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Help please. (cuttlebone, stones)

Lovechell69

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Joined
Dec 5, 2018
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51
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Arkansas
Amara is eating great gaining weight but every few days she only eats a little and isn’t herself. I soak daily but I increased it to three times a day when she passed a pea sized urate/stone/ cuttlebone. she rips at her cuttlebone like her best friend. I go through a lot. I’m thinking these are because of her excessive cuttlebone eating. Nothing else has changed. I noticed how she was going to her cuttlebone more and more lately. I’m taking her to our exotic vet that only treats sulcata’s Tuesday just in case. I don’t like vets when it comes to sulcata’s. I had a box turtle die last year of a vitamin a overdose. Amara has a different vet. Any clue. I’m attaching pics of what I’ve saved. Oh after passing these her poop is normal and she goes back to happy

FFA21416-7DCA-4E4F-A159-0019ACCF2A10.jpeg
 

OmarOlea

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Nov 26, 2018
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Long Beach CA
I have a similar experience that only thing that I did was cut down on the cuttlebone, I would only place the enclosure two or three times a week because they would finish it real fast. My tortoise was also passing a pea size stone so after reducing the cuttlebone it went back to normal and they poop and pee normally and I haven't seen any stones ever since then.
 

Ray--Opo

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I would only let your tort eat the cuttle bone once a week. If your tort is eating a lot of the bone. When feeding powder calcium you only use a pinch 2 times a week. I noticed my sully gets kind of lethargic for a day after eating food with calcium on it.
 
Joined
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I would only let your tort eat the cuttle bone once a week. If your tort is eating a lot of the bone. When feeding powder calcium you only use a pinch 2 times a week. I noticed my sully gets kind of lethargic for a day after eating food with calcium on it.
Do you need to do both the cuttlebone and the calcium powder on food or just one or the other?
 

Mizcreant

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Do you need to do both the cuttlebone and the calcium powder on food or just one or the other?
Cuttlebone is high in phosphates which is more easily absorbed than calcium, alone. However, too much phosphorus can cause kidney damage (true for humans as well). The key here is "everything in moderation". I make cuttlebone readily available for mine, but if I notice he's going to town on it, then I pull it out. I use calcium powder once a week as a supplement. I think I've come to a good balance after much trial and error. It's been many months since I've noticed any significant urates.
 

Tom

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The urates are a by-product of protein digestion and a lack of hydration. Ingesting larger amounts of calcium, either from cuttle bone or supplements does not cause urates.

Excessive cuttle bone ingestion, and also ingestion of pebbles or rocks is frequently due to mineral imbalance and/or lack of fiber in my anecdotal experience. I usually see this in tortoise that are fed a low fiber diet of mostly grocery store greens. What are you feeding your tortoise? Too much calcium can also cause an imbalance in the other necessary trace elements and minerals, which will cause them to eat the wrong stuff or too much cuttle bone in a futile attempt to right the imbalance.

Feeding the "right" foods and keeping the tortoise hydrated with daily soaks should solve both problems. Using a mineral supplements like "Miner All" made by Sticky Tongue Farms, will also help restore the correct mineral balance. Here are the right foods. Notice there is no romaine lettuce, Kale, spring mix, or any other grocery store food on my list: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
 

Yvonne G

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One thing that springs to mind - maybe the tortoise is feeling the need for calcium, but isn't receiving the necessary UVB to help the calcium work. What kind of UVB light do you use, and how far is it mounted from the tortoise's shell?
 

Lovechell69

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
51
Location (City and/or State)
Arkansas
The urates are a by-product of protein digestion and a lack of hydration. Ingesting larger amounts of calcium, either from cuttle bone or supplements does not cause urates.

Excessive cuttle bone ingestion, and also ingestion of pebbles or rocks is frequently due to mineral imbalance and/or lack of fiber in my anecdotal experience. I usually see this in tortoise that are fed a low fiber diet of mostly grocery store greens. What are you feeding your tortoise? Too much calcium can also cause an imbalance in the other necessary trace elements and minerals, which will cause them to eat the wrong stuff or too much cuttle bone in a futile attempt to right the imbalance.

