New Baby Sulcata - “Air Pockets” puffiness under legs

Chizbad

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9373FFEB EA93 473D 97FD 9F380C878E77 06AF5FE1 591D 4578 87F0 31FCC25ABF4B new baby sulcata about 4 months old... maybe I’m worrying too much but is the puffiness normal? Here are a few pictures to show, thanks!

9373FFEB EA93 473D 97FD 9F380C878E77 06AF5FE1 591D 4578 87F0 31FCC25ABF4B
 

JoesMum

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Hello and welcome.

To help you, we need to know about your setup too. Sorry - lots of questions coming up.

1. How is this baby being kept? Photos of the enclosure and lighting speak a thousand words - though if you use the android app, you will have to upload them using the website version in your browser as the app is having problems right now.

2. What temperatures do you have warm side, cool side, directly under the basking lamp and overnight minimum?

3. What’s the humidity?

4. Is the enclosure open or closed?

5. What are you feeding? Any supplements... what, how much and how often?

6. Do you soak this baby? If so, how frequently and how often?

I recommend you read the TFO care guides if you haven't already and compare them with your setup.

They're written by species experts working hard to correct the outdated information widely available on the internet and from pet stores and, sadly, from some breeders and vets too.

Beginner Mistakes
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

How to raise a healthy Sulcata
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
 

Chizbad

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Messages
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Hello and welcome.

To help you, we need to know about your setup too. Sorry - lots of questions coming up.

1. How is this baby being kept? Photos of the enclosure and lighting speak a thousand words - though if you use the android app, you will have to upload them using the website version in your browser as the app is having problems right now.

2. What temperatures do you have warm side, cool side, directly under the basking lamp and overnight minimum?

3. What’s the humidity?

4. Is the enclosure open or closed?

5. What are you feeding? Any supplements... what, how much and how often?

6. Do you soak this baby? If so, how frequently and how often?

I recommend you read the TFO care guides if you haven't already and compare them with your setup.

They're written by species experts working hard to correct the outdated information widely available on the internet and from pet stores and, sadly, from some breeders and vets too.

Beginner Mistakes
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

How to raise a healthy Sulcata
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/

Ok so here is a picture of the enclosure, although after reading many posts I believe I need to find a way to make it enclosed... IMG 0067
Kumi is the little ones name :), and thank you for the response. During the day I run a 10.0 repti-glo and a 100 watt heat&uvb bulb. Temperature is in the mid 90’s in the basking spot and low to mid 80’s everywhere else. At night I️ use a ceramic bulb which keeps the area around her hide log in the low 80’s maybe dipping into the high 70’s.
Substrate around the hide log is orchid bark and orchid moss which I’m spraying multiple times a day to keep the humidity up (there has to be another way, enclose?). During the day I can keep the habitats humidity around 60-80% depending on how often I️ spray it, but by morning time it can get down to 50% or below.
I’ve only had this tort for 10 days and it’s grown from 50.4 grams to 58 grams in weight. It’s very active and eats like a champ. I have an extremely wide variety of foods for the little one, including: two types of Mazuri pellets, some kind of Timothy hay tortoise treat(shows no interest) a greenhouse full of different grasses/weeds/clover/ grown organically, mixture of store bought spring mix and dandelion greens... I go all out for the food source and will buy/find/grow anything I can to keep a healthy rotation. I do have repti-cal herptivite and repti-cal calcium which I sprinkle on food maybe twice a week.
I take Kumi outside almost daily for an hour or two to roam around in an enclosure that I have set up in the backyard. I give the little one a good 15-20 minutes soaking once almost daily maybe skipping a day once since I’ve had her (10 days). There is also a small water dish in her enclosure.
Hope these details help, and thanks in advance for all the kind knowledge!
 
