Another one to MBD?

Winter6174

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I noticed a few weeks back my leopard tortoise hatchling had a soft plastron. I did some research, and read that it was supposed to harden over time. At the time, it was still quite firm, with slight give if I gently pressed. However, these past couple days, Lentil has been losing appetite and actually didn’t eat at all today. I checked my calcium (zoomed brand) and found it was phosphorus free. I just ordered some 2:1 on Amazon. I am severely disappointed in the fact that I didn’t stress over it more when he first started losing some weight. When I first noticed, it was only about 3 grams difference. I weighed him again today, and he went from the original 38 to 33. His plastron is getting softer, but carapace is still firm, although it’s starting to have just a little give around the parts where it connects to the plastron. I’m very worried, does anyone have any tips on what to do, or what the issue actually is? MBD and calcium-phosphorus imbalance is as far as my research takes me, would it be time to consult a vet?
 

Tom

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I noticed a few weeks back my leopard tortoise hatchling had a soft plastron. I did some research, and read that it was supposed to harden over time. At the time, it was still quite firm, with slight give if I gently pressed. However, these past couple days, Lentil has been losing appetite and actually didn’t eat at all today. I checked my calcium (zoomed brand) and found it was phosphorus free. I just ordered some 2:1 on Amazon. I am severely disappointed in the fact that I didn’t stress over it more when he first started losing some weight. When I first noticed, it was only about 3 grams difference. I weighed him again today, and he went from the original 38 to 33. His plastron is getting softer, but carapace is still firm, although it’s starting to have just a little give around the parts where it connects to the plastron. I’m very worried, does anyone have any tips on what to do, or what the issue actually is? MBD and calcium-phosphorus imbalance is as far as my research takes me, would it be time to consult a vet?
This has nothing to do with calcium.

Its best to use a calcium supplement with no phosphorus because we are trying to correct an incorrect calcium to phosphorous ratio.

A vet will likely misdiagnose this, just as you have, and for precisely the same reasons. I don't mean any of this to sound mean, but I've seen this 100s of times now and its terribly sad and easy to prevent. The breeder and/or seller did this, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Read this:

Also, almost all of the care info found on line and in pet shops is all wrong. Here is the correct care info:
 

ZEROPILOT

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This has nothing to do with calcium.

Its best to use a calcium supplement with no phosphorus because we are trying to correct an incorrect calcium to phosphorous ratio.

A vet will likely misdiagnose this, just as you have, and for precisely the same reasons. I don't mean any of this to sound mean, but I've seen this 100s of times now and its terribly sad and easy to prevent. The breeder and/or seller did this, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Read this:

Also, almost all of the care info found on line and in pet shops is all wrong. Here is the correct care info:
Very thorough Tom
Thank you
 

Winter6174

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This has nothing to do with calcium.

Its best to use a calcium supplement with no phosphorus because we are trying to correct an incorrect calcium to phosphorous ratio.

A vet will likely misdiagnose this, just as you have, and for precisely the same reasons. I don't mean any of this to sound mean, but I've seen this 100s of times now and its terribly sad and easy to prevent. The breeder and/or seller did this, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Read this:

Also, almost all of the care info found on line and in pet shops is all wrong. Here is the correct care info:
I have read the second post before buying my tortoise, and have done to the best of my ability to follow all the tips and instructions. As for the first post, it makes me terribly sad. I wish there were more I could do for my tort, now that I’ve already been with him for a few months. It makes me so disappointed that he had to be treated this way by his breeder
 

Tom

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I have read the second post before buying my tortoise, and have done to the best of my ability to follow all the tips and instructions. As for the first post, it makes me terribly sad. I wish there were more I could do for my tort, now that I’ve already been with him for a few months. It makes me so disappointed that he had to be treated this way by his breeder
Sorry man. The lack of growth is a tell tale sign.

I did a thread years ago called "Beginner Mistakes". These were mistakes that I myself had made and I had watched many others make them too. Number one on the list was buying from the wrong source. Sadly, almost every source is the wrong source due to that old, wide spread, often repeated, wrong care info for babies. There are a few breeders here on this forum that do an outstanding job of starting babies, but most of the rest of the world still incorrectly thinks they need dry desert-like conditions.

