Baby sulcata hard urates despite daily soak (bladder stone)?

berrybon

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Hi! My baby sulcata (2 months old) just passes a hard urates that is quite big considering the sulcata size. I have him for a month, and lately I feel like he has been thriving (bigger apetite, more active, pooping more 😂)

I've soak him daily, every morning for 15-30minutes (sometimes twice a day, if he hasn't pooping yet). The enclosure is closed enclosure, with basking temps 30-33'C, humidity 70-80%. He has been really active, big apetites. Sometimes, he passes gritty urates, sometimes, no urates. These past 2 days, he hasn't passed any urate yet during the morning soak, but he pooped quite a lot, so I'm not concerned that there's a blockage. He also have been very active as I tried to put him in outside enclosure every evening (we live in a tropical island, so humidity and temps is not really a problem).

He eats greens (choi sum, hibiscus leaves, etc, we rotate it avery other days), cactus and mazuri pellets. I sprinkled a bit of calcium in his food two days ago. And considering he hasn'r passes urates for two days, I expect a lot of urates/gritty urates. But not hard and big (stone?) urate.
Is this a bladder stone?
 

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Tom

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Hi! My baby sulcata (2 months old) just passes a hard urates that is quite big considering the sulcata size. I have him for a month, and lately I feel like he has been thriving (bigger apetite, more active, pooping more 😂)

I've soak him daily, every morning for 15-30minutes (sometimes twice a day, if he hasn't pooping yet). The enclosure is closed enclosure, with basking temps 30-33'C, humidity 70-80%. He has been really active, big apetites. Sometimes, he passes gritty urates, sometimes, no urates. These past 2 days, he hasn't passed any urate yet during the morning soak, but he pooped quite a lot, so I'm not concerned that there's a blockage. He also have been very active as I tried to put him in outside enclosure every evening (we live in a tropical island, so humidity and temps is not really a problem).

He eats greens (choi sum, hibiscus leaves, etc, we rotate it avery other days), cactus and mazuri pellets. I sprinkled a bit of calcium in his food two days ago. And considering he hasn'r passes urates for two days, I expect a lot of urates/gritty urates. But not hard and big (stone?) urate.
Is this a bladder stone?
The stone was likely formed at the breeder or sellers place before you got him, due to the way most breeders incorrectly start this species. It passed, along with the other gritty urates because YOU are now housing and hydrating him correctly. It is likely that you won't see any more. If the tortoise is eating and pooping well, there is not a blockage.

By the way, calcium doesn't cause these stones. Urates are a by-product of protein digestion. When the tortoise is well hydrated, the urates pass and are not a problem. When a little baby becomes dehydrated, which is easy to do in a dry enclosure with few or no soaking, those urates become ever more concentrated, eventually forming stones like what you have there. Keep your baby in humid conditions and soak daily until the tortoise get much larger.
 

berrybon

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The stone was likely formed at the breeder or sellers place before you got him, due to the way most breeders incorrectly start this species. It passed, along with the other gritty urates because YOU are now housing and hydrating him correctly. It is likely that you won't see any more. If the tortoise is eating and pooping well, there is not a blockage.

By the way, calcium doesn't cause these stones. Urates are a by-product of protein digestion. When the tortoise is well hydrated, the urates pass and are not a problem. When a little baby becomes dehydrated, which is easy to do in a dry enclosure with few or no soaking, those urates become ever more concentrated, eventually forming stones like what you have there. Keep your baby in humid conditions and soak daily until the tortoise get much larger.
Thank you so much for your answer, Tom! I was really worried as he passed gritty urates quite often, despite daily soaking and feeding him opuntia cactus. He is also quite keen on his water bowl (he went in and out so many times a day, sometimes even pooping on it), so we think he's drinking inside the enclosure.
When I think about it, the first few days we have him, the poop is quite hard and solid, and he seems to trying quite hard to push it. Now he's simply pooping while doing whatever he's doing. We thought now that he's slightly bigger, he has more energy to poop 😂 but it's also possible that he find it hard to poop at the beginning due to being too dry (which causes dry, hard poop).
If this happened before I got him, do you have any idea how long it usually takes until the digestive system goes normal? I'm hoping to be able to tell which one was caused by the breeder and which one was caused by me, so that if something goes wrong and it's my fault, I can respond fast and make the necessary adjustments.
 

Sarah2020

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Keep doing the soaks, it is great your tortoise goes in his water dish , this is because it is familiar and if he makes it dirty it easy for you to clean and provide fresh. Over time the urates will be white and liquidy not solid. I say keep doing what your doing and keep a weekly weight log so you can see growth inc weight gain and weight loss.
 

berrybon

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Keep doing the soaks, it is great your tortoise goes in his water dish , this is because it is familiar and if he makes it dirty it easy for you to clean and provide fresh. Over time the urates will be white and liquidy not solid. I say keep doing what your doing and keep a weekly weight log so you can see growth inc weight gain and weight loss.
Thank you for the insight! we do try to keep the weight log but to be honest it's a bit challenging to weigh him in the same state. Sometimes we weigh him before he poops, other times after. It makes the weight fluctuate overtime. But on general he gain 15grams over one month, which makes us pretty happy, considering his size. Thank you for taking time to answer my question!
 