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Chizbad

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Ok so the “I️” thing is a current bug with the newest version of software on my phone. When reading, replace “I️” with “I” and it’ll all work out. Sorry for the inconvenience
 

JoesMum

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Ok so the “I️” thing is a current bug with the newest version of software on my phone. When reading, replace “I️” with “I” and it’ll all work out. Sorry for the inconvenience
I read about that bug. What a pain! I hope Apple fixes it soon
 

JoesMum

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If you read those threads you will see that your enclosure needs some work.

Scrap the grass. That’s suitable for lizards and snakes, but not tortoises.

You need and earthy substrate about 3” deep over the entire floor area of the enclosure. Fine grade orchid bark and coco coir are popular on this forum; they’re cheaper from a garden centre or online from somewhere like Amazon than from a pet store - make sure it contains no additives like fertilisers or white bits like calcium or vermiculite.

This needs to be mixed with water so it is all evenly damp right to the bottom and into the corners. Spraying will help to slow the rate it dries, but does little to raise humidity.

You do need a “lid” or cover - you cannot maintain temperatures or humidity properly without. The lamps need to be under the cover or a hole be cut for them to shine through. The CHE needs a thermostat and that should be set to 80F.

Your water dish is a tipping hazard and hard for your tort to use. Replace with a terracotta plant saucer pushed into the substrate so its rim is level with the surface. A piece of flat rock or slate or even the rough side of a wall tile makes a good food plate that helps to keep your tort’s beak in shape through abrasion.

A little one this size should be kept in the closed chamber all the time. They’re not big enough yet to cope with the relative cold outside.

Soaking daily is what you should do. A tiny pinch of calcium powder sprinkled sparsely on food 3 times a week is the only supplement needed. You can overdo it, so don’t use too much. A cuttlebone might be welcomed by your tort to help with beak maintenance... some torts ignore them, some love them.

Your tort’s diet should be weedy and leafy greens. Tearing at them helps with beak maintenance. Mazuri is fine as a supplement - most hate the LS version. You only need one type.

Your tortoise can’t digest sugars properly- they cause digestive and kidney problems - so sweet foods like fruit, tomato, bell pepper and carrot should only be fed very sparingly and very occasionally if at all.

There’s a useful food list here
For those that have a young Sulcata
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
 

Bambam1989

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Joesmum's advice is really good. She is one of the highly respected members on the forum and knows her stuff. (Browny points from Joesmum's? Haha JK)
 

Chizbad

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So an update on the newest addition to the enclosure... instead of building a entire new wooden enclosure I’ve decided to build a wooden top for tank. It may not be completely ideal but it’s got to be better. IMG 1510167926917011
 

Tom

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I've thought about doing something like that, but never actually done it. I love the way you did yours. How is it working? Heat and humidity doing better now?

About your original question: What you are seeing is call edema. Fluid retention essentially. There can be many causes. Have you done a fecal check on your baby yet? Might be worth a look.

You can take the hay out. Babies won't eat that and it doesn't do much for them if they do. They usually start taking more of an interest in hay once they reach about 12".

All the the babies that I've raised try to eat the long fibered sphagnum moss. I'd take that out too. You don't need it.
 

Chizbad

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Thanks Tom, glad you like it! And yes, it is seeming to do the trick. I’ll know a little more once I’ve let it settle a little while longer.
Also, no fecal exam but now you have me a little worried. Is it something urgent or is there anything I can do home remedy style?
Thanks for all the tips guy and gals... it is greatly appreciated!
 

teresaf

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Speaking frankly.... if you're using that dial thermometer hygrometer that's inside your tank your temperatures and hydration are not what you think...they are notoriously inaccurate. Especially in high humidity applications which is how you're going to be using it. A lot of folks here use temperature guns. But I find them to be a pain in the butt. You usually have to open your enclosure in order to get a temperature which kind of defeats the purpose of keeping the enclosure closed... I use a couple of these (i attached a picture below). I put one on my cold side and one on my hot side and every once in awhile I'll bring them together to see if there accurate to each other. Since the probes go inside the tank and the mechanism stays on the outside of the tank the mechanism cannot get humidity inside of it ( messing up the readings).
The dial ones will work fine sometimes in a dry location but once you add humidity to it, I noticed on mine anyway, that the numbers weren't correct to what my digital said.
 

