You're in > TPG Members Forum > Tortoise Care, Health/Problems > growth

growth
Posted: 13/04/2011 by seadams

I have a Leopard tortoise who is 6 months old and he seems to have a little growth on the side of his mouth?

First time I have had a tortoise so am very nervious.

Should I get him to a vet?

Kind regards in advance for answering..

Re: growth
Posted: 13/04/2011 by VivTPG

Hi, could you post a picture of the 'growth', we may be able to identify the problem, for example the tort could be shedding skin or it could be an abcess.  However, if you are at all concerned please take the tortoise to a tortoise specialist vet (we have a list of vets around the country on the left menu under vets and health issues).

regards Vivienne

Re: growth
Posted: 13/04/2011 by DavidWYork

Hi there, if he is eating and doing normal stuff do not panic.


Could it be stuck on food or bedding? A loose scale or skin? Sometimes ear coverings swell too. I would love to see a picture, a close up in good light, to help sort him out. If not too camera confident, do you know someone who is?. A clear close up could really help.Give him an extra long bath and see if it softens  at all. One of my old spur-thighed is looking sad just now as she is shedding a few head scales. As I have had torts for years I know its normal, but when I first saw this years ago, I thought it was a disease!


Please keep us all informed. You will find this site excellent for support and advice. We all want to help, and learn from each other!  You can teach old dogs new tricks, I am proof! After decades of keeping torts, the members on this site are teaching me all sorts!   Regards, David nr York. 

Re: growth
Posted: 14/04/2011 by seadams

Don't know it the pics have worked?  But will try hopefully you can see it seems to be on the left side of his mouth.

Re: growth
Posted: 14/04/2011 by VivTPG

Hi, it looks like the protrusion is from the bony part of the top beak that is either growing uneven or possibly one of its siblings bit him when they were eating food?  Try to keep it clean and keep an eye on it, it may just dry up and drop off. Or if it does dry out you may be able to gently file it down with an emery board.

If there is any sign of infection or you see a change in his behaviour take him to a specialist vet. 

Hope this helps, regards Vivienne

 

Re: growth
Posted: 15/04/2011 by DavidWYork

Thanks, good photos. Is growth hard or soft? Although many may disagree with the following, I think it might be useful info...Try a gentle prod with a cocktail stick. If at all soft, I would apply a tiny amount of surgical spirit on a cotton bud, but really being careful not to allow in the mouth. This usually dries up soft abrasions. There is a slim chance of it being a tick or external parasite, though these are largely things of the past. If it is a tick, then the surgical spirit will deal with that as well, as it makes them release their grasp. Many years ago, lots of imported torts were tick infested but usually on softer parts of the body, and if you just pulled off a tick, its mouthparts stayed on the tortoise and they leaked blood for ages! I remember well from my early tortoise-keeping days. Yuk! Anyone else got suggestions, opinions, or memories of early tortoise experiences? David nr York

Re: growth
Posted: 15/04/2011 by seadams

Thank you so much for your advice, David it is hard just like an extra bit of skin growing on the side above and below his little mouth?  Bless him but he is eaten fine.  You seem to know so much about toroise's, another question if you don't mind as I am totally new to this and a little scared!!  He was my daughters 9th birthday present and she was over the moon (was a hidden passion of mine too!!)  but don't want him to be unhappy or uncomfortable in anyway??  I was recommended orchard bark, is that ok? and I have never bathed him as no one has ever told me too and I read on this site to bath them so should I and how often??  Plus Do you give them fresh food every day?  He seems to eat every morning when he wakes up?  Sorry there is a few there!!  Also the light, is it ok to start putting him outside now it's getting sunny (for a min there!!)  or should he still have the light?  My house is at 20degrees is that warm enough for him?  When I popped his house outside he just went in his little house box until we brung him back in like he hated it??  Thank you so much for your advice, so as it's hard should I still try the spirit?

