Elly is turning YELLOW

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LoveMyELLY

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So, me and my boyfriend recently got a baby greek and over the weekend we noticed she is turning yellow and beginning to look like a golden greek.. is this normal? do greeks turn into golden greeks gradually or are they born that way? we are really new to this stuff..
 

Laura

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Is it her shell that is turning yellow or her skin? How is she acting and eating? Diet? Post a pic if you can.
 

LoveMyELLY

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Her plastron is mostly turning yellow. She is acting fine and eating like a hungry little tortoise that she is. I feed her a mix of Romaine, Kale, Nature Zone Tortoise Bites, Calcium supplement and some other veggies (I like to mix it up daily). I don't think that her behavior has changed. The guy at the pet store said that she could be relaxing into her new environment and her old colors were her stress colors but I haven't read anything like that before?
But There is something else that happened today.. I came home from school today and I got her out of her pen and she was all wet.. I'm guessing that she peed and since she buries under her substrate to nap was laying in it for a good part of the day. When I picked her up I noticed her plastron was noticeably softer than usual. I am a Biochemistry major and I know that acid can dissolve Calcium in bones and leave the collagen and urine has uric acid in it. I'm worried this happened. So I fed her more calcium supplement sprinkled on romaine and gave her a warm bath. Has anyone ever had this same problem? I'm worried. Elly is only we guess around 3 months old. I'm going to post pictures.

photo-3.jpg photo-2.jpg photo-1.jpg photo.jpg

Here she is.. isn't she cute ;)
 
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Meg90

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She should have Ca dusted on her food at every meal. Soft shell is caused by a lack of Ca or, by lacking the ability to process it.

This is usually caused by undersupplementation, and by improper lighting.

She should have UVB full spectrum lighting on her every day.

Her urine cannot hurt her. They pee in their burrows to help control their own micro climates. It helps raise humidity. As long as you clean regularly, so that ammonia doesn't build up, she can't hurt herself with her own bodily functions.

No, tortoises do not change color. And no, you do not have a golden, just a nice normal greek. The "stress" colors is bulljunk too. Most petstores have no idea what they are talking about.

Skip all the veggies. They are mostly sugar and water if you believe it or not. And some are really hard on tiny tummies.

Get her some prepackaged spring mix. I get mine from walmart. Its organic Earthbound farms brand.

Its all baby lettuces that have lots of fiber, and taste nice to young palates. Dust every meal in Ca w/OUT d3
 

egyptiandan

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No you don't have a Golden greek, you do have a Turkish greek, Testudo graeca ibera.

You can though have a tortoise change colors, mainly darker shades of colors already there. When inside yellows tend to be more white and blacks can be more brown. When tortoises get outside more often they darken up.

Yes there are stress colors, especially in greeks. When under stress the blood tends to stay near the skin and make the skin and shell more orange in color. No greek tortoise has naturally occuring orange skin or shell color.

Danny
 

LoveMyELLY

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HM That's strange I do everything by the book maybe she's not getting enough of the UVB light because she is a shy little tortoise and loves to burrow and hide under her huts.. THANKS for the help!
 

Meg90

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What are you using for UVB? I have a 2 1/2 month old golden cross and she's doing very well. She hides most of the time too. (in a log hide that she has made a tunnel under)

Thanks for the informative post Danny! I've learned soooooo much from you, its crazy!
 

tortoisenerd

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Welcome to the group, and congrats on the new addition!

Plasterons do change color over time for every tort. Whether this specific case is normal, I don't know for sure, but am 99% sure it's fine. Any changes to skin color could be a bad sign, but shell color changes are typical. They change as torts mature, and also react to the amount of light and UVB. I'm sure someone else will have a much more technical explanation...

I am curious more about the diet. What are the ingredients in Nature Zone Tortoise Bites? If it is this link below, then I don't recommend feeding those. Those are not at all appropriate to ever be fed as they have egg, fruits, dairy, etc. http://www.petco.com/product/12501/Nature-Zone-Tortoise-Bites.aspx

I try to only feed things that they would find in the wild (weeds, greens, flowers, grasses), or closely resemble what they would find in the wild (greens, lettuces, safe vegetable leaves).

What vegetables? Few vegetables are appropriate for a Greek (mostly limited amounts of squashes). They mostly need greens, weeds, leaves, lettuces, etc.

Romaine is ok, but you can probably do better. Kale is ok in limited quantities as it can cause goiter. I recommend spring mix. It's a mix of 5+ lettuce greens. Some of them have romaine so you'll get 5+ for the price of one. I buy organic. Look for a good mix of variety (I will even rotate brands), and pick out spinach if it has it. Humans like it too.

Is the calcium pure calcium or is there anything added? I do not think there is anything wrong if she gets some pee on her. This happens in the wild and I wouldn't worry about it other than cleaning her the best you can when you do your daily maintenance in the enclosure.

Want to share more about her enclosure? So cute! Best wishes.
 

Stazz

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Hmmmm, Danny, Tallula has always had a bit of orange in her, since I got her, just mainly her tail really. She's never showed any signs of stress, she always eats well and she's getting as much sun and humidity as she can for now ! I sure hope she's not permanently stressed?!?! You should be able to see in this pic what I'm talking about....sorry to hijack the thread....just checking quickly! She is always this colour, never changes?

