Does my tortoise had MBD?

MyTortoiseSpike!200

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Hi! I’m new to tortoise forum. I’ve been doing some research to find out if my tortoise has MBD and I emailed Arizona Tortoise Compound (where we got him from) with the details to see what their opinion was and Andrew thought that he didn’t have MBD, and that he was just dehydrated, but I wanted to get a few other opinions because this whole process has been confusing. Spike is a home’s hingeback. Spike has very sunken scutes, a sloped back and drags the back of his plastron when he walks. He is pretty strong though. He eats lettuce, tomato, strawberries, cucumbers, mealworms, cantaloupe and apple. We supplement his food with calcium powder. He refuses to eat any dark greens and will hardly even eat lettuce. I am pretty sure that he is dehydrated, so I’ve increased his soaks to 45 min every few days. I’ve found it difficult to keep his humidity at around 85 percent but I’ve also been extra careful making sure that it’s up there recently. Spike is energetic and walks around a lot. We use coconut fiber and sphagnum moss as substrate. I’ve found my online research to be pretty confusing. It would be helpful if I could get a few opinions on whether Spike is just dehydrated or has MBD. Thank you!



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Yvonne G

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Your little hingeback tortoises seems pretty deformed, however, it really doesn't look like MVD, but more misshapen from the wrong kind of care. Do you keep the tortoise in a humid environment? Here's a care sheet for you to read:

 

Yvonne G

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I was able to get my baby yellowfooted tortoise interested in eating greens by making a puree out of the types of fruit they liked, chopping up greens into tiny pieces, and mixing them up into the fruit puree until all coated
 

MyTortoiseSpike!200

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Your little hingeback tortoises seems pretty deformed, however, it really doesn't look like MVD, but more misshapen from the wrong kind of care. Do you keep the tortoise in a humid environment? Here's a care sheet for you to read:

Thank you. Actually, this is the care sheet that I refer to for him. I try to keep his humidity at 85 but it ends up usually being at 75
 

wellington

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I agree with Yvonne. Something is going on.
What is the diet and what are the supplements if any.
What type of lighting are you using and does it get outside for sun?
 

MyTortoiseSpike!200

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He eats cucumber, strawberries, some lettuce, tomatoes, occasional cantaloupe, mealworms and apple. I supplement his food with calcium powder every few feedings. I have had trouble getting him to eat dark greens but I will try Yvonne’s tip. I use a UVB bulb for him placed on one end of his terrarium. Spike only really gets sun in the summer because in my area it’s cold for the rest of the year.
 

zovick

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He eats cucumber, strawberries, some lettuce, tomatoes, occasional cantaloupe, mealworms and apple. I supplement his food with calcium powder every few feedings. I have had trouble getting him to eat dark greens but I will try Yvonne’s tip. I use a UVB bulb for him placed on one end of his terrarium. Spike only really gets sun in the summer because in my area it’s cold for the rest of the year.
I used to keep a lot of Hingebacks, both K. erosa and K. homeana. The Hingebacks don't seem to eat the greens very much as they are not a grazing species, but they love earthworms. If you have a place (pet store or bait shop) near you where you can buy regular earthworms or night crawlers, try feeding it those.

Mine also liked thawed frozen mixed vegetables which I offered them on small paper plates.
 

MyTortoiseSpike!200

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Could his shape have been caused by a lack of UVB? I have one UVB light but maybe that’s not enough for his enclosure? (It’s about 3 feet by 1 1/2 since he’s still pretty small)
 

Yossarian

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He eats cucumber, strawberries, some lettuce, tomatoes, occasional cantaloupe, mealworms and apple.

Yikes, 5 out of 7 are fruit, the only green is nutritionally worthless, if this is its whole diet then thats at least part of the problem. Nutritional supplement powders cannot make up for lack of proper balance in a diet. Everything on that list put together should probably make up 20% of your torts diet, with the other 80% being greens other than lettuce. These torts may be omnivores but the bulk of their diet should be greens.
 

MyTortoiseSpike!200

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Yikes, 5 out of 7 are fruit, the only green is nutritionally worthless, if this is its whole diet then thats at least part of the problem. Nutritional supplement powders cannot make up for lack of proper balance in a diet. Everything on that list put together should probably make up 20% of your torts diet, with the other 80% being greens other than lettuce. These torts may be omnivores but the bulk of their diet should be greens.
Thank you for your response and helping me troubleshoot this issue. It had been tough getting my tortoise to eat greens, the only one he will accept is red leaf lettuce. Do you have any suggestions on how to get him to eat larger quantities of greens?
 

Yossarian

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Torts are capable of going a long time without eating, if you offer junkfood alongside healthy food, they will always choose junkfood. How long have you gone without providing fruit?
 

MyTortoiseSpike!200

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Torts are capable of going a long time without eating, if you offer junkfood alongside healthy food, they will always choose junkfood. How long have you gone without providing fruit?
I’ve probably only gone a week or so without providing fruit. How long do you think I should go without offering fruit to see if he’ll eat the greens?
 

Mrs.Jennifer

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When I’m trying to get my tortoise to eat a new food, I chop everything very fine and mix it together. For example, mine LOVES radicchio, so I finely chop radicchio and add the chopped new food (leaning heavier on the radicchio) and mix it all up. After awhile, the smell and taste of the new food is familiar, and I start mixing less radicchio in. Just remember—It’s a process, not an event.
 

MyTortoiseSpike!200

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When I’m trying to get my tortoise to eat a new food, I chop everything very fine and mix it together. For example, mine LOVES radicchio, so I finely chop radicchio and add the chopped new food (leaning heavier on the radicchio) and mix it all up. After awhile, the smell and taste of the new food is familiar, and I start mixing less radicchio in. Just remember—It’s a process, not an event.
Update: I gave my tortoise some collard greens mixed up with tomato (which is a favorite) and he ate it! Thanks for the tip!
 
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