Dark ring around redfoots mouth. Mouth rot, coprophagia, or staining?

CaptainMorgan

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Hello,

Just some basic information about my Redfoot.
Name: Capri
Species: Redfoot
Age: 3+ years old
Enclosure: 4' x 20" x 18"
Substrate: Soil base layer with cypress mulch surface
Plants: 1x Dracaena W. 1x Snake Plant 1x Bella Palm
Water bowl: Yes
Hides: Half log on cool dry side (sleeps daily in here)
Tempature: Basking is low 90's, humid side is mid 80's, opposite cool end is high 75's
Humidity: min70% max95% with (new) Rainfall Monsoon RS400. Still experimenting with duration and frequency.
Food: Different each week, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, dandelion greens, collard greens, mustard greens, chicory, escarole, treats: dried mealworms with calcium (pyramiding was evident, cut back on large proteins)
Previous medical conditions: One visit for a 'quacking' noise at night time, vet thought it might be a possible respiratory infection, turns out she's just vocal!
Other animals in house: Rescue Russian tortoise (parasite free), Rescue Red Ear Slider

There appears to be a small dark ring around my redfoots mouth. I can't tell if she's eating her own feces (coprophagia), stained from the house plants, or worse - mouth rot.

Here's a picture of her on her 3rd birthday eating strawberry (late June)
https://postimg.org/image/d5qy5xy3d/

Here's a picture of her today (poor quality image).
https://postimg.org/image/px56buiqh/
https://postimg.org/image/bly610rpl/

I tried rubbing a moist q-tip on her beak this morning to wipe off any dirt or poop but the q-tip barely browned. She ate her own poop when she was several months old but it eventually stopped. I haven't seen her do it in years - but now she has this dark ring around her mouth like lip stick. The pictures of mouth rot I found online seem pretty aggressive but I can't tell if there's any deterioration around the beak on Capri, she's just so little. Any ideas or ways to confirm the cause?

Thanks,
Greg
 

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Pearly

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I'd give her her favorite treat and stick around with good flash light to look inside every time she opens wide, unless you are able to open her mouth and look inside. With mouth rot you'd see ulceration type changes
 

CaptainMorgan

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@JoesMum, Yes, good point. I find whole feces frequently but it doesn't mean she hasn't gotten to a few others.

@Pearly, great idea. I'll try dangling some food above her. She open real wide for food (and fingers).
Suppose she does have any strange ulceration like changes, what would they look like? What tissue colors are considered healthy?

The more I think about it, it's most likely staining from plants, food, or feces. BUT I'd still like to make sure and catch things early.

Thank you both.
 

Yvonne G

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Mouth rot is inside the mouth, and looks like cheesy deposits.
 

MysticCaribou

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She's adorable. I especially like the photo of her with the strawberry. I hope the stain you see is nothing more than a harmless 'stain.'
 

Pearly

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@JoesMum, Yes, good point. I find whole feces frequently but it doesn't mean she hasn't gotten to a few others.

@Pearly, great idea. I'll try dangling some food above her. She open real wide for food (and fingers).
Suppose she does have any strange ulceration like changes, what would they look like? What tissue colors are considered healthy?

The more I think about it, it's most likely staining from plants, food, or feces. BUT I'd still like to make sure and catch things early.

Thank you both.
Yellow, different shades of pink, white, irreg shapes. I don't know how to attach links here but you can just google "MOUTH ROT TORTOISE PICTURES" or something like that and it should spit out some images for you to get an idea of what you are looking for. I think dark discoloration is just from some food staining. Some plant juices are very good colorants and even used for that purpouse
 

TerrapinStation

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Your redfoot looks really healthy and happy. Do a search on here for mouth rot... I think you would definitely be able to not only see, but smell that if it was occurring.
 

CaptainMorgan

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Went home and gave her some carrot. Got some more pictures. What does everyone think? Staining or something else?
Screenshot_2016-08-19-17-09-12.png

Screenshot_2016-08-19-17-09-00.png

Screenshot_2016-08-19-17-08-15.png
 

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BrianWI

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I don't think it is a stain. I think it is just her normal coloration.
 

