MBD?

Linds94

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Hi guys,

I have been having a really difficult time getting Tortellini to eat much lately, I’ve tried all kinds of different greens, and lettuce is really the only thing I can get him to eat (and only about half of what he used to eat at that). I did recently change up is diet quite a bit to make it more varied, so this could have something to do with it. On top of this, I noticed his back legs are getting darker and darker and today I noticed the back of his shell is dipping a little. He has a UBV light in his enclosure and I give him calcium occasionally, but with him not eating much lately he hasn’t eaten a lot of it. He won’t touch calcium bones at all. I have posted some photos, does it look like MBD? Should I get him to a vet? This is my first tortoise and I can acknowledge that even with research I don’t know everything yet. Thanks so much in advance

image.jpg 5695B3D8-F84C-4708-9F29-AC9D65D611DE.jpeg 796C60D2-CCDF-40CC-BB92-C5B56B8F90CA.jpeg
 
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Linds94

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His temperatures are high 80s low 90s. He hasn’t pooped much lately and that has really worried me.
 

TeamZissou

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I don't think you have to worry about MBD. This is usually characterized by a large dip at the top of the shell. I also don't know if it would show up at such a young age. To me, it just looks like a bit of bumpy shell growth which is typical.

It does take a long time for tortoises to accept new food items. They only eat what they know, and that's why it's critical that breeders introduce a wide variety of food items while young. It sounds like your tortoise is still eating, but just the food that it knows. You need to keep slipping the new food items in and over the course of weeks to months, he may accept more varied stuff.

The red legs thing is perplexing. I think sepsis is usually characterized by red at the seams of the scutes, along with larger red patches on the plastron. The tortoise does look a bit red, but it's hard to tell if that's substrate.

I don't think Reptivite is good for tortoises. Looking at the ingredients and analysis, it contains a lot of vitamin A, for which tortoises do not need supplementation. There's tons of vitamin A in greens. Herptivite is probably a better choice and doesn't contain extra vitamin A.

What UV lamp do you use? Have you checked the UV levels?
 

Linds94

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I don't think you have to worry about MBD. This is usually characterized by a large dip at the top of the shell. I also don't know if it would show up at such a young age. To me, it just looks like a bit of bumpy shell growth which is typical.

It does take a long time for tortoises to accept new food items. They only eat what they know, and that's why it's critical that breeders introduce a wide variety of food items while young. It sounds like your tortoise is still eating, but just the food that it knows. You need to keep slipping the new food items in and over the course of weeks to months, he may accept more varied stuff.

The red legs thing is perplexing. I think sepsis is usually characterized by red at the seams of the scutes, along with larger red patches on the plastron. The tortoise does look a bit red, but it's hard to tell if that's substrate.

I don't think Reptivite is good for tortoises. Looking at the ingredients and analysis, it contains a lot of vitamin A, for which tortoises do not need supplementation. There's tons of vitamin A in greens. Herptivite is probably a better choice and doesn't contain extra vitamin A.

What UV lamp do you use? Have you checked the UV levels?

That is extremely good to know I will switch his vitamins immediately.

I use one of the tube lights I believe it was reptizoo brand. It’s been 6 months this month so I have a new one on order coming this week.

The reddish brown dots are all his substrate, especially the red on top of his shell. He burrows a lot, so he gets pretty covered. I sent some photos to a trusted vet as well just as a second opinion so hopefully they come to the same conclusions! I want to give my tortoise the best home and my heart just breaks to think that my mistakes could hurt him! I’ll switch out those vitamins and back off on the newer food a bit so he has time to adjust. Hopefully that helps him eat enough to poop more!
Thanks so much
 

harrythetortoise

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That is extremely good to know I will switch his vitamins immediately.

I use one of the tube lights I believe it was reptizoo brand. It’s been 6 months this month so I have a new one on order coming this week.

The reddish brown dots are all his substrate, especially the red on top of his shell. He burrows a lot, so he gets pretty covered. I sent some photos to a trusted vet as well just as a second opinion so hopefully they come to the same conclusions! I want to give my tortoise the best home and my heart just breaks to think that my mistakes could hurt him! I’ll switch out those vitamins and back off on the newer food a bit so he has time to adjust. Hopefully that helps him eat enough to poop more!
Thanks so much
In my experience, I kept giving my tortoise different foods until he eventually accepted them. Usually takes about a week or two. Keep trying!👍🙂
 

TeamZissou

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That is extremely good to know I will switch his vitamins immediately.

I use one of the tube lights I believe it was reptizoo brand. It’s been 6 months this month so I have a new one on order coming this week.

The reddish brown dots are all his substrate, especially the red on top of his shell. He burrows a lot, so he gets pretty covered. I sent some photos to a trusted vet as well just as a second opinion so hopefully they come to the same conclusions! I want to give my tortoise the best home and my heart just breaks to think that my mistakes could hurt him! I’ll switch out those vitamins and back off on the newer food a bit so he has time to adjust. Hopefully that helps him eat enough to poop more!
Thanks so much

Is it a coil type or a tube type UV bulb? Most of the Reptizoo bulbs that come up when I search are all coil type, which aren't good for tortoises.

If you're replacing the bulb every six months as a precaution, you might consider purchasing a Solarmeter 6.5 to measure UV levels. In addition to helping set the proper height for whatever bulb you have, you can also measure whether or not the bulb has lost any of it's UV output, creating potential savings from throwing away perfectly good bulbs.

