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Horrors! Trauma! Upside down in water tray!

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by Dovey, Jan 3, 2020.

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  1. Dovey

    Dovey Member

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    I got a new plastic flower pot bottom to use as a water dish in my desert tort's indoor habitat about two weeks ago because the teracotta one I previously had tended to absorb water and get nasty very quickly and was very shallow, maybe 1-2 inches. This one is a little bit deeper than the terracottas was, maybe 3 inches, however, and i found my 7 inch baby upside down in the water with her nose underwater this morning. I immediately snatched her out, and she gave a little squeak and then seemed fine. I have no idea how long she was upside down.

    She seems fine now, but I don't want to lose her to pneumonia in a month or a week. Is there anything I should do for her immediately? Aside from changing out the water dish, obviously! Jeez, this was traumatic. Poor wee girl.
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  2. Mizcreant

    Mizcreant Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    I don't like the plastic saucers. They are way too light and easily tipped. Yes they do tend to get nasty quick. I soak mine twice a week in hot water and a couple drops of Dawn liquid.

    Just keep a close eye on her for the next day or two and keep her warm. I'm sure she'll be fine.
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  3. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    The clay ones that arent glazed do tend too absorb water. However once older and I'm assuming kinda dirty within the clay itself they seem to stop or slow on the absorbing. You can also buy the ones that are glazed inside. For babies the water should not be too deep so if this does happen they wont drown. Have the water come to just barely past or at the level of where the bottom and top shell meets. Also putting some rocks in the dish helps them to right themselves.
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  4. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    Keep the baby warm day and night, no lower then 85 for at least 2 weeks. He should be fine. Keep us posted.
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  5. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I put a layer of pebbles on the bottom of the waterer to make it less deep.
  6. Gijoux

    Gijoux Active Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Thanks for this suggestion. That makes great sense.
  7. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    If you have coco coir or Orchid bark, a slightly porous terra cotta dish might be a bonus on the "keeping up humidity".
    And not a negative.
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  8. Ciri

    Ciri Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I use porcelain or ceramic dishes made for human food which I bought at the dollar store and at crate and barrel. They can be sanitized in the dishwasher. As they are glazed do not absorb water. You can get very shallow dishes made for pasta.
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  9. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Excellent for larger tortoises. But babies would have no way to climb out.
    And Tera cota is good for filing down breaks and nails.
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  10. Ciri

    Ciri Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Perfect porcelain dish for the hatchling:

    I searched for this:
    wasabi dish porcelain
    and found:
    Dipping Sauce Dishes, Soy Sauce Dipping Bowls
    DIMENSIONS: Holds 3 ounces, 3"L x 3"W x 0.8"H (7.62 cm x 7.62 cm x 2 cm)

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JFVC6CK/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

    I was familiar with these types of dishes from my travels to Japan. Loved the food! These have gentle sloping sides. The ones that are a problem have sharp vertical edges – they are much harder for tortoise/box turtle hatchlings to navigate. I have found other porcelain or ceramic Asian dishes so that I have ceramic dishes for every age of tortoise or box turtle. Besides the gentle sloping sides, it's important that it's not too deep. I will admit it is more work to find these, but they have worked great for me. I love that I can sanitize them in my dishwasher!
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