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Shell Indentation?

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 5:50 pm
by Gerstein
Hello All! So I was checking up on Shelldon, and I noticed that there was a small, circular indentation on the bottom of one of her marginal scutes...

This has me a bit worried. I do not think it is soft-shell, as the indentation has stayed a while (i.e., it doesn't poke back out), and poking at the rest of the shell does nothing (the shell itself is fairly hard, the vet himself said that the shell underneath the shed scutes seems very healthy when I took her in for a checkup in march).

I'm not sure if I accidentally pinched the scute while checking up on her, but again, I do not see how I could have done it while handling her, as the shell itself is fairly hard... this is the only indentation I can find.

I'm not sure if the scute is loose or not, but when I poked the top of the scute itself, water seeped out, which tends to be a precursor or early shedding sign. It also felt like there was an air space in the scute when I poked it, another sign of near shedding, and it could be that the indentation is simply an uneven distribution of the air in between the scute? Its my best guess.... Shelldon's scutes have gradually been loosening, with the carapace scutes near the head shedding first, and a lot of the scutes in the back remaining, but they are gradually getting ready to shed. Some of the scutes are shedding somewhat irregularly (which the vet is aware of and said not to worry about), and some of the ones near the head are still shedding. This scute in question that has the indent is one that is near the head, but it is difficult to tell whether it is coming loose or not, I only have the "water seeping" and "feels like there is an air space" hint to go on.

There have not been any other oddities. I have changed her diet with more green leaf lettuce instead of romaine lettuce, and less carrots, but I don't see how that would contribute at all, especially in only in a few weeks. The only other thing I have noticed is that she has been basking a lot more. She usually has a focused bask in the late morning, late afternoonish, and she still does, but she also has burst basks, where she goes up for a few minutes and then dives, and goes back up and so on. While this "burst basking" is normal in and of itself, I've noticed that Shelldon has been "Burst Basking" a lot more, especially after being fed.

I really do not think it is soft-shell, as Shelldon gets a lot of calcium from veggies, her water conditioner, somewhat form her pellets, and her big-ol' calcium block... Her shell is very hard, and even the indentation itself is hard, she basks with UVB frequently, the only conclusion I can reach is that it is a scute-shedding thing, but I am not sure. This is new. Any help would be appreciated.

The indentation in question is pictured below. The picture is kind of blurry, but you can see it in the middle of the scute pictured.

Thank you

What is the water temperature? 78 Degrees F
Did you use a thermometer? Yes
Are you using a water heater? Yes
How much water is in there? About 23.3 Gallons
Current Tank: 40 Gallon Tank Breeder
Tank Width: 17 In. W

Total Tank Depth: Around 17 In.H

Water Depth: 10 In. (Add 4 In. to Carapace Length)

Length: About 48 In L

Are you using a water conditioner? Yes
Are you using any filtration? Yes

What is the basking temperature? 88.2 Degrees F
Is there a basking light? Yes
Is there a basking platform that is easy to climb on? Yes
What kind is it or what is it made out of? Oasis Turtle Ramp (Large)
Is there a UVB light? Yes

What have you been trying to feed it? Vegetables and Pellets
When was the last time your turtle ate? This afternoon

How big is the tank/pond/enclosure?
Is the tank near a window? No
Is the tank in a room with a lot of activity? No

Have you read the Basic Care section? Yes
Have you searched the forums for similar situations? Yes

Is there any other unusual activity/symptoms? No

Re: Shell Indentation?

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 3:19 am
by steve
What do you mean "poked the top of the scute"?

Are you certain it's new? I'm not sure what would cause an indentation absent of any softness or breach in the shell.

Re: Shell Indentation?

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 3:27 am
by Gerstein
Sorry, I will elaborate:

1. I sometimes poke a scute from above to see if water seeps out from it, which usually indicates that the scute is starting to come loose. It did a few times with this scute in question.

2. When I say its new, I mean that this is a new situation. I noticed this just today, but for all I know, it may have been there for a bit...

I talked to the vet, and he said that if it were softshell, it would respond (move) to touch. This does not. He said it was likely healing shell from bumping it on something. He said that indents can occur that way. He also said softshell would be much more widespread then just the one area.

More reason to upgrade the tank as soon as I can. Nothing major, but I want Shelldon to be coomfy-woomfy XD

Re: Shell Indentation?

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 10:08 pm
by steve
I really don't see indents just happening like that. There's a little bit of flexibility, so a bump should go back to normal or break. It's probably not an issue, but it's good you're on top of this.