Don't get me wrong, the coloration of the legs does look a little odd to me. I don't keep Russians at all, but it does look a bit strange that the rear and front skin coloration is so different.
 

Ink

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Do you have a heat pad or rock in the enclosure? I am not an expert I am just asking. I hope he feels better
 

Linds94

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Do you have a heat pad or rock in the enclosure? I am not an expert I am just asking. I hope he feels better
I don’t have a heat pad, but I do have a basking rock for him under a basking bulb. He likes hanging out around that area
 

Linds94

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Is it a coil type or a tube type UV bulb? Most of the Reptizoo bulbs that come up when I search are all coil type, which aren't good for tortoises.

If you're replacing the bulb every six months as a precaution, you might consider purchasing a Solarmeter 6.5 to measure UV levels. In addition to helping set the proper height for whatever bulb you have, you can also measure whether or not the bulb has lost any of it's UV output, creating potential savings from throwing away perfectly good bulbs.

Don't get me wrong, the coloration of the legs does look a little odd to me. I don't keep Russians at all, but it does look a bit strange that the rear and front skin coloration is so different.
I’ll look into the solarmeter, thanks for the tip. I did make sure to get the tube not the coil. I looked it up again on Amazon and it looks like I purchased it from Zilla not reptizoo. Probably for that reason
 

Lyn W

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The main intake of vitamins should be from a varied diet - a pinch of calcium a couple of times a week is enough.
Too many vitamins can be harmful to torts.
If your vet suggests a vitamin shot without good cause don't accept it.
Check his temps carefully in his basking spot at his level and as Zeropilot said warm soaks and cucumber will help him poop. I grate some to a mush (no peel or seeds) to help my tort along.
I wonder if @ZenHerper or @zovick can help with this.
 

ZEROPILOT

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The main intake of vitamins should be from a varied diet - a pinch of calcium a couple of times a week is enough.
Too many vitamins can be harmful to torts.
If your vet suggests a vitamin shot without good cause don't accept it.
Check his temps carefully in his basking spot at his level and as Zeropilot said warm soaks and cucumber will help him poop. I grate some to a mush (no peel or seeds) to help my tort along.
I wonder if @ZenHerper or @zovick can help with this.
The leg dragging is puzzling and worries me.
 

Linds94

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The leg dragging is puzzling and worries me.
He doesn’t really drag his legs so much, that was more a picture of him burrowing down, they are just turning a darker color and idk if that is normal. It doesn’t really seem like it would be
 

harrythetortoise

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He doesn’t really drag his legs so much, that was more a picture of him burrowing down, they are just turning a darker color and idk if that is normal. It doesn’t really seem like it would be
When you soak him does the color come off his legs?
 

Tom

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Hi guys,

I have been having a really difficult time getting Tortellini to eat much lately, I’ve tried all kinds of different greens, and lettuce is really the only thing I can get him to eat (and only about half of what he used to eat at that). I did recently change up is diet quite a bit to make it more varied, so this could have something to do with it. On top of this, I noticed his back legs are getting darker and darker and today I noticed the back of his shell is dipping a little. He has a UBV light in his enclosure and I give him calcium occasionally, but with him not eating much lately he hasn’t eaten a lot of it. He won’t touch calcium bones at all. I have posted some photos, does it look like MBD? Should I get him to a vet? This is my first tortoise and I can acknowledge that even with research I don’t know everything yet. Thanks so much in advance

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This much ado about nothing.

The color on the legs is staining from the substrate and is totally normal. The old stained areas are shedding out and new skin is showing underneath.

I see no sign or indication of MBD.

Its normal for them to eat less during winter. Even when indoors, the lighting tones, light duration, and light intensity is lower in winter.

There are four temperatures to know. Where is it high 80s or low 90s? Warm side, cool side, basking area directly under the bulb, and overnight low?

If the UV tube is a regular T8 10.0 type, then it isn't doing much for UV. A Solarmeter 6.5 will confirm this for you. If this is the case, adding some good UV and possibly another LED for more light during the day, will pick his appetite up. In a nother month or two, the appetite will pick up on its own, and that is the best time to be introducing lots of new foods.
 

Linds94

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This much ado about nothing.

The color on the legs is staining from the substrate and is totally normal. The old stained areas are shedding out and new skin is showing underneath.

I see no sign or indication of MBD.

Its normal for them to eat less during winter. Even when indoors, the lighting tones, light duration, and light intensity is lower in winter.

There are four temperatures to know. Where is it high 80s or low 90s? Warm side, cool side, basking area directly under the bulb, and overnight low?

If the UV tube is a regular T8 10.0 type, then it isn't doing much for UV. A Solarmeter 6.5 will confirm this for you. If this is the case, adding some good UV and possibly another LED for more light during the day, will pick his appetite up. In a nother month or two, the appetite will pick up on its own, and that is the best time to be introducing lots of new foods.
Thank you thank you thank you!

what kind of UV do you recommend as a good UV? The 10.0 is what I was recommended but I don’t remember who by on this forum. I’d love to get what is best for my tort in there.

his temps are currently 85 warm side, 83 in his humid hide, 80 in the cool side and 93 on his basking rock. Overnight low is about 65-70. I did just order him a larger watt heat bulb after reading that those temps should be just a bit higher.

I’m glad to learn that most of this is normal behavior, but I’m glad to have at least received recommendations for what I can improve on for my little guy. I want to make sure he is as healthy as possible!
 

Ink

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Make sure your heat rock isn't too hot. Please. I hope he feels better
 
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