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New Member with 3 recently adopted tortoises - Asking for advice on diet/shell condition/health

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Punk, Oct 29, 2016.

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  1. Punk

    Punk New Member

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    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg Hi, I'm currently living in Saudi and have recently adopted 3 tortoises from a family moving on. We assume that all 3 are desert tortoises, 2 males (small) and 1 female (larger). All 3 have been brought up on a diet of lettuce, cucumber, carrots & tomatoes. Since we have had them they no longer have any of that food and I pick fresh dandelions, grasses, desert honeysuckle leaves & flowers, spurges & mustard greens (shop bought). I'm thinking about order some TLady tortoise seed mix from Herbiseed - Would this be a good thing?
    Our first is Punk, he is very active, drinks & eats well (fresh water is out every day in a large sunken flowerpot saucer). His shell is flaky in parts but no sign of pyramiding. He also goes to the toilet regularly. We have had him a few months.
    The other 2 are George and Izzie who we got a few days ago. Izzie's shell looks healthy (to my untrained eye), she is active (slower than Punk) and eats & drinks well. I've not seen her go to the toilet so can't comment there. George on the other hand is in a sorry state. His shell is very damaged and its dark (previous owners had been coating in with olive oil). He also has a weak back leg so he almost hobbles along and today I've noticed that he tucks one of his front legs in and out...almost like he is trying to scratch his ear like a dog would but his leg goes up, over and inside his shell (not sure if any of that makes sense!?!)
    The previous owner had a dog who used to grab George so I'm wondering if this is the cause of his shell damage. I've bathed George and given him a light brush with a toothbrush to try and remove some of the oil. He is nibbling but not eating a lot (that I've noticed).
    Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to say "Hello" and introduce my torts!
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
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  2. enzot91

    enzot91 Member

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    Hi and welcome.

    If you live in Saudi Arabia it's very unlikely that they're desert tortoises, which are native to the US and Mexico. Post a few pictures of several angles including the underside and we should be able to identify them for you.
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  3. Punk

    Punk New Member

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    Hi, I've just added 3 photos. I'll get some more from different angles later (they are all sleeping now). The first picture is Punk, the 2nd is Izzie and the 3rd is George. I'll update with more photos asap. Thanks
  4. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    Hello and Welcome. George looks like his shell might have had maybe some burn damage, but not real sure. To help with his leg, you could try some hydrotherapy. Float him in some warm water, deep enough that he can't touch and will have to swim using that leg and building it up. If he just sinks, help to hold him up.
    I'm guessing they may be Greeks. But I'm not good IDing Greeks and Hermanns. Maybe @HermanniChris can help here. Otherwise it sounds like your getting things changed up for the good.
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  5. HermanniChris

    HermanniChris Well-Known Member TFO Sponsor 10 Year Member!

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    Hi Welcome. Without a single doubt they are Greek tortoises but unfortunately it's going to be tough to determine subspecies because of the condition of their shells.
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  6. Punk

    Punk New Member

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    Thanks for the advice, I will start some hydrotherapy with him tomorrow. Would you advise doing this every day or a few times a week? I'll put some diff angled pics on later to help with the species diagnosis. Thanks :)
  7. Punk

    Punk New Member

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    Thank you for identifying them. I have only been researching Desert tortoise diets...are Greek diets much different? Off to google search now. Thank you :)
  8. Grandpa Turtle 144

    Grandpa Turtle 144 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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  9. Punk

    Punk New Member

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  10. Lyn W

    Lyn W Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi and welcome. Looks like they have found a great new home with you.
    The Beginners Mistakes thread (link below) is also a good place to learn from other people's mistakes, and the enclosures thread has lots of ideas that will help too.
  11. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    I believe Chris has a caresheet up under the Greek section. Look for that.
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  12. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    I would do it daily for a month and see if he improves. I did this for a rescued leopard that couidnt walk, only scooted. He was safely raised in a ten gallon. With the therapy and lots more walking space, he now walks great and is my fasted leopard. I sometimes did it twice a day, but once is good.
  13. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Hi, and welcome to the Forum!

    I know...I know...it's very presumptuous of us Americans to assume we're the only country with a desert and with indigenous tortoises...but it's pretty much accepted that when a tortoise person says, "desert tortoise," he's talking about the western U.S. deserts.

    Your Greek tortoises are probably tortoises from the desert too, but not to be confused, we'll call them Greeks (Testudo graeca). Here's a link to our care sheet:

    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/greek-tortoise-testudo-graeca-care-sheet-overview.87146/

    Your new tortoises look like they've been around a long time, and that one has a pretty scarred up shell. But they're just fine. Glad to have you and your new 'old' tortoises here with us!
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  14. Grandpa Turtle 144

    Grandpa Turtle 144 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    It's a great place for people with torts to be them selves while learning more up to date information and make new friends ! Have a great day !
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  15. Punk

    Punk New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and the advice and links. Lots of reading ahead for me I think :)
  16. Speedy-1

    Speedy-1 Well-Known Member

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    Hi and welcome ! :tort:
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  17. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Welcome! Your tortoises look experienced but still beautiful!
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  18. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    Hello, and a very warm welcome to Tortoise Forum to you and your lovely Greeks.:)
    I lived and worked in Saudi, for a little while and loved it.
    And I love Greek torts, too that's what i have.
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