Luli040.jpg
 

GBtortoises

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I have a trio of adult Ibera that I have had for over 15 years. They were wild caught adults when I got them. They are very yellow compared to my other typical Ibera and others that I have seen. When they are born the hatchlings from this trio looks very much like all other Ibera hatchlings. As they age, they begin to take on more of the characteristics and coloration of their parents. Over the years I have come across a couple of people that had similar Ibera but apparently there aren't many of them in captivity. Maybe there's a possibility that your's came from a breeder that has some of the more yellow Ibera.
Below are recent photos of one of my yellow Ibera females compared to one of my "typical" Ibera females.
DSC03090.jpg

DSC03107.jpg
 

LoveMyELLY

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OK so organic spring mix it is... I will go buy some today. I noticed that my calcium has vitamin d3 in it .. why is this bad? Vit d3 is what they get from the UVB so this is extra? If its bad.. does anyone recommend a brand of calcium supplement?
 

GBtortoises

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Rep-Cal brand is good, there are others. Pure, unsupplemented Calcium Carbonate is Calcium Carbonate, regardless of the label that's on the container. Some brands are ground finer than others that's all. It's also available in health food stores, usually less expensive. As long as there are no other supplements such as D3 added to it. Most people do not use calcium carbonate with D3 added indoors. Some people use it with the D3 supplement when a tortoise is outdoors. Once the tortoise gets larger cuttlebone is a good source of calcium carbonate too and "chewing" on the the cuttlebone also encourages activity and keeping their beak trimmed. I personally have never sprinkled it on a tortoises food. I make it available in a seperate shallow dish at all times so that a tortoise can eat it when they need it. This way, they can regulate their own intake of calcium as needed (and they do), rather than "forcing" them to eat it whether they need it or not. My tortoises will sometimes consume it daily for a few days and sometimes not touch it for weeks or months.

LoveMyELLY said:
OK so organic spring mix it is... I will go buy some today. I noticed that my calcium has vitamin d3 in it .. why is this bad? Vit d3 is what they get from the UVB so this is extra? If its bad.. does anyone recommend a brand of calcium supplement?
 

tortoisenerd

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If you give D3 in addition to what the tortoise makes from the UVB (bulb or sun), you run the risk of overdosing them. It can build up in the system and become toxic as it is fat soluble (not water soluble like calcium). It is of my opinion that the risk of not giving D3 is less than giving it, for a tort with UVB. It is very tough to know how much D3 is good, and how much is too much and can potentially cause death. Any brand of calcium is OK. I actually prefer the human supplement (such as "Now" brand, which is sold in a white plastic bottle with an orange label in health food stores) as it's cheaper and more regulated (FDA) than the reptile one. Just look for a pure fine powder. I put it in a salt shaker.

I recommend daily calcium for a hatchling as typically the diets we feed them are not as high in calcium as the wild, and a hatchling cannot get too much calcium. It is water soluble and they will literally pee out what their bodies do not need. I personally found my hatchling doesn't go for the cuttlebone or powder, so I make sure I sprinkle some on his food daily. Once he's a couple years old I plan to cut back to every other day, and when he's an adult a day or two a week.

For people who keep torts indoors without bulbs, they do need to give D3 and figure out what is a good amount. The combined calcium adn D3 supplements can be tricky as the ratio is set.
 

cork_screw

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She should be turning yellow. That is her natural coloration. On top of that my red foot tortoise is turning red.
Greeks, Hermans and Russians tend to turn more yellow than any other tortoise. My Russian looked like he had jaundice, but that is perfectly normal, healthy.

LoveMyELLY said:
So, me and my boyfriend recently got a baby greek and over the weekend we noticed she is turning yellow and beginning to look like a golden greek.. is this normal? do greeks turn into golden greeks gradually or are they born that way? we are really new to this stuff..
 

Meg90

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Why do you think she should be turning yellow Cork_Screw? Especially after reading the explanations given above.
 

L Gebauer

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egyptiandan said:
No you don't have a Golden greek, you do have a Turkish greek, Testudo graeca ibera.

You can though have a tortoise change colors, mainly darker shades of colors already there. When inside yellows tend to be more white and blacks can be more brown. When tortoises get outside more often they darken up.

Yes there are stress colors, especially in greeks. When under stress the blood tends to stay near the skin and make the skin and shell more orange in color. No greek tortoise has naturally occuring orange skin or shell color.

Danny

Danny, Am really worried now. One of my Greeks was purchased with orange on him (hence the name Pumpkin) and (after 1.5 years) seems to have become more pumpkin-ish on his chin, shoulders, and upper legs. Other than the time/lighting change nothing has really changed for them. Does he need to see a vet or could there be another reason?

Linda, Pumpkin, and Nighty Nite
 

Crazy1

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I have several Greeks that have orange coloration in their skin. Two are wild caught and several are their offspring. They have always been orangish and that color has never changed.
Pumpkinhead has orangish skin tones and a darker orange spot on his head and always has as he ages it has gotten darker orange. This seems the normal whether they are outside or inside. Not a stress color.
 
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