Tortoise squeeking

Mea

New Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2024
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
England
Hi guys ! I have what I think is a 1 year old horse field , the shop told me she was 1 but the vet seemed to think she was younger so not to sure! So I noticed a couple of weeks ago she was squeeking , when she does this she scratches her eye and puts all her legs and head inside the shell, a little bubble sometimes comes out her nose but no discharge in the eyes or anything like that . Usually I feed her and it stops so I’m thinking she’s telling me she’s hungry. So I took her to the vet and she said make sure it’s warmer at night time so I bought a lamp with no light only heat, and I’ve been giving her reptiboost in her soaks. The vet said with her being so young didn’t want to get her little body antibiotics incase she didn’t need them. But it’s been another 2 weeks and she’s still squeeking. What do you think I should do? Her enclosure is perfect she’s plenty warm enough eating really well too! Thankyou for reading !!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2348.jpeg
    IMG_2348.jpeg
    1.4 MB · Views: 1

Alex and the Redfoot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2023
Messages
1,748
Location (City and/or State)
Cyprus
Hello!
Can you tell us exact temperatures? Sick tortoise should be kept at 80F day and night. Basking area should be 95-100F.

What lights do you use for the basking area and as a UVB source? Do you use heat lamp with a thermostat?

On the photo tortoise looks dry - probably humidity in the enclosure is low. Substrate gets dry and dusty and this can cause symptoms akin to what you describe. Can you post some photos of the enclosure?

A few suggestions:
1. Replace sandy substrate with coco coir (soil-like fine ground coconut shell, usually sold in bricks). Coco coir will help to retain humidity and is easy to burrow. Hand-pack new substrate in the enclosure to a half of initial height (e.g. from 6 inches to 3-4). You will need about 4-6 inches of packed substrate.
2. Provide clean fresh water all the time. Shallow terracotta saucer, large enough to get into - is a cheap and good option.
3. Leave the food dish available through the day (it wasn't clear from your post if it is so already).
 

Mea

New Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2024
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
England
Hello!
Can you tell us exact temperatures? Sick tortoise should be kept at 80F day and night. Basking area should be 95-100F.

What lights do you use for the basking area and as a UVB source? Do you use heat lamp with a thermostat?

On the photo tortoise looks dry - probably humidity in the enclosure is low. Substrate gets dry and dusty and this can cause symptoms akin to what you describe. Can you post some photos of the enclosure?

A few suggestions:
1. Replace sandy substrate with coco coir (soil-like fine ground coconut shell, usually sold in bricks). Coco coir will help to retain humidity and is easy to burrow. Hand-pack new substrate in the enclosure to a half of initial height (e.g. from 6 inches to 3-4). You will need about 4-6 inches of packed substrate.
2. Provide clean fresh water all the time. Shallow terracotta saucer, large enough to get into - is a cheap and good option.
3. Leave the food dish available through the day (it wasn't clear from your post if it is so already).
Hi! Thankyou for your response!! I’m in the uk so during the day basking temps varies from 30 degrees to 34 degrees, everywhere elts on the table doesn’t go below 20 degrees (this is what the vet told me to do) and at night time it stays lovely and warm with her heat lamp , the humidity veries it’s currently 29% but goes up and down all the time so not quite sure how to change this, I’ve only had had a month so it’s all new to me haha! I change her water multiple times a day and she always has her food dish out, when she squeaks I give her food and then she stops! So not sure if she’s telling me she’s hungry but she’s eating very well! I’ll post a photo of her enclosure now too! The smaller light is on all day and the larger one is on at night time. Thankyou for your time !!
 

Attachments

  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    1.7 MB · Views: 1

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
50,223
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
You need to make the enclosure 80F even 85F while she is still squeaking and basking 95-100F
Humidity should be 80% as a young one, 30-50 for an adult.
Don't let night temps go below 70F.
You need to know exact numbers and pay less attention to what the store or vet said and pay attention to the care of this forum.
Although your vet does seem to know more than most other vets when it comes to tortoises.
You also need to make the enclosure a closed enclosure until it's an adult. Pyramiding has started and Russians are one of the hardest to pyramid or easiest to not let pyramid however you want to look at it
Change the substrate to find grade orchid bark.
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2024
Messages
361
Location (City and/or State)
Finland
How often do you soak her? I would soak here at least once a day now that she's sick. Soaks can be done in the enclosure on the hot side but not directly under the lamp, this way the tortoise stays warm during the soaks.

A layer of orchid bark might help to keep the substrate moist and less messy. How humid is the enclosure? Is it a closed chamber?
 

Mea

New Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2024
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
England
Hiya, I don’t let the table get below 20 degrees and her basking area is 30-34 degrees! Do you have any recommendations of how to get humidity up for her please ? I’ve only had her 1 month and I’ve learnt a lot but I keep learning every day and just want the best for her! Her substrate is currently top soil and before she had the sand with little stones in from the pet shop but I learnt that it’s really bad for them and that I needed top soil which I did, thankyou for your reply !
 

