What’s wrong with my tortoise

dmongrut94

New Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Florida
Hello! I’m new here and I had a question. I own a red foot tortoise and she’s 3 now but she started showing white all over her shell. I can’t tell if it is dryness or rot. I been brushing her lightly with distilled water for two days but is not coming off.
Does anyone know what could it be and how to get it off?

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Yossarian

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Tortoise Club
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Wales
I cant see much there, nothing obviously to worry about. Torts dont really get rot on their carapace so its very very unlikely to be anything like that. From your description it sounds like shell dryness/natural wear and tear. Soaking daily and increasing humidity are the answers but this is not a critical health issue, just an indication that you need to adjust the torts environment. The pyramidding growth alos indicates a too dry habitat.
 

Dustin43

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Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
18
Location (City and/or State)
Batavia
She has a pretty shell, do you keep her in a sealed enclosure? I keep mine in an open cage but I keep an eye on the humidity. My male has similar whiteish on his shell. I always assumed it was just hard water or minerals left over from soaking.. but could be dryness too, I just realized that mine needs more humidity and am in the process of building another enclosure for him.. imo the pix don't look like anything horrible, but I'm not a professional, just wanted to tell you mine has similar White on his shell
 

Dustin43

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
18
Location (City and/or State)
Batavia
I cant see much there, nothing obviously to worry about. Torts dont really get rot on their carapace so its very very unlikely to be anything like that. From your description it sounds like shell dryness/natural wear and tear. Soaking daily and increasing humidity are the answers but this is not a critical health issue, just an indication that you need to adjust the torts environment. The pyramidding growth alos indicates a too dry habitat.
Mine has similar pyramiding on his shell, and like I posted just realized I wasn't giving him enough humidity. I've also read that too much protein, not enough/ too much UV and calcium.
 

Yossarian

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Messages
583
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
She has a pretty shell, do you keep her in a sealed enclosure? I keep mine in an open cage but I keep an eye on the humidity. My male has similar whiteish on his shell. I always assumed it was just hard water or minerals left over from soaking.. but could be dryness too, I just realized that mine needs more humidity and am in the process of building another enclosure for him.. imo the pix don't look like anything horrible, but I'm not a professional, just wanted to tell you mine has similar White on his shell
This is a good point to mention and I forgot to highlight it so thanks. White staining and dustiness on the shell can also be hard mineral stains from the watersupply. This is normal and the tort needs these minerals in the water but it can leave marks on the shell if not rinsed off with rainwater or distilled or something without the minerals in it.
 

Vintage

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Joined
Nov 6, 2019
Messages
26
Location (City and/or State)
Toronto
My tort had a bit of white crust on her carapace and I just gently scratched it off with a fingernail. It never came back. I soak her every day because when I got her, she was a bit pyramided and her plastron scutes are concave (sunken). I think the white stuff was just hard water scale from soakings and a humid environment.
 

dmongrut94

New Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Florida
I cant see much there, nothing obviously to worry about. Torts dont really get rot on their carapace so its very very unlikely to be anything like that. From your description it sounds like shell dryness/natural wear and tear. Soaking daily and increasing humidity are the answers but this is not a critical health issue, just an indication that you need to adjust the torts environment. The pyramidding growth alos indicates a too dry habitat.
I soak her daily but I did increase the humidity more now as your advice. I hope that helps her shell. I noticed her being way too white and I got worried. I know rotting and fungus is common on tortoises.
 

dmongrut94

New Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Florida
She has a pretty shell, do you keep her in a sealed enclosure? I keep mine in an open cage but I keep an eye on the humidity. My male has similar whiteish on his shell. I always assumed it was just hard water or minerals left over from soaking.. but could be dryness too, I just realized that mine needs more humidity and am in the process of building another enclosure for him.. imo the pix don't look like anything horrible, but I'm not a professional, just wanted to tell you mine has similar White on his shell
She has an open glass enclosure but she’s out roaming the house most of the day.
No worries, thank you for the advise anyway! I seen too many videos of the rotting and fungus and I freaked out for mine.
 

dmongrut94

New Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Florida
My tort had a bit of white crust on her carapace and I just gently scratched it off with a fingernail. It never came back. I soak her every day because when I got her, she was a bit pyramided and her plastron scutes are concave (sunken). I think the white stuff was just hard water scale from soakings and a humid environment.
I was afraid to try scratching some of it off. I tried brushing it a little but so far it has not gone away. I hope with the humidity being better it might improve. I will let you know if it helps. Thank you!
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
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Jul 16, 2014
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South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I was afraid to try scratching some of it off. I tried brushing it a little but so far it has not gone away. I hope with the humidity being better it might improve. I will let you know if it helps. Thank you!
Don't scratch or scrub anything too hard.
Tortoise shells are more sensitive than you might realize.
An open topped enclosure will never be adequate for a Redfoot, and roaming the house is just wrong for numerous reasons.
 

Dustin43

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
18
Location (City and/or State)
Batavia
She has an open glass enclosure but she’s out roaming the house most of the day.
No worries, thank you for the advise anyway! I seen too many videos of the rotting and fungus and I freaked out for mine.
Yes I just posted on here about my RF, he is losing the red spurs on his front legs, I found out he was too dry and didn't have enough humidity. They need around 80% which is alot, I just ordered a small digital humidity gauge off Amazon for 5$ I think it will help me keep him more comfortable... Good luck
 
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