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hatchling with soft shell

Discussion in 'Leopard tortoises' started by aj_fetterman, Apr 10, 2018.

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  1. aj_fetterman

    aj_fetterman New Member

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    Hi everyone, i got a hatchling leopard tortoise in early january that was a few weeks old. I noticed about a week ago that his shell was strangely soft, as i have another young leopard and his shell was also soft but he grew out of it. That being said my younger tortoise's shell seems too soft. how soft is too soft? anyways he has a full spectrum UVB light that stretches along his entire 3 ft by 1 ft tortoise table with a basking spot of 100 degrees and ambient temperature of 80-85. Since I noticed this i have been upping his collard greens and kale as well as sprinkling calcium on every meal. I also put so liquid calcium in his water baths so that when he drinks water he gets some calcium. Is there anything else i can do because i'm not seeing many results, and is there anything else that the vet could do that I have not already done? And if i am doing everything right then how long until i see some improvement? Thanks for taking the time to respond.
  2. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Is his plastron soft or his carapace?
    That’s too much calcium. He should be getting a small pinch of calcium powder 2-3 times a week at most.
  3. aj_fetterman

    aj_fetterman New Member

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    his plastron, and okay i will reduce his calcium i just wanted to try and get him back to normal with a higher amount
  4. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    That’s normal for young tortoises. It’s pliable and not mushy, right?
  5. aj_fetterman

    aj_fetterman New Member

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    Right it just feels too soft compared to the other tortoise that i have when he was the same age
  6. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Where did you get the tortoise?
  7. aj_fetterman

    aj_fetterman New Member

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    Ordered it from Kenan Harkin and Kamp Kenan, he came in the mail
  8. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    I would just make sure it’s active and eating. It’s likely just pliable because it’s a baby.
  9. aj_fetterman

    aj_fetterman New Member

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    okay awesome that makes me feel better, he eats every other day and walks around his enclosure frequently so that makes me feel better
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  10. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Be sure you’re feeding daily.
    Please give these links a read-
    How To Raise A Healthy Sulcata Or Leopard, Version 2.0 https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php...ealthy-Sulcata-Or-Leopard,-Version-2.0.79895/
    For Those Who Have a Young Sulcata... https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/For-Those-Who-Have-a-Young-Sulcata....76744/
    Beginner Mistakes https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Beginner-Mistakes.45180/
  11. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Does it have some give, like a plastic butter tub lid, or does it feel spongy and squishy?

    How much does the tortoise weigh?

    Where are you?

    What type of UV bulb are you using?

    What do you typically feed the baby?

    Do the two tortoises live together?
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  12. Northeast Reptiles

    Northeast Reptiles Active Member

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    I would recommend placing a cuttlebone in the enclosure.
  13. aj_fetterman

    aj_fetterman New Member

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    I would not say that his plastron is spongy but it is softer than a plastic tub lid

    the tortoise's weight ranges between 26-30 grams

    I am in michigan so as of right now the weather is too cold for him to go out and get any natural light but hopefully in the next few weeks

    I have using a 10.0 high output zoomed full spectrum UVB bulb

    The tortoises usually get either dandelion greens, spring mix, collard greens, turnip geeens, or spineless prickly pad cactus spaced out for variety

    Yes the two tortoise's live together
  14. aj_fetterman

    aj_fetterman New Member

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    there is a cutterbone in there and he never seems to be interested
  15. Northeast Reptiles

    Northeast Reptiles Active Member

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    Yeah, some turtles (and torts or so i have read) eat it like crazy while others ignore it. Hopefully as the weather gets better you can introduce some real sunlight as well. Uvb is all well and good but there is no real substitute for mother nature. Just be sure to supervise.
  16. aj_fetterman

    aj_fetterman New Member

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    Will do I have been looking forward to getting him some time outside ever since i got him, because the sunlight along with the grass will definitely help him be healthier, does it sound like anything i have done is wrong? i've done a lot of research before and after getting them and can't seem to find anything wrong with his husbandry
  17. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    You need to separate them. Tortoises cannot live in pairs, and cannot make friends. They are solitary animals, and it is highly stressful for them to be together.
  18. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    You've got a few problems there.

    Is the ZooMed bulb a cfl or a T5 HO tube?

    There is no way to maintain proper temps and humidity in an open table. How are you keeping the whole enclosure at 80 or above at night? What is the humidity in the enclosure?

    Babies need to be soaked every day. Keenan doesn't. The lack of growth on your baby is alarming and its an indicator that there is a serious problem. I have a baby hatched in Feb that is nearly 100 grams eating nothing but weeds and grass. Two others hatched in March and are over 60 grams. A baby hatched in January, started well and kept hydrated should be at least 60 grams if not over 100. Most people start them too dry. And many breeders in warm climates keep them outside all day. This is not good for babies. Even though Kenan lives in a warm humid climate, he still keeps them too dry, doesn't soak them enough, and leaves them outside too long. I suspect kidney failure is your issue.

    3x1' is too small. Even hatchlings need something bigger than that.

    Tortoises should never be kept in pairs. One or both of them will be intimidated and the long term chronic stress can hamper their immune system even if there is no overt hostility.

    Sorry I don't have better news, but you've got to know what is wrong in order to fix it.
  19. aj_fetterman

    aj_fetterman New Member

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    I will separate them. What would you recommend to get him to start growing? I've done my research and my temps and humidity are good but will switch to a close chambered container for them.
  20. aj_fetterman

    aj_fetterman New Member

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    also i do soak them ever day as well as most them a few times a day in order to keep the humidity up
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