Kind regards, look forward to your reply, what a great site to have.

S xxx

Re: growth
Posted: 15/04/2011 by VivTPG

Hi, in answer to your questions,

  • Please read our leopard care sheet, here is the link http://www.tortoise-protection-group.org.uk/site/123.asp
  • we recommend play sand/top soil as substrate
  • we do recommend bathing torts, especially young torts to keep them well hydrated.  This should be done in warm water up to chin level, for about 15 mins, making sure water is kept warm
  • he also needs a water bowl in his pen,  leopard are big drinkers!
  • yes he should be fed fresh food each day.  His diet should consist of 100% weeds or plants from the garden, see www.thetortoisetable.org.uk for safe plants to feed.  He should NOT be fed pellets, vegetables or fruit. Leopards come from the aftrican savana planes so they naturally eat grasses, this should consist of a large part of their diet.  You could add soaked redigrass to his weeds.
  • Leopards are more a tropical tortoise and need good levels of heat and light.  He would be best kept under a combined heat/uv lamp, such as a Megaray.  He needs to warm up thoroughly before being put outside and at this young age only put out on very warm days.  If possible could you add a heat lamp in the outdoor hutch, shed or greenhouse so that he can choose if to go out or stay under the lamp. Make sure any outdoor enclosure is escape and preditor proof
  • You say your house is 20C this temp is ok for the cooler ends of the tort table, but he needs a basking spot of 35C under the basking lamp.  They usually go directly under this to warm up, then as they get warm they start moving gradually away from the direct heat spot to the cooler parts.
  • and lastly, remember leopards are a non-hibernating species, so need light and heating 24/7 all year round!
  • PS, love the pics of him!!

Regards Vivienne

Re: growth
Posted: 15/04/2011 by DavidWYork

Phew, glad you answered that set Viv...I have no experience keeping Leopard torts! I am regularly in awe of many people who answer postings on TPG site. Just goes to show how much stuff we know, as a group! Most of us still ask as much as we answer...well I do.

Regards. David nr York

Re: growth
Posted: 16/04/2011 by seadams

Thank you so much Viv and David for all your advice, I shall change his bedding to sand and top soil instead of orchard bark, he does have a bowl of water (he often poos in!) and I will bath him today!!  Will keep an eye on the growth and call a vet if anything changes.

Great site!!!

Thanks.

S x

 

Re: growth
Posted: 19/04/2011 by seadams

Hi guys an update and some more pics, as it's such a lovely day we took him out in the grass, he loved it!!  But the growth is looking worse so have booked the vets!  But thought I would let you see him.

Re: growth
Posted: 19/04/2011 by seadams

Re: growth
Posted: 19/04/2011 by seadams

Re: growth
Posted: 19/04/2011 by VivTPG

Great pictures.  Iam glad you have decided to take him to the vet, best to get it checked out.  You will have to let us know what the vets are like and if they are tort specialists, as I could do with one in Bham!

regards Vivienne

Re: growth
Posted: 20/04/2011 by seadams

The Vet has said it was a scratch that has gone bad so bath him every day and put savlon on it for 2 weeks, don't have sand as it could irritate it even more!  Just use news paper, so after spending a small fortune on top soil and sand a simple news paper will suffice!!  He was recomended to me by pets at home, he is a mobile reptile vet.  But the bad news is if it does not go down he may need an op!!  So fingers crossed this works.  As god knows how much an op will cost but in the 100s!!!  Will keep you posted.

S x

Re: growth
Posted: 20/04/2011 by VivTPG

Hi, thanks for letting us know. 

Regarding the newspaper this may be ok whilst it is healing but not long term, a better substitute for newspaper, during this healing time, is puppy training mats, they do not have print on them which could be toxic for torts.  Once, it has healed the sand and soil mix is more natural for them, so you dont need to dispose of it.

What was the vets name at the surgery?

Keep us informed of the torts progress, regards Vivienne

 

Web Design Bristol