dehydrated spur thigh tortoise

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LilRoshi

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Hey there! i'm fairly new in the tortoise world and i'm THRILLED to have finally found an online forum and would appreciate ANY advice you can give me about my 1 year old African spur thigh....

Lately Roshi has had very watery eyes and dry flakey skin..i've been trying to soak him everyday and give him vegetables that have higher water content .(normally he only likes Kale, Swiss Chard and other dense leafy greens) I was wondering if there was anything else i'm missing to help him through this dry cold weather we have here in Cleveland, OH. Also i was wondering if vent-forced gas heating can cause a problem for a tortoise's skin just as it does with a human's scalp and skin. HELP!! i thought my tortoise LIKED dry warm air!!!!!!!!!
 

pdrobber

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Welcome. You'll get lots of advice here.
 

BrinnANDTorts

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You tortoise needs humidity :)
A hot humid enclosure , 80% humidity and at least 80 degrees all over his enclosure.
He has already started to pyramid, if you keep up his humidity and start soaking him in warm water everyday for at least 30 min he won't pyramid like that and his shell will start to grow smooth.
More links for you to read about your baby and pyramiding
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/Thread-The-End-Of-Pyramiding#axzz1fiEYEvE9
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/Thread-The-End-Of-Pyramiding-II-The-Leopards#axzz1fiEYEvE9
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/Thread...ses-with-Metabolic-Bone-Disease#axzz1fiEYEvE9
Toms link is the most important though (where I got all my information)
I would make those changes fast cause severely dehydrated sulcata babies will die (hatchling failure syndrome) :(
Link about that syndrome
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/Thread-Hatchling-Failure-Syndrome#axzz1fiEYEvE9

I hope your baby gets better !! He/she is super cute (I'm assuming that's her in your profile picture thing)
If you could post more pictures of your little tort and her enclosure we would love to see :)
 

LilRoshi

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Thank you all for responding so quickly. I obviously got the wrong care instructions from the pet shop i purchased my tortoise from. Honestly, the substrate i've been using has been sand, and nothing else. He does have a hide box but its hollow and made out of a fake log i got from the pet store. I do have a water dish which he never seems to drink from. The entire enclosure is around 4 ft. long and only about two feet wide, it is a plastic tupperware box with no lid. I have two lights, one red basking bulb at 50 watts and a UVB light that is 75 watts. i'm printing out Tom's caresheet now and heading to my Home Depot for new substrate right now. I'd appreciate any other advice you can shoot my way!! Thanks!
 

Yvonne G

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Hi LilRoshi:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

May we know your name?

The lights and heat over your tortoise help to dry him out, that's one reason we recommend a moist habitat. I like to use cypress mulch because you can pour a whole bunch of water over it, stir it up with your fingers, and soon the top layer dries out, leaving all the moisture underneath.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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I run a baby vaporizer that injects steam into Bob's shed and it creates humidity all around in there and I think both torts love it...
 

Yvonne G

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Hi LilRoshi:

I think you would do better to call your new tortoise "sulcata" instead of spur thigh. When we see "spur thigh" we automatically think of the Greca species of tortoise.

And we know that your tortoise is Lil Roshi, but may we also know YOUR name?
 

LilRoshi

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I'm Lauren. And i'm very new and apparently ignorant to the tortoise world. The guy i bought Roshi from called him a spur-thigh. As i said, i was very mis-informed. I now have "coco" substrate mixed with a bit of mulch. i misted it with warm water and i'm trying to keep it moist. my only concern is getting the tortoise and enclosure too humid and moist and getting a shell fungus. I'm doing my research now after finding out about him beginning to pyramid.
 

LilRoshi

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believe it or not i have had Roshi for over a year he may actually be almost two years old. He has never had health problem before and i'd like to reverse any he is beginning to have. Just trying my best here!
 

Tom

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Did you buy the coco shell mulch that they sell at the hardware store or coco fiber of some sort. Very different products. They usually don't sell the right "coco" stuff at the hardware store. The wrong stuff is toxic when eaten and has killed peoples pets when used outdoors in gardens and such.

One of the "common" names for sulcatas is "African spur thigh tortoise". One f the common names for greek tortoises (Testudo gracea) is "Spur thigh tortoise" Here in the US we usually just call them sulcatas or greeks, but there is confusion sometimes.

Sulcatas almost never get shell rot or fungus. Leopards either. Its not something to be worried about unless the tortoise is cold all the time and very unhealthy or has an open wound sort of injury.
 

BrinnANDTorts

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LilRoshi said:
believe it or not i have had Roshi for over a year he may actually be almost two years old. He has never had health problem before and i'd like to reverse any he is beginning to have. Just trying my best here!

i think your doing great ! you obviously really care about your tortoise :)
 

LilRoshi

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Thanks! i got the CoCo from a specialty pet store, in brick form and then you soaked it in warm water so it would expand. It does dry out a lot quicker then i thought it would though. I've been spraying it and my tortoise twice a day. Roshi's condition has drastically improved his eyes are wide and his skin isnt flakey anymore...but he still is a bit lethargic. Next project is to get him better lights possibly?
 
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Maggie Cummings

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You can pour water over the substrate and that might work better than misting. I believe that a tort drinks in the first 10 minutes of soaking and that any soaking past 15 minutes just helps to dry out his skin. He needs an ambient temp of about 80 degrees and he needs about 80% humidity as well. His basking bulb should provide a basking spot of about 100 degrees and feed him a variety of dark leafy greens. That mostly depends on what the store has now. I am able to feed mustard greens, turnip greens, kale, chard, romaine, green and red leaf lettuces. So roaming thru the produce section in the store helps to decide what to feed. But I live on the West Coast other parts of the country have different produces right now. I hope that has helped you...
 

