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Soft shell

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#1 Guest_Ilkeston_*

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 10:34 AM

Hi everyone,

this is probably me fussing about nothing again! rolleyes.gif (not that I'm an anxious new owner or anything! unsure.gif ) We have had my youngest tortoise Baby 3 wks today and I was bathing her a while ago(not that that was the last time I bathed her obviously, just when I first noticed.) and noticed that the underneath of her shell is a little soft. huh.gif I don't know if they are at this age (she is approx one, to one and a half inches long if that helps!) My older tortoise Flower has a nice hard shell. Baby's shell looks completely normal, I have scrutinised it and there is no discolouration, or blemishes of any kind. It is the proper colour and she is certainly well in herself. As I've already said in a previous discussion that the place we got her from didn't have very experienced staff and we had to wait two months to get her. I know she is fed the correct diet now and is given the correct vitamin and calcium supplements but I don't know if that was the case before we had her. I didn't know if it was slightly soft due to her age and if it was the case that as they got older they laid down more shell and it became tougher. It's not very soft it was just as I was cleaning her in the bath I could feel my thumb depressing slightly under her tummy. You can't see the depression or even see the thumb going in but you can sense it. I just want to make sure it is normal. It doesn't look like shellrot and as I say she is very well in herself, I just wanted to double check with you guys. Thanks everyone.

#2 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:43 AM

Hi Sharon

There is a little "give" in the plasteron when they are really young. If the top is hard and does not "give" I would carry on as you are giving calcium carbonate, or cuttle bone to chew on. And just keep checking. If you really think its soft, it will have quite a lot of "give" then a visit to the vets would be best. But it could be just your learning curve:0) and asking questions which is the only way to learn:0)
When they get to adult size, I find in females there is still a little "give" which I put down to flexibility when laying eggs, but I could be wrong:0)

#3 Guest_Ilkeston_*

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 02:31 PM

Hi Sandy,

thanks, you have put my mind at rest! happy.gif I did think it would be just due to her size but wanted to check first. Had there been a good amount of give I would have been concerned enough for the vets, but her top shell is nice and hard and it is only a little give in the plastron. (How do you cope with handling hatchlings?! I would be so scared of 'bursting' them! rolleyes.gif It feels horrible feeling her shell give!) They are given all their supplements and there is always a cuttlefish in with them, regularly replaced. I assumed it would be due to size because I know all baby animals have soft bones which become firmer with age and figured that probably is the case with tortoises but thought I'd double check here first. If someone with more experience had told me it was not usually the case, or if it had been worse, I'd have had her straight to the vets. Thankfully I have a good relationship with my vets because I used to work there but left to have my daughter(15yrs ago! blink.gif ) and then ended up disabled afterwards so couldn't return. Plus I go there regularly enough mith my mini zoo! biggrin.gif Thanks again for putting my mind at rest, I don't think there's anything else so hopefully I could stop adding stuff here for a while! blush.gif I think it's becoming a habit! We did research tortoise care before we purchased one, (honest! huh.gif ) we waited four years but, to be honest the stuff you find is all about feeding, heat, light, supplements, just basic care. We did look at this site but never joined the forum untill after we bought our hermann. It's only after you get them you find out the stuff you read on the net is just basic care, it doesn't answer the silly questions/fears that crop up after you have taken your tort home. I'm not trying to flatter everyone, but this site is genuinely invaluable when it comes to aftercare and it's the best site I've seen. The answers are pretty quick and you're not made to feel like an idiot or anything. Then again I suppose it's the tortoise that's important and that's who this site is really for. I would definitely refer anyone thinking about buying a tortoise to this site before they buy it to see what they're letting themselves in for!
Thanks again. wub.gif

#4 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 03:10 PM

Hi Sharon.

Just to say thank you for your lovely comments, its because of people like you that this site stands out from the rest for its friendleness! You mention that you wont need to post anymore.....I hope you don't mean this!!! LOL!!! We would like to continue hearing about the progress of your torts as well as their adventures - It keeps us tortie owners (that have no torts to lust after cos they are hibernating) something to do!!!!!

Besides now you have to continue the cycle - what you have learnt has to be passed onto new inexperienced owners...you will soon be joining in and answering their questions!!! lol!! wink.gif

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