New tortoise mom with newly adopted Russian with MBD

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Clemmys Mom

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Hello-
I recently adopted a Russian Tortoise from the humane society that I work at. I've been researching them for quite some time and when this one came through the door, I fell in love and took her in. Her old owners had her for about 6 years before their son "got sick of it" and were keeping her in a 40 gallon aquarium with sappy bark bedding and a UVB bulb that hadn't been changed in the 6 years that the had her. They were feeding her a diet of ice berg lettuce and they thought she was a male and named her "Fred." I named her Clementine.

The first thing I noticed about her was that her shell was quite flat compared to other Russian torts I'd seen and she also looked dingy, dirty and flaky. When I took her home, I realized that she had quite a bit of feces around her hind end, so I soaked her and lightly scrubbed her. The water revealed that she had been covered in sap from her substrate and when all of the dirt was off, it was easy to see the deformities in her shell. I also discovered why her back end was covered in feces- she can't really move her hind legs :(

I had a vet appointment scheduled for her with the local herp vet and he checked her out thoroughly. X-rays showed no signs of ribs or pelvis and only a few vertebrae were solid enough to show up on film. She also had a break in her right front leg and her feet are twisted. Her shell is still pretty hard, though.

I'm sorry to have made this into a novel, I'm just worried about the little girl! I have some questions:
1. I'm new to tortoises; in your opinions or experience, how well do they recover from MBD?
2. I adopted a bearded dragon with advanced MBD a few years ago. It was summer and I was able to soak him in the sun for a few hours a day along with using proper indoor lighting and diet and the vet said it made his recovery so much quicker. I am planning on building an outdoor pen for Clemmy when the weather gets warmer, but it's too cold for her to be outside now. Do you think that being inside only for the next 6 or so months will make her recovery harder?
3. I've included some pictures, although she wasn't happy about me taking them;she's had a rough day and a rough life, for that matter. Is the outer damage as bad as the inner damage? Will it get better? My vet was very helpful, but any advice or experiences you could share would be very much appreciated!

clemmy011.jpg


clemmy013.jpg


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Again, I'm so sorry to have made this such a long post! Thanks for reading and thanks for any help you can give...I'm just a worried new mom. I'm sure you've all been there!
 

pebbles mom

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WELCOME WISCONSIN :cool:

Where are you at exactly? Which HS ? I have found a pretty good herp vet, let me know if you want his name. I am sure that she is in better hands already ;) The only advise I can give you is just keep reading on this forum. I learn something new everyday!!


Clementines last picture is pretty cute too by the way!
 

egyptiandan

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Hi Rhea,
I'm glad you have her now. :)
Adult tortoises come back just fine from MBD. I can only think this was the begining of MBD as adults usually get a long beak and long nails as an outward sign of MBD.
If the shell is hard than the ribs are fine, as the ribs are her shell. :) Ribs almost never show up on x-rays as they are thin and flat. You should though see all her other bones well.
I'm not seeing any twisted feet, they look fine to me. The shell also is fine for a Russian tortoise. Some are very domed and some are very flat. It depends on subspecies and where they are from.
She should make a full recovery with a diet rich in calcium. Just make sure while she's inside, even with a UVB bulb, that you use a supplement with D3 in it until you can get her outside.

Danny
 
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