Scabs at Corners of a Young Elongated's Mouth

Amber

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I have a 1 year old elongated tortoise who has some pretty bad scabs/growths at the corners of her mouth. She had them on one side of her mouth when I first got her (not nearly as bad as they are now), and I took her to the vet about it. At the time she was having some eye issues that have since been resolved, and the vet was not at all concerned about her mouth.

She is being kept on newspaper (as per the instruction of my vet last year). She has a small hide on her warm side (temp of 85 degrees F and humidity of 30%). On the cooler side of the tank, the temperature stays between 70 and 75. On that side she also has a small, shallow pool of water. The humidity on that side is 40%. She has a spot light (on the warm side) as well as a long UVB light (just replaced last week).

She eats every other day and her diet consists primarily of collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, and parsley. Sometimes I give her small amounts of kale or spinach. With every other feeding, I give her softened Mazuri tortoise diet pellets. I also always spray her food to make sure that she is hydrated.

I have attached some pictures of the sores on her mouth and one picture of her enclosure. Thank you for reading, I really just don't know what to do! :(

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Yvonne G

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I've seen this before. It usually happens when the mouth is forced open bigger than natural, tearing the skin at the corners. For example, the tortoise is opening his mouth and he accidentally loses his balance and falls with the mouth stuck on whatever was next to him - some sort of freak accident.

That's a hard place to get healed because the tortoise is continually opening his mouth and tearing the scab. Keep it soft by applying an antibiotic cream like Neosporin, and cut his food up smaller so he doesn't have to open his mouth big to bite. In my opinion, keeping him on moist substrate and in a humid environment would also help to keep the skin soft and supple.
 

Amber

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Ahh, that makes sense. I was really worried that she could have some sort of virus. I will definitely try Neosporin! I have been putting chlorhexidine in her water every few days when I soak her, and that helps her some I think. She is a very voracious eater, so her continuously tearing her mouth that way would make sense. I will cut up her food a lot smaller and see how she does! =) Thank you very much for your advice!
 

stojanovski92113

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AWWW..I'm sorry, poor tortoise :( I hope that cutting the food in much smaller pieces will help out.
 

Amber

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**Update, my little girl is doing a lot better! I have been cutting her food up a lot smaller for her, and I also think maybe more kale has helped her heal faster? Maybe I am crazy haha...I know kale is very good for them, but I really tried to limit how much she (and my beardie) were eating. Recently, though, I've been adding in a lot more of it. Do you guys think that may have contributed as well? I will try to add updated pics later, if anyone is interested! =)
 

HLogic

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Please raise the humidity in the enclosure. 70% would be a much better value!
 

Amber

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Is she on newspaper because she was sick or is that her permanent bedding?

I've been keeping her on it, because the vet suggested it when I took her last year and said it would help. So kind of a bit of both? I don't want it to be permanent, but I am worried about changing it until she heals completely. Do you have a better option that would keep her from getting worse and stay more humid? I am completely open to any suggestions!
 

Amber

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Please raise the humidity in the enclosure. 70% would be a much better value!

I'm working on it. =/ I soak her regularly, but the newspaper is my challenge. Do you know of anything better that she wouldn't cut herself on again? Or I guess what would be the best way to raise her humidity and still keep her on the mend?
 

crimson_lotus

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Yeah the newspaper is a big challenge if you want to raise humidity. I personally use coco coir, you can buy it in bricks at any garden store. It's cheap, will raise humidity, your tortoise can ingest it with no issues, it doesn't mold, and you don't have to replace it as often as the others because of it. My humidity was raised considerably when I switched. At the moment my closed chamber has a steady humidity of 85%.
 

Yvonne G

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If you are totally committed to using a substrate like newspaper, how about a clean terry towel? You can keep the towel moist to raise the humidity.
 
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