Tortoise nightmare?

Adaponte95

New Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2022
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
California
So yesterday I was looking into my tortoises enclosure and one of them was awake just gazing at me while the other had been asleep for some time.

The tortoise who was asleep for some time startled me as I was watching the other because he started panicky running all over his tank in his sleep. His eyes were closed as he ran the fastest I’d imagine any turtle can run and he stopped after maybe a good 7 seconds and slowly opened his eyes. He twitched a little and I didn’t know what to think of it. I thought nightmare at first because his eyes were closed. Then I thought, maybe tiny mites or something such as that scared him out of his sleep or nicked him? So I soaked him just to make sure he was clean.

Has this ever happened to anyone ?
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
91,646
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Sometimes adverse environmental conditions cause their eyes to stick in the closed position. It's up to you to be the detective and figure out of this is so.
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
22,875
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hi and welcome.
Are they housed together?
 

Adaponte95

New Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2022
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
California
Hi and welcome.
Are they housed together?
Thank you, they have been housed together since I got them as babies. There were 3 at first but unfortunately one passed probably due to bullying after some research I had done pre and post death.
They are sulcatta tortoises and are about 2 years old now
 

Adaponte95

New Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2022
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
California
Not me.

What species and what size tortoise? How are you housing them? Are you aware they should never live in pairs?
Hi Tom, I have had these sulcatta tortoisss for about 2 years now. There were 3 but one passed a few months ago after not growing for some time. After research I assumed it was bullied.
Since then, the two have done fine and I watch them often daily to see how they interact with each other but I am aware they are sneaky as well.
In the meantime I cannot separate them due to not having another enclosure or equipment. This is the first I have heard they should not be placed in pairs.
 

Adaponte95

New Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2022
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
California
image.jpg They usually sleep together like this. The humidity has always been between 40-65% with temperatures of 80-105 degrees. They have scheduled lighting usually coordinated with my sleep schedule and do not have signs of health issues
 

Adaponte95

New Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2022
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
California
Sometimes adverse environmental conditions cause their eyes to stick in the closed position. It's up to you to be the detective and figure out of this is so.
Just from looking at them everyday they seem to have great eyes, no signs of anything sticky.
 

jeff kushner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
1,264
Location (City and/or State)
North of Annapolis
Welcome A95! That's freaky! Running WFO w/ eyes closed....from a tortoise? You couldn't have made that up, if you tried<LOL>!!

I can't debate the "should you" put them together because I don't know. The guys here do though so I would suggest deferring. They wouldn't tell you incorrect info, period.

That sure is some weird behavior out of your guy!









I wonder about something since they live together;

I would be interested to see if Sulc #2, the furthest in the last pic..............is always the one looking away.

Sulc #1, closest seems to be in a dominate position by hemming in his buddy...............not that he's doing anything intentional......just very subtle dominance is all I suggest might be occurring......and they just assume their roles at this point?


jeff
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
58,736
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
They usually sleep together like this. The humidity has always been between 40-65% with temperatures of 80-105 degrees. They have scheduled lighting usually coordinated with my sleep schedule and do not have signs of health issues
Your tortoises have severe pyramiding and MBD. You've made some grave mistakes and need to make some significant changes ASAP to reduce any further harm.

The tortoises don't care if you don't have another enclosure and supplies. They need what they need, and they need to be separated. They aren't sleeping together because they like each other. They are trying to crowd each other out of the territory. Since they can't leave, this chronic stress can hamper the immune system and wreak all sorts of havoc.

I can't tell the size of the tank, but since its glass, I can assume it is much too small.

Do they have a UV source? Do they ever get outside? You have to stop to progression of MBD ASAP. They need the proper diet, calcium, supplementation and UVB.

Please read this for the correct sulcata care:

You were probably given all the usual wrong care info, so this is not necessarily your fault, but regardless, we need to fix the problems immediately. Your questions are welcome.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
91,646
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
The sulcata closest to the camera, the one with the sunken in back, has pretty bad Metabolic Bone Disease. It's painful. Please read the care sheet shown in Tom's post and make changes to the way you have them set up. This will help them heal.
 

