Need help (dragging legs)

Herfty

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My tortoise Bert is 2 and a half and is acting and being himself but I noticed this on the bottom of his shell can anyone help. He also can use his back legs but will drag himself around most of the time do I need to do something to strengthen them. For his substrate I use coconut fibre and added coconut husk to try and make the surface a little more solid
 

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harrythetortoise

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My tortoise Bert is 2 and a half and is acting and being himself but I noticed this on the bottom of his shell can anyone help. He also can use his back legs but will drag himself around most of the time do I need to do something to strengthen them. For his substrate I use coconut fibre and added coconut husk to try and make the surface a little more solid
Can you also take a picture of his top shell as well? And a profile picture.
 

TeamZissou

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Take a side view pic of the shell.

What are you referring to on the plastron (bottom of shell)? Nothing jumps out at me. Maybe adding an arrow pointing to the problem area would help.

What are you using for lighting? List all the specific bulbs.
 

Lyn W

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Hi and welcome,
I can't see what you've found on his plastron in the first pic.
Dragging his legs isn't good but I wonder if his claws are too long?
Hopefully someone with experience of marginated torts will be along soon
If you post a sideways on picture as well it will help.
Also pics of his enclosure and lamps used etc will help us to see if there's anything that needs to be changed.
This is the most up to date caresheet that covers marginated
 
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Herfty

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Take a side view pic of the shell.

What are you referring to on the plastron (bottom of shell)? Nothing jumps out at me. Maybe adding an arrow pointing to the problem area would help.

What are you using for lighting? List all the specific bulbs.
He has a combi bulb and just a heat bulb which only gets turned on when the weathers cold. This is also a side view and it circled it’s the slight pink and the what looks like peeling.
 

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Lyn W

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He has a combi bulb and just a heat bulb which only gets turned on when the weathers cold. This is also a side view and it circled it’s the slight pink and the what looks like peeling.
@ZenHerper, or @zovick may be able to advise you about the pink areas.

If you are using an mvb for heat light and uvb, then they have been found to dry and damage shells so aren't recommended anymore. T5 HO tubes are used for uvb by many keeper now (there are other similar options to consider), with flood bulbs for basking. If you are using a CHE for heat it needs to be on a thermostat so that it keeps temps even. Also curly or cfl type bulbs can hurt and damage tort eyes so shouldn't be used.
I can see that you are using a table but it looks quite small. Can you post a full picture of it?
I think a tort the size of yours, should be in something bigger. A minimum of 4 x 8 feet is advised for the smaller species.
 

harrythetortoise

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He has a combi bulb and just a heat bulb which only gets turned on when the weathers cold. This is also a side view and it circled it’s the slight pink and the what looks like peeling.
To my knowledge, the slight pink in the middle is extra blood flow where there is active growth. Not sure about the peeling part... it could be from just normal wear and tear, but let's see what the experts will say.

As for the carapace, I don't see any obvious sign of MBD (which can make tortoises to drag their legs) but there is some pyramiding so if you see him keep dragging his legs, I would take him to the vet for some tests.

For the lights, the combi bulb isn't recommended anymore because it can dry out the carapace and contribute to pyramiding. If you're in the UK, you could get the Arcadia brand 12% T5 HO fluorescent bulb for the UVB.
For heat, I would use an incandescent light bulb and a CHE.

Take a look at this care sheet. Has a lot of info that you will find very useful.
 

Herfty

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@ZenHerper, or @zovick may be able to advise you about the pink areas.

If you are using an mvb for heat light and uvb, then they have been found to dry and damage shells so aren't recommended anymore. T5 HO tubes are used for uvb by many keeper now (there are other similar options to consider), with flood bulbs for basking. If you are using a CHE for heat it needs to be on a thermostat so that it keeps temps even. Also curly or cfl type bulbs can hurt and damage tort eyes so shouldn't be used.
I can see that you are using a table but it looks quite small. Can you post a full picture of it?
I think a tort the size of yours, should be in something bigger. A minimum of 4 x 8 feet is advised for the smaller species.
Thanks he’s in a 5.6 x 3.6 feet table at the minute but we have recently moved and are building an extension for it I will look into buying those bulbs now.
 

Herfty

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Thanks everyone I’m feeling a little more at ease. Just on top we have also always said he’s a he but can anyone identify if he’s a he or a she.
 

