Sores on Rear Legs

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TanknTurbo

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This is Turbo, my 3 year old Antakyan greek, and we are just distraught over the sores on his back legs! Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated!

I *think* they are caused by the older skin not shedding properly, and instead it is thickening or layering, then coming off in too-thick of a chunk after soaking. It's looking worse since I soaked him yesterday and the skin softened even more. Could it be that we're not soaking him enough? He gets a 15-20 minute bath once to 3 times a week, with a walk-in water bowl available to him 24/7.

Since the crevice-like sore appeared on his left leg a few days ago I feel like the leg has become mildly swollen, and now the edge of the carapace might be rubbing on it a bit. His right back leg looks like the left one did last month, so I'm afraid his right leg will also have the same fate.

When I noticed the skin was looking extra dry and wasn't shedding consistently (the thickening affect I mentioned) about two or three months ago, I've been using Turtle Vitashell on the skin to help keep it from drying out. I hope that hasn't contributed to the problem!

Do y'all think I should get him in for a vet check, or is there a product I could purchase to help combat these sores? His activities have not changed in the least since this issue has developed, and he doesn't appear to be in pain or have sensitivity when I apply the moisturizer.

We follow the recommended diet for Greeks w/ calcium supplement, and for UVB/UVA we use zoo-med Powersun. Our other Greek, Tank (who we now know is a Turkish Greek thanks to Danny!) seems healthy as an ox and doesn't have any skin issues whatsoever. For substrate we use a mixture of play sand, soil, and reptile wood chips.

Thank you very much for reading.
TurboInjury1.jpg TurboInjury2.jpg TurboInjury3.jpg TurboInjury4.jpg
 
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Meg90

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One, I would stop using the vita shell. Its probably NOT helping at all. If you want to put something on him, use antibiotic ointment. I think he could use a treatment of that because if its swelling, it could be infected.

And two, I would quarantine him. Get a new bin and use paper town as the substrate for two weeks or so and see if it isn't something in his environment that's causing it...Maybe low humidity?

Once you have eliminated one possible explanation (like the substrate, etc) you should be able to tell if its from diet, or maybe even the other tortoise? (I don't remember if they are housed together)

If the swelling gets any worse, or he gets more symptoms (lethargic etc) I would make a vet appointment. You could even make one now, if you are so inclined.
 

lgdpt

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I know some males get pretty raw in the back of the rear legs from mating (the shell rubs the back of the legs). Has he been mounting lately?
 

Meg90

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Also, Turbo looks alot like a little lady to me...but I am not sure if 3yrs is old enough to tell...He seems young to be mounting, but I agree, that could be the cause especially if you are housing them together.

Going back over your other posts, I am starting to think you are still housing them together.

It looks like because of this, Turbo's growth has been severely stunted when compared to Tank. I say this because they were both the same size when you got them as hatchlings, but somehow, Tank has been growing at a normal rate, and Turbo has not.

If they are still together, please seperate them. There is obvioulsy some un-seen bullying going on, and probably resource hogging by the larger, more dominant tortoise. Little Turbo has probably had a tough time of it....
 

TanknTurbo

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Thank you for your responses - we will cease the use of vitashell! And yes, the two have been separated for a few weeks now - they are both very much enjoying their own habitats. Tank is definitely extremely dominant, he even chases our cats and when he gets close enough he starts trying to ram them as well! He is very fiesty and very much a bully, the opposite of sweet little Turbo.

And Turbo does a slightly concave plasteron, but I will take some new pics of his plasteron and a better one of his rear. We've never seen him mount anything, but I noticed that the carapice rubs on that leg when he is laying out with his legs flat behind him.

And what substrate should I use - did you mean paper towel? And yes maybe low humidity...we live in Austin, TX, but they are housed 99% indoors in AC. Right now we're in an apartment and our balcony has a lot of direct sun and we're afraid of it getting too hot for them out there.
 

Meg90

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Can you post a picture of his new enclosure?

And I know you said you are using ecoearth and sand AND bark chips....I would try without the bark. Sometimes, even the reptile bark is made out of fir (has such a red color) maybe he is allergic to it?

I say paper towel (or town lol! I just caught the mistake---i was typing quickly! :) )because you want to keep his wounds sterile while they heal, and have no chance of substrate getting into them. I would put some anti biotic ointment on him as well, just to be safe.

Can you run a humidifier in the tortoise's room? AC can be very drying as well....

I am glad you separated them. I bet little Turbo will finally start to grow again :)

His shell also doesn't look like its dipping down in the back the way a males would. But Danny (the master) would be more helpful than I am! I've had a few good IDs in the past few weeks, so I know that I am learning...but its just a suspicion because I know Stazz's Greek Tallulah, is only about a year or two older than Turbo, and she is definitely a girl, and their tails look so similar...
 

TanknTurbo

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Here are some pics I just took of his enclosure (in a 40 gallon tank right now - in the next few months when we're in a house they'll be in a tortoise table). Also here are some new pics of his plasteron and rear end.


Meg90 said:
Can you post a picture of his new enclosure?

