Stunting?

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Wewt

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Hey!

Recently found out that my tortoise was stunted. I'm wondering about what causes stunting, whether or not he will grow to full size (or will it just take him longer to get there?), etc. A suggestion I got is that he is male, males tend to grow at slower rates than females. I'm not sure how much I believe that.

I'd have googled, but google just takes me to this forum.

He is a male Sulcata, about 8 years old. We purchased him when he was six. He is about 17 inches long, and weighs 25-30 lbs, depending on how much he ate and how much he pooped. He feels really heavy today, but I don't have a scale in my house to check, so I am going off the last vet visit.

I've included two photos. The first is a picture of when we first got him- his first time at a park. The second picture was taken today in a field, with the same guy to use as a reference.




I saw a female Sulcata yesterday at a local pet supplies store. She was four years old and about twice as big as my tortoise, but her shell was absolutely, heartbreakingly pyramided- it looked like she had metabolic bone disease for sure. She was kept in a 4x4 pen with hay for a substrate and lived with two bunnies. Her heat lamps weren't on at the time I was there. She was also incredibly slow and lethargic. I'm pointing this out because my tortoise is in 100% health aside from his size. His shell is good, he eats like a pig, he's got loads of energy, and the vet says he is perfect. He's just small.

Thanks for the help!
 

Dizisdalife

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He doesn't know he is stunted. I would just give him the best care that you can and enjoy being his keeper.
 

travyn

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Dizisdalife said:
He doesn't know he is stunted. I would just give him the best care that you can and enjoy being his keeper.

Ahhhh that reply was so cute! I truly agree with the sentiment. He looks adorable, what a button hook!
 

ra94131

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He seems relatively healthy, but the three sure-fire things to keep him growing are:

1) healthy food and plenty of it;

2) outdoor time and UVB; and

3) good temperatures for digestion (Minimum 80F/27C, Ambient ~90F/32C, and Basking 100F/38C).


Lower temperatures can also increase the chance of impaction and cause various other problems in the digestive system, so be sure to measure them regularly and accurately.
 

Yvonne G

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I'm not sure he IS stunted. Yes, there are other sulcatas, younger and bigger, but he seems an ok size for his age.

Keep in mind that a healthy tortoise needs plenty of sunshine, good food, hydration and exercise. So, feed him well, make him a little pool that he can get his whole body into, and give him a really large and safe outdoor habitat. (Mazuri Tortoise Diet might help too, but I don't know if it's available in Canada).
 

ra94131

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Yvonne G said:
I'm not sure he IS stunted. Yes, there are other sulcatas, younger and bigger, but he seems an ok size for his age.

I should have said this, as I thought the same thing. Sure, he's on the smaller side of the bell curve, but he doesn't strike me as dangerously small.
 

Wewt

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I've looked into Mazuri based on its popularity and will try to get him some. He has plenty of outdoor time and grazing with access to hay all day. I can't give him constant access to water but I make it available every other day, with weekly soakings. I've been working on the temperature problem and am tackling it slowly, but surely. It will be better once his garage area is set up, since the temps in there range from 23-28 degrees- much better for my tort.

Glad to know he isn't overly small- perhaps he is just naturally littler. I hope so! Want my man to grow up big and strong!
 
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