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my new tortoise doesn't stand up...

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by Leebug, Jan 10, 2011.

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  1. Leebug

    Leebug New Member 5 Year Member

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    Ok, ya'll... I am new to this, owning a tortoise and forums, so bear w/ me :) Just got a new lil guy and wondering what kind it is... I'll post pics as soon as I figure that out. But I have a few ???'s.
    My lil guy (or girl) doesn't stand up... when he walks he just kinda scoots. The guy we got him from said it is 3 years old, about the size of a cd, and I am pretty sure it is a desert tortoise. He doesn't seem to be able to hold his own weight, his legs just go out to the sides behind him... He was kept in a 10 gal tank, we are in the process of building a turtle table and do have hime in a much larger bin for now... Could his back legs just not be strong enough b/c of improper nutrition and/or lack of exercise from being in such a small area???
  2. Missy

    Missy New Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi welcome. Yes it could be the case but without pics it will be hard to help you. If you can post pics someone will tell you what you have and we can see the shell condition so we can give suggestions.
  3. Leebug

    Leebug New Member 5 Year Member

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    <a href="http://s81.photobucket.com/albums/j211/roxylee80/?action=view&current=frank018.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j211/roxylee80/frank018.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    I'm not quite sure if this is how to post a pic...
  4. moswen

    moswen New Member 5 Year Member

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    well, yes excersize is very important for any torotise. in the wild tortoises may roam miles in it's natural habitat. but, it sounds like your tortoise could be suffering from MBD, or Metabolic Bone Disease. this is a symptom where a tortoise has not recieved proper lighting and diet to help it's bones and shell develop, and the tort's blood is taking calcium out of it's shell and legs. this is a pretty serious condition. take the tort to the vet, he will need to go no matter what his problem ends up being, but if it is mbd he will give you some liquid calcium that you can squirt in his mouth or inject, i think. this is the best and fastest way to get your tort up and running. pics will be great, so we can tell you how to best keep him/her.

    when you squeeze the shell, is it soft, kind of spongy? or does it give when you press his/her plastron? if so, then i am almost positive that's what it is.


    you can post pictures by using photobucket, uploading your pics from your computer onto photobucket, then getting the "image code." post the image code on here, it will be a bunch of letters till you post your thread, then it will pop up as the picture.

    welcome to the forum![hr]
    oh oops you must have been posting that while i was typing lol! you used photobucket which is good, but you may have erased some of the link bc it's not working, try it again!

    make sure you're copying the one that says "image code" it's the last one when you hover over the picture with your mouse.
  5. Leebug

    Leebug New Member 5 Year Member

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    <a href="http://s81.photobucket.com/albums/j211/roxylee80/?action=view&current=frank018.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j211/roxylee80/frank018.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>[hr]
    I can't figure this out... [hr]
    [​IMG]
  6. moswen

    moswen New Member 5 Year Member

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    haha, i have no idea why this isn't working. after you uploaded the pics did you click "save to my album" on the bottom right of the screen? it won't work until they're saved to your album...?
  7. Leebug

    Leebug New Member 5 Year Member

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    I don't see where to even have an album, I am very confused... Thanks for all of the replies... trying to find a vet that knows about reptiles.
  8. moswen

    moswen New Member 5 Year Member

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    there is a reptile vet list here on the forum, they may have a vet listed in your area, maybe that will give you someplace to start!
  9. Leebug

    Leebug New Member 5 Year Member

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  10. Leebug

    Leebug New Member 5 Year Member

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    [​IMG][hr]
    His shell is not soft at all... [hr]
    [​IMG][hr]
    [​IMG][hr]
    [​IMG]
  11. Tracy Gould

    Tracy Gould New Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi welcome to the forum.If u want to post Pictures try this link it will give u a forum code that will place the picture direct to the post instead of a link.

    http://www.littlepic.com/
  12. Leebug

    Leebug New Member 5 Year Member

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    ok, now that I've posted a few pics, anyone know what kind this lil guy is???
    Think I have found a vet... but wondering if anyone has had this problem before w/ their tortoise???
    [hr]
    Ok. so his shell is hard but does give a little when I squeeze him... I have found an exotic vet but he's out of town for the next week. of course! Well... I will be doing whatever I can to get him healthy!!!
  13. Yvonne G

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

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    If you're anywhere near Tucson, this is the best vet you could find. He's been taking care of tortoises for over 30 years. I read articles written by him over 30 years ago when I first got into tortoises, so he's been doing it a long time:

    Dr. Jim Jarchow
    3091 West Orange Grove Road
    Tucson, AZ 85741-2943
    (520) 877-2626

    Hi Lee:

    Welcome to the forum!! You have a desert tortoise that has been given really rotten care. Its pretty hard to grow a bumpy desert tortoise, but your new little baby is pretty bumpy. Also, the weak limbs is a good indication that he suffers from MBD, which goes along with the poor nutrition that he received before you.