Sam & Ella

New Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2022
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
Ohio
Sometimes adverse environmental conditions cause their eyes to stick in the closed position. It's up to you to be the detective and fig
Frankly, I've been educating myself about chelonian care with extraordinary dedication in eight decades, and I never found anyone as credible as Tom; our Forum Tom. Here's my two cents. I think my 20-year-old redfoots "dream." Not unusual in the middle of the night to hear a thump, like a concrete block tipping over. It's Samantha, or Ella climbing the wall. 3 x 6-foot metal indoor pen.

As far as "lack of room," I have 12 pancakes, separated into threes, and "they like to pancake" at times; plenty of room in my Critter Cages (TM) IMO because they stay in closer proximities by choice.
 

Sue Ann

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
437
Location (City and/or State)
chapin , South Carolina
View attachment 343209 They usually sleep together like this. The humidity has always been between 40-65% with temperatures of 80-105 degrees. They have scheduled lighting usually coordinated with my sleep schedule and do not have signs of health issues
I’m so sorry you have been given bad information. Your torts look in need of immediate help. MBD is painful and fatal. These are not healthy torts. At 2 yrs old they should be at least 20 pounds each with full rounded shells. Listen to Tom and Yvonne they have been doing this for a long time.Good luck and welcome to the Forum
 

Adaponte95

New Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2022
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
California
I’m so sorry you have been given bad information. Your torts look in need of immediate help. MBD is painful and fatal. These are not healthy torts. At 2 yrs old they should be at least 20 pounds each with full rounded shells. Listen to Tom and Yvonne they have been doing this for a long time.Good luck and welcome to the Forum
Hi Sue, are you sure you meant 20 lbs instead of 2 lbs?
Here is a sulcata chart I found and would like to get the best accuracy.
thank you. I am currently making a lot of changes.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot 2022-04-25 9.56.16 AM.png
    Screenshot 2022-04-25 9.56.16 AM.png
    17.8 KB · Views: 6

RatQueen_Irene

Active Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
61
Location (City and/or State)
Corvallis, Oregon
To give some idea and perspective of why people are saying they have metabolic bone disease, the top image is a healthy sulcata. The bottom one is similar to yours with spikey scutes and a bent-in shell, caused primarily by not having UVB (if looking for which to get, the most reliable is a T5 tube-type UVB and hood) and extremely low humidity. The care guide link above can help save your torts, getting sun and upping enclosure humidity if possible in the meantime between improvements made

aca02dcd1ccfa99ea496305ad4bcd9b8.jpg
 

Adaponte95

New Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2022
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
California
The sulcata closest to the camera, the one with the sunken in back, has pretty bad Metabolic Bone Disease. It's painful. Please read the care sheet shown in Tom's post and make changes to the way you have them set up. This will help them heal.
Thank you Yvonne for being so helpful, I have definitely been given the wrong information before buying these sulcata and never knew I was doing it wrong these past 2 years :(

I am doing as much research and rereading toms care sheet which was most helpful!

As for the sever MBD, is there anyway to tell my tortoise is in pain? They are currently being transferred outside to an enclosure I am building.
 

Adaponte95

New Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2022
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
California
To give some idea and perspective of why people are saying they have metabolic bone disease, the top image is a healthy sulcata. The bottom one is similar to yours with spikey scutes and a bent-in shell, caused primarily by not having UVB (if looking for which to get, the most reliable is a T5 tube-type UVB and hood) and extremely low humidity. The care guide link above can help save your torts, getting sun and upping enclosure humidity if possible in the meantime between improvements made

View attachment 343797
This was incredibly helpful, thank you Irene! I am doing my best to fix this is at all possible by getting them out of they’re glass enclosure and into a much much larger outdoor enclosure
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
58,736
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi Sue, are you sure you meant 20 lbs instead of 2 lbs?
Here is a sulcata chart I found and would like to get the best accuracy.
thank you. I am currently making a lot of changes.
That chart is old wrong info, and those growth rates are typical for when we used to start them the old wrong dry way before we knew better. Those rates might be comparable to wild tortoises that are dealing with seasonal starvation, seasonal dehydration, weather extremes, avoiding predation, parasites, and other hardships of the wild.

In captivity, with a good high fiber weedy, grassy, leafy diet, correct housing, and god hydration, they should reach 800-1200 grams in their first year. About 20 pounds by 24 months, and around 30 pounds by 3 years. This is with optimal conditions. Even half these rates would be pretty good in most circumstances.

8 pounds at 6-9 years old? Something is seriously wrong in a case like that.
 
Top