Why my yearling red foot tortoise has a pungent smell?

willee638

Active Member
Location (City and/or State)
HK
I have recently acquired a little RF yearling tortoise from a friend & from day one it had a strong odour "stink" mainly on it's plastron, I noticed this pungent smell became more prominent even in the enclosure's substrates where another red foot was kept also as this wasn't so prior. I force soak the tortoises once or twice daily, the odour seems to go away afterwards but returns sometime later, I put some Epsom salts in it's soaking water thinking a fungal infection might be the cause.
 

willee638

Active Member
Location (City and/or State)
HK
Yes, as you might have guessed it looks perfectly normal. It does poop regularly & eats normally, I would think it's just this particular tortoise that smells.
 

Attachments

  • DSC_2075.JPG
    DSC_2075.JPG
    839.3 KB · Views: 60

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Personally there are a few white dry flaky lines and then some that look very dark and cracking and some that look cracked.
I would use some antifungal cream like what is sold for athletes foot and use on the lines for about a week or two and see if any improvement on lines and smell.
 

willee638

Active Member
Location (City and/or State)
HK
Personally there are a few white dry flaky lines and then some that look very dark and cracking and some that look cracked.
I would use some antifungal cream like what is sold for athletes foot and use on the lines for about a week or two and see if any improvement on lines and smell.
Thank you, what you described is close to what I see. I have used an antifungal cream call "Canesten" applied it only on 2 occasions directly on the lines of the skirt of it's plastron & once soaked in Epsom salts water which "isn't actually salt"& the smell has seem to be reduced somewhat, I will continue to apply the antifungal cream for a week & it should help.
 

maggie3fan

Well-Known Member
Location (City and/or State)
Crazy Train
Personally there are a few white dry flaky lines and then some that look very dark and cracking and some that look cracked.
I would use some antifungal cream like what is sold for athletes foot and use on the lines for about a week or two and see if any improvement on lines and smell.
Are you talking about the dark wrinkled spot where oh hell, his belly button? umbilical? I think that really dark spot looks odd
 

willee638

Active Member
Location (City and/or State)
HK
Are you talking about the dark wrinkled spot where oh hell, his belly button? umbilical? I think that really dark spot looks odd
Well, the underside of the tortoise is where the smell is coming from. I wasn't aware of anything unusual with the dark lines underneath, prior to it coming into my possession it was kept with several other yearlings in an enclosure. More observation & treatment is needed over the next few days, I don't have much experience with shell deformities.
 

willee638

Active Member
Location (City and/or State)
HK
Are you talking about the dark wrinkled spot where oh hell, his belly button? umbilical? I think that really dark spot looks odd
Thanks for bringing this to my attention, after closer examination now these dark patches & lines looks suspicious as my other RF tortoises are clean & clear looking without discolorations. Can this be an infection developed in the yolk sac?
 

maggie3fan

Well-Known Member
Location (City and/or State)
Crazy Train
Well, the underside of the tortoise is where the smell is coming from. I wasn't aware of anything unusual with the dark lines underneath, prior to it coming into my possession it was kept with several other yearlings in an enclosure. More observation & treatment is needed over the next few days, I don't have much experience with shell deformities.
Thanks for bringing this to my attention, after closer examination now these dark patches & lines looks suspicious as my other RF tortoises are clean & clear looking without discolorations. Can this be an infection developed in the yolk sac?
Sorry, I don't have any knowledge of that kinds stuff, breeding and real medical.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
I circled all the spots that seem off to me specially for such a young one. I would treat all dark and/or dry white areas.
Screenshot_20210305-073803_Photo Editor.jpg
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
You might want to switch to an antibiotic cream. If after a couple weeks of the antifungal it doesn't seem to be going away or if it gets worse before then, switch to an antibiotic cream for a couple weeks.
 

ZenHerper

Well-Known Member
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
...Epsom salts water which "isn't actually salt"...

Sodium chloride is only one kind of "salt".

"Epsom salt", or magnesium sulfate, is irritating to skin. It can cause or exacerbate skin infection.

When ingested, it can cause a number of serious side effects.

It is not a salt compound recommended for soaking reptiles.
 

willee638

Active Member
Location (City and/or State)
HK
Thanks to all for your useful advice & input, I think I've finally figured out what was plaguing this little RF tortoise in my care that had a pungent ordour & dark patch on it's plastron, after it's morning soak I discovered 2 pieces of poop in the water & to my horror they appeared to be swimming & wiggling in the water rather rapidly. The cause of the smell I suspect was from intestinal parasitic infections because on it's arrival I noticed the hatchling was unusually light weight & was very active almost appeared like restless, but now I hope it will completely recover after excreting the parasites out of it's system.
 

Donna Albu

Member
5 Year Member
Thanks to all for your useful advice & input, I think I've finally figured out what was plaguing this little RF tortoise in my care that had a pungent ordour & dark patch on it's plastron, after it's morning soak I discovered 2 pieces of poop in the water & to my horror they appeared to be swimming & wiggling in the water rather rapidly. The cause of the smell I suspect was from intestinal parasitic infections because on it's arrival I noticed the hatchling was unusually light weight & was very active almost appeared like restless, but now I hope it will completely recover after excreting the parasites out of it's system.
VERY likely there are more where those came from. Youl'll need a fecal sample for the vet and to have them identified. Then there will be medicine to kill the parasites, and more medicine to kill those that hatch before they are mature enough to lay more eggs.
 

William Lee Kohler

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Eugene, OR
VERY likely there are more where those came from. Youl'll need a fecal sample for the vet and to have them identified. Then there will be medicine to kill the parasites, and more medicine to kill those that hatch before they are mature enough to lay more eggs.

BUT if you go to the vet ONLY go to an exotic animal vet experienced with tortoises as a regular one may be well meaning but ignorant of proper care for our pets. Deworming meds can be very harmful or fatal to a tortoise if administered in error and especially to a very young and fragile tortoise. And don't allow the vitamin A shot.
 

willee638

Active Member
Location (City and/or State)
HK
BUT if you go to the vet ONLY go to an exotic animal vet experienced with tortoises as a regular one may be well meaning but ignorant of proper care for our pets. Deworming meds can be very harmful or fatal to a tortoise if administered in error and especially to a very young and fragile tortoise. And don't allow the vitamin A shot.
I agree totally, an ordinary veterinarian of mammal animals like our cats & dogs isn't qualified to treat reptiles, amphibians or even fishes. I might even have a better chance at finding parasiticides in the pet shop where they sold me the tortoises.
 

William Lee Kohler

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Eugene, OR
I agree totally, an ordinary veterinarian of mammal animals like our cats & dogs isn't qualified to treat reptiles, amphibians or even fishes. I might even have a better chance at finding parasiticides in the pet shop where they sold me the tortoises.
Not a good idea. A certain amount of parasites is normal. An overload caused by stress or other problems can be dealt with but needs a proper vet evaluation. De worming when not needed can be very harmful to the tortoise. Even if needed using the wrong one or the wrong dosage can be harmful.
 
Top