2 questions about bathing

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Ozric

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Hi everyone. I noticed that Danny recommended weekly bathing for a one year old Hermann. When my tortoises are indoors I bathe them most days, and that includes my juveniles. The water I use is just about the same temp as my hand (if that makes any sense). I believe they are fine with the bathing, and it adds variety to their day - I have this idea its a bit boring and samey indoors for them.

First question - could it be harmful to bath them most days?

Second question - does bathing help maintain humidity? I often worry about humidity indoors as it can get quite dry under lamps. I've tried a humid hide and other things but the fact is that my tortoises like to sit out in the open a fair bit and I reckon the humidity then is quite low (but I do water the substrate).
 

jorrow

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I have kinda been wondering about that first question of soaking to much, I soak my RF for 15-30 min in warm water every night. Mainly because i am so afraid of dehydration. I havent noticed anything going wrong, it helps him poop i do notice that. But I have wondered if there could be some ill effects that im not seeing......
 

Yvonne G

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One of the arguments against too-frequent soakings is that it causes the tortoise to defaecate. Some believe that this means the tortoise has expelled the waste before he has received all the nutrients and benefits from it, or too soon. There might be some validity to this, as I notice that usually my tortoises don't defaecate every day, but if soaked they do.

Yvonne
 

jorrow

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Ok thanks Yvonne, I guess Im going to start soaking every other day. That does make alot of sense because most nutrients are absorbed while the food is in the intestines. Right???
 

Ozric

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Hi, yes I read in Holger Vetter's book on Hermanns that warm water baths can cause this kind of excess defecating. In the bit of his book where he covers preparation for hibernation he warns against the intense bowel emptying caused by warm baths and connects this practice with health problems after the tortoise wakes up. Right or wrong there are lots of hermann keepers here in the UK that say the warm baths are esential for emptying the gut in wind-down! We have a fear over here of food rotting in the animals system when it is hibernating so we go to great lengths to make sure its empty.

I don't have the water so warm as some keepers as I have this idea that its the warmth that makes them go, not the water. Could this be right?
 

bettinge

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Certainly some things to ponder. I think I will back off daily baths....unless I suspect he is constipated! Now I have one more thing to worry about before hibernation.
 

oswego tort lover

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if you look close you can see that the first bowel movement in water look's as normal as poo in your cage, but if left in water longer than the tortoise would keep it self on it's own then you can plainly see that the feces emitted is only partially digested, which to me mean's it isn't absorbing as much as it could and probably should. i feed wet food and place my adult leopard and western hermanni as well as neonates in hard well water once a week..they all have hard perfect shell's .. as far as hibernating on empty bowels i have awakened russian's and eastern box's after 4 to 5 month's asleep and have seen them defecate two or thee day's later . in nature they won't eat much if at all the last few week's. in captivity i do believe warm not hot bath's can mimic nature but i wouldn't aim for a complety empty digestive tract......ed
 

Ozric

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Thanks Ed that was interesting. I know that Wolfgang (whose book has been mentioned on here) thinks the tortoise should be allowed to eat if it wants during wind-down. I know there would tend to be less food around at that time of year, and lower temps might mean less eating too.[/font]
 
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