And I know you said you are using ecoearth and sand AND bark chips....I would try without the bark. Sometimes, even the reptile bark is made out of fir (has such a red color) maybe he is allergic to it?

I say paper towel (or town lol! I just caught the mistake---i was typing quickly! :) )because you want to keep his wounds sterile while they heal, and have no chance of substrate getting into them. I would put some anti biotic ointment on him as well, just to be safe.

Can you run a humidifier in the tortoise's room? AC can be very drying as well....

I am glad you separated them. I bet little Turbo will finally start to grow again :)

His shell also doesn't look like its dipping down in the back the way a males would. But Danny (the master) would be more helpful than I am! I've had a few good IDs in the past few weeks, so I know that I am learning...but its just a suspicion because I know Stazz's Greek Tallulah, is only about a year or two older than Turbo, and she is definitely a girl, and their tails look so similar...
 

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Meg90

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Your enclosure does look dry... I would yank the bark, and re-do the substrate completely to see if that was the problem. Once you have fresh eco and sand, keep it moist, not sopping, but not dry.

I also am REALLY thinking that Turbo is in fact, a female.
 

TanknTurbo

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That sounds good, we'll make those changes ASAP. Also what kind / brand of antiobiotic do you suggest, anything I can buy over the counter?
 

Meg90

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I think an over the counter ointment would be fine...
 

Crazy1

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Hi TanknTurbo,
Seems like you are giving good advice Meg.
I too would stop using the vita shell. This contains wax and if used frequently will build up on your tort and his shell is living and breathing.

Abraded leg:
I am not sure why your tort has an abrasion on his legs. But now that he does I would place Neosporin ointment or any triple antibiotic ointment on it and try and keep it as clean as you can. If it is raw or his leg is swollen I would make a trip to the vet.

Substrate:
What you have in your tank looks like the Reptibark. If that is what it is, it is made of fir/pine. This when heated can cause eye and respiratory problems. The substrate as Meg has stated could be eco-earth (also called Bed a Beast) and sand a mixture of 70/30 or 50/50 or you can even use yard dirt if it has no chemicals. dampen the substrate thoroughly making sure it is just damp. The heat lamps will dry the top layer so your little one is not sitting on a damp/wet surface which will prevent shell rot. But it will also give him the option of digging down into a damp area. You could even do half of your substrate damp and the other half dryer so that it creates an even more diverse micro climate.

Water bowl:
Your water dish seems a little small for Turbo. He really needs a larger bowl that he can get into and comfortably stretch out in. One that is less deep. The water should come up to his bridge, the place were his upper and lower shells meet. He should be able to comfortably hold his head out of the water. You might want to try a shallow plant saucer, or a water dish that has a ramp to make it easy for him to get in and out. Something like the Fluker's Groovy Jacuzzi which can be seen here http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=19609

Feeding:
I would get a small tile or piece of slate (cheapest at Home Depot or Lowes) for him to eat on. that way his greens are not in the substrate.


Oh and did I tell you Turbo is a cutie.
 

egyptiandan

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Any triple antibiotic ointment will be fine. :) I would say your problem is the substrate. She's (yup she :D) not getting the traction to walk with her legs underneath her, so they are splaying out the back and the carapace is rubbing on them.
Like Meg said, for now I'd keep her on paper towels or a bath towel. That way she'll get traction to walk and it will keep the sores clean while they are healing.

Danny
 

Meg90

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I'm glad my advice was sound! Keep us updated on her :)D) progress!
 

TanknTurbo

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Thank you everyone, we'll definitely keep you posted on HER progress - I can't believe she's a girl! I know I mentioned it before, but Turbo was supposed to be a temp sexed male Hermanns and Tank (previously known as Tilly!) was a temp sexed female Hermanns! I wonder if this is in part why Tank was always mounting her (same age but adult size). Poor little girl. I'll post pics again tomorrow of both Tank and Turbo to get another sex / ID confirmation with updated pics for Tank.

The substrate will be replaced with paper towel tomorrow until the wounds heal, then we will definitely take your advice, Crazy1, and will change the substrate completely. Her previous enclosure seems to have more appropriate substrate with the play sand / soil mixture and less Reptibark, so we'll go back to that with your dampening suggestion after she heals up.

We really appreciate everything you guys do!
 

Crazy1

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TanknTurbo, please omit the reptibark all together. It will not be needed and the toxins won't be in the pen at all. :) If you prefer a dryer substrate you can fix her a humid hide by attaching a sponge to the top of a hide she sleeps in. I personally like 1/2 of the hide moister so the humidity is higher for them especially when they are young.
 

tortoisenerd

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Ouch! I second the water dish Robyn recommended--my tort loves it! Just a note--even the XL is not very big--should work ok for a Greek though. Here is my 2.5 inch tort next to it. He'll actually hang out in it for 5-10 minutes if it's warm.

I hope the ointment and moisture helps! Hopefully you can figure out how the sores happened though.

2d18fiv.jpg
 

Stazz

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Aw shame poor Turbo, I'm sure she'll be fine once you make the changes and with the ointment :) Looks ouchie though. Tallula will be happy to know her name came up in a post :p
 

Meg90

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How's she doing now? Any new pics?
 
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