The Russian Tortoise 
Agrionemys horsfieldii ( Testudo horsfieldii)  

Shell Rot

 

Most Russian Tortoises are wild caught. They frequently develop shell rot during importation. This leads to scarring of the shell. I am often asked "How do I tell if its a scar or if its active shell rot?"

The best answer is if in doubt, make an appointment with a qualified veterinarian.

Here are some pictures to help identify normal shell deformities. Click on the photo to view it full size.

 

 

 

 

 

 

healed dry rot in a russian tortoise

click on picture to enlarge

There are three areas of interest on this shell:

1: In the center of the picture is a white area that resembles bone. This is "dry" shell rot. This tortoise came out of hibernation with it. In time the white patch will peel off leaving healthy shell underneath. This process can take year or longer.

2: This creamy area between the scutes is new growth.

3: This area (upper left) appears "rough" and uneven. This is scarring from an old case of "wet" shell rot. The shell will always have this appearance. The shell also appears "shiny". I sprayed the shell with water to improve contrast.

More pictures at the photo gallery

 

  
   
 

severe russian tortoise shell rot

click on picture to enlarge

 

 

Severe plastron shell rot. White tissue is resolved.....the rest is still healing.

Submitted by Chris Tabaka DVM

 

 

 

close up

Submitted by Chris Tabaka DVM

 

 

 

 

close up of russian tortoise shell rot

click on picture to enlarge

 

 

Box Turtle shell rot

click on picture to enlarge

 

 

Box Turtle with severe rot.

The bone has rotted away. All the dead tissue has been removed. This turtle is under the care of Pamela Hurley.

 

 

 

 

Box Turtle

After 2 weeks the shell is starting to heal. Eventually the shell will grow back

 

 

Box Turtle shell rot after 2 weeks

click on picture to enlarge

 

 


 

click on picture to enlarge

 

 

An old Russian Tortoise Male

This tortoise was treated for over a year for active shell rot.  The extensive pealing was actually just part of the healing process. A year after treatment stopped it is still pealing and flaking

 

 

 

An old Russian Tortoise Male

Another view

 

 



click on picture to enlarge

 

 

click on picture to enlarge

 

 

An old Russian Tortoise Male

Close up view

 

                                        

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