Herfty

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To my knowledge, the slight pink in the middle is extra blood flow where there is active growth. Not sure about the peeling part... it could be from just normal wear and tear, but let's see what the experts will say.

As for the carapace, I don't see any obvious sign of MBD (which can make tortoises to drag their legs) but there is some pyramiding so if you see him keep dragging his legs, I would take him to the vet for some tests.

For the lights, the combi bulb isn't recommended anymore because it can dry out the carapace and contribute to pyramiding. If you're in the UK, you could get the Arcadia brand 12% T5 HO fluorescent bulb for the UVB.
For heat, I would use an incandescent light bulb and a CHE.

Take a look at this care sheet. Has a lot of info that you will find very useful.
I’ve got a CHE but what’s an incandescent light bulb and also Arcadia 12% is a tube lamp and he’s in a table with shorter sides is it fine to get another 12% uvb available in a standard screw bulb.
 

harrythetortoise

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I’ve got a CHE but what’s an incandescent light bulb and also Arcadia 12% is a tube lamp and he’s in a table with shorter sides is it fine to get another 12% uvb available in a standard screw bulb.
So any UVB bulb that can be "screwed in" isn't recommended anymore. The 12% T5 HO is a linear tube type, and you have to get the fixture for it.
It doesn't give out heat though, so you need a separate basking light, which is the incandescent light bulb. Check from a hardware store if they have them - they are the older style light bulbs that give out heat (not the LED kind).
The CHE is good for night time but doesn't give out visible light, so during the day you want to use the incandescent bulb because tortoises associate lights with heat, so he knows where to bask under.
 

Lyn W

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I’ve got a CHE but what’s an incandescent light bulb and also Arcadia 12% is a tube lamp and he’s in a table with shorter sides is it fine to get another 12% uvb available in a standard screw bulb.
I don't think we can get incandescent bulbs here in the UK anymore, or they are very hard to find now, (they are the old ones that heated up) Arcadia do a flood type basking bulb I believe - spot bulbs are too intense in a small area - but you'll need a tube for uvb.
Does he have an outdoor enclosure when he can get some sun on days that are warm enough?
 

Lyn W

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Thanks he’s in a 5.6 x 3.6 feet table at the minute but we have recently moved and are building an extension for it I will look into buying those bulbs now.
It's bigger than it looks.
4 x 8 feet is the minimum but the bigger the better because torts are roaming creatures.
 

Herfty

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It's bigger than it looks.
4 x 8 feet is the minimum but the bigger the better because torts are roaming creatures.
I’ve got a cage thing that builds like a border that I put him out in when it’s sunny. We have fox’s and I’m to anxious to leave him unattended out side. And I’m thinking of just building a ramp on his table so he can roam and I can put the border around him when we aren’t home or if it’s dangerous. I’ve ordered the flood lamp with uvb 12% and a stand I’ll update with pictures when it comes.
 

tglazie

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I don't know how handy you are with tools, but building a predator proof outdoor enclosure is relatively easy. Some wood and some predator wire goes a long way. Outdoor time for tortoises, however brief, is immeasurably beneficial.

From the pictures, I see nothing wrong. Sure, a touch of pyramiding, but managing closed chamber keeping can be difficult in cooler climates such as that of the UK.

Regarding the sex, impossible to tell at this size. Six inches, I'm leaning male, but give the beast another inch, and that long vent might move south.

T.G.
 

Lyn W

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I’ve got a cage thing that builds like a border that I put him out in when it’s sunny. We have fox’s and I’m to anxious to leave him unattended out side. And I’m thinking of just building a ramp on his table so he can roam and I can put the border around him when we aren’t home or if it’s dangerous. I’ve ordered the flood lamp with uvb 12% and a stand I’ll update with pictures when it comes.
It isn't safe to let your tort roam out of his enclosure - especially around a home if that's what you meant the ramp for.
It's too cold on floors and torts aren't the brightest in knowing when they need to get back to their warm spots. Plus there are far too many hazards from small objects, dust bunnies to human hair which can cause digestion problems.
Your tort should be fine with supervised outdoor time, my leopard only has outside access in the summer when I'm home.
If you look at the enclosures thread there are some great ideas there using raised garden beds and you could make a cover using chicken wire or something stronger.
 

Lyn W

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Is he still dragging his legs?
 
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