    Here's a list of things a desert tortoise can eat:

    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/Thread...orts-DT-Marginated-Greeks-Russians-Sullys-etc

    Your new tortoise needs calcium and vitamin d3. If he can't get his d3 from the sun (bad weather?) then you MUST buy a UVB light. My personal preference is the T-Rex active UV/heat. This is a mercury vapor bulb and costs around $45. You can buy it online. A tortoise needs the d3 in order for the calcium to work, without it the calcium is peed out in the urine.

    There IS hope for your baby. With the correct diet and calcium/d3, he will get stronger and he will have the best chance at a long life!

    I'm glad that he is now in the care of someone who is looking out for the tortoise's best interest!
  14. John

    John New Member 5 Year Member

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    wow thats sad!
  15. moswen

    moswen New Member 5 Year Member

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    oh poor guy, his back legs seem to be constantly splayed out and to the side in every picture. i don't know how i wouldn't cry every time i looked at him. it seems like he's never recieved the proper care or love that it takes to provide a tortoise with proper care. and with an endangered species... how horrible. poor guy i'm glad you've taken over his care and i hope he'll make it.

    glad you finally got the pictures up lol! did you figure out what was wrong?

    it seems like my font of knowledge (lol) has reached a barrier, i've never cared for or studied up on a desert tortoise. there's no point since i'll never be able to own one haha! lots of ppl on here do, and i'm sure they'll love to help you get on the right track! best of luck!
  16. Leebug

    Leebug New Member 5 Year Member

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    My name is Lee. I have been wanting a tortoise for a while & had been doing some research but more on Sulcata's and Russian torts... My hubby and I met a guy & he mentioned having a Sulcata and needed to get rid of it... long-story-short~ when we went to pick it up (w/ our 2 very excited daughters)~ turned out not to be a Sulcata but that was ok. And then I noticed that the shell looked a little weird & that his legs were not so great either but couldn't say no to the girls... We are hoping that we can nurse him back to health. Looking forward to "saving Franklin" w/ the girls (their 5 and 4)
    Wish us luck~
    I haven't quite figured this whole forum thing out. I have searched around on here and did learn A LOT!! Thank you to everyone again for the help.
    We are not in the Tuscon area but I have found a vet in my area by talking w/ the Phoenix Herp guys and the AZ fish and game ppl.
    We will be getting the light tomorrow and just about have all the suff to start building our table to make this guy a forever home. Good thing the hubby is great at building things!!!
    Any suggestions for our table??
    Wondering if we should make it more smooth since his back legs don't work so well...
    Thanks All :)
  17. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 10 Year Member!

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    I would suspect that your desert tortoise probably had the wrong substrate growing up or he /she did not get enough exercise. They can get lazy and just want to drag themselves around. It could also be MBD this is where a vet comes in handy.
  18. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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  19. Yvonne G

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

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    Hi Lee:

    No, not smooth. He needs traction. Sometimes when a baby is raised on a smooth, slippery surface he gets what is know in birds as spraddle leg. I don't think there's a name for it in tortoises. But he needs to be able to get some traction. We normally recommend cypress mulch or coco coir to use as substrate, but because your baby is having a hard time with his back legs I'd like to recommend that you buy a couple yards of indoor/outdoor carpet...enough that you can make three or four separate pieces to interchange as they get dirty. Don't buy the kind that has grass-like matting. Get the nubby kind that he won't try to eat. When you take out one piece, you can wash it off and hang it in the sun. You can re-use them over and over. Then when his legs get better, you can go to the mulch or coir.
  20. Leebug

    Leebug New Member 5 Year Member

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    Thanks Yvonne G. :)
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