Anyfoot

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I think this tort has been rummaging in something dark, the feet look the same color as the mouth.
 

jockma

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Can you gently debride the area with a soft-bristled toothbrush and see if the color fades?

I agree it looks like her feet are a bit stained too. My RF gets dark staining on his feet and mouth when he eats his poop.
 

CaptainMorgan

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1 point to @JoesMum. I found a small chomp taken out of some fresh feces. Just to be safe I removed the sticky Dracaena plant and currently on the watch for fresh feces. I'm determined to reduce staining!

So next question.
She's a little over 3 years old... why is she still eating her feces? She's fed every other day with forum approved leafy greens and has protein Saturday mornings. Does she need more food or frequent feedings?

Thanks to everyone who responded!
 

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Anyfoot

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1 point to @JoesMum. I found a small chomp taken out of some fresh feces. Just to be safe I removed the sticky Dracaena plant and currently on the watch for fresh feces. I'm determined to reduce staining!

So next question.
She's a little over 3 years old... why is she still eating her feces? She's fed every other day with forum approved leafy greens and has protein Saturday mornings. Does she need more food or frequent feedings?

Thanks to everyone who responded!
It's natural to eat feces of any type not just their own. Mine eat cat poop if I don't get to it first.
They don't fully digest there own food 100% the first time around, so there is still nutrition in the poop. It's a disgusting habit, but it is what it is. As long as your tort is healthy and parasite free eating its own poop will do it no harm. If it bothers you too much the only thing you can do is remove the poop more often. :D.
 

jockma

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I have to say...props to you. I've had my tort for years and I still won't touch his poop bare-handed. (Except that time he had an impaction and I was massaging it and helping him ease it out. At least I think that's what happened. I blocked most of it out of my memory. I think he did too.)

The poop looks smooshed like it was stepped on too. Maybe gripped with her feet while she munched on it. That would explain the foot staining. With birds and some other animals poop-eating can mean a deficiency but for torts it's 100% good and healthy. In fact, feeding a sickly tort a healthy tort's poop can improve their digestive health.

Let them eat poop!
 

jockma

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I have to say...props to you. I've had my tort for years and I still won't touch his poop bare-handed. (Except that time he had an impaction and I was massaging it and helping him ease it out. At least I think that's what happened. I blocked most of it out of my memory. I think he did too.)

The poop looks smooshed like it was stepped on too. Maybe gripped with her feet while she munched on it. That would explain the foot staining. With birds and some other animals poop-eating can mean a deficiency but for torts it's 100% good and healthy. In fact, feeding a sickly tort a healthy tort's poop can improve their digestive health.

Let them eat poop!
 

Pearly

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1 point to @JoesMum. I found a small chomp taken out of some fresh feces. Just to be safe I removed the sticky Dracaena plant and currently on the watch for fresh feces. I'm determined to reduce staining!

So next question.
She's a little over 3 years old... why is she still eating her feces? She's fed every other day with forum approved leafy greens and has protein Saturday mornings. Does she need more food or frequent feedings?

Thanks to everyone who responded!
I feed my yearlings 2x day when indoors, when out they get fed only 1x day and free graze on their plants and snails. Mine only ate poo the first couple months. My theory about it is that they are trying to supplement something that's missing in their gut
 

jockma

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I feed my yearlings 2x day when indoors, when out they get fed only 1x day and free graze on their plants and snails. Mine only ate poo the first couple months. My theory about it is that they are trying to supplement something that's missing in their gut
I actually agree with you. I think they're "recycling" gut flora and picking up any extra goodies they didn't digest the first way through.

Mine doesn't eat his own poop much (if at all) anymore after I started feeding more animal protein, in fact he buries it so he doesn't even think to save it for later. :p Not sure why. He'll still make a beeline for any poop that isn't his, though.
 
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