1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Rescued marginated - is he sick or sulking ?

Discussion in 'Marginated tortoises' started by Mmkk, May 13, 2019.

Help Support Tortoise Forums by donating:

  1. Mmkk

    Mmkk New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Uk
    Hi all you tortie luvvers out there.
    I have just got a marginated tortoise come in to the pet rescue (pet dump really) here in sunny south coast uk.
    Story goes - previous owner had him for five years in a vivarium. Gave him away to a friend, who decided the viv was too big for her house and so has dumped him with us. No other info, age, certificates, nothing.
    He is 20cm, I would guess at least 7 yrs old. He seems a bit lumpy but also flat like a pancake.
    The rescue centre owner set up the viv when he came in but said he was absolutely red hot underneath and burning her hand so she took him out and put him into a rabbit hutch in a cold dimly lit shed.
    I came in 4 days later and convinced her to let me bring him to my warm conservatory and outside in a sunny sheltered spot whenever poss.
    He has eaten absolutely nothing these last 8 days, I don’t know about before, and rushes to hide the instant I put him down.
    After reading lots of posts here, I am warm bathing him every day, he gets his man bits out ALL the time (!), he has voided once, 3 tiny poo blobs, size of a baked bean.
    His eyes are sometimes puffy, which improve after the bath for a while, so I presume he is dehydrated, but there is no discharge, they are bright and shiny.
    His skin is peeling a bit, but I don’t see any other signs, spots, fungus , nothing sinister.
    I’m worried he might have kidney probs, as I don’t know how he was cared for, and that’s why they’ve dumped him, or maybe he is just “shell shocked” and will improve in a couple of weeks....I don’t want to try to force feed him if he has a blockage or something.
    I have kept torties before, but in their natural climate in the med, and never had any issues apart from predation so it’s all a bit daunting now.
    Any advice folks ?
    Btw, I’ve called him Spiro, after the Greek heartthrob in the Durrells
    Ben02 likes this.
  2. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    Messages:
    2,326
    Likes Received:
    3,239
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Youngstown, Ohio
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    Welcome to the forum. I don’t raise Greeks but there is a great care sheet in the Greek section. Please give it a read. Everything for caring for him is in there.
  3. Mmkk

    Mmkk New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Uk
    Thankyou, yes, it was the first place I went to :)
    I guess I’m hoping for some reassurance that he is just sulking and not horribly sick.
  4. Yvonne G

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

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    81,715
    Likes Received:
    54,375
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Clovis, CA
    Hi, and welcome to the Forum!

    Tortoises are territorial, so he needs to be put someplace where he's going to stay for a while, as it take them a couple weeks to learn that they're safe and the new territory is safe. UVB, heat, hiding places, etc. - all the things a tortoise needs to be healthy and happy. Start soaking him daily for about a half hour or 45 minutes in a half and half mixture of strained carrot baby food and warm water. Since he's not eating, soaking in this mixture that's high in vitamin A will help give him a boost. After the soak, place him in front of his food then get out of his sight. Every time you walk by the enclosure, dig him out and put him in front of the food.

    It sounds like he's suffering fro MBD (the flat shell), and that's quite painful, so it's going to be hard to get him to eat. If you have access to a GOOD tortoise vet, a calcium injection might be a good idea. But, remember, all the calcium in the world isn't going to help him unless he also gets the UVB either from a GOOD light, or from the sun.

    I'd love to see pictures of your new Marginated tortoise. . . Spiro, isn't it?
    julie morgan likes this.
  5. Mmkk

    Mmkk New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Uk
    Hi Yvonne ! I’ve read a lot of your posts so recognise you already. Yes, I will read up a bit more on the mbd , poor fellah.
    I’ll go and dig him out for a pic and get some carrot purée too. I’m very attached to him already after only 5 days. <3
  6. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 10 Year Member!

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Messages:
    19,752
    Likes Received:
    7,008
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    CA
    Def sounds like MBD poor guy :( puffy eyes could be possible RI keep an eye on him lack of appetite another possible sign. Soak and offer food everyday.
  7. Mmkk

    Mmkk New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Uk
    Yes, he seems alright at the moment but after going from overheating to a cold shed he may we’ll go down with an RI...
  8. Mmkk

    Mmkk New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Uk
    Here he is....his tail looks very female but he defo has a man bit :eek: ....handsome boy :)
    His beak is also overgrown so I’ll get him a cuttlefish - another sign of poor husbandry
    7BC8B5E8-645B-477F-9002-D8A55280EA45.jpeg 877ADAB7-0B2E-48CA-B893-1240E6D91FB6.jpeg D488FB6B-FD88-4C01-9E51-E5B816B1D245.jpeg
    His beak is also overgrown so I’ll get him a cuttlefish - another sign of poor husbandry
    B83464E8-8594-49FF-9AAA-949DEC017A02.jpeg
  9. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 10 Year Member!

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Messages:
    19,752
    Likes Received:
    7,008
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    CA
    Looks like MBD (his shell looks like a hat) but looks like a minor case (seen way worse) can't be reversed but def. manageable
  10. Yvonne G

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

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    81,715
    Likes Received:
    54,375
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Clovis, CA
  11. Mmkk

    Mmkk New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Uk
    So day 9 and no change.....not eaten anything, just hides. He won’t even bask for a minute !
    There was a teeny yellow liquid on the towel when I dried him off , presumably some urate.
    I’m going to get Reptiboost and squirt some in his mouth as well as bath him in it in and hope it perks him up a bit.
    It is warm here at the mo but it really seems he wants to brumate....
    Such a worry :(
  12. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Messages:
    2,558
    Likes Received:
    1,903
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Jamaica
    He is so precious and beautiful. Can you get him to a reptile vet? One that is knowledgeable about tortoises in particular and will not consult a book and start giving him vitamin injections.
  13. Littlez

    Littlez New Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    St Leonards on Sea, UK
    Hi, I'm new to the site and I'm definitely no expert but I can share the knowledge gained from my ignorance!

