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Gas in intestines and swollen sulcata

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by Mickey1234, Nov 15, 2016.

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  1. Mickey1234

    Mickey1234 New Member

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    Hello, i am new here and from Bangkok, Thailand. I had 2 sulcata tortoises. One passed away and the other is not okay. Please help.
    I bought 2 sulcatas from my local pet store about 2 months ago. I have various kind of hay as a substrate. UVB UVA lighting on timer for 10 hours a day. Also sun bathing every morning. I soak them 3-4 times a week. I keep them in mid 80 to low 90 farenheits. Humidity is always high since i live in Bangkok, Thailand. I feed them mulberry leaves, grass hay, and salad mixed. Recently they seemed to eat less, their body seemed to be swollen and their shell kinda soft too. So i decided to take them to the Vet. They x-rayed my tortoises and they said there is excessive of gas in their intestines. This gas will push their organs inside out and makes them look swollen. It is also push their lungs which lower their lung capacity. (I will asked for the x-ray film and show you guys tomorrow) they said this could happen because of their diet and lack of uvb exposure. I left them at the animal hospital for a week. They had injected them vitamin and some kind of medicine that helps them release the gas out. Unfortunately one of them could not make it. The other one doesn't seem to get any better. The other one still eats but not as much as it used to do. Anyone have these experience please share. Any comments would help. Thank you.

    IMG_5131.JPG IMG_5134.JPG IMG_5130.JPG IMG_5135.JPG
  2. Yvonne G

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

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    Hi, and welcome to the Forum!

    My suggestion would be

    1. remove the hay and instead use some sort of substrate you can moisten. I like orchid bark but a lot of members use coco coir
    2. give that poor baby a hiding place. He needs to be able to get out of the harsh light
    3. add a waterer to the habitat. A small clay plant saucer will work for this
    4. show us the light you're using. If it's a coil-shaped compact fluorescent bulb, turn it off immediately and get either an MVB or a tube type fluorescent UVB bulb
    5. figure out a way to hang the lights and don't use the clamp feature.
    6. cover that habitat to keep the warm, moist air inside.
    7. soak the baby daily in warm water for about 15 minutes each time

    Read the care sheet:

    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
    AZtortMom and Speedy-1 like this.
  3. Mickey1234

    Mickey1234 New Member

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    This is my uvb bulb. May i know whats wrong with the coil shaped?

    I have read all the care sheet from many websites and i dont think i do something so wrong with it. Anyway i will find some hiding place for it.

    IMG_5137.JPG
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2016
    ZEROPILOT likes this.
  4. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    While this bulb would not cause the death of a tortoise directly, it is a type associated with blindness and discomfort by many members here.
    We have had several debates and too many posts to count about the issue and the majority decision has been to discourage anyone from using this type of bulb. Especially when other types that have never been associated with any issues are readily available.
    The good news is that the blindness may be temporary if you stop the use of the offending bulb early enough.
    Mickey1234 likes this.
  5. Speedy-1

    Speedy-1 Well-Known Member

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    Hay is a poor substrate , if it is damp at all and with you humidity it must be ! The dampness plus the heat from lights will create mold and mold spores , which are bound to invite respiratory problems .
    Fredkas likes this.
  6. Yvonne G

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

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    It's a pretty good guess that your tortoise's eyes are being bombarded with harmful rays from the coil-shaped bulb. The bulb, along with the fact there are no hiding places or shade to get away from the bulb, makes me pretty sure that's your baby's problem.

    When those bulbs were first introduced, there was a defect that caused too much ultra violet light to be emitted. That light causes a problem similar to snow blindness, and is very painful. Baby tortoises seem to be most susceptible to it. Once the manufacturers realized they had a problem, they supposedly fixed it, however, there was never a recall of the harmful bulbs and you can't tell by looking at either the bulb or the package if it's an old, harmful bulb or a new, fixed one. So we just advise everyone to not use them at all.
  7. Bee62

    Bee62 Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Hi mickey 1234,

    the enclosure of your sulcata baby is much to small ! Sulcatas want to run around the whole day long. They need the movement to digest and stay healthy.
    In the enclosure they need a warmer and a colder place. Your poor little baby has no way to choose between higher and lower temperature.
    It hurts to see your poor little tortoise so sick, and I hope that he recovered. I wish you the best.
    What do you just feed while he is so sick ?

    best regards
    Sabine
  8. Mickey1234

    Mickey1234 New Member

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    It looks much better today. It took a big poop and is more active. I will get it new enclosure and substrate soon. I feed it grass hay, mulberry leaves and mizuri. Thank you all of you for sugestions.
    Fredkas and Speedy-1 like this.
  9. Blake m

    Blake m Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Glad you were able to find some answers and post on here!
  10. Fredkas

    Fredkas Well-Known Member

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    Welcome and glad you get nice information here. hope you and your tort do well.
    Jusk ask any question here if you get confused, there will be a lot of member help you willingly.
  11. Bee62

    Bee62 Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Hi Mickey 1234,

    I am very pleased that your tortoise is better. Does he eat ?
    Can you please explain to me what mizuri is ? Sorry, I am from Germany. Is mizuri this:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mizuna
    If mizuri is the same as mizuna, please don`t feed your tortoise it anymore. It is a sort of cabbage and cabbage causes flatulence.

    best regards
    Sabine
  12. Mickey1234

    Mickey1234 New Member

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    So sorry it was a typo. It is Mazuri. The commercial food for tortoise. And yes he/she eats.

    Any suggestions, how to treat soft- shelled on tortoise?
  13. Yvonne G

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

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    The calcium that your tortoise eats, whether from its food or from a calcium supplement that you sprinkle on the food, needs UVB or it just gets excreted out in the urine. UVB comes either from the sun or from a GOOD UVB light. Theses are the two kinds I use:

    mercury vapor bulb.jpg UVB light.jpg

    One or the other, not both at the same time.

    Calcium and vitamin d3 (UVB) is what makes bones and shells strong.
  14. Grandpa Turtle 144

    Grandpa Turtle 144 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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  15. Bee62

    Bee62 Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Hi Mickey1234,

    has your turtoise cuttle bones to eat in their enclosure? My sulcatas eat it every day. They need the calcium and every day several hours of UV light to get strong bones and shell as @Yvonne G already said.
    Here is another idea for setting up an enclosure for your sully. Too bad he / she is alone now. My three little ones are often together and very sociable.

    best regards
    Sabine

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