New to Forums and new Russian Tort Owner

KelleyfromMi

New Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
Greenwood, Mi
Hey there! My name is Kelley. A friend approached me about taking a Russian she rescued not quite a year ago...problem being...she also was not super knowledgeable about torts...I’ve named her Talia and she is much better than when she took her in (she believed she had MBD) improved her diet, substrate and began soaking her...but she only soaks her occasionally and kept her in a dry environment. She did supplement her with calcium and give her a UVB light...

All that being said...I’ve been researching like crazy because this is my first tort and while I’ve wanted one forever, it was unexpected and kind of quick decision. I grew up with aquatic turtles, and my son has one as well, but I wasn’t familiar and confident with tort care.

I have a good idea of how her set up should be now thanks to the great info sheet I found here and many other sources as well, and lots of good info for diet and setting up her outdoor enclosure. I own a farm and have 10 acres in the country, so she will have plenty of room, but she will come inside for now in the evening or inclimate weather or cold temps until I can get a heated outdoor enclosure done for her.
ABF6E887-2563-48DA-AEDA-44146C2C3AEF.jpeg 3BFCE3E2-2790-4E92-B48F-8455115BD5C2.jpeg 5B0EBA28-DB9D-4675-9E27-3755D3F4AAE5.jpeg
This is NOT her enclosure here...she will be in a MUCH larger tote, for a few days while I get her new habitats set up, but this is what they gave her to me in...which is troubling to say the least...I think I may not have been given all the info, because she said she had a water dish in there for her, but then she said she had to keep it for her other tort...which leads me to believe they were living together even though she had said that they were living separately so yeah, I don’t know.

Anyways...I know she had previous health problems, but I’m curious, if she looks relatively healthy? She seems dry to me, and almost as if she has pyramided in the past, then went soft and receded... I would love your thoughts and advice.
Nearly all my pets are rescues, and I just want to get her really healthy and happy for the rest of her life, so any help with that is appreciated.

Thanks! ☺️
 

ZenHerper

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
1,692
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
Welcome!

I see you found the Temperate Tortoise care sheet in the Russian sub-forum. =))

This little one needs immediate attention to correct dehydration. Some good 30 minute warm-water soaks until s/he acclimates to you and has routinely clear urine.

Wet that substrate thoroughly...it is the right stuff, just the wrong use technique. Adult russians need a damp substrate that mimics conditions in a plush field or under a copse of trees.

Fresh drinking water should be available all the time. Those cheap terra cotta under-pot saucers are easy to find this time of year...get one that is in the 8-10 inch size so s/he can fit all the way into it.

If you have follow-up questions about the care sheet details, post them here so everyone can follow along and meet your new friend!
 

Jan A

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
1,323
Location (City and/or State)
Boulder, CO
Hey there! My name is Kelley. A friend approached me about taking a Russian she rescued not quite a year ago...problem being...she also was not super knowledgeable about torts...I’ve named her Talia and she is much better than when she took her in (she believed she had MBD) improved her diet, substrate and began soaking her...but she only soaks her occasionally and kept her in a dry environment. She did supplement her with calcium and give her a UVB light...

All that being said...I’ve been researching like crazy because this is my first tort and while I’ve wanted one forever, it was unexpected and kind of quick decision. I grew up with aquatic turtles, and my son has one as well, but I wasn’t familiar and confident with tort care.

I have a good idea of how her set up should be now thanks to the great info sheet I found here and many other sources as well, and lots of good info for diet and setting up her outdoor enclosure. I own a farm and have 10 acres in the country, so she will have plenty of room, but she will come inside for now in the evening or inclimate weather or cold temps until I can get a heated outdoor enclosure done for her.
View attachment 326553 View attachment 326554 View attachment 326555
This is NOT her enclosure here...she will be in a MUCH larger tote, for a few days while I get her new habitats set up, but this is what they gave her to me in...which is troubling to say the least...I think I may not have been given all the info, because she said she had a water dish in there for her, but then she said she had to keep it for her other tort...which leads me to believe they were living together even though she had said that they were living separately so yeah, I don’t know.

Anyways...I know she had previous health problems, but I’m curious, if she looks relatively healthy? She seems dry to me, and almost as if she has pyramided in the past, then went soft and receded... I would love your thoughts and advice.
Nearly all my pets are rescues, and I just want to get her really healthy and happy for the rest of her life, so any help with that is appreciated.

Thanks! ☺️
Welcome to the forum & we're glad you found TFO. There's lots of good & current info & always someone around to bounce ideas off of. And photos & questions are always welcome!!
 

KelleyfromMi

New Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
Greenwood, Mi
Welcome!

I see you found the Temperate Tortoise care sheet in the Russian sub-forum. =))

This little one needs immediate attention to correct dehydration. Some good 30 minute warm-water soaks until s/he acclimates to you and has routinely clear urine.

Wet that substrate thoroughly...it is the right stuff, just the wrong use technique. Adult russians need a damp substrate that mimics conditions in a plush field or under a copse of trees.

Fresh drinking water should be available all the time. Those cheap terra cotta under-pot saucers are easy to find this time of year...get one that is in the 8-10 inch size so s/he can fit all the way into it.

If you have follow-up questions about the care sheet details, post them here so everyone can follow along and meet your new friend!
Awesome, thanks, I thought she was dehydrated, I picked up her Terra cotta saucer today for her water, and I thought her bedding should be moist per the care sheet...(this is not my set up for her, it’s the tote they gave her to me in and how they were keeping her...I just got her today.

Thanks so much for all the help!
 

KelleyfromMi

New Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
Greenwood, Mi
She passed urate shortly after beginning her soak this morning, but she has what appears to be 2 very small hollow spots on her shell that are white...what is anything should I do for these? FCE6BF16-068B-42B9-970D-1C0DA35F5978.jpeg
 
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