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Deformed Shell


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#1 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 06:49 PM

I rehomed Martha (formally Arthur but turned out to be a lady) with her friend Martha's friend ( formally known as Henry but also turned out to be a girl) and all is going well. They were bought together by their previous owner from a breeder, and have always been outdoor tortoises. I did see their set up and there is no doubt of the husbandry of these two for the last 7 years. This is confirmed as they are always first out in a morning, showing me they are used to the cooler temperatures. Martha has a dreadfully deformed shell.... You can see where it grew quite normally and then it splays out for the last inch or so. At the back the shell does not come down as it should. When she walks, although she can lift herself up and walk as torts do, she often drags her shell on the floor. She has a good appetite and is always first to the weeds. My question is could the deformacy be genetic, and if not what could have been the cause. The previous owner had some very old torts so I would find it hard to think it was poor husbandry. I will post some pictures tomorrow x x. Hugs x x

#2 Freddy

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 03:21 PM

Hi Stella,
Although I could be wrong I can't help suspecting that something may have been wrong with Martha's care in the past. I think her condition is more likely due to Metabolic Bone Disease or MBD which is not a genetic deformity but something that occurs due to poor husbandry. I could be wrong. But that is my guess. Hope this helps.
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Freddy

#3 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 04:35 PM

I was thinking the same Freddy but the guy had a great outdoor set up and his older torts were lovely. With the 'oddness' being the bottom half of the shell would it be likely it was caused in his care. She is 9 years old and other than her odd looking shell she seems fine, eats well and is getting about ok. X x x hugs x x

#4 MeImNot

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 05:19 PM

Is Henry's shell ok? I guess that if it was a husbandry issue it would have affected him to some degree too. I've seen pics of a couple of deformed shelled baby Hermanns lately (one of them sadly died yesterday :( ), so it may have been a birth defect.

#5 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 05:28 PM

The other tort is perfect.... Which is why I am so puzzled about the poor husbandry.... Why just Martha. X x hugs x x

#6 Freddy

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 08:39 PM

It does seem strange that if both tortoises always had the one owner and were treated the same that only one should have shell deformity while the other is fine. It could indeed be a birth defect. I'm sure tortoises have things wrong with them just as much as humans. I certainly wouldn't rule it out. Take care.
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Freddy




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