NewTortMom1

New Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2022
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
New York
Hi everyone!
I would appreciate any suggestions and insights. I run a animal rescue, primarily dogs and farm animals. We occasionally take in reptiles, though I am no expert. Our policy with reptiles is that we reach out to other reputable exotic rescues and if we take them in, they go straight to the vet. It’s so rare we take in reptiles. One day ago we were contacted by someone who threatened to put three Sulcata babies into the woods if we didn’t take them that day since he was going on vacation for the holidays. It’s not my job to call his bluff so I agreed and picked them up immediately. Called the exotics vet and they cannot get me in until after the holidays. I also ordered a tortoise house (though I know they need much more space!) right now they are in separate bins on wee wee pads. We placed a large Chewy order and are waiting for everything to arrive. We had a new UVB and new bulb and heat lamp. I ran to the store to buy tortoise food and they have been munching on Kale, Mustard and Dandelion Greens which is just what I had on hand. I intend on building a custom enclosure and when they get older I will build a proper outside and very secure enclosure. They are eating a lot and very active. However, I noticed a very thin and dry pink line straight down the middle of their plastron. I of course googled this and unsure if it could be Septicemia? I’m very aware of the pyramiding and indents all over their plastron. Oh lord, I’m aware how the horrid conditions were when I picked them up. They were living in a 20 gallon tank in this dude’s garage, but he handed them to me in a little plastic to go bin. One thing at a time. Does this look like Septicemia? They all have it. It’s faint. And just thin down the center of their tummy’s. There are no splotches of red anywhere. Not lethargic or acting sick. Nothing that looks like Septicemia and they are acting “healthy”. I examined their necks and shells. They are very active, solid BIG poops, drinking, eating, basking. I soaked them for 30 minutes. I guess I won’t have any certain answers on what it is until after their vet visit, but of course I’m worrying. I’m a worrier.

Also they are on the small side. Ughhh I was told they are almost a year old 😭 Can I help them? Like I said, they are acting fine.

Yes, I am running to the pet shop tomorrow to buy proper bedding and new lighting. This was just what I had on hand and I’m doing plenty of research. Once they get to the vet I will begin building a very large indoor enclosure or purchase something large from Tractor supply.

Thank you.
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,330
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
They don't look too bad. They can all three live together for a while. It won't be a problem until they get much bigger.

Vets don't know much about tortoise care. They learn from the same wrong sources as everyone else. Here is the correct care info, and questions are welcome:
 

SinLA

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Apr 19, 2022
Messages
473
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
long time rescuer here, my advice is two things. Read the FAQ here on how to keep them and then focus short term on getting them safe and kept in a “not making it worse” manner. Make sure they’re in an environment where they are warm enough, on the right kind of lighting and substrate, and the right food. Pet stores will NOT give you good advice, you’re better off just on this forum and then pretty much anywhere else


Second focus on finding a rescue that CAN handle them long-term, or help you place them. I’ve seen a few listed on the East Coast here so you may want to search through though threads using the search functionality. Bottom line the amount of time, effort, and money it would take you to be able to properly keep three Sulcatas in NY long term is not small and will eat (devour!) into your other rescue activities. Unless THIS is what you want to do long-term my advice is spend your energy finding somewhere else to take them properly.

Also you’ll hear a lot on this forum about how vets are not particularly specialized in tortoises even though many claim they are so I would read through these threads and get advice here before spending a lot of money at the vet that may not do you any good.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,330
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi everyone!
I would appreciate any suggestions and insights. I run a animal rescue, primarily dogs and farm animals. We occasionally take in reptiles, though I am no expert. Our policy with reptiles is that we reach out to other reputable exotic rescues and if we take them in, they go straight to the vet. It’s so rare we take in reptiles. One day ago we were contacted by someone who threatened to put three Sulcata babies into the woods if we didn’t take them that day since he was going on vacation for the holidays. It’s not my job to call his bluff so I agreed and picked them up immediately. Called the exotics vet and they cannot get me in until after the holidays. I also ordered a tortoise house (though I know they need much more space!) right now they are in separate bins on wee wee pads. We placed a large Chewy order and are waiting for everything to arrive. We had a new UVB and new bulb and heat lamp. I ran to the store to buy tortoise food and they have been munching on Kale, Mustard and Dandelion Greens which is just what I had on hand. I intend on building a custom enclosure and when they get older I will build a proper outside and very secure enclosure. They are eating a lot and very active. However, I noticed a very thin and dry pink line straight down the middle of their plastron. I of course googled this and unsure if it could be Septicemia? I’m very aware of the pyramiding and indents all over their plastron. Oh lord, I’m aware how the horrid conditions were when I picked them up. They were living in a 20 gallon tank in this dude’s garage, but he handed them to me in a little plastic to go bin. One thing at a time. Does this look like Septicemia? They all have it. It’s faint. And just thin down the center of their tummy’s. There are no splotches of red anywhere. Not lethargic or acting sick. Nothing that looks like Septicemia and they are acting “healthy”. I examined their necks and shells. They are very active, solid BIG poops, drinking, eating, basking. I soaked them for 30 minutes. I guess I won’t have any certain answers on what it is until after their vet visit, but of course I’m worrying. I’m a worrier.

