New baby Sulcata; injured, pics, questions.

chewyblugoo

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IMG_0131.JPG IMG_0121.JPG Hi I recieved my baby Sulcata "Cookie" 2 days ago and have some questions for you guys!

I have been interested in these tortoises for years and got a baby from turtle town now that I own my property and can provide for the little one properly

I have done LOTS of reading, research, and fiddling with enclosures of other reptiles so I understand the needs of Sulcatas, but was sideswiped when I opened up the box Tuesday morning. Little Cookie is missing the top half of her beak and has what looks like blisters on her face under her eyes. it seems like she got bit by another tortoise, or was constantly rubbing along aquarium glass to the point of rubbing off part of her mouth causing infection. I'm not sure hopefully someone on here has seen something like this before and can give me some advice!

Her enclosure: currently is a 40 Gal aquarium, fabric taped around outside to prevent rubbing
substrate: mulch, sand, dirt mixed together
heating/light: 100W mercury vapor uvb/heat lamp keeps basking spot 105-110 depending on ambient air, with hide side at 80-85. Night time= mercury bulb off, 100W CHE on. Temps are 90 under bulb getting to about 80-83 in the coolest part.
Hide: small flower pot buried halfway, piece of fabric wicks moisture into the hide to raise humidity. 80 Degrees.

Issues:
-She still tries to climb up the glass, flipping herself on her back. The fabric taped outside helps a little but i'm considering lining the inside with tile to prevent reflections. Thoughts?
-She still has not eaten. Shipping container contained feces so I know she was eating previously. I tried: several types of grass from my yard, dandelion greens, dandelion flowers, collards, kale, Tuscan kale, escarole, strawberry slice, butternut squash. These were whole leaf, chopped, blended, separate, together... she has no interest in the food yet even if i get a piece in her mouth she will spit it out. I also realize some of these items are not good to feed often; I just want her to eat something.

Background:
I soaked her in warm water as soon as she arrived, brought her outside in the sun a couple times and she is VERY active wagging her tail and cruising across the lawn! will bring her inside and give her a good soak in warm water after which she seems to enjoy. she will rub her face on her legs I feel like she is in pain or just annoyed by her injury

will add pictures in a second!

Thanks Everybody! IMG_0119.JPG


IMG_0119.JPG IMG_0121.JPG IMG_0131.JPG
 
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BILBO-03

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Hi and Welcome!:)

Your temperatures are correct your enclosure is fine except no sand that can cause impaction. What's your humidity? It needs to be 80+ throughout the enclosure. I don't know about the face but some more experienced people may know @Tom @Jodie @wellington @Yvonne

Could you post a pic of your enclosure? You need to take him/her to the vet as soon as possible!
 

eric joranson

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beaks do grow back; although somewhat slowly.....it depends on the depth of the injury. You will have to give soft foods; or finely cut up or even blended to mush greens: nothing it has to bite off. Is lower picture of beak coming off? More pictures would help. Was it in with other animals; at your place or from where it was purchased? Rocks that it could have mistaken as food? Was it healthy on arrival? In any case its probably suffering pain from it; and that will affect appetite. Keep it clean as you can; rising the area; and not rubbing with q tip or cloth.
 

wellington

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You need to also contact the breeder and see what they will do for you. That baby should never have been sent like that.
Then go to our tortoise vender review section and give a poor review for these people and tell about this story on there too. That's an awful thing they did send a tortoise like that.
I would keep it clean, soft foods and see a vet so it doesn't get infected
 

Yvonne G

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Have you considered sending the tortoise back and requesting a different, healthy tortoise?

If you decide to keep it, just take a nail clipper and nip off that sharp point. It will eventually grow back, like Eric said, but if it were me, I'd be pretty unhappy to receive a less than perfect specimen for my money.
 

chewyblugoo

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I am upset about receiving an animal in this condition and will likely never to business with tortoisetown.com ever again; I'd hate to think what would happen to the baby if I shipped her back if they were willing to ship it like this in the first place. I want to do my best to give her a chance in this world if she perishes I will order from a reputable breeder

The sand is mixed with the dirt and wood chips. About 50% wood chips, 10% sand and the rest dirt. I live in CO the soil is heavy clay and the air is dry the only way I have found to maintain the humidity is by watering the substrate resulting in spikes of high humidity as seen in the picture

I actually filed the sharp point down a little last night with an emery board... so small and delicate I didn't want to hurt her and fingernail clippers are huge compared to her mouth

I don't know what conditions were like previously in her life I just got her 2 days ago but I'd assume she's packed together in less than ideal conditions with others her age (the care sheet recommended romaine lettuce among more acceptable greens and never mentions grass or humidity)

Looking at picture #5 you can see how it rubs its face, the scales on the damaged side seem like they could rip off the front piece of her beak... anybody see that bluish swelling under her eyes?
 

