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Herman Shell Seems Split?


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#1 jakejenkins

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 10:40 AM

Hi there...my partner and i are first time tortoise owners, we have had lilo since august and she has been perfect up until now...she seems to be trying to hibernate and not eating so i assume her calcium levels will be low but her shell is soft and seems so have a little gap in between her scute? With a pussy liquid coming out...we are taking her to see a vet but thought i would ask if anyone has had this before?

#2 wizzasmum

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 03:02 PM

What makes you think she is trying to hibernate? If she has pus from the shell seams, this is either bacterial or fungal shell rot or worse a septicaemia type infection, which needs immediate treatment right away. Infection will make her stop eating and if it's septicaemia this can kill very quickly. Calcium levels drop due to lack of calcium in the diet or lack of D3 or uvb, not the time of year. Have you been supplementing at all? If the shell is soft, the same applies, so most likely lack of nutrients. It's not sounding good, so make sure to see an exotics vet today. A normal vet might well make the mistake of incorrect medication. Good luck.

#3 jakejenkins

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 03:22 PM

We feed her a lot of rocket which is high in calcium and also she has a calcium powder sprinkled over....she has plenty of uvb from her lamp...just noticed it one evening before turning her lamp off...she is currently being washed almost every day and having salt water applied to the affected area (told to do that by an emergency vet over the weekend) also she is on paper towels in her enclosure to try and prevent any bacteria
I dont know if there is something im doing wrong..she is only 4 months old

#4 mildredsmam

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 03:57 PM

Hi welcome to the forum. :)

1st off as Sue has said I would get her to a vet to get checked over, as she might need antibiotics depending on the out come, make sure your vet is a tortoise specialist vet as most vets don't know enough about tortoises, once you have her sorted we can help you with how your keeping her, please keep us updated, best of luck. :)



#5 jakejenkins

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 04:01 PM

Thankyou, i got the impression from the 24hr emergency vet that they dont really know much...once we have her sorted i will get some pictures up for her enclosure...heres hoping to good news

#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 05:25 PM

We feed her a lot of rocket which is high in calcium and also she has a calcium powder sprinkled over....she has plenty of uvb from her lamp...just noticed it one evening before turning her lamp off...she is currently being washed almost every day and having salt water applied to the affected area (told to do that by an emergency vet over the weekend) also she is on paper towels in her enclosure to try and prevent any bacteria
I dont know if there is something im doing wrong..she is only 4 months old


At 4 months old, soft shell is very serious. You don't just need calcium at this age but D3 too when indoors. You must not use salt water, this is likely to hurt - a lot! Get some videne or iodine from the chemist, dilute it 1in 10 with water being the biggest part and soak the area. Rocket might be high in calcium, but it's also diuretic so needs to be fed sparingly. It doesn't matter how much calcium you give, in fact you can give too much, it's the D3 you need to strengthen the bones. What lamp are you using? Did you get her from a reputable breeder? Sorry for the questions, just trying build up a picture.

#7 jakejenkins

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 06:01 PM

Just got her to the vet, he thinks she has just caught her bottom scute on something and there isnt anything to worry about, he is going to consult with an expert though and get back to us

May have just been us over worrying thank god

#8 wizzasmum

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 06:09 PM

How soft is the shell, or are you just talking about a slight give in the plastron?

#9 jakejenkins

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 06:14 PM

Her lamp is a d3 basking light by arcadia..has uva, uvb and ir...the vet gave us some hibiscrub solution to mix with water 1 to 20...she is very energetic at the moment

#10 jakejenkins

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 06:15 PM

Her shell is more springy than soft

#11 wizzasmum

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 09:00 PM

Her shell is more springy than soft


That's totally normal up to a year old and has no relation to soft shell the disease ;) this is one reason I don't sell very young hatchlings and why you should always pick up side to side rather than top to bottom. I actually saw a vet treat a young baby for soft shell when there was nothing wrong with it. A good breeder will always give you back up to save new owners worrying pointlessly. The hibiscrub is fine but just use a cotton bud and never any kind of brush. The area between the scutes is very sensitive and full of new blood vessels which your vet probably already explained. Brushing this new growth area will be painful and can even cause deformities in growth. Hope this helps.

#12 jakejenkins

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 10:05 PM

Thankyou for that informatiom :) we always pick her up side to side :) im just so happy its nothing we thought...i guess just seeing a little blood from where she caught herself was scary!

Once she is back on her dirt and not paper towels i will sens you guys a photo of her enclosure to see what you think

#13 wizzasmum

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 09:02 AM

I'd still keep a very close eye on it. In over thirty years I've never seen a hatchling bleed from the shell, they just don't have enough weight behind them to cause such injuries, unless of course it's not always in its safe habitat.

#14 jakejenkins

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 07:44 PM

Yeah the vet contacted an expert and he said the same...7 to 14 days and she should be back to normal...it was a scute above her back leg...we only get her out to wash her then she goes back in her enclosure




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