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Russian Tortoise Shell Flaking?

Discussion in 'Tortoises' started by mrcooldude, Feb 9, 2008.

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  1. mrcooldude

    mrcooldude Member

    Hey all-

    I have two Russian Tortoises, kept in an indoor enclosure with a heat lamp, exo-terra UVB lamp, playsand/cocount coir mix substrate, water dish, and hide box. I soak them for about 20 minutes two to three times a week.

    One is healthy- very active, no problems. I just bought her a week ago and took her to the vet already.

    The other has had a few issues. I bought him in August without much research, and he didn't eat at all. He was active for awhile, and then I guess he wanted to go into hibernation or something, which was weird for Las Vegas temperatures...but perhaps the pet store didn't have an adequate heat lamp or something. Anyway, he didn't eat for about 6 months, and during this time I researched everything on these guys. I checked up on him every few days, and he was still alive- like I said, hibernating I guess. Anyway, he finally started eating a few weeks ago, becoming fairly active, urinating and defecating. But while he was in this "hibernating" state, his shell started flaking. I took him to the vet once he started eating again and got him checked out, and she said it could be symptoms of metabolic bone disease from poor husbandry at the pet store before I got him. He also has skin shedding around his neck and legs. I disagree, because his shell is hard and he shows no other signs of Metabolic Bone Disease, such as beak/shell/skeletal abnormalities. I supplement his food and make sure he's got a good diet- mustard greens, endive, kale, dandelion, etc.

    Anyway, I asked a second vet about it, and he said to keep an eye on it because it's likely a result of bad nutrition and it'll go away. He said it's probably not a form of shell rot because there is no white discoloration or discharge.

    Thought I might as well ask if anyone else has seen anything like this? I ordered some Nolvasan to clean his shell with just in case it's some sort of fungal or bacterial infection- it can't hurt him to try. The flaking just seems to spread and isn't improving at all.

    Any information or similar experiences would be helpful. He's the one on the right.

  2. nicole

    nicole Elite Member

    shell rot is an infection in the shell, the Nolvasan will treat it as long as it has not spread very deep. If it has spread it may take a vet to drill out the problem areas.
    So if the vet says it is not shell rot I am curious as to why you would be treating with Nolvasan. Iodine is what is genereally used to treat the topical infection on shell rot. If it is bad it may need antibiotics as well. Make sure to keep the area dry.
  3. mrcooldude

    mrcooldude Member

    I'm trying Nolvasan because it's getting worse, and Nolvasan can't hurt him- it's just a cleaner. There's a chance the vet could be wrong, and it could be some type of rot and this could help clear it up. I suppose I could keep getting second opinions from vets, but that's gonna end up getting pricey.
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