Hello! I have a redfoot tortoise, but she has some health issues.

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Snappy has been with me for quite awhile, 8 years now. But she has some health issues most notably being pyramiding that makes her look like a pancake tortoise, I would appreciate if someone told me how to fix this and make it so that she can be a regular tortoise. Nonetheless she’s full of personality and snaps at anything, here she is.
Some of her other health issues include
-I think what is a vitamin A deficiency, she hasn’t been eating any multi vitamins but one that I haven’t found anywhere.

-when she breathes she wheezes, but the vet said that there was no signs of respiratory disease.

DBC4A164-09AF-4BE5-9C4C-2BC5514C1180.jpeg
 
Joined
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midwest USA
Pyramiding is caused by one thing:
Lack of humidity in the enclosure.
Can you post some photos of your enclosure, the type of lights, etc.
We can help you get things ironed out.
Sure thing, lights are UVA 75 watt and UVB with a CHE for her to bask(lights are off because it’s now time for the lights to be off) AF0405F2-E316-4E25-A3AE-715664B3F297.jpeg 366DA521-FD46-4EAD-8C5C-9149A353F152.jpeg
 

ZEROPILOT

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I'm sorry.
There's a lot wrong with that setup.
Theres no way to keep an ambient temperature unless it's room temperature and there is no way to keep up humidty.
Redfoot require either an actual tropical climate. Or an artificial one in the form of a closed chamber enclosure.
Also, that UVB bulb needs to be thrown away.
Replace it with a few hours of actual sunlight or a T5 HO 5.0 strip florescent uvb.
At best, those coil cfl do very little. At worst, they cause eye damage
 

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Crystallynda

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I'm sorry.
There's a lot wrong with that setup.
Theres no way to keep an ambient temperature unless it's room temperature and there is no way to keep up humidty.
Redfoot require either an actual tropical climate. Or an artificial one in the form of a closed chamber enclosure.
Also, that UVB bulb needs to be thrown away.
Replace it with a few hours of actual sunlight or a T5 HO 5.0 strip florescent uvb.
At best, those coil cfl do very little. At worst, they cause eye damage
Can these work with any tortoise?

Cause I’m getting a glass enclosure..

It might hold temperature and humidity better than my open plastic tub!
 
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I'm sorry.
There's a lot wrong with that setup.
Theres no way to keep an ambient temperature unless it's room temperature and there is no way to keep up humidty.
Redfoot require either an actual tropical climate. Or an artificial one in the form of a closed chamber enclosure.
Also, that UVB bulb needs to be thrown away.
Replace it with a few hours of actual sunlight or a T5 HO 5.0 strip florescent uvb.
At best, those coil cfl do very little. At worst, they cause eye damage
I see, is there anything I can do to make it a closed chamber enclosure? Because I don’t want to have to get another enclosure made. Also, is there anyway to increase ambient temp? I already have a Humidifier going nearly 24/7 so if I do make it closed chamber I think it should solve the humidity problem.
 

Armadillogroomer

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Portable greenhouse is the easiest fix. They come in a variety of sizes, you just need one that can sit over your enclosure. Home/farm stores and Amazon also have cheap digital hygro/temp gauges that are more accurate than the little plastic dial, that can help you diagnose problem spots with the heat.
 

maggie3fan

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Tortoises often try to escape through the glass, and end up rubbing their noses against them always in the process.
There are many of us who do use glass enclosures, I am one. I have never had the experience that some people mention their torts do. I don't have any small tortoises right now, so I use my tort tables to hold box turtles during the winter. I have box turtles in tort tables and glass tanks. I like them as I can watch their activity without them seeing me. My small tortoises seemed happy enuf in large glass tanks. So my point is, not all tortoises are bothered by the glass, and if your tort is bothered, take newspaper and tape it around the bottom of the tank up about 6 inches so they can't see out.
 
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There are many of us who do use glass enclosures, I am one. I have never had the experience that some people mention their torts do. I don't have any small tortoises right now, so I use my tort tables to hold box turtles during the winter. I have box turtles in tort tables and glass tanks. I like them as I can watch their activity without them seeing me. My small tortoises seemed happy enuf in large glass tanks. So my point is, not all tortoises are bothered by the glass, and if your tort is bothered, take newspaper and tape it around the bottom of the tank up about 6 inches so they can't see out.
My tortoise currently has a wood enclosure, I quit the glass ones because I couldn’t find any big enough for her. You can use glass enclosures if it works out well
 

maggie3fan

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My tortoise currently has a wood enclosure, I quit the glass ones because I couldn’t find any big enough for her. You can use glass enclosures if it works out well
I have been using a select group of glass tanks for chelonia for about 20 years. I 'mostly ' have tort tables but I do have some tanks in the 250 gallon range.
 

