Iodine, goiter and thyroid problems of Aldabra tortoises

Bee62

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When Aldabra tortoises are kept in captivity it is important to ensure that these tortoises have enough intake of iodine with their food or water.
Why ?
These tortoises live on islands midst the ocean. Ocean water always contains traces of iodine.
Iodine is important and nesessary for the thyroid to produce hormone.
When there is a lack of iodine for many years the thyroid begins to grow. You can see this, it is called a goiter. Animals and humans can get a goiter. It is caused from the lack of iodine.
But the hormone of the thyroid are nesessary for the whole body. They control heart, liver, kidney function and more.
When a sick ( bigger grown ) thyroid cannot produce these hormone any longer the whole body gets sick. A goiter is always a sign for a severe sickness !
Even some food like kale is known to disturb the intake of iodine in the body.
What can we do ?
Please make sure your Aldabra tortoise gets enough iodine with the food or water. Iodine pills are cheap and they are small. You can add an iodine pill from time to time to the soaking water when your aldabra tortoise is still small or give it with some food. Only with a healthy thyroid the tortoise can be healthy.
Unfortunately galapagos and aldabra tortoises often suffer a lack of iodine and as a result a malfunction of the thyroid.

For more informations about the function of the thyroid please read here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thyroid
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goitrogen
https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/plant-database/viewplants/?plant=621&c=8
Please click on "goitrogens" in the article about kale ( on tortoise table ). There it is explained what goitrogens can cause.

I am wishing your giant tortoise a happy, healthy long life.
 

ALDABRAMAN

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When Aldabra tortoises are kept in captivity it is important to ensure that these tortoises have enough intake of iodine with their food or water.
Why ?
These tortoises live on islands midst the ocean. Ocean water always contains traces of iodine.
Iodine is important and nesessary for the thyroid to produce hormone.
When there is a lack of iodine for many years the thyroid begins to grow. You can see this, it is called a goiter. Animals and humans can get a goiter. It is caused from the lack of iodine.
But the hormone of the thyroid are nesessary for the whole body. They control heart, liver, kidney function and more.
When a sick ( bigger grown ) thyroid cannot produce these hormone any longer the whole body gets sick. A goiter is always a sign for a severe sickness !
Even some food like kale is known to disturb the intake of iodine in the body.
What can we do ?
Please make sure your Aldabra tortoise gets enough iodine with the food or water. Iodine pills are cheap and they are small. You can add an iodine pill from time to time to the soaking water when your aldabra tortoise is still small or give it with some food. Only with a healthy thyroid the tortoise can be healthy.
Unfortunately galapagos and aldabra tortoises often suffer a lack of iodine and as a result a malfunction of the thyroid.

For more informations about the function of the thyroid please read here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thyroid
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goitrogen
https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/plant-database/viewplants/?plant=621&c=8
Please click on "goitrogens" in the article about kale ( on tortoise table ). There it is explained what goitrogens can cause.

I am wishing your giant tortoise a happy, healthy long life.

~ Thank you for this post!

 

Bee62

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Then how to we know the correct dose? And or what’s our best guess?
I`ve searched for an answer and found this:
http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Turtles-Tortoises/Tortoise-Care/Turtle-Tortoise-Goiter/

"A. The dosage of iodine recommended to treat goiter, which is an enlargement of the thyroid glands in the neck often caused by iodine deficiency, is approximately 0.3 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day, although one source that I found recommended 2 to 4 milligrams per kilogram orally per day for two to three weeks, then once a week after that. That is a huge range of dosages! But, honestly, the safe range of iodine intake by reptiles is, as yet, unknown. By the way, to convert pounds to kilograms, just divide the weight in pounds by 2.2. So, your 400 pound Galapagos tortoise weighs 181.8 kg."

But when the tortoise has already a goiter it is too late only to give iodine. A goiter is a sign for malfunction of the thyroid. In this case the tortoise will need thyroid hormone.
 

ben awes

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It's really great that this was posted. I do sprinkle Herptivite Multivitimine on my guys food about once a week. I just went to check and it does have a small amount of iodine in it - 38.8 ppm, which seems to be equal to .038mg. I have no idea if this is enough, but at least it's not zero. It's the smallest ingredient in the mix.
 

Bee62

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Sorry, but I do not know the proper dose of iodine for reptiles, nor can I say where it can be found. I am not even sure that a safe dosage level for reptiles has been determined.
Thank you for your answer anyhow.
 

Jemo

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While our visits on Aldabra Island 2015 and 2018 we always observed aldabra tortoises "grazing" at the seashore and feeding on brown algae. They are known to contain a rich ammount of salts and jodine. Any jodine uptake will surely not be with sea water as asserted.

Since this observations 2015 we regularly feed dried brown algae to all of our Aldabras. We give it on top of dried agrobs, maybe once a week, maybe sometimes unregularly.

The animals eat them like a snack!

I also presented this observations and the results in a symposiom about Aldabra Tortoises at the University of Zürich/Swizerland in the year 2017 with the goal to sensibilise more aldabra keepers to this issue and the simple possible solution.

BUT NO OVERFEEDING WITH BROWN ALGAE !!!!!

Folie124.JPG

To my oppinion nobody knows how much ADDITIONAL jodine is healthy or dangerous to helth of Aldabras.

We participated in an international study about jodine content and thyreoid Hormon content in Aldabra tortoises.
I think the study should be published next year.

As primarily result I can say that our animals are the ones with the highest jodine contains in all blood samples.
Surely as a result of the feeding of brown algae, that are difficult to get here in Germany.

All our animals seem to be healthy and even start breeding efforts right now.

So I would advice everyone to give additional Brown algae to the aldabra diet,- BUT NOT TO MUCH !!
 

Bee62

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