My Spur thigh has died

Hoop

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Please help. I purchased two spur thighs a year ago and one has just died and I don't know why.

They are/were 3 years old. They have had times were one has been eating more and growing faster but the other has then caught up.

The one that has died hasn't eaten much lately and was sleeping more but I thought this was normal for this time of year. Today I noticed he wasn't opening his eyes. I booked an appointment with the vets for tomorrow but a few hours later he was dead.

I have the normal indoors set up with a lamp on a timer and heat pad in the sleeping area. I bath them twice a week and fed then green leaves.

I'm paranoid I've done something wrong and don't wasn't to make the same mistake on the other one.

Feeling terrible.
 

JoesMum

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Hello and welcome to TFO

I am so sorry for your loss :(

Were these two kept together?

I am afraid that torts are not social. They don't need, want or like company and bullying is common. Bullying can be mental as well as physical and the clue is in the lack of appetite. They shouldn't be kept as a pair.

It is very likely that this tort was simply not allowed to eat enough by the other and that's why it died.

If you post pictures of your enclosure and lighting we can check it to see if there's anything else that may have accelerated the decline and help you to perfect the setup.

Have you read these TFO guides?

Beginner Mistakes
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

Greek Tortoise Care
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/greek-tortoise-testudo-graeca-care-sheet-overview.87146/
 

Hoop

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Wow. Can't believe the pet shop sold me two....!

Feel even worse now.

Thank you for your reply Joesmum.
 

JoesMum

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Wow. Can't believe the pet shop sold me two....!

Feel even worse now.

Thank you for your reply Joesmum.
It's not unusual for pet shops to get it wrong. They rarely have knowledge of the species.

Please do read those links as the shop's advice on care and diet is probably outdated too. Our guides are written by species experts trying hard to get the correct and most up to date information out there.

We're here to help as much as possible:)
 

Hoop

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I have read them and thank you. Feeling very guilty and tearful at the moment. Another animal has died due to ignorance....!

I purchased two books when I got them but no where did either of them state not to keep them together.

Wish I'd found this site earlier.
 

JoesMum

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I have read them and thank you. Feeling very guilty and tearful at the moment. Another animal has died due to ignorance....!

I purchased two books when I got them but no where did either of them state not to keep them together.

Wish I'd found this site earlier.
Big electronic hug. Please don't feel guilty. You did your best. You weren't doing it deliberately.

Mourn your lost tortoise, but devote yourself to the other and you'll enjoy a good 50+ years together :)
 

wellington

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I have read them and thank you. Feeling very guilty and tearful at the moment. Another animal has died due to ignorance....!

I purchased two books when I got them but no where did either of them state not to keep them together.

Wish I'd found this site earlier.
So very sorry for your loss. You aren't the only one that wishes they had found our forum sooner. Don't blame yourself. If you had known better, you would have done better. Take this time to learn all you can on this forum so you can undo any of the bad stuff the pet store may have told you and make a nice life for the one you have left in the memory of the one you lost.
 

Hoop

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20161011_214939.jpg 20161011_214925.jpg

This is my set up. Criticism welcome. Water bowl (which is sloped), bowl for chopped food and a slate that I put leaves on. In the sleeping area there it's a heat pad on the side. I have the lamp on from 8am till 6pm.

Thanks for your replies. Really appreciate it. X
 

JoesMum

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Hi there

That table is very small. How big is it and how big is your tortoise? Here's how to measure it
http://www.tlady.clara.net/measure.htm

Your substrate needs to be changed for something more earthy that holds moisture so you can add water to raise humidity. Coco coir and orchid bark are popular. The garden centre versions are cheaper and just as good as long as they're free of chemical fertiliser and bits (like vermiculite or lime chips) that your tort may be tempted to eat.

You need to be certain of your temperatures. It should be 35C/95F directly under the basking lamp. Does the lamp provide UVB? I'll post a separate thing about heat and lighting and what you need.

We don't recommend the reptile bowls as they are a tipping hazard and hard to use. A terracotta plant saucer is much safer as a water bowl. Just use the slate for food :)
 

JoesMum

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Here's a lighting summary:

Your tort needs:

1. A basking lamp
This must hang vertically, not at an angle. Basking is essential to raise your tortoise's core temperature so it can digest food.

2. UVB light
Read the instructions for the source to see how close to the substrate it must be. UVB is essential so your tort can process dietary calcium and have healthy bones and shell.

Both 1 and 2 are available from the sun for those able to live outside.

UVB does not pass through glass or perspex(plexiglass) - light must be direct to be effective not through a window. Mesh screening can also interfere with UVB.

3. A minimum overnight temperature (see the care sheet for your species) and complete darkness at night to sleep.


Notes

(a) A Mercury Vapor Bulb (MVB) provides combined UVB and Basking. Alternatively you can use 2 bulbs: a tube UVB and a reflector bulb for basking (a household reflector - not low energy or halogen - from a hardware store will do the job; it's the wattage that counts)

(b) Ignore any references to UVA you may read - it's misleading marketing speak.

(c) Compact coil UVB harms tortoise eyes and must not be used.

(d) Basking and UVB should be on a timer so the light(s) are on for 12 hours a day. Temperature under the basking is regulated by its height above the substrate.

(e) Overnight, depending on your home, you may need additional heat. You get this from a CHE (Ceramic Heat Emitter) which must be on a thermostat.

(f) Torts have outstanding colour vision and love red and purple food. Coloured heat lamps colour tank decor and torts don't always apply intelligence to what they eat, resulting them in eating tank decor. Coloured bulbs should not be used.


Measurements

There are 4 important temperatures that you must know for an indoor enclosure.
- Directly under the basking lamp
- Warm side
- Cool side
- Overnight Minimum

You will need digital thermometers for accuracy.

A temperature gun thermometer (inexpensive from Amazon) measures temperature accurately in specific places like directly under the basking lamp.

A min/max thermometer so you know the min/max temperatures in your home by day and night.

You should also get a good digital probe hygrometer to measure humidity.

Thermometers and hygrometer that stick to the side of the enclosure tend to be less accurate.
 

Hoop

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Tuck is 11cm and the enclosure is 90 x 45 cm.

Planning to build an enclosure in the garden next year but thought they were too small to do it this year.

I'll get a thermometer and check the temp.
 

Hoop

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Thanks for that. I've ordered new bedding and a thermometer.

At least it seems I've got the right lamp...!

Any chance of a photo of an ideal enclosure?

Thanks again for your help. X
 

Yvonne G

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Oh no! I'm so very sorry to hear that.

Please don't beat yourself up over this. You didn't know any better. But now that you've found us, and have access to one of the best care sheet written for Greek tortoises, you can give the other tortoise great care. Here's a link to Chris's care sheet for Greek tortoises:

http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/greek-tortoise-testudo-graeca-care-sheet-overview.87146/

Read it with an open mind and make the necessary changes to your care of the tortoise.
 

Katie1231

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i’m sorry for your loss. even a pets loss is terrible. keeping you in my prayers [emoji173]️
 

Bee62

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It is possible that your dead tortoise has eaten the substrate. Is it wood shapes ? That is bad for tortoises.
I am sorry for your loss and for the misinformation the pet store gave you.
 

TammyJ

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Hello. Sorry your tort died, but you came to a good place for help and advice so you can be more informed to be able to better care for the other one.
Best of luck!
 

daniellenc

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The substrate you have now is an impaction risk so until your substrate comes I’d ditch it immediately. You say you feed leaves but can you be more specific about diet? And don’t beat yourself up too much!! Learn and take the advice given here you won’t be steered wrong.
 
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