Feeding the "right" foods and keeping the tortoise hydrated with daily soaks should solve both problems. Using a mineral supplements like "Miner All" made by Sticky Tongue Farms, will also help restore the correct mineral balance. Here are the right foods. Notice there is no romaine lettuce, Kale, spring mix, or any other grocery store food on my list: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
I grow a sulcata grass mix from a site I got from Drew in this forum. I’m not brand new and Amara has been through a lot before me. Her cool side never goes below 85 or above 86. Her warm side stays at 90 to 91 degrees always. I keep her humidity at 80 percent and sometimes I can get it to 90. I was soaking her 30 minutes a day the I went to twice and then three times thirty minutes a day. I’m consistent with Amara and her routine. If you asked my spouse she says I need a bed and a chair by Amara’s enclosure because I stay by it. I enjoy watching her and love her personality. She has her uva/uvb basking bulbs and heat emitters at the proper height with the substrate of echo earth coco coir probably spelled wrong but my head is pounding I don’t feel good and blood tests confirmed yesterday I have lupus. I’m not trying to be rude. The only thing Amara has been doing different is staying at her cuttlebone. She eats fine and acts great until the day she passed these. When she passes it she is back to her spunky self. She is maybe a year old or not very much older and she’s never left alone. I have a set up at my mother in laws house next door to us that I put her in if we have to go to appointments or grocery shopping for people food for people. Her environment there’s drama fix the culprit. I took her cuttlebone out the day before I posted my question. I’m either going to grind it and sprinkle or I have her calcium I used to use before the cuttlebone mimics the one in my house. I read this forum archives and the opinions here. There was one person in the past and one to my post that disagree with the cuttlebone being the problem with the majority having the same problem as m
 

Lovechell69

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Dec 5, 2018
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Arkansas
I grow a sulcata grass mix from a site I got from Drew in this forum. I’m not brand new and Amara has been through a lot before me. Her cool side never goes below 85 or above 86. Her warm side stays at 90 to 91 degrees always. I keep her humidity at 80 percent and sometimes I can get it to 90. I was soaking her 30 minutes a day the I went to twice and then three times thirty minutes a day. I’m consistent with Amara and her routine. If you asked my spouse she says I need a bed and a chair by Amara’s enclosure because I stay by it. I enjoy watching her and love her personality. She has her uva/uvb basking bulbs and heat emitters at the proper height with the substrate of echo earth coco coir probably spelled wrong but my head is pounding I don’t feel good and blood tests confirmed yesterday I have lupus. I’m not trying to be rude. The only thing Amara has been doing different is staying at her cuttlebone. She eats fine and acts great until the day she passed these. When she passes it she is back to her spunky self. She is maybe a year old or not very much older and she’s never left alone. I have a set up at my mother in laws house next door to us that I put her in if we have to go to appointments or grocery shopping for people food for people. Her environment there’s drama fix the culprit. I took her cuttlebone out the day before I posted my question. I’m either going to grind it and sprinkle or I have her calcium I used to use before the cuttlebone mimics the one in my house. I read this forum archives and the opinions here. There was one person in the past and one to my post that disagree with the cuttlebone being the problem with the majority having the same problem as m
I didn’t realize my post went through it said it didn’t go through. The uvb bulb is 75 watts not coiled by zilla. Zoo meds bulbs kept blowing within a week. I keep the soft white uva/uvb all in one bulb in the middle because it’s a four foot long enclosure. Her basking bulb is 75 watt on the warm end. I was sprinkling calcium powder for tortoises three times a week but she went to her cuttlebone within the last three weeks a lot so I stopped. She tears chunks off as well as the normal sharpening of her beak. The eating large amounts started two weeks ago when I noticed the pieces of cuttlebone she was eating getting larger. The weather has finally been warm so I take her out daily and put her in her enclosure for a few hours a day. She has natural sun a hide to keep cool and fresh water not from the tap. It’s worth the cost to ensure good water no chemicals. I still soak her thirty minutes a day. Twice sometimes if I notice anything out of character with her. She eats great loves her soaks. Very interactive and really enjoys herself outside and in. This passing of whatever only started recently. One time a week while soaking and after she’s back to normal. Since I removed her cuttlebone she hasn’t passed anymore. I sprinkle the calcium now. Her poop doesn’t have any white in it now. I’m still going to take her to the vet I spoke about and won’t let her give anything without my say. I’ve met with her a lot because she’s in the same practice I take my dogs. She only treats sulcata’s and rescues them. I’ve brought Amara with me just to see the interaction and they let me go in the back where they do everything whenever I want. Amara isn’t pyramiding. Her eyes are clear. No peeling skin. Her she’ll loo great. Her nose is clear. No watering of eyes and nose. No using her leg to scratch itches or wipe eyes or nose. I really do think it’s the cuttlebone she’s tearing off in large chunks I didn’t know at first she was eating. Since this happened she’s been consistent when she passed these so since I took the cuttlebone out she should have passed one but hasn’t anymore. To be safe I’ll stick with sprinkling calcium and her daily outings. I’m taking what I collected from her enclosure with me to the vet to test to have her test it. We go Tuesday so hopefully we will continue with her being back to normal and still take her and these things to be checked out. I’ll have a answer on it soon and will keep everyone informed. Thank you everyone for discussing this with me. Amara didn’t just need to be saved from the pet store. She came into my life when I really needed her. It’s been a tough year getting a diagnosis and Amara has helped me just by being a beautiful spunky sulcata. Thanks again and will post results for Amara
 