Yvonne G

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Snappy has been with me for quite awhile, 8 years now. But she has some health issues most notably being pyramiding that makes her look like a pancake tortoise, I would appreciate if someone told me how to fix this and make it so that she can be a regular tortoise. Nonetheless she’s full of personality and snaps at anything, here she is.
Some of her other health issues include
-I think what is a vitamin A deficiency, she hasn’t been eating any multi vitamins but one that I haven’t found anywhere.

-when she breathes she wheezes, but the vet said that there was no signs of respiratory disease.
Hey and welcome!!

First of all, pyramiding isn't a health issue. It's caused by a baby tortoise being raised in too dry conditions during its first year. It doesn't affect his health, it's just cosmetic.

Next, pancake tortoises are flat. I can't imagine a pyramidid redfoot tortoise being flat with pyramiding. Maybe if she really is flat, it's not just pyramiding, it's metabolic bone disease, and THAT IS a health issue, caused by not enough calcium and vitamin d3 or UVB to help grow strong shell and bones.

You can fix the MBD by offering more calcium-rich foods and either getting her out into the sun for UVB or set her up under a GOOD UVB light. You can also sprinkle a dash of calcium with D3 over her food a couple times a week. (she'll never look like a "regular tortoise" because the shell damage is fixed and not able to change to 'normal.')

And lastly, vitamin A deficiency shows up as swollen shut eyes. To fix vitamin A deficiency you just feed the tortoise more red/orange/yellow foods like papaya, watermelon, cantaloup, squash, etc. You can put a couple drops of liquid bird vitamins in her soaking water a couple times a week to get more vitamins into her.

Check her nostrils to make sure there's not food or debris stuck in there to make her wheeze.

At any rate, you're here now, and this is a big step forward in the care of Snappy. Please read both of our good care sheets and try to make changes to Snappy's care and husbandry according to what you learn in the care sheets. It's going to be fine!


 
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Hey and welcome!!

First of all, pyramiding isn't a health issue. It's caused by a baby tortoise being raised in too dry conditions during its first year. It doesn't affect his health, it's just cosmetic.

Next, pancake tortoises are flat. I can't imagine a pyramidid redfoot tortoise being flat with pyramiding. Maybe if she really is flat, it's not just pyramiding, it's metabolic bone disease, and THAT IS a health issue, caused by not enough calcium and vitamin d3 or UVB to help grow strong shell and bones.

You can fix the MBD by offering more calcium-rich foods and either getting her out into the sun for UVB or set her up under a GOOD UVB light. You can also sprinkle a dash of calcium with D3 over her food a couple times a week. (she'll never look like a "regular tortoise" because the shell damage is fixed and not able to change to 'normal.')

And lastly, vitamin A deficiency shows up as swollen shut eyes. To fix vitamin A deficiency you just feed the tortoise more red/orange/yellow foods like papaya, watermelon, cantaloup, squash, etc. You can put a couple drops of liquid bird vitamins in her soaking water a couple times a week to get more vitamins into her.

Check her nostrils to make sure there's not food or debris stuck in there to make her wheeze.

At any rate, you're here now, and this is a big step forward in the care of Snappy. Please read both of our good care sheets and try to make changes to Snappy's care and husbandry according to what you learn in the care sheets. It's going to be fine!


I’ve read the care sheets(thank you for linking them, those were a big eye opener). I do have a question though, are there any good UVB lights you recommend? I can’t take her outside since I am in the Midwest and it’s currently winter.
 

Crystallynda

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I’ve read the care sheets(thank you for linking them, those were a big eye opener). I do have a question though, are there any good UVB lights you recommend? I can’t take her outside since I am in the Midwest and it’s currently winter.
I believe there is..I have asked the same question!

Let me see if I can find it in the past forums!

@Tom help this guy please!! 😊😊
 

crimson_lotus

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I am worried that if you decide to cover your current enclosure and boost humidity, you are going to have a mold problem since the enclosure is made of seemingly untreated wood. I would suggest covering the wood or staining it with some waterproof sealant, airing it out, then putting it back. Particularly the little house for the stain.

The breathing issue could also be due to the dry substrate. Once you moisten it up, enclose the space, and monitor temps you should be set. It doesnt look like your tortoise can dig much so I would also increase the amount of substrate.
 

Armadillogroomer

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I’ve read the care sheets(thank you for linking them, those were a big eye opener). I do have a question though, are there any good UVB lights you recommend? I can’t take her outside since I am in the Midwest and it’s currently winter.
@ZEROPILOT suggested the best one for torts, a T5 5.0 florescent hooded light. If you get one from the pet store, the common brand is Reptisun/Zilla, but if you are hardware savvy you can find it for cheaper.
 
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