HELP- sulcata has unknown red spots (photo attached)

Jennyhp

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Joined
May 11, 2021
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Michigan
Hi all!
Thank you for all the help this community has provided for me the past few years, it is unfortunate that this is my first post. I have a 4 year old female Sulcata that woke up this morning with two red spots: one on the skin around her eye and one on her ear. I’m attaching a picture.
I am in the process of scheduling an appointment to the vet for her ASAP but would love to know what else I can do to make her more comfortable for the time being and what may have caused this. Her current enclosure consists of orchid bark for the bedding, MVB bulb, and the temperature gradient is 70 lowest and 90 on the high end.
Thank you so much, I’m very worried.
jenny
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Yes she lives alone
This is unusual. If you don't mind some sleuthing, I'll try to fathom an educated guess.

What do you feed it?
What size is it?
How do you know its female?
Can we see a pic of the enclosure?
How much time does it spend basking?
 

Jennyhp

New Member
Joined
May 11, 2021
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Michigan
This is unusual. If you don't mind some sleuthing, I'll try to fathom an educated guess.

What do you feed it?
What size is it?
How do you know its female?
Can we see a pic of the enclosure?
How much time does it spend basking?

I don’t mind at all! I appreciate you taking your time to help. And to answer your questions:

1. She eats 80% grass hay (orchard) and 20% veggies (either spring mix, kale, dandelions, bok choy, collard greens, etc) with very limited treats (half a slice of strawberry or watermelon every couple months).
2. Her shell measures to about 7 in.
3. I assume she is female because she has a very narrow plastron on her underside compared to males.
4. She basks for a couple hours throughout the day. About an hour or two when she wakes up and midday/ evening she’d bask again for another two hours.
5. Here are pictures of her enclosure. It is very empty as of right now but I’ll be adding more in later. (Suggestions welcome as always)
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,396
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
What size enclosure is it?

All sounds good so far except the fruit and the MVB. They shouldn't be fed fruit at all. Once every couple of months wouldn't cause this and the diet sounds fine otherwise, so that eliminates diet as an obvious potential cause.

MVBs aren't good. Some emit way too much UV and some stop emitting any UV after 3 months. They also dry out the carapace and cause pyramiding. Ever put a UV meter under the bulb?

Your enclosure looks too dry, but that wouldn't cause this issue either. Just a side note.

70 is too cool. 90 is fine as an ambient, but the basking area needs to be warmer than 90 at tortoise shell height.

Something is terribly wrong if the tortoise is only 7 inches at 4 years old. They should reach that size in their first year, even in mediocre conditions. Having said that, it is common to see undersized sulcatas in Northern climates. I don't know why.

Males and female have the same size plastrons. Males nearing maturity will get concave. Anal scute shape also changes as the hormones begin to flow, as does tail size. I think yours is too small to sex. They all look female as juveniles.
 
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