    I have a little Russian called Rover and he's my first tortoise so all I knew about caring for him I got from books and the internet. A few years ago I was going through a divorce which turned unpleasant and so, at the time, my mind was all over the place. Poor Rover was rather sidelined during this time but I thought he was ok as he seemed to be hibernating. In my ignorance I didn't realise that he was becoming unwell - he just hadn't taken on enough nutrition before hand to get him through. He ended up with malnutrition. He was moving around but wouldn't eat. His eyes got puffy and eventually sealed shut. I took him to a vet who diagnosed Rover's condition and who definitely saved his little life. He was kept in and fed by a tube into his gut for a week. After that for a few months I had to syringe feed him 3 times a day (and boy did I learn how strong a bite a little tort can have!) and the vet had to surgically open Rover's eyelids. It was a really worrying time.
    I know that syringe feeding is grim but that high-strength, nutrient rich gunge is the reason I still have my bitey little dinosaur. He regained his strength and is back to munching kale and climbing things he shouldn't. Like I said, I'm absolutely no expert but if you get some hefty shots of nutrients in him and he isn't perking up I would definitely recommend getting your little guy to a good vet. If you are anywhere near Hastings then I would really recommend Rob (the guy who saved my Rover) but if not then I hope someone on here could recommend someone they trust who is close enough for you.
    I'll keep my fingers crossed for you
    Z
    Polly likes this.
  14. Mmkk

    Mmkk New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Uk
    That’s great, thanks for your input.
    I was away for the weekend but my aunt said he ate some of those pellets, moistened. Gobbled them up she said.
    So it might be that he simply doesn’t recognise “real” food.
    He hasn’t eaten since, but his eyes are not puffy anymore and I have squirted some water and pea purée into his mouth.
    I think he has just been totally wrongly cared for and has to adjust. He doesn’t walk properly either, like he’s swimming....perhaps because the vivarium was far too small and with unsuitable substrate.
    Do you know what the nutrient gunge was ? Was it reptiboost ?
    I’m not so far from Hastings if it comes to it.
    At least it’s nice and warm now :)
  15. Littlez

    Littlez New Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    St Leonards on Sea, UK
    I'm so glad It must be a relief to know he's improving!
    The special food was made by Oxbow and it was called "Critical Care fine grind". It is a powder that I had to mix into a paste, slurp it into a syringe and then slowly squirt it into his mouth. I was also mixing in a little Nutrobal high calcium balancer and once he was eating for himself again I would sometimes sprinkle a bit of the Nutrobal on his food.
    I kept the left over stuff in a cupboard because even though it is out of date it means that I would know exactly what to look for if I should ever need to find it again ☺️
    Now I am glad I did, although it seems you might not end up needing it (hopefully)
    Z
    TammyJ likes this.
  16. Mmkk

    Mmkk New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Uk
    Good to know - I’ll look for it online
  17. Mmkk

    Mmkk New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Uk
    So Spiro is still alive, and has eaten a tiny bit but has not vacuated anything as far as I know, now going on three weeks ...
    He will only eat those pellets although I shove a tiny bit of leaf in when poss. So probably no fibre to speak of.
    I do think it has been a temperature issue, and he has difficulty walking so maybe not much appetite.
    Anyway, I’m persevering, he has definitely improved, so hopefully I can feed him up adequately before winter.
  18. Yvonne G

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

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    81,715
    Likes Received:
    54,375
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Clovis, CA
    Well, if he eats the pellets, you're halfway home! At least he's eating something. So, chop up some greens into tiny, tiny pieces and mix it in with the pellets. Mix it good so he can't really see it. Over time you can slowly decrease the amount of pellets and increase the greens, but don't be in a hurry. Take your time. Some things they're NOT supposed to have, but may get him started eating again: iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, watermelon. These are also things you can use like you use the pellets with the chopped up greens.

    He's awfully pretty. I've never been real fond of the marginated tortoises, but I really like the light color on his 'skirt.'
  19. Mmkk

    Mmkk New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Uk
    I think he’s that colour cos he’s still young and not been exposed to proper sunlight - apparently they get darker uniform brown with age...
    The rescue centre owner told me they once had a pale yellow Mediterranean tortoise brought in which had spent most of its life in a cupboard !
    Good idea about mixing the pellets. Anytime he gets a mouthful of “real” food he stops eating immediately. But, he is finally approaching things on his own, I saw him bite the long grass this afternoon and he was trying to bite a plastic urn...
    Thanks for the tips :)
    Polly likes this.
  20. crimson_lotus

    crimson_lotus Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes Received:
    514
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Massachusetts
    The inability to walk correctly might be another sign of MBD, or severe constipation.

    For the food, maybe try blending everything together with the pellets?
    Kenno likes this.
Similar Threads: Rescued marginated
Forum Title Date
Marginated tortoises Marginated cage Sep 20, 2019
Marginated tortoises Marginated Tortoise - Male or Female? Sep 17, 2019
Marginated tortoises Marginated sex Aug 30, 2019
Marginated tortoises Hello, I have marginated tortoise here. Aug 6, 2019
Marginated tortoises Adopted a Marginated Tortoise Jul 18, 2019

Share This Page