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Water/swimming therapy

Discussion in 'Tortoise Health' started by jockma, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. jockma

    jockma Well-Known Member

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    I've seen some owners rehabilitate tortoises by giving them water therapy. I was wondering:

    1. In which cases would water therapy be considered for a tort? Only severe situations like advanced MBD or just for general health?
    2. Does species play a factor? (Eg. RFs and other tropical species are good candidates, desert species are not)
    3. Have you personally tried it, and if so, was it successful? Did the tort respond well?

    I can definitely see the benefits it would have on cardiovascular, digestive and renal health (and more) but I wanted input from people that actually have experience. :)
  2. CathyNed

    CathyNed Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Goid question... i also wondered this!
  3. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    I have a young leopard tortoise whose back legs are weak. I don't know if it's nerve damage or MBD or what. Every day I put him into a little tub of deep water and he swims. I stand right there with him and if he gets tired, I cut the therapy session short.

    When walking on bare ground he pushes with his back legs rather than getting up on his feet and standing/walking on his feet. Hopefully the non-strenuous exercise in the water will help to build up the muscles.

    (I've got to start saying 'she' 'her', as I think this is female)
  4. CathyNed

    CathyNed Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Yvonne, my russian is the same. Bending and pushing with legs but not lifting. Would you mind having a look at pic on my thread called - Advice needed from Russian keeper
  5. jockma

    jockma Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @Yvonne G! I mostly hear about it being used as therapy for torts with hind limb paralysis and weakness with good results, with the strengthening effect it has on the muscles I wonder if it can help with internal issues as well.

    I wonder if water therapy can be applied to help with renal dysfunction, heart problems, lung problems, chronic illnesses...not strenuous, but some exercise to strengthen them and improve organ function. I've seen a few cases where it's been used to help torts with kidney disease, though that's likely to help treat the hind limb paralysis that often comes with it. I think it'd be fascinating to see if it could help with chronic health conditions like heart disease.
  6. Ayushjain101

    Ayushjain101 Member

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    sorry for opening so old thread but is there any video tutorial for it? My tort does the same
  7. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    I haven't used this for therapy of a Redfoot.
    But Redfoot in general do like to swim.
    So it is part of their daily lives here.
    Yeah.
    2.5 year old thread
  8. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    What is wrong with your tortoise? Are you sure it isn't MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease) caused by lack of UVB light and poor diet?
  9. Ayushjain101

    Ayushjain101 Member

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    He had kidney problem but now he is cool. When he was ill & he didn't walked. Now he is cool but his back legs are getting drag.
  10. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    I DID have a tortoise that couldn't stand up. She just drug herself around.
    She did recover. But I definitely would have tried this.
  11. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    If you press his plastron (the shell under him) does it feel soft?

    Do you keep him inside? Does he get any sunlight or do you have a UVB light?
  12. Ayushjain101

    Ayushjain101 Member

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    His shell was soft. But for last 2 months we take excessive care of him and he gets uv from light daily. He gets sunlight from 4-5pm daily and morning sunlight 2-3 times a week. I live in an apartment so we don't have morning sun facing but I take him on the terrace 2-3 time a week for sunlight. He gets 2 warm soaks for 10 mins daily. Temperature is always 80+ and humidity is 40% but in his hiding shade where he spents most of his time its 55% to 60%.
  13. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Assuming this is a young star tortoise you’ve talked about in other posts, your humidity should be 80% or higher all over the enclosure. I would work on getting it higher.
  14. Ayushjain101

    Ayushjain101 Member

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    6 years. He had kidney problem and also ri 8 weeks ago so I was bit worried to increase the humidity. Average humidity indoors remain around 45-50 now a days.
  15. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    How does he/she get sunlight?
    Is it through a glass window or a screen?
    Keep in mind that UVB cant pass through glass or screen. So light getting indoors from outside may not be a benefit at all. Except for warmth. There may be little to no actual UVB provided and that would certainly eventually cause the symptoms you've mentioned and that @JoesMum pointed out earlier.
    It would need to be pure, unobstructed sunlight.
    Sorry, @jockma for side stepping this thread.
    Maybe @Ayushjain101 you should start another post.
  16. Stoneman

    Stoneman Active Member

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    When you say hydrotherapy, you're talking about a bath right?
  17. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I think they're talking about exercise in water to strengthen limbs
  18. Stoneman

    Stoneman Active Member

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    So hydrotherapy being the result of what they naturally do in a bath? Is it the same thing or are you talking about some other type of specialized set up. If so I am very intrigued I always like to provide as much stimulation as possible for my torts in their indoor setups.

    Attached Files:

  19. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    True hydrotherapy, floats the animal/human in water so they can exercise and learn to move their limbs while the water supports their bodyweight. How you would achieve this with a tortoise I have no idea.

    In practice, many torts having problems moving their limbs probably have MBD due to lack of UVB and that is what needs tackling.

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