane_*

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 09:13 PM

I'm Glad Evie Is on the mend, Its a good job you acted on it quickly,
Your Enclosure is very good too, You have a nice dad thats helps you out, He's done a good job!
Keep us informed how you get on and good luck. :)





Yours
Joanne
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#20 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 10:37 AM

Hello Erin
Well done you, the wound looks much better now, Might get boring but keep the treatment up for as long as it takes, you won't regret it, when the tortoise goes outside in the summer make sure you keep it as clean as possible, maybe just sponge it down each night, so that it prevents more infection getting in, it takes a while for them to heal up.
I am impressed with your viv, and would like to know if I can use the photo's to show future owners, after they have been sold a viv, what they can do to adapt one, I always feel photo's speak a thousand words, give your Dad a pat on the back, he's a good man
Arnie




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