LilRoshi

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I have Roshi under two ceramic lamps..but only one gives off heat..it's a red 75 watt basking bulb. the other one is a UVB bulb that abviously gives off no heat..i leave them both on during the day and at night i turn off the UVB and he usually migrates to under his red bulb to fall asleep. I feed him all too well..we always have kale, rainbow chard, mustard greens and turnip greens in our house since i am a vegatarian. He also loves Bok Choy. I was hoping cilantro was ok for a treat b/c he adores it! I soak him everyday for around 2o mins? is that too long? he seems to really enjoy it! i just take him out when he starts kicking his legs. Thanks again all, for your responses!

i hope im using the right lighting i heard those ZooMed ones are great..mine is more of a spiral bulb which i'm finding out reading these threads is not good. both of his lights are about 3 inches away from his shell..is that too close?
 

BrinnANDTorts

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LilRoshi said:
I have Roshi under two ceramic lamps..but only one gives off heat..it's a red 75 watt basking bulb. the other one is a UVB bulb that abviously gives off no heat..i leave them both on during the day and at night i turn off the UVB and he usually migrates to under his red bulb to fall asleep. I feed him all too well..we always have kale, rainbow chard, mustard greens and turnip greens in our house since i am a vegatarian. He also loves Bok Choy. I was hoping cilantro was ok for a treat b/c he adores it! I soak him everyday for around 2o mins? is that too long? he seems to really enjoy it! i just take him out when he starts kicking his legs. Thanks again all, for your responses!

I would get rid of the red light and replace it with a Ceramic Heat Emitter, they work a lot better and they are much better for humidity, much much better. They look like this
Ceramic-Heat-Emitters.jpg

Amazon had good prices on them, really good prices.
The red bulb will work though

I don't know what kind of UVB bulb your using but it can't be a COMPACT fluorescent bulb, only a fluorescent bulb. The compact fluorescent will damage your tortoises eyes... its happened to many , many people.
Here are is a picture with the different kinds compact fluorescent bulbs.
compactFluorescentBulbBase.jpg


Fluorescent bulbs are the only bulbs I know of that give off UVB with no heat, and unless the UVB bulb looks like this
led-fluorescent-light-270.jpg

A long tube, then my guess is its a compact fluorescent bulb and its bad knows.

Zoo Med Reptisun 5.0 and 10.0 are good UVB bulbs for your tortoise
41PPX5CHgWL.jpg


If you use these long tubes and just ceramic heat emitters for heat your humidity will stay up in the high levels very easily.

Also mercury vapor bulbs but they need to be positioned high above the substrate or they will burn your tortoise because they are very powerful.
They look like this
160w-powersun-bulb.png

They give off lots of heat, UVA, and UVB.
Some people prefer Mercury Vapor Bulbs over the fluorescent tubes because they are more powerful
I myself use the 10.0 reptisun and it works great for me, I go by how tan Gupta is and he keeps a very dark brown tan under these bulbs


If you use the long fluorescent bulbs then you can just get him a basking light which lets of UVA, to bask under
they look like this
p_22686_19358.jpg

I find that I can never have too many UVB fluorescent bulbs, and basking lights, and ceramic heat emitters lol I have tons in my house now that I have started getting tortoises, I know soon i will probably have a use for them.
 

LilRoshi

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hahah wow thanks so much for the detailed advice! I do have the wrong day bulb then! i used to have a basking bulb just like one of the pictures by Zoomed but i was told it was no good because it didnt give off any UVB. i wouldn't know where to put a long tubing light like that because Roshi's enclosure does not have a lid..it's ontop of a bookshelf with lights hanging down from nails in the wall. if i get a powersun how far up from the enclosure should i have it? a few feet or more? (his red bulb is only a few inches away from his shell and he seems to like it that way.) AND if i got the powersun would that be the only bulb i need? what would i use at night to keep him warm? Sorry about all the questions..hope i'm not overwhelming ya! :)

p.s. and as far is wattage..what is too high? if i got the ceremic heat bulb wouldn't 100 watts be too high for a guy as small as mine?
 

BrinnANDTorts

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LilRoshi said:
hahah wow thanks so much for the detailed advice! I do have the wrong day bulb then! i used to have a basking bulb just like one of the pictures by Zoomed but i was told it was no good because it didnt give off any UVB. i wouldn't know where to put a long tubing light like that because Roshi's enclosure does not have a lid..it's ontop of a bookshelf with lights hanging down from nails in the wall. if i get a powersun how far up from the enclosure should i have it? a few feet or more? (his red bulb is only a few inches away from his shell and he seems to like it that way.) AND if i got the powersun would that be the only bulb i need? what would i use at night to keep him warm? Sorry about all the questions..hope i'm not overwhelming ya! :)

p.s. and as far is wattage..what is too high? if i got the ceremic heat bulb wouldn't 100 watts be too high for a guy as small as mine?



the basking bulb is good for basking underneath because it emits UVA which tortoises like
A 100 watt powersun bulb I would put like a around 10 inches from the substrate , a 160 watt I would put more like two feet or 20-24 inches lol those things are powerful. I would get a temp gun to be sure though, around 100 degrees is what you want the basking area to be at.
You might be able to run just the powersun during the day and switch over to the Ceramic heat emitter at night to keep the temps up. it all depends on how big your enclosure is, a temp gun really helps here to cause you just scan it all over the cage and make sure it reads 80 degrees everywhere. If it does with just the powersun then thats all you need but if it doesn't then you need to run a Ceramic heat emitter with the powersun
ABout the wattage question , you get whatever wattage you need and set it at the height so that it doesn't make the temp over 105 at the most right underneath it. A 100 watt isn't too hot as long as you have it at the right height away from the cage, same for a 160 watt. is this making any sense ?
 
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