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Desert tort pyramiding?

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by Melindak93535, Apr 14, 2019.

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  1. Melindak93535

    Melindak93535 New Member

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    Does it look like he is pyramiding? He was adopted early summer 2017 at 10 years old. Later that summer the neighbors dog dug under the fence and chewed his front leg off. The Vet amputated what was left and we treated him all winter, no hibernation. Spring of 2018 he is going strong and vet okayed him to hibernate winter if 2018. He woke up a couple weeks ago and is active and eating. But his scutes look more raised than we remembered. I read where over feeding can cause this. We were so concerned with keeping him active and eating in order to heal we may have over fed? He ate grass, dandelions, spring mix (most spinach removed), red Romain, mustard, turnip, collard greens. He will not touch the Mazuri pellets wet or dry. I grow as many things as I can for him to eat.

    Does he look pyramid to you experts on Desert torts? If so, suggestions to keep it from continuing? IMG_4797.jpg
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    A little bit, but it's not bad. One sees quite a few captive bred desert tortoises in that same condition. It just means he was kept pretty dry as a baby during his first year. Back when he was a baby, I'd be willing to bet you were told to keep him in an aquarium with alfalfa pellets as substrate? That's how I raised many a baby in years past. We now know that babies need a warm and humid environment to grow smooth shells, and alfalfa pellets don't do the trick.

    Don't worry about it. He looks great! It's purely cosmetic in your tortoise's case.
  3. Melindak93535

    Melindak93535 New Member

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    We got him at 10 years old and don’t know his baby history. Curious though, about baby Desert torts needing humidity as there usually is only a day or two at a time of humidity in the spring and none in the summer. Maybe their burrows capture some humidity?
  4. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Yes, they stay hidden most of their first year of life, and they poop and pee in their burrow, raising the humidity inside.
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  5. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    Does he burrow OK? It seems like the wheel prosthetic might stop him from burrowing deep enough into moist substrate? Just a thought.
  6. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    By the way, he is beautiful!
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  7. Melindak93535

    Melindak93535 New Member

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    We dug a burrow and reinforced with wood sides and an insulated hinges lid. So far it's his day burrow, we still bring him in at night. With 1 foreleg his digging is not effective. I soak him regularly. Being a desert tortoise, I do not have him in moist substrate. I keep him in as natural setting as I can.
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