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olive oil???

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by berrilturtle, May 21, 2011.

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  1. berrilturtle

    berrilturtle New Member

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    I wanted to ask whether the content in olive oil to moisten the tortoise carapace? as a substitute vitashell maybe?? because if applied in humans in olive oil to moisturize your skin
  2. yagyujubei

    yagyujubei Active Member

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    The problem with oil, is that it attracts a lot of dirt, and is difficult to remove.
  3. Isa

    Isa New Member

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    In my opinion, using oil or vitashell is not a good idea. A shell is made of tissue that needs to breath and putting oil or vitashell can only clog them.
  4. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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    Hi Theo:

    I had wanted to try using a Q-tip to paint olive oil on the spaces between the scutes (the growth spaces), just to give them a little lubrication and hoped it would help them grow smoothly. However after I had been doing it for a few days, the red ants were attracted to the oil and came into the tortoise table. So I had to stop the practice.

    I don't see any harm in using olive oil, but in my opinion, it should be polished off with a soft cloth after you've allowed it to sit for a few minutes, to remove the excess.
  5. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member

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    The conventional wisdom for many years has been to NOT put anything on their shells. However, I have seen several anecdotal cases in the last couple of years of some unusually good looking tortoises that were grown in conditions that should have otherwise produced "the usual", but due to the application of olive oil, mineral oil or VitaShell, these few torts were UNUSUALLY smooth.

    I say, If you want to give a try, then do so, but watch for potential problems and know that it could have unintended bad consequences that we don't know about. OR, it could also have unintended good consequences that we don't know about. The FACT is, that we really don't know what it will do, or what the long term consequences will be. The small amount of evidence that I have seen suggests that it will do no harm and potentially do some good, but time will tell.
  6. DesertGrandma

    DesertGrandma New Member

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    I plan to try mineral oil on my leopard as she grows. In our heat everything becomes too dry if not kept moisturized. I don't believe that mineral oil would hurt if it is thoroughly absorbed into the shell, with an excess wiped off like Yvonne said. I could see where olive oil might draw ants though since it is a food product.
  7. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member

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    Part of why I love this forum so much is that we can all learn from each others successes and failures. It would be great if you did a thread with before, during and after photos and shared the details of how your leopard is cared for. Then, good or bad, we will all learn from it.
  8. CtTortoiseMom

    CtTortoiseMom New Member

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    I just ordered vitashell to try on my older tort. I will be using it on my baby tort once my big one has been successfully using it for awhile.
  9. Terry Allan Hall

    Terry Allan Hall Active Member

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    Wondering if mineral oil might have any negative side effects, as it's not something a tortoise might encounter in the wild, the way many tortoise species (Mediterranean, African and Asian, anyway) might encounter olives... :tort:
  10. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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    The only thing about mineral oil is that it is non-absorptive. So I doubt if it would do much good. But with desert Grandma's (Joy's) test, time will tell.
  11. DesertGrandma

    DesertGrandma New Member

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    I researched online re mineral oil and have decided not to use it on my tort afterall. It sounds like it is not as pure as I thought, and even mentions that it clogs pores in humans. It is a petroleum byproduct. So, I will nix that idea.
  12. berrilturtle

    berrilturtle New Member

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    i use a pure olive oil
    is not for food
    is imported from israel

    in practice as long as I put it there was never any ants that came to my tortoise pen .... I think this because the oil that I use is not pure oil for cooking so there is no substance mixture of other substances

    but indeed if oil smeared dirt will be easy to stick to their shell
  13. OllieInAZ

    OllieInAZ New Member

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    Personally, I don't know why it's a problem if dirt sticks to the shell. This happens all the time in nature - perhaps there are good reasons that tortoises should have dirty shells.
  14. bikerchicspain

    bikerchicspain New Member

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    I use olive oil every now and then, I put some on a gauze and that will do 4/5 torts, then after a few minutes i dry it off with paper, I have never had a problem and the shells are all in great condition ( touch wood) :D:D
  15. berrilturtle

    berrilturtle New Member

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    haha
    I understand that olive oil helps moisturize the surface of their shells
    and as long as I wear it about 3 months I saw her good effect
  16. tortoisenerd

    tortoisenerd New Member

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    I'm a believer in keeping everything with my tort as natural as possible (like the wild), so at this time I'd never consider putting anything on the shell. I believe the products have the potential to do more harm than good. What about the products trapping bacteria in the scutes? I have also heard anecdotally when you keep using Vitashell, it just layers on over the old layers, so you have layer and layers of the wax. What about the olive oil frying the shell under the heat, or blocking the UVB, or when it breaks down, it just attracts more dirt than without it? I think olive oil would be the least risky of the two, but I just don't see the point in experimenting with it.
  17. Madkins007

    Madkins007 Active Member Staff Member

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    I use olive oil or plain white cheapo hand lotion after soaking my little guys (being kept indoors) to help keep the moisture in the shell. I really don't see a value in using it if you do not pre-soak them first- that way it traps moisture in, otherwise it blocks moisture out.

    To use, I just apply a few drops to the still damp shell and rub it on a bit, then lightly wipe off excess. So far, I have not seen any positive or negative side effects in my situation. One thing to note- my torts have plenty of surfaces to rub their shells on and do it all the time, oiled or not, so the stuff does not last real long.

    I would suspect that if you had trouble controlling humidity or hydration, this would be a helpful tool- benefits outweighing harm, but I am not sure that it really makes a difference if the habitat, etc. is OK to begin with.
  18. EricIvins

    EricIvins Active Member

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    I use Coconut or Vegetable oil every month or so for all my Tortoises......Wax on, wax off.......It keeps the dirt off of the carapace and does no harm what-so-ever.........Been doing this for years now.......

    I also use Glycerin in the winter time for the feet and head scales........
    Jason-AfricanSpined likes this.
  19. Jacqui

    Jacqui Out living in my yard.... Staff Member

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    The "harm" I see in doing this is that we are failing our tortoises, if we feel we need to do this. The first failure is that we are not providing what our tortoises actually need and are using this as a cheap and easy fix to that problem. Second failure is, if we are doing this to make our tortoises more eye pleasing rather then more natural in looks. Just my opinion.
  20. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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    Dirt sticking to a dry shell is quite different from dirt sticking to the oil on an oily shell. A mud pack is dry, whereas dirt sticking to oil is heavy, dense and may cause over heating.
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