My tortoise - I need help please!

Rosie125

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Sep 5, 2020
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Hemel Hempstead
20200905_114442.jpg Hi everyone,

Couple of things, firstly I am new to this site. Please be kind in your replies, I am feeling rather sensitive today, haha.
Secondly I am aware of (mostly) everything I've done and not done. I am aware he is stunted, and I feel terrible for that. I am very aware that I have not been the most knowledgeable owner and I take full responsibility. In fact, I am actually really embarrassed to even post this because I am so ashamed.
I have a Mediterranean spur thighed tortoise, his name is Marble and he is roughly 20 years old.

I noticed today he has a weird random hole above his nostrils. I've never seen this before. A specialist advised it could be "fly strike" ? Any suggestions to get rid of this?

20200905_120741.jpg For years he lived with me at my parents house, my elder siblings eventually moved out and he became 'mine', so to speak. Then I moved out and he moved in with me.
In Feb this year I took him to a reptile specialist near me, and we were told he is very small for his age due to incorrect lighting, etc. We all felt bad for what we have and haven't done for him.
He has UVB lighting and his diet consists of:

Dandelions, carrot (he doesn't eat this very often though), kale, red pepper (his favourite), wild flowers (but my knowledge of these is poor), and I sprinkle calcium powder on his food once a week as advised by the specialist.
His lamp is 80W and is UVA and UVB. At the moment he lives in my house as I live in the UK and the weather is never particularly hot here.
He has an outside brick shed which monitored, at the moment, stays around 18 degrees which I know is too cold, so he doesn't stay in there at all at the moment.
I've attached some pictures of him. I've been told he's developed metabolic bone disease a "while ago", and has slight pyramiding.
I just want the best for him because obviously he can't talk or express how he's feeling. I feel beyond terrible and guilty. I know he is very small for his age due to my ignorance in the past. His tail is free of faeces, and his eyes are bright and shiny. His shell and plastron are hard. I took him to the vets recently who said he was healthy, but I'm still a bit concerned.
Any help on diet (he won't eat dried flowers), weeds to give him (any specifics? "Weeds" is pretty broad), and any other tips would be really appreciated. See pictures attached of him today.
Please be kind. I am very aware I have contributed massively to his potentially poor health and I feel awful.
Thank you very much.
Rosie
 

Yvonne G

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I doubt it's a fly strike. More than likely it was an abscess that you didn't notice, and now it has burst. Get a syringe without the needle and some sterile saline solution (you can buy it at the pharmacy). Flush out the cavity then pack it with Neosporin. If you think it's raw inside, that will draw flies, so make sure to keep Neosporin on it and inspect it daily for fly eggs.

(Abscesses around the nose area are common)
 

Brian Nicoleau

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Oof this doesn’t look good well good thing you came to the right place you should ask us more questions about your tortoise maybe not me because I’m not experienced with your tortoise (I have a redfoot) but yeah I think you’ll have a good time here if you let the people of this forum help you out
 

Helen Ruff

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Jun 12, 2020
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Hi Rosie and a very warm welcome!

This is a great site to find current and specialist knowledge from all of the other members who have tortoise health at heart.

I’m fairly new too but understand it’s not always easy to set out your stall,...... ask for advice and not to feel overly criticised by others when you want to tell an open honest story.

like anything in life it’s a learning curve and I think we all just want to provide the best and most appropriate care.

Good on you for sharing and loving your family tort !
 

Brian Nicoleau

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Hi Rosie and a very warm welcome!

This is a great site to find current and specialist knowledge from all of the other members who have tortoise health at heart.

I’m fairly new too but understand it’s not always easy to set out your stall,...... ask for advice and not to feel overly criticised by others when you want to tell an open honest story.

like anything in life it’s a learning curve and I think we all just want to provide the best and most appropriate care.

Good on you for sharing and loving your family tort !
Well said couldn’t do better
 

Brian Nicoleau

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Well as long as your here your tortoise can hopefully get better also you shouldn’t be so ashamed of yourself plenty of people are like you out there I used to be like you but for a drastically lower time I had no idea how to take care of my redfoot then I made a thread asking questions and now today I’m still learning about readfoots bad and planning to make a huge enclosure for my little baby you should provide us with a picture of your enclosure and maybe we could help you resolve future issues idk just show us a photo to see how your enclosure is and if it’s fit for your tortoise
 

Rosie125

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Sep 5, 2020
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Do you think he's really sick, then? :'( I've been told by a reptile specialist and a vet who specialises in reptiles he's healthy, so I'm not really sure what to think. I know his diet needs to be improved but I'm not really sure where to start.
 

Brian Nicoleau

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Do you think he's really sick, then? :'( I've been told by a reptile specialist and a vet who specialises in reptiles he's healthy, so I'm not really sure what to think. I know his diet needs to be improved but I'm not really sure where to start.
Idk I’m not a specialist but I think you should show us your enclosure since he or she is pyramiding but idk anything about your tortoise but I think it would be great if you showed us your enclosure he seems pretty healthy but he just got in a little trouble happens but I’m not a vet or anything I’m just a regular 14 year old on the internet
 

Rosie125

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Sep 5, 2020
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Hemel Hempstead
Thanks guys, I'm just making dinner so will post a picture after.
Can I just stress that his inside enclosure is temporary - I'm trying my best to make things better for him, but not sure where to start. Post back in a bit. Thanks all.
 

Tom

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Thanks.
I feel pretty terrible.
The first order of business is to take it easy on yourself. Its good that you are aware of what is going on and you are eager to improve things. No one is born knowing this stuff, and we all learned it by doing what you are doing now. So go easy. We were all once where you are now.

I'd follow Yvonne's advice for the hole on the head. That should solve that problem.

Here is all the care advice for your species. This is the current and correct care advice. There is all sorts of wrong info circulating around out in the world, and it has been for decades. Give this a read through, and it will probably answer most of your questions. Then feel free to ask all your questions. We are all here to talk tortoises.
 

Lokkje

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And I would look at your tortoise is being very cute, very unique, and very much loved or you wouldn’t be here trying. Welcome!
 
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