Sick Yellowfoot Tortoise

Sick Yellowfoot Tortoise




My name is Caden. I don't know if you will be able to help. I have an adult Yellowfoot that is sick and has the vet stumped. The skin around her neck, shoulders, and rearend is peeling, white/yellow, broken open in places, and has an awful smell. The infection has spread to her eyes. She can't really open them, and I haven't seen her eat recently. I have her separated now, but the illness has not spread to any of my other tortoises. I have looked online, but I can't find anything that resembles her symptoms. Have you seen or heard of anything like that before? 

Thank you.



I would treat this like a Fungal infection and a secondary bacterial infection.

Taking blood might be diagnostic.

Taking a Fungal and bacterial Cultures can be diagnostic, obviously we are going to see contaminants 

but I am looking more for fungal results.

If you're going to take the cultras take them before treating the skin.


She wont eat with her eyes closed. If too much time goes by you will have to tube feed her.

Typically we hydrate Sub-q in these tortoises but in this case you can't use the skin 

Try getting her to drink from a bowel.
Maybe she will eat watermelon.

If she is not drinking we may have to tube feed sooner than later.

keep her warm and dry 


The Hydrogen Proxied has the biggest effect 


I wrote this article on fungal infections for Iguanas but tortoises would be treated the same way.

Tortoises have much less skin and it's harder to gain access to those areas.
I use 6% Hydrogen Peroxide but I would start at 3% on your yellow foot 

Use the typical store concentration of 3% (not the 6% as we do on Iguanas) 

we may increase concentration in the future but let's get started on all the other treatments 


Following is my Iguana Article on treating Fungal infections 

Basically I have explained the different in treatment above 


Sam Pascucci 

Fungal Treatment for Iguanas 

Both Cyclura and Green Iguanas can get severe skin fungal infections.

Most fungal infections start on the underside of the animals 

this area includes the base of the tail including the rear legs and thighs and along the belly 

They will also get fungal infections on and in their fingers.

They can get skin fungal infections anywhere on their bodys.
The reason most infections start at the hip and tail region is that this area is typically 

contaminated with feces.  

It is important to keep cage tops (or any where the anaimsl sit) clean and disinfected as possible 


Reptile fungal infections are treated with antiFungal drugs.

The key to curing fungal infraction is to treat the animal with both antifungal medications as well as antibiotics. 


This is because fungal infections open the skin to bacteria which invades tissues beyond the Fungal infection.

Its a dual infection (bacterial and fungal)  


We have used many medications and combinations of medications over many years 

Here is the way I treat iguana fungal infections.

Typical Hydrogen Peroxide is concentrated at 3% 

however we use 6% with better results.


Spray the Hydrogen Peroxide directly on the fungal area everyday 


For more severe fungal infections you can soak the animals. 

Using a 27 gallon Plastic tube (Home Depot) 

we fill the bottom of the tube with an inch or so with 12% Hydrogen peroxide 

and let the animal sit in their for 20 minutes 


Cyclura will readily eat medication wrapped or soaked in Bread.


The antibiotic we prefer is Cephalexin (Kelex) Oral Suspension 

this antibiotic is connected in the skin yielding the best results

the dose rate is 40mg/kg daily


We have also used trimethoprim antibiotics 30mg/kg daily

and Cipro 10mg/kg  every 48hrs

Baytril 5mg/KG 


We continue antibiotics for 30 days 


The fungal medication we have used is Itraconazole 10mg/kg daily 

Itraconazole comes in a pill,  we open the pill and sort out a percentage of the pill 

1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 depending on the size of the animals it may be easier to 

deliver the medication every other day 


Example: we will soak the bread with the Cephalexin (because it is a liquid) 

and then we will open one pill of itraconazole and sprinkle that right on the breed with the antibiotic.

 and give him a 1/2 a pill per day.


We continue fungal medications until we see clear skin 


Voriconazole is also a very good medication for treating fungal infections.

You can also add Terbinafine 10mg/kg fungal medication to this cocktail.


As the fungus cures you will notice large scabs forming where the old skin was.

these skin scabs fall off sometimes in chunks and reveals the soft new non-scaled skin underneath 


Htprogen Proxed 12%






Sam Pacucci



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