I wish I had better news for you. At least now you know what is going on and why. Going forward, you can make a more informed decision and have a better outcome.
 

wellington

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Sadly Tom is right but don't give up. There can always be that one in a million. I would start soaking him daily in a warm water solution of baby food carrots and piediyte for babies/kids. Keep him warm 85 day and night all over and the basking still at 95-100. Get mazuri tortoise pellets and feed him one or two soaked pellets daily along with other proper foods. Get humidity to 80%
Giving the very best care possible along with the soaks might just give him a better chance.
Good luck and sorry this is happening.
 

Yvonne G

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You didn't mention what kind of lighting you're using. The calcium needs UVB in order to do its job inside the tortoise.
 

Winter6174

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Sadly Tom is right but don't give up. There can always be that one in a million. I would start soaking him daily in a warm water solution of baby food carrots and piediyte for babies/kids. Keep him warm 85 day and night all over and the basking still at 95-100. Get mazuri tortoise pellets and feed him one or two soaked pellets daily along with other proper foods. Get humidity to 80%
Giving the very best care possible along with the soaks might just give him a better chance.
Good luck and sorry this is happening.
I read a few other posts on tortoises with this syndrome, I’ve been more attentive with his soaks, I’ve started soaking him for closer to 30 minutes in the morning and evenings, and between those two times I soak him 2-3 times for abt 15-20, a total of 4-5 soaks a day. He still eats some in the morning after his soaks, and does crack his eyes open for a bit. We are considering getting some pedialyte for him though
 

Winter6174

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You didn't mention what kind of lighting you're using. The calcium needs UVB in order to do its job inside the tortoise.
We were using a ceramic heating lamp and a lamp that had UVB and heating, but we recently switched to having 2 ceramics and 1 UVB tube, I’ve been home a lot recently, so I’ve been checking the temps often to make sure they’re alright and figuring out the best balance to get some better UVB and heating in there, since I think one of the issues we had was the UVB wasn’t quite strong enough to reach a good level. The lamps definitely did have UVB, just not enough for him since he rests about 2 feet away from them
 

Tom

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We were using a ceramic heating lamp and a lamp that had UVB and heating, but we recently switched to having 2 ceramics and 1 UVB tube, I’ve been home a lot recently, so I’ve been checking the temps often to make sure they’re alright and figuring out the best balance to get some better UVB and heating in there, since I think one of the issues we had was the UVB wasn’t quite strong enough to reach a good level. The lamps definitely did have UVB, just not enough for him since he rests about 2 feet away from them
You need a basking lamp too.

Did your calcium supplement have D3 in it? Ever feed Mazuri?
 

Winter6174

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You need a basking lamp too.

Did your calcium supplement have D3 in it? Ever feed Mazuri?
One of the heaters is above the basking area, our calcium does have D3, we do have pellets but they’re the grassland tortoise food kind from zoomed
 

Tom

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One of the heaters is above the basking area, our calcium does have D3, we do have pellets but they’re the grassland tortoise food kind from zoomed
The basking lamp needs to emit heat and light. A CHE near the florescent tube is not a good substitute, and your UVB tube should only be on for a few hours mid day at the most. This is why you need all four heating and lighting elements. Ambient heat (CHEs), basking area (incandescent flood bulb), ambient light (LEDs), and UV (HO tube).

This tortoise has had both UVB and D3 supplementation in the diet. I say again, this is not a calcium deficiency. This is organ failure due to chronic dehydration. Daily soaks and ideal conditions is all you can do.
 

Winter6174

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The basking lamp needs to emit heat and light. A CHE near the florescent tube is not a good substitute, and your UVB tube should only be on for a few hours mid day at the most. This is why you need all four heating and lighting elements. Ambient heat (CHEs), basking area (incandescent flood bulb), ambient light (LEDs), and UV (HO tube).

This tortoise has had both UVB and D3 supplementation in the diet. I say again, this is not a calcium deficiency. This is organ failure due to chronic dehydration. Daily soaks and ideal conditions is all you can do.
Thank you so much for your advice, I’ll try my best to give him the best fighting chance I can and just hope it’ll be enough to help him pull through
 

TammyJ

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Thanks for trying so hard to help him. You are a good owner.
 

Winter6174

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As unfortunate as it is, it seems that he has died this afternoon while I was in school. This morning he had quite a bit of movement in him, at least compared to the past few days, but he has become unresponsive no matter how we poke and prod, and we can no longer hear any breathing. Thank you guys for all your advice, nonetheless
 

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