You're in > TPG Members Forum > Tortoise Care, Health/Problems > Skin problems?

Skin problems?
Posted: 02/04/2011 by Clyde the tortoise

Hi all,

Clyde is a Russian Horsefield tortoise who is about 6 months old. Whilst I am not very experienced in terms of tortoise husbandry, he seems to be doing okay. Only today we noticed what may be a problem.

Unfortunately, the problem is a little difficult to explain so bare with the description. Since birth, Clyde has had what looks like a rubber / elastic sack around his neck that the top of his head protrudes through...I'm sure there is a technical name for it but I don't know it. This rubbery sheath kind of hides Clyde's actual neck as all you can see is the sheath itself. That was until today. The rubbery bit looks to have gone dry and has split....it looks almost flakey. I can now see his neck beneath the sheath. Apart from that, he seems his normal self.

This is probably totally natural and me just being a bit of a plum. Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Regards

Mike J & Clyde      Click and drag me down to the editor

Re: Skin problems?
Posted: 02/04/2011 by VivTPG

Hi,

I cant really picture it, or say I have heard of this before, any chance you could post a picture for us?

Thanks Vivienne

Re: Skin problems?
Posted: 02/04/2011 by Clyde the tortoise

Hi,

Will do so tomorrow as he's bedded down for the night.

Mike J

Re: Skin problems?
Posted: 03/04/2011 by Clyde the tortoise

Hi,

Quite difficult to get a decent image but here goes. As I said yesterday.....seems happy in all aspects of life....well as happy as a tort ever looks!

Mike

Re: Skin problems?
Posted: 03/04/2011 by DavidWYork

Whilst I have never kept Horsefields, I have kept Ibera and Red-eared terrapins over many years, The all shed skin as they grow, usually in bits and pieces though!    I am looking at your photo and wondering if growth rate is too rapid, or has there been a change of conditions? Maybe Horsefield keepers will flood you with replies...I hope so. WE MUST SHARE EXPERTISE. There will be loads of you reading this posting with thoughts or suggestions. I think it would be great if this site became so educational that crisis requests were a rarity...because those with info shared it here. I don't want to lecture, merely encourage postings of routine successes and findings. David nr York.

Re: Skin problems?
Posted: 03/04/2011 by Clyde the tortoise

Hi David,

Thanks very much for your response. Clyde still seems in good form so I think I'll just keep an eye on him and see how things develop. Hopefully its jsut part of a natural way of life.

Mike J

Re: Skin problems?
Posted: 03/04/2011 by TPGDave

Hi there,

That is an area of the tortoises body where shedding is more visible, the motion of the head back and forth perhaps make it visibly flake more. Try giving the tortoise a soak in a warm shallow bath each day, ensuring that water gets over the head and neck. This should loosen it.

Re: Skin problems?
Posted: 04/04/2011 by Clyde the tortoise

Hi all,

Thanks for all th sound advice.....much happier now...me that is, not Clyde.

Mike J 

Re: Skin problems?
Posted: 05/04/2011 by VivTPG

Hi Mike,  I keep Horsfields and this does happen, as said above it is a normal shedding process.  Dont be tempted to pull it off though, let it come off naturally.  Keep up the warm baths.

Also, can you tell me what you are feeding him, as I notice some broccoli in the picture (Click and drag me down to the editor!) lol, which shouldnt be fed to torts as its from the brassica family, and inhibits the absorbption of calcium.  Please see our caresheets for Horsfields, this gives some advice on feeding, which as mentioned above could lead to the excessive flaking of the skin, you can find this under 'The Tortoise' on the lefthand menu.  Also, visit www.thetortoisetable.org.uk which I also help with, this gives sound advice on what is safe/not safe to feed torts.

Regards Vivienne

Re: Skin problems?
Posted: 05/04/2011 by Clyde the tortoise

Hi Vivienne,

Thanks for the advice...much appreciated. Generally he eats, watercress, young spinach, a little carrot, dandelions but we have also given him broccoli as you can see. When we got Clyde, I went to a tortoise husbandry site and printed off do's and don'ts and believe it or not....broccoli is on there. I've used it wver since and have the sheet pinned on my pin board. I'll visit the suggested site and amend accordingly....thanks very much. It just shows how much misinofrmation there is out there.

Regards

Mike J

Re: Skin problems?
Posted: 05/04/2011 by VivTPG

Hi Mike, its a mine field out there of info all contradicting.  But be assured our info is the best Click and drag me down to the editor!!  Here is a link to the Horsfield care sheet, it gives all husbandry info, such as substrate to use, food, enclosures, lighting etc  http://www.tortoise-protection-group.org.uk/site/files/Horsfield%20Care%20Sheet%20May%202008.pdf 

Any queries just fire away, regards Vivienne

 

Web Design Bristol