Sarah2020

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Re weighing just choose a set day and time e.g I weigh after Sunday AM soak and accept if bowels full or empty. It is a great ref for growth as difficult to tell. Good luck with tortoise care and ask questions.
 

berrybon

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Re weighing just choose a set day and time e.g I weigh after Sunday AM soak and accept if bowels full or empty. It is a great ref for growth as difficult to tell. Good luck with tortoise care and ask questions.
Got it! thank you Sarah for your help! Really appreciate it 😊
 

TammyJ

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What substrate are you using in his enclosure?
 

berrybon

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What substrate are you using in his enclosure?
I am using cocopeat layered with coco coir on top. I used to use coco husk but it's tad too big compared to the sulcata size, and I feel like it makes him harder to walk/burrowing. Sadly orchid bark is not available in Indonesia. All of the reptiles/petshop who sells orchid bark/forest bark for sulcata is basically pine bark. And from what I read pine bark is not a good substrate for sulcata due to the fumes it emit when heated. Not sure wheter it's true or not, but decided to use coconut substrate just in case. Do you have any suggestion?
 

Tom

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I am using cocopeat layered with coco coir on top. I used to use coco husk but it's tad too big compared to the sulcata size, and I feel like it makes him harder to walk/burrowing. Sadly orchid bark is not available in Indonesia. All of the reptiles/petshop who sells orchid bark/forest bark for sulcata is basically pine bark. And from what I read pine bark is not a good substrate for sulcata due to the fumes it emit when heated. Not sure wheter it's true or not, but decided to use coconut substrate just in case. Do you have any suggestion?
Coco peat and coco coir are the same thing. Coco fiber is not good for tortoises, and neither are the chips, as you've seen.

Orchid bark is fir bark. Fir is a specific type of pine tree. Read the ingredients to see if it is "fir" or "pine". If it is sold for replies under the ZooMed brand as Forest floor (cypress mulch) or Repti-bark (orchid bark, aka: fir bark) it is good stuff.
 

berrybon

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Coco peat and coco coir are the same thing. Coco fiber is not good for tortoises, and neither are the chips, as you've seen.

Orchid bark is fir bark. Fir is a specific type of pine tree. Read the ingredients to see if it is "fir" or "pine". If it is sold for replies under the ZooMed brand as Forest floor (cypress mulch) or Repti-bark (orchid bark, aka: fir bark) it is good stuff.
Hi @Tom today my sulcata dropped hard urates again. It was two quite big stones, followed with urates with paste-like consistency. Since the last time I posted (Tuesday), he hasn't been really dropping urates, despite I soak him daily. This morning, I soaked him under the sun for 35 minutes. He pooped but no urates. However, this afternoon while I let him roam, he suddenly took a **** followed by those urates. We saw that there were still white urates inached), so I soaked him for another 30-40 minutes, but nothing came into his cloaca (attached). I am getting really worried, is there anything I can do to clear any remaining urates/bladder stones?
Is it possible that the bladder stone was formed during my care, and not from the breeder? Additional info, I got him on 10th January, so I've got him for one month and 6 days.
Sotty for keep asking I am getting really worried as there's so many wrong information related to sulcata from where I came from. My friend's sulcata died due to MBD after 3 months despite daily soaking and sunbathing. While I understand it might be bad hatchling/breeder problem, is there anything I can do? We've been watching him like a hawk but we're still worried.WhatsApp Image 2024-02-16 at 13.13.39.jpegIMG_9968.jpg
 

berrybon

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Coco peat and coco coir are the same thing. Coco fiber is not good for tortoises, and neither are the chips, as you've seen.

Orchid bark is fir bark. Fir is a specific type of pine tree. Read the ingredients to see if it is "fir" or "pine". If it is sold for replies under the ZooMed brand as Forest floor (cypress mulch) or Repti-bark (orchid bark, aka: fir bark) it is good stuff.
To answer your question, ZooMed and Forest Floor is not available here. Most of the sulcata bedding that was sold here is basically "homemade". As there are many pine forests in Indonesia, people simply harvest the bark themselves and sell them online. But fig, not so much. So, orchid bark here means pine bark, and I don't think people here use fig for orchids. I tried to bought "forest bark" that marketed as sulcata substrate once, but it definetely pine (it smells pine, and it also looked different from fig bark). As I read it might emit toxic fumes, just to be extra safe, I don't use it altogether.

Currently I use a thin layer of coco fiber, followed with thick layer of coco coir. I thought coco fiber was safe. I will change it right away.
 

cipherdale

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To answer your question, ZooMed and Forest Floor is not available here. Most of the sulcata bedding that was sold here is basically "homemade". As there are many pine forests in Indonesia, people simply harvest the bark themselves and sell them online. But fig, not so much. So, orchid bark here means pine bark, and I don't think people here use fig for orchids. I tried to bought "forest bark" that marketed as sulcata substrate once, but it definetely pine (it smells pine, and it also looked different from fig bark). As I read it might emit toxic fumes, just to be extra safe, I don't use it altogether.

Currently I use a thin layer of coco fiber, followed with thick layer of coco coir. I thought coco fiber was safe. I will change it right away.
Im from Indonesia too, try get zoomed reptibark it hold water quite good.
It made from fir tree, you may go to their website about the ingredient.
And yeap looks like impossible here in Indonesia to find orchid bark.
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Im from Indonesia too, try get zoomed reptibark it hold water quite good.
It made from fir tree, you may go to their website about the ingredient.
And yeap looks like impossible here in Indonesia to find orchid bark.
Coco coir (I guess it will be called "coco peat", a soil-like substance) is a decent alternative to fir bark. Should be relatively cheap and easier to get.
 

cipherdale

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Coco coir (I guess it will be called "coco peat", a soil-like substance) is a decent alternative to fir bark. Should be relatively cheap and easier to get.
Coco peat is a messy but good alternative too and yes it’s cheaper. The only one that close to fir bark currently only ZooMed repti bark but is consider expensive :(
 

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