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Flaky scutes
Posted: 12/01/2009 by tortoise7

Hi
When I adopted Molly last August, I noticed that her shell was very dry and  rough, and she had a tiny bony white layer exposed. I do not know her past history enough to say whether the shell was treated at all. After bringing her out of hibernation I have noticed that there was some more white bony layer exposed. It is not wet or infected at all, just very dry but her shell  is very very dry and abit flaky. Would calcium defiency cause this? and what should I do about it?
Thanks
Jane



 


 

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 12/01/2009 by tpgarlene

Hi Jane

Old damage to the shell appears like this, but it is very difficult to say without actually seeing it, would it be possible to post some pictures?

In the meantime, keep an eye on it and keep it clean.  Instinct says that a good diet, keeping her well hydrated and making sure that you suppliment her food with something like Nutrobol will help improve it. 

best regards

Arlene 

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 12/01/2009 by TPGDarren

Hi Jane,

It sounds like old shell rot. The white underneath will very likely be old dried puss. If the shell is flaking, carefully remove the flaking areas as this may well harbour damp and/or dirt, without damaging the good shell and without going too deep. It's often surprising how far back the shell is flakey.

Photos are always a good idea to get an idea of exactly what is going on as Arlene has already suggested if possible.

HTH
Darren

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 12/01/2009 by tortoise7

Hi


I will take some photo's tomorrow.  Molly refuses to eat anything that I have dusted with nutrabol, I have also tried Lime flour but she isn't having any of it. I have a cuttle fish in her pen, but she won't touch that either. The only thing I am relying on to give her some noursihment is fresh weeds, Plantain & Dandelions. I bath her everyday at the moment to keep her rehydrated and will continue with the daily baths all the while she is indoors.  Anyway I will wait and see what you think once I have posted the photo's which will be tomorrow evening now.
Thanks
Jane

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 12/01/2009 by tpgNina

Hi Jane,

They can be awkward, can't they! I think lots of torts don't like Nutrabol. I have no idea why, but if I hand feed my Russian a leaf with Nutrobal on it, and turn it upside down (so the powder is on the bottom and she can't see it), then she takes it. Or I make it into a little taco (roll the leaf up). I don't have any problem with limestone flour (or pure calcium carbonate, which I also use), or cuttlefish though. I do think you need to get extra calcium into her somehow -- just keep experimenting.

Nina

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 13/01/2009 by tortoise7

Hi
I am trying to load the photo's but the website won't let me. I was trying over the week-end to do Molly's section on the members gallery but it wouldn't let me do it then either.  I am sure from what I have seen that is  dry shell rot, but it has only appeared since Molly has come out of hibernation. I have some betadine, do you think I should put some on straight away. I will get her to the vet. Why would this appear like it has. On what I have read, it is down to environment, substrate, ticks and parasites, but the all of these are Ok.  Is there any information that you could direct me to please


Thanks
Jane


 

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 13/01/2009 by tortoise7

Hi Nina
I will try the taco leaf see if that works. I have always put nutrobal on Keya's food and I never have any problems, mind you nothing stands in the way of Keya and her food or belly should I say.
Jane

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 14/01/2009 by vivtpgadmin

Hi Jane, here is the link explaining how to load photos (although you have probably already read it!!) http://www.tortoise-protection-group.org.uk/site/142.asp.

If you are still having difficulties email me your pics and I will see if I can upload them for you.

Regards Vivienne

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 14/01/2009 by tortoise7

Hi Vivienne


Thanks- that is the one I already use which I don't normally have any problems with, that is why I thought it was the site, if not the TPG site then I had better review again what I am doing.
I have managed to find some indepth information in Andy Highfields "Practical encyclopedia of keeping and breeding Tortoises and freshwater turtles" and I am sure it is Dry shell rot, but it still doesn't help me to know why Molly has contacted it after coming out of hibernation? anyway this morning before I go to work I am going to put some Betadine on. It would be really good if you guys could see the photo's that I have taken so if I could have your email address and then I can send them as attachments until I get the resizer sorted out. I will have to send them tonight when I get home from work.
Thanks
Jane

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 14/01/2009 by tpgNina

Hi Jane,

I would think that the shell rot might have been there before hibernation, but maybe it is only during and after hibernation that the scutes are flaking off. I don't know and am certainly no expert on this! Regarding Betadine, you probably know this already, and I am not completely sure, as I've never had to use it, but I think you need to dilute it to about 1 in 10 (I think people usually say 'to the colour of weak tea')before applying it. Someone will hopefully correct me if I'm wrong on any of this.