Also they are on the small side. Ughhh I was told they are almost a year old 😭 Can I help them? Like I said, they are acting fine.

Yes, I am running to the pet shop tomorrow to buy proper bedding and new lighting. This was just what I had on hand and I’m doing plenty of research. Once they get to the vet I will begin building a very large indoor enclosure or purchase something large from Tractor supply.

Thank you.
I forgot to mention that the plastrons look fine. Totally normal. The pinkish areas are where new growth and vascularization is happening. That is not septicemia.
 

NewTortMom1

New Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2022
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
New York
They don't look too bad. They can all three live together for a while. It won't be a problem until they get much bigger.

Vets don't know much about tortoise care. They learn from the same wrong sources as everyone else. Here is the correct care info, and questions are welcome:
Wonderful to hear! They’re going to the vet as soon as possible, just to get the OK on paper. I was worried when I saw their set up in the garage. These little guys (or gals) are just about the cutest little stickers. So alert and active. One in particular keeps landing on his back, they’re so toddler like!
 

NewTortMom1

New Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2022
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
New York
long time rescuer here, my advice is two things. Read the FAQ here on how to keep them and then focus short term on getting them safe and kept in a “not making it worse” manner. Make sure they’re in an environment where they are warm enough, on the right kind of lighting and substrate, and the right food. Pet stores will NOT give you good advice, you’re better off just on this forum and then pretty much anywhere else


Second focus on finding a rescue that CAN handle them long-term, or help you place them. I’ve seen a few listed on the East Coast here so you may want to search through though threads using the search functionality. Bottom line the amount of time, effort, and money it would take you to be able to properly keep three Sulcatas in NY long term is not small and will eat (devour!) into your other rescue activities. Unless THIS is what you want to do long-term my advice is spend your energy finding somewhere else to take them properly.

Also you’ll hear a lot on this forum about how vets are not particularly specialized in tortoises even though many claim they are so I would read through these threads and get advice here before spending a lot of money at the vet that may not do you any good.
I will read everything I can. These little ones are quite funny to watch. I will make sure they are in the best hands from here on out. They’re adorable and if I decide to keep them, I truly don’t mind spending to ensure they have the best set up.
 

SinLA

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Apr 19, 2022
Messages
473
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
I will read everything I can. These little ones are quite funny to watch. I will make sure they are in the best hands from here on out. They’re adorable and if I decide to keep them, I truly don’t mind spending to ensure they have the best set up.

Ok, definitely read up. I also especially recommend reading @Magz posts. Lets just say its great if you end up with three "Ethel the Glamour Torts" but you may end up with one or more Mary Knobbins...
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
2,599
I will read everything I can. These little ones are quite funny to watch. I will make sure they are in the best hands from here on out. They’re adorable and if I decide to keep them, I truly don’t mind spending to ensure they have the best set up.
Happy Birthday!

Where in NY are you located? I know a couple of NY vets who know reptiles. One of them actually has a large tortoise collection of his own.
 

NewTortMom1

New Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2022
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
New York
Happy Birthday!

Where in NY are you located? I know a couple of NY vets who know reptiles. One of them actually has a large tortoise collection of his own.
We are near Albany! And willing to travel of course.
 

Maggie3fan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
6,909
Location (City and/or State)
PacificNorthWest
Happy Birthday!

Where in NY are you located? I know a couple of NY vets who know reptiles. One of them actually has a large tortoise collection of his own.
There's Julie Maguire in NY...on the island I think she rescues
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
2,599
We are near Albany! And willing to travel of course.
Nice location. In what town? I am very familiar with that area, having lived in Sharon, CT for 30 years and owning dental practices in Pine Plains, NY, Copake, NY and Sharon CT.

Anyway, the closest vet to you that I would recommend is Jeremy Sabatini whose office is in Pleasantville, NY. A bit of a trip down the Taconic/Saw Mill Parkways, but not too bad. Jeremy used to volunteer at the Bronx Zoo while I was affiliated there and also is (or used to be) one of the vets for the Trevor Zoo at the Millbrook School. If you do go there be sure to tell the staff to tell Jeremy that I (Dr. William H. Zovickian) referred you.

Here is a link to the practice's web site: https://pleasantvillevet.com/
 
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