Soft shell problem on baby sulcata tortoies

Rapid_

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Jul 9, 2020
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Lanark
Hi all, i had 3 baby sulcata tortoises 2 males and a female. however my biggest male stopped eating and stopped moving etc and i ended up taking all 3 too the vet where i was told the male either had a liver or kidney failure so i had to get him put down now i have two (the males underneath was very very squishy and soft). Now my male and female both eat fine however i've started to notice that my female under shell is a bit softer than my males idk if this is because she is a female or what but i'm worried because i don't want to lose another one. I sprinkle calcium on there food always as my vet said it wont cause any harm too them and i also put Zocal in there water to help with there bones/shells. can anyone else tell me if this is just a female thing or i should be worried about her too. She seems to be eating and drinking fine and seems to be walking about her enclosure and when i take her out she loves strolling about my room.

Thanks Jamie
 

iAmCentrochelys sulcata

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Alief
You did something that most people won’t do trust a Vet, especially in putting down your Tortoises. But what’s done is done. All babies have a soft bottom but by time it gets Stiffer. What’s your Care like?
 

Rapid_

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My baby male (the one i had put down) was not eating or drinking not interested in food just sat there with no life too him there was definitely something wrong with him. Before he got sick he was the first too the food ball and always pacing his enclosure.
 

Tom

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Hi all, i had 3 baby sulcata tortoises 2 males and a female. however my biggest male stopped eating and stopped moving etc and i ended up taking all 3 too the vet where i was told the male either had a liver or kidney failure so i had to get him put down now i have two (the males underneath was very very squishy and soft). Now my male and female both eat fine however i've started to notice that my female under shell is a bit softer than my males idk if this is because she is a female or what but i'm worried because i don't want to lose another one. I sprinkle calcium on there food always as my vet said it wont cause any harm too them and i also put Zocal in there water to help with there bones/shells. can anyone else tell me if this is just a female thing or i should be worried about her too. She seems to be eating and drinking fine and seems to be walking about her enclosure and when i take her out she loves strolling about my room.

Thanks Jamie
Unfortunately, almost no one starts these babies correctly, and then they teach this wrong info to the new buyers. This is NOT a desert species. They hatch at the start of the monsoon season: Hot, rainy, wet, and extremely humid.

Here is an explanation of what is happening:

By contrast, here is how they SHOULD be started:

And finally, here is how you should be caring for them now:

Questions and conversation welcome.
 

iAmCentrochelys sulcata

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Alief
Unfortunately, almost no one starts these babies correctly, and then they teach this wrong info to the new buyers. This is NOT a desert species. They hatch at the start of the monsoon season: Hot, rainy, wet, and extremely humid.

Here is an explanation of what is happening:

By contrast, here is how they SHOULD be started:

And finally, here is how you should be caring for them now:

Questions and conversation welcome.
Something Out of topic. When I got my tortoise the place I got them from was keeping it humid and a temperature around 80-90 degrees. What’s the funny thing they didn’t even did it on purpose due to them telling me to feed them Lettuce, you know the Common Stuff.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,106
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Something Out of topic. When I got my tortoise the place I got them from was keeping it humid and a temperature around 80-90 degrees. What’s the funny thing they didn’t even did it on purpose due to them telling me to feed them Lettuce, you know the Common Stuff.
As time marches on, this new info is getting dispersed to all corners of the globe. Often what we see now is a mix of the new and the old info. Your example illustrates this perfectly. Good humidity and temps, but wrong diet. More and more people are learning and sharing this new info.
 

Maro2Bear

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Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Hi all, i had 3 baby sulcata tortoises 2 males and a female. however my biggest male stopped eating and stopped moving etc and i ended up taking all 3 too the vet where i was told the male either had a liver or kidney failure so i had to get him put down now i have two (the males underneath was very very squishy and soft). Now my male and female both eat fine however i've started to notice that my female under shell is a bit softer than my males idk if this is because she is a female or what but i'm worried because i don't want to lose another one. I sprinkle calcium on there food always as my vet said it wont cause any harm too them and i also put Zocal in there water to help with there bones/shells. can anyone else tell me if this is just a female thing or i should be worried about her too. She seems to be eating and drinking fine and seems to be walking about her enclosure and when i take her out she loves strolling about my room.

