Soft shell (normal?)

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Chris.Todd.1991

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Our 9 month old Chief has over the past 2 days gotten softer shell. Keep in mind Ive only had him for a week and 2 days and over the last 3 days vie raised his humidity as it seems it is best. I think it's because of the higher humidity but I just wanna make sure its okay for him. The humidity is currently at 50% near his basking end and around 70% in his humid hide area, is this acceptable and possibly the cause of the softer shell?
Also I've been spraying him 3 or 4 times daily and giving him the daily bath in warm water. He's getting spring mix to eat until his grasses grow enough to feed him and every 2 days he gets some grassland food from zoomed. I've also been dusting the food with calcium every day or 2 and leaving cuttlebone in there as well.

Thanks,
Chris
 

Neal

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Are you able to give him some time in the sun or source of UVB? What are your temperatures like. The higher humidity may have an effect on the shell feeling softer, much like when our fingernails are more flexible when wet.
 

Yvonne G

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Yes to what Neal has said...your calcium won't do any good without the expensive UVB light bulb or else some real sunshine. No, soft shell is NOT normal and you have to act immediately to get it hardened up. This is a very serious problem and should not be taken lightly.
 

Tom

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I agree with Neal and Yvonne here. You answered every question, EXCEPT what you are doing for UV. Sooooo, what are you doing for UV?
 

Chris.Todd.1991

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I've got a Solar Glo 125 watt on the one side of his habitat. It's around 92-95 under the light and 80 on the other side, the reason I asked was this didn't happen for the first days I had him when he was kept relatively dry...it seemed to only occur once I raised the humidity and temperature in the room.

And as for sun, the temps in Jersey are not really tortoise weather but I was able to get him out for 10 minutes on Tuesday, other then that he basks under the lamp for a decent part of the day.
 

Tom

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Sounds like you've got things set-up the right way. Might just be a case of subjectivity. This will be hard to diagnose over the internet. So is his shell softer than a diamond, but harder than a rotten peach? At 9 months they all have some "give" to the shell, especially the plastron, but it shouldn't feel "squishy". More like thick, stiff leather. The carapace should pretty pretty firm without much flexibility at this point.

I hope these descriptions help.
 

Chris.Todd.1991

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Yeah, if I would have to say I'd say somewhere close to a leathery feel, its noticeable if your handling him for a bit but thats about it. I just seemed out of the ordinary to me, his appetite is still humongous and his poo is still how it should be.
I figure I'm going to lower his humidity tomorrow, keep giving him calcium with his food, and see if there is any difference at all.
 
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