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Chizbad

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Speaking frankly.... if you're using that dial thermometer hygrometer that's inside your tank your temperatures and hydration are not what you think...they are notoriously inaccurate. Especially in high humidity applications which is how you're going to be using it. A lot of folks here use temperature guns. But I find them to be a pain in the butt. You usually have to open your enclosure in order to get a temperature which kind of defeats the purpose of keeping the enclosure closed... I use a couple of these (i attached a picture below). I put one on my cold side and one on my hot side and every once in awhile I'll bring them together to see if there accurate to each other. Since the probes go inside the tank and the mechanism stays on the outside of the tank the mechanism cannot get humidity inside of it ( messing up the readings).
The dial ones will work fine sometimes in a dry location but once you add humidity to it, I noticed on mine anyway, that the numbers weren't correct to what my digital said.

Yes I am aware of the gauge and am well aware it’s time for something a little more accurate as far as humidity goes... I do have a temp. gun that I believe to be fairly accurate. Thank you very much for those ideas though. I’ll be checking on Amazon for one tonight :)
 

TammyJ

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If you read those threads you will see that your enclosure needs some work.

Scrap the grass. That’s suitable for lizards and snakes, but not tortoises.

You need and earthy substrate about 3” deep over the entire floor area of the enclosure. Fine grade orchid bark and coco coir are popular on this forum; they’re cheaper from a garden centre or online from somewhere like Amazon than from a pet store - make sure it contains no additives like fertilisers or white bits like calcium or vermiculite.

This needs to be mixed with water so it is all evenly damp right to the bottom and into the corners. Spraying will help to slow the rate it dries, but does little to raise humidity.

You do need a “lid” or cover - you cannot maintain temperatures or humidity properly without. The lamps need to be under the cover or a hole be cut for them to shine through. The CHE needs a thermostat and that should be set to 80F.

Your water dish is a tipping hazard and hard for your tort to use. Replace with a terracotta plant saucer pushed into the substrate so its rim is level with the surface. A piece of flat rock or slate or even the rough side of a wall tile makes a good food plate that helps to keep your tort’s beak in shape through abrasion.

A little one this size should be kept in the closed chamber all the time. They’re not big enough yet to cope with the relative cold outside.

Soaking daily is what you should do. A tiny pinch of calcium powder sprinkled sparsely on food 3 times a week is the only supplement needed. You can overdo it, so don’t use too much. A cuttlebone might be welcomed by your tort to help with beak maintenance... some torts ignore them, some love them.

Your tort’s diet should be weedy and leafy greens. Tearing at them helps with beak maintenance. Mazuri is fine as a supplement - most hate the LS version. You only need one type.

Your tortoise can’t digest sugars properly- they cause digestive and kidney problems - so sweet foods like fruit, tomato, bell pepper and carrot should only be fed very sparingly and very occasionally if at all.

There’s a useful food list here
For those that have a young Sulcata
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
What do you mean by "scrap the grass"? It's a big part of a sulcatas's diet, isn't it? Are you thinking of substrate and not diet?
 

Bambam1989

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What do you mean by "scrap the grass"? It's a big part of a sulcatas's diet, isn't it? Are you thinking of substrate and not diet?
Young sulcatas are not huge fans of DRY grass. They want fresh, tender grasses that they can pull apart.
 

TammyJ

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The grass is reptigrass - artificial not real. There’s no place for it in a tortoise enclosure.
All right then! You were speaking substrate and I was thinking diet!
Agree - no reptigrass! Ugh.
 

Chizbad

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Ok so the wood top helped hold in more of the heat very well and the humidity increased a good bit but not quite enough. I’ve added an extra container inside the tank around the substrate and hiding log and humidity/temp is staying absolutely perfect around the hide log. I think I’ve finally got this set up figured out. Yes, eventually and probably sooner than later I will upgrade to a larger better built enclosure but for now this seems to do the trick :) IMG 0089
 

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