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Flaking skin should I soak?

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by cbs, Sep 6, 2019.

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  1. cbs

    cbs New Member

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    Hi, My tortoise is 4 years old, and her skin has been flaking. I've read that I don't tear it off and that I should be patient. Over the past 3 weeks, she has continued to flake on her neck, but now I'm noticing it above her rear legs. My question is how do you soak tortoises? I have a shallow pan, about the depth of a pie pan but as big as a baking pan, with water to top. She avoids it like the plague.
    What temperature should the water be? How deep should it be? And how long and often should she soak?
    Also, on a side note, I wanted to thank all of you for all of your help with my tortoise earlier. (We lost everything from the Woolsey Fire, and we had newly adopted her, I was a basket case and you all calmed me! So thank you again!!)

    flaking skin.jpg
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    It's normal for the skin to flake off like that. Don't worry about it. The time to worry is if the new skin underneath the flakes is raw. Has this tortoise had any injections? Sometimes vets will give too much vitamin A in an injection and this causes the skin to slough off.

    Just make sure your tortoise is getting a proper diet. The skin is fed from within and diet is most important. My desert tortoises eat a lot of grass, but in the spring when the broad leaf weeds are plentiful they go for those before the grass. You can use the food lists shown for sulcatas and russians. There are lots of good food choices on those lists.

    When soaking I use a large enough tub so that the tortoise can't climb out of it. Then I fill the water to come up to the middle of the tortoise's sides and leave him in there for 15 minutes to a half hour. Quite a few desert tortoises prefer to drink out of a running hose rather than a plate of water. You can turn the hose on just a bit and lay it in front of the tortoise so he sees the moving water.
    jsheffield likes this.
  3. cbs

    cbs New Member

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    Thank you! What temperature should the water be?
  4. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    For your size tortoise temperature isn't all that important. Water right out of the hose is ok as long as he can warm up in the sun afterwards.
    cbs likes this.
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