Mea

New Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2024
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
England
How often do you soak her? I would soak here at least once a day now that she's sick. Soaks can be done in the enclosure on the hot side but not directly under the lamp, this way the tortoise stays warm during the soaks.

A layer of orchid bark might help to keep the substrate moist and less messy. How humid is the enclosure? Is it a closed chamber?
I soak her once a day and put the reptiboost in the water too! Ooh that’s a good idea I’ll do that this time! And I’ll also have a look for some orchid bark too thankyou! So in the normal bit of her house it’s quite low :( it’s 27% but in the house part it’s 75%! As you said though that part is enclosed
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2024
Messages
361
Location (City and/or State)
Finland
the humidity veries it’s currently 29%
I would strive for more like 40-75% humidity for a tortoise that age. 40% is an absolute min in many sources. Definitely recommend creating a closed chamber. Here are some threads on closed chambers:

For now, you could create a simple humid hide from a palstic container. Put some moist substrate in and make hole big enough for your tortoise to fit in. Here is a thread on humid hides: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/help-how-do-you-make-a-humid-hide.5000/
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
50,223
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Hiya, I don’t let the table get below 20 degrees and her basking area is 30-34 degrees! Do you have any recommendations of how to get humidity up for her please ? I’ve only had her 1 month and I’ve learnt a lot but I keep learning every day and just want the best for her! Her substrate is currently top soil and before she had the sand with little stones in from the pet shop but I learnt that it’s really bad for them and that I needed top soil which I did, thankyou for your reply !
Not top soil either, orchid or fir bark should be used.
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2024
Messages
361
Location (City and/or State)
Finland
So in the normal bit of her house it’s quite low :( it’s 27% but in the house part it’s 75%! As you said though that part is enclosed
Yeah, I would recommend you try to cover the open top with something, but remember that UVB doesn't pierce through materials. Even plastic wrap might be a temporary solution before you can find something better.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mea

Mea

New Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2024
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
England
How often do you soak her? I would soak here at least once a day now that she's sick. Soaks can be done in the enclosure on the hot side but not directly under the lamp, this way the tortoise stays warm during the soaks.

A layer of orchid bark might help to keep the substrate moist and less messy. How humid is the enclosure? Is it a closed chamber?
I soak her once a day and put the reptiboost in the water too! Ooh that’s a good idea I’ll do that this time! And I’ll also have a look for some orchid bark too thankyou! So in the normal bit of her house it’s quite low :( it’s 27% but in the house part it’s 75%!
I would strive for more like 40-75% humidity for a tortoise that age. 40% is an absolute min in many sources. Definitely recommend creating a closed chamber. Here are some threads on closed chambers:

For now, you could create a simple humid hide from a palstic container. Put some moist substrate in and make hole big enough for your tortoise to fit in. Here is a thread on humid hides: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/help-how-do-you-make-a-humid-hide.5000
I would strive for more like 40-75% humidity for a tortoise that age. 40% is an absolute min in many sources. Definitely recommend creating a closed chamber. Here are some threads on closed chambers:

For now, you could create a simple humid hide from a palstic container. Put some moist substrate in and make hole big enough for your tortoise to fit in. Here is a thread on humid hides: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/help-how-do-you-make-a-humid-hide.5000/
thankuou so much for your help I really appreciate it! I’ve just ordered some orchid bark which will come tomorrow and I’ve ordered a plastic cover which I’ll put lots of holes in to go over the top of her house to bring humidity up, quick question , does humidity really impact their health? I’m really glad I know what to do to get it up now! Really want her to have the best life!
 

Mea

New Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2024
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
England
I would strive for more like 40-75% humidity for a tortoise that age. 40% is an absolute min in many sources. Definitely recommend creating a closed chamber. Here are some threads on closed chambers:

For now, you could create a simple humid hide from a palstic container. Put some moist substrate in and make hole big enough for your tortoise to fit in. Here is a thread on humid hides: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/help-how-do-you-make-a-humid-hide.5000/
I’ve just managed to get humidy up to 70%!! Just by spraying the soil
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2024
Messages
361
Location (City and/or State)
Finland
I’ve just managed to get humidy up to 70%!! Just by spraying the soil
Thats great! We want the humidity to stay above 40% throught the whole enlousure. I hope you follow wellingtons suggestion on switching the substrate and consider covering the parts that are open/creating a closed chamber.
 

Mea

New Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2024
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
England
Thats great! We want the humidity to stay above 40% throught the whole enlousure. I hope you follow wellingtons suggestion on switching the substrate and consider covering the parts that are open/creating a closed chamber.
100% my new substrate is coming tomorrow and also a plastic to go over the top with holes in , thanks so much for your help!!
 

TammyJ

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
7,395
Location (City and/or State)
Jamaica
You can get a mini plastic greenhouse and cover the entire enclosure, hanging the lights inside too
 
Top