Plastron looks weird/flaky

NadineB

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Hello members, I own a female Testudo Hermanni Boettgeri, hatched in August of 2016, I've had her since 2018.

Since then the living conditions have been in an outdoor enclosure, so I've got sunlight, shade, digging and hiding spots and a water bowl. I feed her a leaf & flower based diet and make sure she gets a bunch of variety. Since this is a shell problem it's probably also worth noting that she seems to forget she can eat the sepia we give her (both in small bits and one just broken in half) every year. Last year it worked that i dusted some of her food with ground sepia until she started nibbling on the big piece. Starting today I will do the same thing, but I would like to know if that'll solve my problem, if it's a problem at all or if immediate action is required.

Today I picked her up and noticed my finger getting caught on something on her plastron. I checked and what I found was this:
DSC_0137.JPG DSC_0138.JPG
It's possible to lift these patches that seem to flake off at one side. The shell is not soft, discolored, or smells weird and she behaves normal too. It doesn't look different from her normal shell underneath either. The bright white spots are just where she walked right through her pee. We went to a post torpor check up a month ago and the vet said she looks healthy. This definitely wasn't there a week ago.

The internet has had lots to offer on the topic of shell health but none of it looked like this. Do I need to see my vet about this?
 

Yvonne G

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This is not normal, as tortoise scutes don't shed off. It might possibly be that sometime in the past he suffered a bit of shell rot and that scute lifted. It looks like most of the scute is still attached and has a blood supply.

I would just keep an eye on it to make sure it hasn't caught on anything and started to bleed. If you're worried it might catch on something as she's walking around outside you can ask a vet if he thinks it should be trimmed off, but take care with that, as most of it is still attached and viable
 

NadineB

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Apr 23, 2020
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This is not normal, as tortoise scutes don't shed off. It might possibly be that sometime in the past he suffered a bit of shell rot and that scute lifted. It looks like most of the scute is still attached and has a blood supply.

I would just keep an eye on it to make sure it hasn't caught on anything and started to bleed. If you're worried it might catch on something as she's walking around outside you can ask a vet if he thinks it should be trimmed off, but take care with that, as most of it is still attached and viable
Thank you for the reply. This gives me some peace of mind but I will still call my vet when he opens and ask if we should bring her in. I'll definitely keep and eye on it
 
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