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Drinking but not urinating post hibernation

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by T's mum, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. T's mum

    T's mum New Member

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    i have decided to wake T this week, due to very cold temps outside. He has been indoors since Monday. Basking under lamp. He has been drinking for three days now & started eating today, but still no sign of urates. He has gained a lot of weight. Have also been bathing in reptoboost. Should I be concerned that he has not flushed out any toxins yet?
  2. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    I’m bumping this thread; I’d like to see the answer.
  3. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Urates are a product of protein metabolism. Tortoises kidneys do not create urine as they lack the loop of Henle in the kidneys. So the waste of protein metabolism is uric acid. That is not very water soluble so it can concentrate into urates that can be passed without the need for passing much water with it. So urates are a product of protein metabolism. That process can take a while to build up in the system for a tortoise just out of hibernation. It is also a factor of how much protein is in the diet. The more protein - the sooner you will see urates. The more hydration (water available for drinking) - the more the uric acid is passed as they dump water before the uric acid precipitate into semi-solid urates.
    Greta16 likes this.
  4. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    Thank you, your threads are always so well researched.

    Everything is relative but how many days might you expect to wait for an healthy, hydrated, and eating tortoise to pass urates? Ballpark?

    Is walking around for digestion also part of the process?
  5. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I don't know!

    Some well hydrated tortoises that release water into the bath and replenish water supplies seem to hardly ever precipitate urates and can release enough uric acid with that regular exchange. Most of my tortoise do release pasty urates fairly often, but I probably feed more Mazuri and use an Afalfa/orchard hay cube mix more often than most. So more protein - more uric acid to process. With a very low protein diet and plenty of water available, you may rarely even see any white urates.
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  6. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    Interesting. Our outside Russian never drinks water outside of hibernation—and I mean never—and I think her diet is quite low in protein. But she produces mostly thin urates seemingly every day in spring and summer, outside of the soak. She is well hydrated, though; it’s fairly humid here and her diet is largely fresh and green.

    “Your mileage may vary,” as they say. :)

    Like T’s Mum we’re anxiously awaiting urates, as she had an RI coming out of hibernation. She has been eating, without much enthusiasm, for only three days at this point. It’s hard to wait when you only have the one tortoise and limited experience. But your info put things into context, thank you!
  7. T's mum

    T's mum New Member

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    Thank you rosemary and mark for your input The day after I read your response T passed urates, & again today. He's been with my mum for around forty years, So I have grown up with him. He looks really good. Will stick with the plan until he can be wild again in the garden. It's such an education mark making contact with You. We need to know that these beautiful creatures are quite complex & we need to be dedicated to give them a good life.

    Wendy, I hope your tort improves with time. Keeping T roasty toasty warm helped. Thank you both again xx
  8. CarolM

    CarolM Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to jump in here, but if I never see any urates in Rue's bath (she poops regularly) but I have never seen the white pasty urate that you all talk about, does that mean I am not giving Rue enough protein and that I should give more?
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