Uric Acid


New Member
Jan 24, 2021
Location (City and/or State)
Hello! I'm really needing advice for my little Horsfield Tortoise. He is now 7 month old and has started having ALOT of calcium in his wee.

I put the smallest amount of calcium dust daily on his food. He eats a mixture of weeds daily and nothing he shouldn't. I bath him twice daily in warm water for 10-15 mins a time. He is passing stools as normal.

The temperature of his table goes no lower than 35 and no higher than 40 and he spends most of the day sleeping near the lamp half in the shade.

He's alert when he wakes up and wakes up for food routinely every morning by climbing the sides. He doesn't drag back legs, drinks and eats normally.

I'm not sure what I'm missing or what I'm doing wrong. Am I over supplementing him? The vets say he seems well and tested a pool sample which was fine but I feel like I'm missing something.

Please help!


Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond, VA
Is it because it is why and crumbly that you think it is so calcium rich? Normal urates can often have the consistency of tooth paste. I would recommend up the soak time to 20 minutes

Jan A

Well-Known Member
Jan 9, 2021
Location (City and/or State)
Boulder, CO
He said he's giving his tort calcium daily. I thought it was supposed to be a pinch 2 or 3 times a week???


Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jul 8, 2017
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Hello, and welcome to TFO!

I think you might be confusing calcium with urates. Urates are the white, usually creamy textured substance that is excreted with urine, and sometimes poop. It can also be gritty, contain a stone, or be thick. Calcium is a component of urates, but not the only one.

Urates are a by-product of protein digestion, so are normal, as long as they stay creamy and are excreted from the bladder completely.

Problems occur when the urates stay in the bladder. Crystals from calcium, uric acid, and other substances start to stick together, creating a bladder stone. As time goes by, this stone continues to grow, sometimes getting so large that it blocks off urine flow. Once this happens major surgery to remove the stone is the only option.

I would suggest these 3 things:

First, make sure that you are not feeding too many high protein foods. If you check your food items on The Tortoise Table, in the plant description they tell you if the item is very high protein. Look at 'alfalfa'. Maybe you need to cut back on something.

Second, dehydration is a big contributor to forming urates. I would give at least one soak daily that is 30-40 min long, and even longer if your tort tolerates it. Put the water level just above the marginal scutes. It should still be easy for him to keep his head above water, and as usual, don't let the water cool off.

Third, only use a small pinch of calcium supplement 2-3 x weekly. Too much calcium inhibits utilization of other minerals.

I know you have been soaking, but I think the duration isn't long enough. You only need to do this long soak once daily. If you choose to do an additional short soak, that's fine. I promise he won't rust! :)