New Member
Jun 15, 2016
Greetings! I've kept turtles since I was three years old - I'm 21 now and I'm getting a lot more into the hobby recently.

Little story:

My 3 toed boxie, Roger (not actually sure if male or female, but I will get to that later), was kept in my parent's backyard for most of his life. Typically, our turtles would come up to our back porch when they were hungry. I moved out of the house and they were left to be taken care of by my parents. About three months ago, my dad noticed he had not seen Roger in awhile. Sadly, I discovered him in the yard one evening completely disabled. Roger looked as if he broke all of his limbs and they turned to mush. Frantically, I wanted to get him to a vet as soon as possible as he was unable to walk. The very next morning I got him to a vet and the vet believed he was suffering from calcium/vitamin A deficiency (metabolic bone disease, if you will). Four hundred-something dollars later, I got him into a nice indoor set up with UV/heat lighting and started on a wide variety diet with supplements and all. I took him in for shots over the course of three weeks. I'm happy to say he has improved a lot - alert, eats all his food, color improvement. However, his gait and limbs are still not normal, and I don't believe they will ever be normal. He's starting to stand more upright, but he still walks more on his "wrists" than his "hands". Has anyone ever treated for metabolic bone disease? What were your outcomes?

Here are some images of Roger. Male or female? My family thought male, but my vet said possibly female.



As you can see his/her right anterior leg is sprawled out. He/she walks with that limb in the position.


I've been so happy taking care of Roger recently that I'm more turtle addicted than ever. I've been depressed recently and so I decided to pick up these two baby ornate boxies today!


They're about 7 months old. I'm a little nervous to take on babies. I have a second tortoise house by ZooMed coming in the mail that I am going to set up for them. I'm planning on using organic soil and some repibark (?) as substrate. I will also be planting some edible live plants for them. I know people advise against wood enclosures. I was hoping to line the bottom with cardboard like a raised plant bed, but I've seen some suggestions to use plastic liner instead. What do you guys think?

I'm not expecting to be able to determine the sex of this guys for several years - is that correct? I'll have to some up with some gender-neutral names or something . .

Anyways, I know this has been a long post. Congrats for reading all the way through. Please let me know if you have any answers or suggestions! I hope to be a part of this community a lot more.

Thank you,
LostRock (Andria)


Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Feb 11, 2012
Location (City and/or State)
NE Ohio
Line the wood with plastic. Heavy duty trash bags could work or thick plastic sheeting.

Roger looks male based on the tail/underside. Living life outdoors I'm surprised he has MBD. I hope he continues to improve.

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