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Help! New Tort in bad health

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by fosters9903, May 18, 2017.

  1. fosters9903

    fosters9903 Member

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    I recently found out about a very sick, neglected tortoise that was living near me. This family has had her(?) for about 15 years, from a hatchling, she has never had any light on her, only been fed pre chewed carrots and lives in a small glass aquarium with no substrate. The adult owner said they had something put in the bottom several years ago and it caused an eye irritation, which can be seen in pictures. Apparently that injury was years ago and never corrected. I got the tortoise, Little M, on 5/13/2017.When I saw this poor baby I cried, her shell is so soft that it dips in, and is squishy. Her nails are over grown, legs are weak and eyes are in awful shape. When she first came to me, she could barely hold her shell up off the ground, now she is standing a little taller, moves more and getting around easier. I have a 10-11 year old Red Footed Tort, I've had her for about 2.5 years. She was also a rescue but in much better shape, so I was prepared habitat wise for another. I have not had these torts together, so I cleaned out my tort table & moved my other outside to her outdoor enclosure. These are the things I have done for her so far. Given her fresh substrate, cypress mulch, what I have used for my other with no issues.She has been fed kale and fresh romaine lettuce daily, along with dandelion flowers & leaves, fresh from my own yard with no chemicals. Her humidity level is normal, basking area in the higher 80's lower 90's over all temp never below 70. Basking light and UB light going 10-12 hours a day as well as some supervised outside time. I ordered an new light to be sure she was getting the accurate waves and waiting for it to get here. I also ordered some Reptile Vitamins with D3 that I have only used it once so far, as I read too much to soon was bad. I also ordered some eye rinse that I have not used yet. She has been drinking so often I have not soaked her yet or cut her nails. I have only had her for 6 days and I did not want to do to much at once. I am sure she has metabolic bone disease and I wanted to ask for help on treating that, other than what I am doing, as well as help determining the correct species , as the previous owners had no idea. Thank You so much! IMG_1097.JPG IMG_1175.JPG IMG_1176.JPG IMG_1097.JPG IMG_1175.JPG IMG_1176.JPG IMG_1184.JPG IMG_1182.JPG IMG_1180.JPG IMG_1178.JPG IMG_1176.JPG
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    Aw, poor baby. Depending upon where you live, it's either a desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii/morafkai) or a gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus).
  3. fosters9903

    fosters9903 Member

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    She got the tortoise in Arizona about 15 years ago, from people who breed them. According to the adult owner, however she didn't seem to know much more than that.
  4. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    So it's a Gopherus morafkai, or what we call 'desert tortoise.'
  5. fosters9903

    fosters9903 Member

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    Thanks I will do some research on those. I was thinking a sulcata maybe because of popularity and color.
  6. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Research is always a good thing to do. Just make sure the research you do for this poor little thing is research on this forum. The WorldWideInternetMachine is full of old, incorrect, outdated information that can not just be misleading but hazardous as well. Same thing goes for many pet shops and unfortunately many veterinarians as well.
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  7. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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  8. fosters9903

    fosters9903 Member

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    Thank you! I will read these links and will keep everyone updated on her progress!
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  9. BeeBee*BeeLeaves

    BeeBee*BeeLeaves Well-Known Member

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    Oh man. Great save. Hard to believe poor baby is 15. Wow.
    Sunshine and best wishes for restoring little ones health.
    Pearly likes this.
  10. GingerLove

    GingerLove Well-Known Member

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    You are amazing. That tortoise has another chance at life because of you. I'm afraid I can't give you much advice on metabolic bone disease, but I am so glad to hear about the changes you have made since the old owner! You are extremely brave to take on such a sick tortoise. I'm confident she is in good hands. Kudos to you! I would also recommend starting with the eye stuff as soon as possible. No reason to wait! :) And be careful cutting the nails with the blood vein thingy... but you are right, they do need to be cut.
    I am so glad you joined this forum!
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  11. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    I'm with Tom. You'd have to be brain dead to not know things weren't right from the beginning.
    I am so glad you found her and cared. Wishing you and her all the bestie of luck. She sure looks like she feels awful, poor thing, just sad. Please keep us posted on her progress. Thank you for stepping in and caring.
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  12. tortdad

    tortdad Well-Known Member

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    Wow, just wow
  13. tortoiseplanet

    tortoiseplanet Member

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    Aw poor baby. Kills me to see people keep a pet without knowing how to keep it, especially for YEARS!! Well, with the food you feed her, sprinkle some calcium and that should help her bones and shell get stronger. Wish you best luck!!❤️
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  14. fosters9903

    fosters9903 Member

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    I will wash her eyes today when I soak her. I have some nail clippers for a puppy that I will use and I plan to just barely trim them. Thanks I think she is doing better in the week I have had her!
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  15. fosters9903

    fosters9903 Member

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    I have a vitamin powder with calcium and D3 I have used on her food and I use it every other day.
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  16. Greta16

    Greta16 Active Member Today is my birthday!

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    I'm so glad you've ended up with her. Good luck!
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  17. fosters9903

    fosters9903 Member

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    IMG_1197.JPG IMG_1198.JPG

    Attached Files:

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  18. fosters9903

    fosters9903 Member

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    I was trying to upload a few pictures of her soaking and then show off my beautiful red foot Mrs. T! I washed the little sick ones eyes with a antibiotic wash and will continue to do so for the next 7 days!
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  19. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! All the best with her recovery in your tender loving care!!!
  20. Sandy Martinez

    Sandy Martinez Active Member

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    Bless her little heart :( ...so glad you found her:)
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