D3 supplement drops--to use or not to use?

Sa Ga

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I live in MN where sunlight/being outdoors is available about 3 weeks a year....(Well ok, more like 3.5....)

I saw D3 supplement drops for babies (human), and I was wondering if that might be helpful?

Also, I think @Tom , you had mentioned some mineral supplement you use. What is it and where do you get it?

So....thoughts?
 

Tom

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I live in MN where sunlight/being outdoors is available about 3 weeks a year....(Well ok, more like 3.5....)

I saw D3 supplement drops for babies (human), and I was wondering if that might be helpful?

Also, I think @Tom , you had mentioned some mineral supplement you use. What is it and where do you get it?

So....thoughts?
You have to be careful with D3. Overdose is not hard to do with human supplements.

Best if the tortoises makes its own D3 with sunshine or with indoor UV bulbs. The amount of D3 in reptile supplements is relatively low, making OD very unlikely, even with daily use, which is not recommended.

The mineral supplement I use and recommend is MinerAll. Made by Sticky Tongue Farms. They make an indoor version (with D3) and an outdoor version (no D3). Either one works. In your climate, I'd get the indoor version, even if you have UV, and use real sunshine for 3.5 weeks per year. :)
 

Kapidolo Farms

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IMO different tortoises do better with ingested D3 than others. What species are you talking about?

Forest dwelling species would seem to acquire much D3 through food (That is an educated guess, I've found no research to substantiate it). They, as a group, tend to eat a wider range of items including animal sources of protein and mushrooms. Though several plants have been found to contain D2, D3, and even D4, the 'right' amount is a guess. Temperature also plays a roll, too cool and all the D3 supplementation will not help in bone growth.

I use an organic chicken layer crumble that has a high calcium content, and 'balanced' D3, such that a chicken can lay another egg everyday. I use the ZooMed tortoise foods which also have D3 in their formulas.

I think I see that Testudo, for example, do not do so well with ingested D3, but that is an anecdotal observation. There are some published accounts of D3 supplementation in Testudo species and the amount is crazy high compared to published accounts by veterinarians on 'suggested' amounts.

It's tricky business.
 

Sa Ga

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You have to be careful with D3. Overdose is not hard to do with human supplements.

Best if the tortoises makes its own D3 with sunshine or with indoor UV bulbs. The amount of D3 in reptile supplements is relatively low, making OD very unlikely, even with daily use, which is not recommended.

The mineral supplement I use and recommend is MinerAll. Made by Sticky Tongue Farms. They make an indoor version (with D3) and an outdoor version (no D3). Either one works. In your climate, I'd get the indoor version, even if you have UV, and use real sunshine for 3.5 weeks per year. :)
Thanks so much, @Tom ! Very much appreciated! I won't risk it then. I'll also have to order some MinerAll. How often and how much do u give? And my calcium supplement has D3, so it's still ok to use both my calcium w/ D3 and the D3 MinerAll?
 

Sa Ga

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IMO different tortoises do better with ingested D3 than others. What species are you talking about?

Forest dwelling species would seem to acquire much D3 through food (That is an educated guess, I've found no research to substantiate it). They, as a group, tend to eat a wider range of items including animal sources of protein and mushrooms. Though several plants have been found to contain D2, D3, and even D4, the 'right' amount is a guess. Temperature also plays a roll, too cool and all the D3 supplementation will not help in bone growth.

I use an organic chicken layer crumble that has a high calcium content, and 'balanced' D3, such that a chicken can lay another egg everyday. I use the ZooMed tortoise foods which also have D3 in their formulas.

I think I see that Testudo, for example, do not do so well with ingested D3, but that is an anecdotal observation. There are some published accounts of D3 supplementation in Testudo species and the amount is crazy high compared to published accounts by veterinarians on 'suggested' amounts.

It's tricky business.
Thank u, @Kapidolo Farms ! I am talking about a Testudo (Russian) tortie.

What have you seen w/ Testudos and ingested D3? Just not as effective or actual harm?
 

Tom

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Thanks so much, @Tom ! Very much appreciated! I won't risk it then. I'll also have to order some MinerAll. How often and how much do u give? And my calcium supplement has D3, so it's still ok to use both my calcium w/ D3 and the D3 MinerAll?
There is a wide margin of error here, and everyone you talk you will likely tell you something different, and all of them could be "right". When I say "right", I mean their animal is alive and well, and things are working.

I use to just make the general recommendation of pinch of calcium twice a week, and a vitamin supplement once a week. In most cases I think this will work fine, but how frequently to supplement depends on many factors. Here are some of those factors to consider:
  • Climate. If you live in Phoenix AZ, where its hot and dry and your tortoise gets sun and a "natural" diet year round, you'd need less supplementation, and no D3 in your supplements. If you live in the cold clammy UK, or the frozen North of America, and your tortoise is indoors most of every year and reliant on grocery store greens most of the year, you'll need more supplementation and I'd recommend supplements with D3.
  • Current weather. If you area is warm enough for outside time in summer, but cold in winter, then you can shift your strategy over the course of each year.
  • Diet. Grocery store greens will require more amendments and supplements in the diet. If you are feeding mostly weeds, grasses (for grass eating species), leaves like mulberry or grape, opuntia, and assorted flowers, then minimal supplementation, if any, will be needed.
  • Mazuri or ZooMed pellets. These food items are supplements in themselves. I would use calcium, MinerAll, and vitamin supplements less often if using these supplemental food items.
  • Age and size of the tortoise. Younger growing animals need more supplementation.Full sized adults needs less, except...
  • Breeding animals. Adults males should need much supplementation when considering all of the above points. Egg laying females need a tremendous amount of food and mineral resources to produce all those eggs. This being the case, I'd supplement all of the above more often during egg laying season for adult females.
  • Correcting a previous imbalance. If someone has a tortoise that is eating rocks, substrate, or other inappropriate things, due to feeding mostly un-ammended and un-supplemented grocery store greens, then I recommend adding a pinch of MinerAll every other day for about 2-3 weeks. This along with dietary corrections, should stop the rock eating, and then the person can move into a "maintenance" level of supplementation of once or twice a week, depending on diet and all the factors listed above.
To summarize: An adult female egg laying tortoise housed indoors in a MN winter and eating mostly grocery store greens might need MineralAll with D3 every other day. An adult male living outside in Southern CA and eating nothing but weeds, opuntia, flowers and other "natural" stuff, might need no supplementation at all. A growing baby that spends summers getting real sunshine and weeds to eat, and then winters indoors with grocery store greens, might need a supplement schedule that varies with the season and diet.

Its much easier to type a sentence or two that will suit most situations, but in the end, its better if people have a greater understanding of why supplements are, or are not, needed, and can adjust their own amounts accordingly.
 

Kapidolo Farms

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