Thanks Jamie

Just wondering why you are so sure on the sex of your Sulcatas? It takes a good deal of time to fully determine the sex of young hatchling tortoises. So, this also leads me in the direction of the temperatures/care/humidity/enclosure you have set up.

Most ppl seem to keep/start their hatchlings at ambient temperatures that are just too cold. Then they have even cooler spots, not good humidity or lighting. Throw in limited or no soaking, a poor diet, and we see these issues.

You might want to upload a few pictures of your current enclosure & overall husbandry. It doesnt take much to have a few bad things impact your tort’s overall welfare. We want to help you help your other babies.

Good luck! Post some pix.

PS - which Lanark are you located in? UK, Florida, Illinois, PA, etc. much of the info provided will depend on where you are located.
 

Rapid_

New Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
Lanark
Just wondering why you are so sure on the sex of your Sulcatas? It takes a good deal of time to fully determine the sex of young hatchling tortoises. So, this also leads me in the direction of the temperatures/care/humidity/enclosure you have set up.

Most ppl seem to keep/start their hatchlings at ambient temperatures that are just too cold. Then they have even cooler spots, not good humidity or lighting. Throw in limited or no soaking, a poor diet, and we see these issues.

You might want to upload a few pictures of your current enclosure & overall husbandry. It doesnt take much to have a few bad things impact your tort’s overall welfare. We want to help you help your other babies.

Good luck! Post some pix.

PS - which Lanark are you located in? UK, Florida, Illinois, PA, etc. much of the info provided will depend on where you are located.

They are just over a year and i'm about 99% sure they are a male and female.

I'm in Lanark UK, and they are currently in an open top container 50L. I'm using a NEOREP Reptile Mercury Vapour 100 Watt Lamp and the light is suspended by Komodo light stand and under the container i use a heat map (this is under the container so it doesn't burn the tortoises)
I will try get some pics to yous but i'm wanting to clean their enclosure first and cant because of the bin men in the UK ripping the arse and have no space too put the old tortoise bedding.

Let me know if i can improve anything please want to have these guys for as long as possible,



Link for lamp: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B076VDPCDS/?tag=
Link for stand: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00PX4AYDQ/?tag=
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,106
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
They are just over a year and i'm about 99% sure they are a male and female.

I'm in Lanark UK, and they are currently in an open top container 50L. I'm using a NEOREP Reptile Mercury Vapour 100 Watt Lamp and the light is suspended by Komodo light stand and under the container i use a heat map (this is under the container so it doesn't burn the tortoises)
I will try get some pics to yous but i'm wanting to clean their enclosure first and cant because of the bin men in the UK ripping the arse and have no space too put the old tortoise bedding.

Let me know if i can improve anything please want to have these guys for as long as possible,



Link for lamp: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B076VDPCDS/?tag=
Link for stand: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00PX4AYDQ/?tag=
Everything in your set up is wrong and will yield poor results. I don't say this to be mean. I say this so that you'll know you need to re-think this if you want the remaining two to survive.

Here are some of the problems:
  1. 50L is too small for a single tiny hatchling. You need something much bigger. You need something 227-378L. for three of them, but after a year of growth, that should also be way too small.
  2. There is no way to maintain the correct temperatures and humidity in an open topped enclosure.
  3. Mercury vapor bulbs dry them out and cause pyramiding, along with a bunch of lesser issues. Not a good bulb for tortoises. Great for bearded dragons or iguanids.
  4. Heat mats should never be used under tortoises. Its not safe or effective, and their instincts to dig down when they are too warm, makes these devices dangerous for tortoises.
  5. Now that you've lost one, the other two need to be separated. They should never live in pairs.
  6. You can't tell the sex of a sulcata until it is around 14", and sometimes even bigger than that.
All of this info, and all of your tips for improvement and keeping them alive as long as possible is in this care sheet:
 
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