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!

Temporary sulcata owner (3 weeks)

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by saiyan25, May 22, 2019.

Help Support Tortoise Forums by donating:

  1. saiyan25

    saiyan25 New Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ohio
    Hello,

    I'm new on the forum. I've been keeping 4 reptiles for about 8 years, none are tortoises or turtles. Recently a friend of mine decided to go on a vacation for 2 weeks and we decided to take care of their sulcata tortoise (~13" long). I didn't realize this first, but the living conditions were sub par, the tortoise was kept in a glass aquarium, and the shell looked kind of flat in the middle. So I hastily put together a 8'x8'x1' enclosure in my back yard, with a 2'x3' box for shade/heat (CHE w/ thermostat). It's 60-85F ish so I don't think temperature is a big problem. Hopefully the tortoise can rehabilitate and I might ask to keep the tortoise for the summer. I am planning on putting a fence around the enclosure on the weekend.

    Can you guys give me any suggestions? I'm trying to take a crash course into sulcata tortoise care, so please excuse my ignorance. I can't go all out and spend hundreds of dollars, since it's not my tortoise and he's staying only temporarily. I will try to take some pictures and post it here when I get home today.
    Sue Ann, Pastel Tortie and Ketta like this.
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    80,079
    Likes Received:
    50,735
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Clovis, CA
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    Hi and welcome! How lucky that tortoise is to have you as the babysitter. With the shell as you've described, flat in the middle, he probably won't last much longer without a change in his care. You've described a classic case of Metabolic Bone Disease. And it's quite painful for the tortoise. So getting him outside in the sun, and feeding calcium-rich foods is the best prescription for him right now.

    Are there weeds and grasses in his new outside enclosure? Let's hope they'll allow you to keep the tortoise over the summer. If not, you can print out our care sheet and give it to them when they take the tortoise back.
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
    Ketta and TechnoCheese like this.
  3. saiyan25

    saiyan25 New Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ohio
    Yes, it's mostly grass, with some weeds. Is that good or bad? It's not been treated, as I grow a garden right next to it. I've seen him nibble on the grass but he's mostly focused on the greens (with calcium supplements). Is there anything that I can add to keep him entertained? He seems to be very active and curious. I've attached pictures of him.

    IMG_3286.png IMG_3285.png
    Ketta likes this.
  4. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Messages:
    6,545
    Likes Received:
    21,579
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
    You also might want to give it a nice warm water bath. Do you know if it’s been routinely soaked in warm water?
  5. saiyan25

    saiyan25 New Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ohio
    Yes, I was planning on giving him a warm bath this week. I do not believe he's been routinely soaked.
    Ketta likes this.
  6. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Messages:
    6,545
    Likes Received:
    21,579
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
    Yes. Do that every few days. Daily of you can!
    Ketta and saiyan25 like this.
  7. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Messages:
    19,630
    Likes Received:
    6,835
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    CA
    Sadly MBD is not reversible. It sounds like he does have it from this point on you can only stop it from progressing further. Lots of sunshine & calcium will help. Weeds & grass is fine. Giving him a large area to explore with a couple of hides & sight barriers will be his\her entertainment. Hopefully you can save this :tort: life with better care.
  8. saiyan25

    saiyan25 New Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ohio
    He pooped and peed within 10 minutes of the warm bath!
    vladimir likes this.
  9. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Messages:
    6,545
    Likes Received:
    21,579
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
    Great. Nice long warm baths are very beneficial... the more the merrier. = One Happy Tort

    Good luck
  10. saiyan25

    saiyan25 New Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ohio
    I've attached a picture showing the state of the shell. Do you guys think his shell can become normal with proper care, or is this going to be permanent?

    IMG_3344.PNG
  11. Beasty_Artemis

    Beasty_Artemis Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    133
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location (City and/or State):
    Oregon Coast
    Holy cow!!!!
    That is the worst MBD that I have ever seen....!
    Poor little guy. I would probably subtly offer to buy him from my friend when he comes back.
    Just say: " Hey man, he was so cute I just love him! If you ever want to sell him, I'm totally down!"
    But I'm really prone to rescuing pet reptiles from my friends over the years.
  12. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Messages:
    19,630
    Likes Received:
    6,835
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    CA
    Def. MBD his shell will be like that for the rest of his(most likely) shortened life:(
    Cowboy_Ken likes this.
  13. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    Messages:
    17,386
    Likes Received:
    12,703
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Suburban-life in Salem, Oregon
    Here is one I adopted with really bad mbd the last picture with 2 in it shows what can happen when 2 are raised together. IMG_0640.jpg IMG_0948.jpg IMG_0695.jpg
    TechnoCheese and xMario like this.
  14. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    Messages:
    17,386
    Likes Received:
    12,703
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Suburban-life in Salem, Oregon
    Let’s try that again IMG_0640.jpg
    xMario likes this.
  15. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    Messages:
    2,273
    Likes Received:
    3,186
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Youngstown, Ohio
    I would not give it back. Obviously, he was not taking care of this tort at all!
Similar Threads: Temporary sulcata
Forum Title Date
Sulcata tortoises Is there benefit in seeking a temporary female mate for an adult Sulcata? May 21, 2015
Sulcata tortoises Temporary Habitat and Diet for a Sulcata Tortoise? Jun 18, 2013
Sulcata tortoises Looking for temporary home for adult femail sulcata near Tyler, TX May 8, 2012
Sulcata tortoises Temporary living somewhere else Feb 20, 2019
Sulcata tortoises Temporary heat options Nov 17, 2017

Share This Page