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Please... Need Help... (desert tortoise with MBD?)

Discussion in 'Tortoise Health' started by Mike6Ram, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. TheSulcata

    TheSulcata Active Member

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    Don't just take it to any vet. The desert tortoises are vulnerable or endangered so not many vets are sure about how to take care of em
  2. cmac3

    cmac3 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for taking care of it, poor thing needs some TLC.
  3. Mike6Ram

    Mike6Ram New Member

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    She works with all kinds of animals even exotic ones cause she used to live in texas and I guess exotic animals are legal there
  4. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I'm not quite as pessimistic as others here on this one. If it is very active and eating, and acting healthy it may well be a tortoise that can live a good life. The problem is with a shell that badly deformed, think about the stress on the internal organs, and the way that could very much be limiting their function.

    It is the pressure from the tendons and muscles of the legs as the attach to the upper shell that pulls the shell down when metabolic bone disease has weakened the bones to where they cannot provide the support needed. You see it first at the rear of the shell where the leg tendons and muscles attach to the hop girdle, and the back of the carapace starts to cave in. This one is very extreme to see it so flattened even to the front of the carapace.

    Get it's diet strainghtened out. Get it plenty of good UVB and a nice basking spot. Provide the calcium it needs to begin strengthening the bones, and you may well end up with a deformed, but great rescue. I have seen amazingly deformed chelonians beat the odds and live fairly long lives once provided the right environment. They are survivors!
    TammyJ, Gillian Moore and cmac3 like this.
  5. Mike6Ram

    Mike6Ram New Member

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    Well i started feeding this supliment (zoo med Natural Grassland Tortoise Food) that i mashed with organic orchard grass and his shell seemed to improve since last night.... today I am going to get it a heat lamp cause when I got him all the stores where closed I literally tryed to find a store at 12 at night none where open not even walmart.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  6. Mike6Ram

    Mike6Ram New Member

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    It came with Zoo Med and the orchard Grass I got From my sister who has a bunny
  7. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Good start. Zoo Med and orchard grass are great. Read the thread Tom wrote on Russian tortoise care. http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
    A Desert tortoise would be very similar. In particular, get the diet more to weeds and grasses as you have begun to do. Get the heat and lighting set up properly. Treat it like a sick tortoise for now, and keep it very warm, and provide the proper light and outside time if weather permits. although they do Brumate/hibernate, and tolerate colder nighttime temps, don't let it get cold now as it needs to strengthen it's bone, and need good active metabolism to do that.

    And... continue asking lots of questions, but read the care sheet and other info here. It's all here for you and your tortoise.
    TammyJ likes this.
  8. Mike6Ram

    Mike6Ram New Member

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    Thank you very much I will read that and get everything set up for it. Out side is very gloomy and raining but I was planning on keeping him near a window so he can see when it's night and day ... keeping window closed of course with heat lamp
  9. Gillian Moore

    Gillian Moore Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for trying to save that poor tort, @Mike6Ram .:D

    Please keep us updated, and good luck. :)
  10. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    You may have to buy your UVB light online. I've noticed that not many pet stores carry the good ones. You want either one of this kind (probably any brand would be ok):

    MVB.jpg T-5 fluorescent bulb.jpg

    I'm going to assume you don't know the correlation between UVB and calcium, if I'm wrong, just skip this explanation:

    Calcium needs to work with vitamin d3. A tortoise sits in the sun and stretches out his legs to expose the most skin he can to the UVB from the sun. The UVB interacts with the skin and makes vitamin d3. Without vitamin d3 either from the sun or from a GOOD UVB light, the calcium just gets excreted with the waste material. Your tortoise is in dire need of calcium and UVB.


    (If someone can give a better explanation than this, or if I've said something wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. This is very important)
    TammyJ and Markw84 like this.
  11. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so very much for trying to save this poor little guy! He is in really bad shape. Good luck and stick with us here!
  12. Mike6Ram

    Mike6Ram New Member

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    Well right now I got him a heat bulb (100 w intense basking spot) and I put it on the left side of the tank away from his home and I got it a UVB bulb (All living things Tropical Compact Florescent UVB Bulb) to help with calcium obsorbtion and bone health I will be taking it a little later to the vet ... but he is laying underneath the UVB bulb , and is getting the rest he needs.
  13. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    The compact fluorescent bulbs have been known to cause eye problems in small tortoises. If it were my tortoise I would not use this bulb. Just keep an eye on him and if he starts keeping his eyes closed, you can suspect the bulb.
  14. Mike6Ram

    Mike6Ram New Member

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    Well I he seems normal he walks around has his eyes open all the time ... the only time he closes his eyes is when he stretches out and lays flat in the center of everything
  15. Mike6Ram

    Mike6Ram New Member

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    He dosnt seem like that small of a tortoise, I weighted him and weights about 1pound 6 ounces .... his shell seemed to improve since when I got him , took him to the vet she said good thing I brought him in and gave him calcium shot and told me to give him calcium orally and to check in , in about a week .... but I'm checking his diet feeding him organic orchard grass and lace it with Zoo Med , but today I'm going to feed him spinach and small pieces of bell peppers
    Gillian Moore likes this.
  16. Gillian Moore

    Gillian Moore Well-Known Member

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    Your tort seems to be a lot better today. Keep up the good work.

    Good luck!
  17. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    Please read the care sheets pinned on the forum to learn what to feed your tortoise. Spinach binds calcium and the calcium gets excreted with the waste, so you definitely DO NOT want to feed a tortoise with MBD spinach.
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  18. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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  19. Mike6Ram

    Mike6Ram New Member

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    I noticed the tortoise won't eat much of anything other than lettuce , is that normal ? Cause I put bell peppers he only took a few bites than left , same with the organic orchard grass but when It comes to lettuce he dosnt stop eating it
  20. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 5 Year Member

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    lettuce is like candy to a tortoise low nutrition low fiber low calorie
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