Nina

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 14/01/2009 by tortoise7

Hi Nina
The one I have is an ointment, so I have put that on her shell. She doesn't seem too worried by. I will stop off at the pharmacy on my way home to get the liquid form that you have to dilute, as this may be stronger. I will probably give it to next week and see how we go,that's if the patch doesn't get bigger. I think Molly came to me to make me learn all about different things that tortoise can get Click and drag me down to the editor
She sure is  a good teacher....
Jane

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 14/01/2009 by tpgadmin

Not Vivienne

but if you send your pictures as an attachment to vivienne@tortoise-protection-group.org.uk she will try and  upload them later for you I'm sure.

 

 

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 14/01/2009 by tortoise7

Thanks
I have sent the attachment to vivienne

Regards
Jane

 

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 15/01/2009 by vivtpgadmin

Hi Jane, I have added Molly's photo to the members gallery, we will take a look and post comments to you shortly.

Regards Vivienne

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 15/01/2009 by tortoise7

Thank you Vivienne
I make sure that I have scrubbed her shell with a soft toothbrush to remove previous application of ointment every morning, before applying the next one. I put the ointment on twice a day. I give her her bath (before applying ointment and after her scrub) to keep her hydrated.
Good news Molly has been waking early the last couple of mornings and I have been able to hand feed her with calcium in a tiny piece of melon, unfortunately melon seems to be the only thing that will get Molly going, once she has had a bite of melon she happily munches through her food.
Jane

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 15/01/2009 by tpgadmin

This is definitely shell rot Jane and looks as if it is long standing.  You will need to be fairly brutal and remove as much surrounding loose shell as you can as bacteria harbours under the loose shell.  Although the ointment will do the same job I personally would recommend you use liquid betadine or tamodine or povoiodine (well diluted).  Nina has explained the dilution earlier.  This will run easier under any loose shell you haven't managed to scrape off, 


When I use it I also give the whole of the shell a gently wash over with a soft toothbrush and then rinse it off.  I don't rinse it off the are of shell rot.


I'll upload a photo later today in the TPG Photo Gallery of a wild tortoise with shell rot.


Helen

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 15/01/2009 by tortoise7

Hi Helen
They don't sell liquid Betadine anymore, or so I was told yesterday so I will try one of the others. Am I Ok doing what I am doing for the time being or should I be taking her to the vet?  I have seen Scepticaemia mentioned in relation to shell rot, although mainly with wet rot, should I be concerned about that at this stage, and can it make her unwell. What should I expect the prognosis to be?
Thanks
Jane

 

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 15/01/2009 by tpgadmin

Hi Jane

I knew that Betadine was being phased out Jane, but it may still available in some chemists.  Tamodine is just the same iodine based product.

You are doing fine Jane just get rid of the flaky shell.  I've attached a picture below of one of my rehomer tortoises that had shell rot.  This picture shows, not bone, but pus.  This is white and hard and does come off.  It has healed over pretty will but I can't upload a picture to show you as she is in the fridge asleep.

Helen

 

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 15/01/2009 by tortoise7

Hi Helen

I have done the rounds to all the chemists and none stock Tamodine or any substitute to it. The nearest I was offered was hibiscrub, which I don't think would be anywhere as effective. Has anyone got any suggestions what else I could use? or shall I just keep going with the ointment?
How long does it take roughly before it is under control?
Thanks
Jane

 

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 15/01/2009 by tpgadmin

Hi Jane

You can buy Tamodine on-line from VetArk.  Here's a link: http://www.noahs-cupboard.co.uk/listing.asp?catno=5

It can take a while to heal to be honest and as with everything if you are concerned the best advice I can give is let your vet see this and advise treatment.  Personally I would keep up with the ointment for now.

Helen

 

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 15/01/2009 by tortoise7

Thanks Helen
I 'll place an order now.  I will see how things go and if it spreads then I will see a vet.
Thanks for the advice
Jane

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 15/01/2009 by tpgadmin

It's taken an age for me to find it but at long last I've found the photo I was looking for (I took thousands of pics).  If you look at the TPG photo gallery and scroll down until you find the tortoises with problems album you'll find the picture I promised of shell rot on a tortoise in the wild.

Helen  Click and drag me down to the editor

Re: Flaky scutes
Posted: 15/01/2009 by tortoise7

Hi Helen

Just had a look. yes definately shell rot although Molly's looks alot healthier, if you understand what I mean.
Thank you for your trouble, it was a good close up.
Jane

 

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