Rescue Hingeback, Deirdre

William Lee Kohler

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I gave her another soak today and another scrubbing with the toothbrush, especially on the fungus and ugly/weird green stuff on her shell by the hinge.

It's doesn't smell, isn't soft, isn't gooey... it's just weird and gross... my thinking is that it may be copper or other mineral evaporites from the water in the house where she used to live (Long Island, NY, which has famously odd water in many towns).

Her carapace is warped and very uneven, I was thinking from poor nutrition or no UV, or both... at any rate, she's able to squeeze out eggs, which is one worry I no longer have to entertain.

I was surprised to see her seek out and park herself in the brightest spot in the enclosure directly under the UV light several times today when it was on... for my forest torts, I do a needlessly tricky lighting schedule with dark periods during the day, and I noticed her going over a minute or so after the light would come on, each time.

My understanding has been that homeana are creatures of shade and twilight and are assiduously crepuscular, so my (possibly overly anthropomorphic) thought was that she recognized the light, the UV, as something she'd been lacking, and was going over to make up for lost time.

At any rate, she seems quicker to "come out of her shell" than the last transplant homeana that came to live with me, and I'm obsessing over her needs and welfare, which is my regular stage-1 with a new tort.

Jamie
I have to wonder if she has been denied this in the past and instinctively is making up for this UV "starvation" now that she has it available? (I wrote this before I saw you were on the same thought track) Great minds and all that.
 

jsheffield

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I've been away for a couple of days and miss all of the torts, but especially the newbie, Deirdre; it'll be nice to see her this afternoon when I get home and actually see if I think she's improving.

I think the visual differences are clear and stand out... my hope is that she's in better shape beyond just her appearance, which has improved: I gave her a gentle toothbrush scrub when she first arrived, rubbed down the fungs-inflicted parts with athlete's foot cream, have been soaking her daily, and giving her a variety of hingeback-appropriate foods.

I'm not sure if she's holding more eggs internally. She hasn't displayed any laying/nesting behaviors and seems comfortable, but part of my thinking in continuing the warm soaks is that the early soaks are when she dropped the first two eggs... any suggestions or thoughts in that area would be welcome.

She's an interesting beast, as are all of the torts that I find myself living with, and I'm planning on bring her (and a couple of the others) with me to a local school that's been picking dandelions from a field behind the school for the torts, and who are dying to meet and hear a bit about the torts on an upcoming visit we've tentatively planned.

Jamie
 

Jan A

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I've been away for a couple of days and miss all of the torts, but especially the newbie, Deirdre; it'll be nice to see her this afternoon when I get home and actually see if I think she's improving.

I think the visual differences are clear and stand out... my hope is that she's in better shape beyond just her appearance, which has improved: I gave her a gentle toothbrush scrub when she first arrived, rubbed down the fungs-inflicted parts with athlete's foot cream, have been soaking her daily, and giving her a variety of hingeback-appropriate foods.

I'm not sure if she's holding more eggs internally. She hasn't displayed any laying/nesting behaviors and seems comfortable, but part of my thinking in continuing the warm soaks is that the early soaks are when she dropped the first two eggs... any suggestions or thoughts in that area would be welcome.

She's an interesting beast, as are all of the torts that I find myself living with, and I'm planning on bring her (and a couple of the others) with me to a local school that's been picking dandelions from a field behind the school for the torts, and who are dying to meet and hear a bit about the torts on an upcoming visit we've tentatively planned.

Jamie
Are you going to take Chili & Persophone (sp?) for show & tell? Couldn't help myself, sorry. Can't wait to see more photos of Diedre & all your gorgeous torts.
 

jsheffield

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Are you going to take Chili & Persophone (sp?) for show & tell? Couldn't help myself, sorry. Can't wait to see more photos of Diedre & all your gorgeous torts.
I think I'll bring Darwin, Chili, Aretha, Deidre, and maybe Persephone or Bertha....

J
 
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2turtletom

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I'm not sure if she's holding more eggs internally. She hasn't displayed any laying/nesting behaviors and seems comfortable, but part of my thinking in continuing the warm soaks is that the early soaks are when she dropped the first two eggs... any suggestions or thoughts in that area would be welcome.
Jamie, great thread- I just moved my whole collection to our new house- so I haven't been on TFO for a while, but thanks again for taking this one on. As far as more eggs, have you ever palpated a tortoise? You tilt the animal upward, at about a 45 degree angle or so, and carefully insert a finger into the area in front of the leg, between the leg and the bridge of the shell. You do this gently and carefully, as to not break a finger, and if your finger gets stuck, just endure the crushing until she lets go- it will happen. But if she has a few eggs, you should be able to literally feel them through her skin- it feels like, well, a round marble in there. Try both sides.

-Tom
 

jsheffield

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It's about two months since coming to live with me and Deirdre is now accustomed to me, now waiting for me every morning when I bring her her breakfast... it makes me happy to see her both shedding her shyness and eating the food I'm offering.

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I love when a new rescue gets used to the good life....

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For about a month, she didn't eat, at least when I watched her, or based on what was left on the plates of food I shuttled in and out of her enclosure daily, then she began nibbling, now she eats with gusto.


Jamie
 
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jsheffield

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Shrimp and butternut squash yesterday...


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Ugly food day...

Trimmings and food waste from the Misfits box that arrived yesterday and other food prep:
strawberries
mushrooms
Eggshells and a hard-boiled egg

A dressing made from my dried plant mix, opuntia flour, and Mazuri-slurry.

She also got a small handful of mixed greens....


Jamie
 

jsheffield

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Monday breakfast for Deirdre: two kinds of mazuri (tortoise and crocodile) and cubes of butternut squash... she also got a small handful of mixed greens, although she's less keen on those than my other forest torts.

I soak the kibble in a bit of warm water to soften it, and the squash comes frozen from my supermarket, so is thawed before feeding.

J
 

jsheffield

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As of 7/30, her weight is 1584g, length 20.5cm

on 6/9, when she came to live with me, her weight was 1473g, length 20.2cm

She laid 6 eggs since coming to live with me, none of them fertile.

Her appetite seems much improved, as does her activity level.
 
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