Ray--Opo

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Welcome and sorry for your diagnosis. I to got my sully after a bad aacciden that left me a double amputee. Opo has brought me so much joy.
 

Sue Ann

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Mar 19, 2019
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151
Location (City and/or State)
chapin , South Carolina
I didn’t realize my post went through it said it didn’t go through. The uvb bulb is 75 watts not coiled by zilla. Zoo meds bulbs kept blowing within a week. I keep the soft white uva/uvb all in one bulb in the middle because it’s a four foot long enclosure. Her basking bulb is 75 watt on the warm end. I was sprinkling calcium powder for tortoises three times a week but she went to her cuttlebone within the last three weeks a lot so I stopped. She tears chunks off as well as the normal sharpening of her beak. The eating large amounts started two weeks ago when I noticed the pieces of cuttlebone she was eating getting larger. The weather has finally been warm so I take her out daily and put her in her enclosure for a few hours a day. She has natural sun a hide to keep cool and fresh water not from the tap. It’s worth the cost to ensure good water no chemicals. I still soak her thirty minutes a day. Twice sometimes if I notice anything out of character with her. She eats great loves her soaks. Very interactive and really enjoys herself outside and in. This passing of whatever only started recently. One time a week while soaking and after she’s back to normal. Since I removed her cuttlebone she hasn’t passed anymore. I sprinkle the calcium now. Her poop doesn’t have any white in it now. I’m still going to take her to the vet I spoke about and won’t let her give anything without my say. I’ve met with her a lot because she’s in the same practice I take my dogs. She only treats sulcata’s and rescues them. I’ve brought Amara with me just to see the interaction and they let me go in the back where they do everything whenever I want. Amara isn’t pyramiding. Her eyes are clear. No peeling skin. Her she’ll loo great. Her nose is clear. No watering of eyes and nose. No using her leg to scratch itches or wipe eyes or nose. I really do think it’s the cuttlebone she’s tearing off in large chunks I didn’t know at first she was eating. Since this happened she’s been consistent when she passed these so since I took the cuttlebone out she should have passed one but hasn’t anymore. To be safe I’ll stick with sprinkling calcium and her daily outings. I’m taking what I collected from her enclosure with me to the vet to test to have her test it. We go Tuesday so hopefully we will continue with her being back to normal and still take her and these things to be checked out. I’ll have a answer on it soon and will keep everyone informed. Thank you everyone for discussing this with me. Amara didn’t just need to be saved from the pet store. She came into my life when I really needed her. It’s been a tough year getting a diagnosis and Amara has helped me just by being a beautiful spunky sulcata. Thanks again and will post results for Amara

Good luck. I also have Lupus. I was diagnosed about 15 yrs ago. Feel free to email me if I can ever help..
The majority of my reading on forum indicates cuttlebone seems to cause more problems. I chose not to give my sully any. Good luck.
 

Lovechell69

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Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
51
Location (City and/or State)
Arkansas
Just wanted to say thank you and yes she is so great for me. I wanted to update about the cuttlebone. Since I removed it I have had no further problems with Amara passing urate stones. She’s doing great on her natural diet. I have been putting her in her outdoor enclosure a little at a time. She freaked the first time so I sat inside it with her. She’s as close to being in her native country as I can give her. She’s eating great. I planted a lot of African mixed grasses and she loves it. She still loves her endives so I give her a small piece daily. I’m so happy the issue has been resolved. Since she is still so small I’m still soaking her daily. High hopes
 

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