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Bee62

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I am upset about receiving an animal in this condition and will likely never to business with tortoisetown.com ever again; I'd hate to think what would happen to the baby if I shipped her back if they were willing to ship it like this in the first place. I want to do my best to give her a chance in this world if she perishes I will order from a reputable breeder

The sand is mixed with the dirt and wood chips. About 50% wood chips, 10% sand and the rest dirt. I live in CO the soil is heavy clay and the air is dry the only way I have found to maintain the humidity is by watering the substrate resulting in spikes of high humidity as seen in the picture

I actually filed the sharp point down a little last night with an emery board... so small and delicate I didn't want to hurt her and fingernail clippers are huge compared to her mouth

I don't know what conditions were like previously in her life I just got her 2 days ago but I'd assume she's packed together in less than ideal conditions with others her age (the care sheet recommended romaine lettuce among more acceptable greens and never mentions grass or humidity)

Looking at picture #5 you can see how it rubs its face, the scales on the damaged side seem like they could rip off the front piece of her beak... anybody see that bluish swelling under her eyes?

I like the way you are thinking. Your tortoise is alive and has a right to live. When you send it back the life of this little one could be over.
It is really good that you keep her.
But I would e-mail or telephone the seller and explain that this tort is not really healthy and if it will die you want a substitute.

Do the tortoise eat now ?
 

chewyblugoo

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I haven't seen her eat or poop yet, and I emailed the seller; waiting on a reply.
She fell asleep in the food dish... blended grasses and such, maybe she can absorb some nutrients similar to baby food carrot water soaking. I'm thinking the swelling is less, hopefully the beak grows back or it will make eating as adult difficult
 

Bee62

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To fall asleep in the food dish is no good sign.
Please increase the temp in the whole enclosure of your tort to 85 F day and night and the humidity to 85 %.
Long soaks in warm water added with carrot baby food are good. Please observe the baby well while soaking that he doesn`t fall asleep in the water and drowns.
The beak will grow back and I think he could eat with it when he is adult, but the question is: Will he get adult ( because he is sick ).
My fingers are crossed for your little one. Please keep us updated.
 

chewyblugoo

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I added an under tank heater and watered the whole terrarium well... when I cover the top the enclosure heats up to about 95 even with 1 bulb inside, too hot right?!
I'll get some orchid bark tomorrow and replace the substrate, it should wick moisture better than my clay slop. I will also start carrot soaks tomorrow.
She is sleeping in the den surrounded by moisture, temp inside is 82 and may go up a little.
 

Kasia

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Are you sure that's a damage and not deformity? Either way a good exotic Vet. If that's ripped then the thing under her eye you mentioned is probably the swelling and poor thing is in pain. Probably not eating due it. It's hard to judge by a pic. If you really want to keep it go to a reptile Vet ASAP. If it's not able to eat and in pain keeping her alive is a torture.
 

Bee62

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I added an under tank heater and watered the whole terrarium well... when I cover the top the enclosure heats up to about 95 even with 1 bulb inside, too hot right?!
I'll get some orchid bark tomorrow and replace the substrate, it should wick moisture better than my clay slop. I will also start carrot soaks tomorrow.
She is sleeping in the den surrounded by moisture, temp inside is 82 and may go up a little.

95 F is a little bit to high temp.
Are there news of your baby tort ?
 

BrianWI

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It looks like some kind of infection causing odd growth. I hate to say it, but at this point I would euthanize.
 

eric joranson

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It looks like some kind of infection causing odd growth. I hate to say it, but at this point I would euthanize.
in one picture ; the growth you see is the actual beak coming off....the others are after it has fallen away. If he can get it to eat soft foods and go through proper husbandry; it will grow back. Let's give it some time before euthanizing is suggested.
 

BrianWI

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I stand by my my suggestion. Subjecting an animal to needless suffering isn't heroic.
 

Bee62

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It looks like some kind of infection causing odd growth. I hate to say it, but at this point I would euthanize.

Or take that baby to a VET that treats a possible infection with antibiotics while feeding the little tort with a feeding tube.
 

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