New little guy...

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barbie69

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I have been looking at larger torts for a while and recently a friend of mine had taken in a sick sulcata. I kept asking if he wanted me to take the little guy home and see if I can nurse him back to health and yesterday he gave him to me:).
Of course a sickly tort is not the best tort but I have a soft heart for the weak, sick and injured. (main reason to become a nurse lol)
The story is that he was sold to a guy who kept him for a couple months and by the time he was brought back he was in pretty bad shape. No idea how he was being cared for or what he was being fed during that time, just that the tort was active before going home with this guy. This tort has a shell deformity as well, he is a bit hunchback. He was born this way and it is not too bad so I am hopeful it will not affect him once he is feeling better. I have 2 daughters who have scholiosis and we love that he is crooked too. His name is Quasimoto, like the hunchback of notre dame.
I will post pics later, my camera is in my desk at work right now, sorry.
PLEASE GIVE ME SOME ADVISE on these little guys....I have only ever had hermann's torts and do not know a whole lot about sulcata's and I am excited to learn:D. He is in a sterilite with a heat light and he is borrowing a UVA/UVB bulb from my herman's enclosure til I can get a new one at the store tomorrow.
Thanks in advance for your help!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!:p
 

cvalda

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I have no advice for you, but good luck with the sweetie! You're wonderful to take him in!!!!!!!!
 

jlyoncc1

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I try to give my sulcatas as much weeds and grass as possible. They are very much the grazers. You should be soaking him and giving him the calcium and vitamin supplements. If you do not have access to weeds at this time of year, I try to buy dandelion greens, red leaf lettuce, escarole. Also, reptileeats.com has food you can order. There are many care sheets you can google, but I am sure other people will have even more info. I would also chop up some timothy hay to mix in with the food. Good Luck!
 

barbie69

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Thank you so much for the good wishes and advice.:D How different is his diet from my hermann's torts? The stuff mentioned sounds a lot like what I am feeding them too and that works out wonderfully if it is the case.
He is active, but not overly active and he is not opening his eyes yet. I cannot tell if he ate yesterday, he definately moved it around if he did not eat.
Do sulcatta's like a hide area typically? He has one but he will not go in it, just burrows a bit next to it snugly.
I gave him a soak in a shallow tub and I noticed a LOT of webbed stuff all over his neck...is this skin that should have shed or something? It is attached to him but looks like shed that is not all the way off. Strange, never seen it before.
I will try and get some pics tonight when I get my camera home.
 

jlyoncc1

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My sulcatas never go in their hide. When you post some pics, we can try to figure out the rest.
 

Crazy1

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Sorry this is so long but I felt it important: Hope it helps

I don’t know about your new one but I find mine is very shy and does not use his hide either. He tends to hunker down near the side of the pool or next to the hide. Scoots backwards if my hand gets too close to him or I put him in for a soak. I read on a site that if they tend to keep their eyes closed try soaking them or have them seen by a vet (possible problems). What size is your little guy? :)

Here is a list of foods taken from http://africantortoise.com/
Foods:
The diet should be at least 70% grasses and hay. Not surprisingly, given its preference for grassland habitats the Sulcata grazes, extensively upon mixed grasses weeds, and flowers. It also favors the fruit and pads of the prickly pear (Opuntia sp.), succulents and thistles. -
Grasses, Clovers, Grape, Mulberry & Fig leaves, Dandelion, Plantain (the weed) , Hibiscus (leaves and flowers), Opuntia, Thistles, Chickweed .This link will help you to be able to identify edible plants:
http://www.africantortoise.com/edible_plants.htm

Better of the easily obtainable grocery greens:
Aim for a high Calcium to Phosphorus ratio and low protein diet. When fed in excess, foods high in Oxalates have been implicated in binding minerals including calcium (marked with asterisk*).
Moderation and variety is the key.
Regularly:
Dark Leafy Greens such as: Endive, *Watercress, Romaine, *Collard Greens, *Kale, Dandelion, Chicory, Escarole, Radicchio, Turnip Greens, Opuntia (smooth or despined)
Occasionally:
Cabbage, Carrots, Carrot Tops, Red Leaf Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Alfalfa Hay, Parsley
**** Rarely****:
Swiss Chard, Spinach, Broccoli, Bok choy, Iceberg lettuce, Sweet Potatoes, Sprouts of any kind, Corn, Cucumbers, Beet Greens, Fruit in general.
Never: Rhubarb, Beans of any kind, dog food, pasta
For more information on why foods above are listed as they are, please visit the links below:
Tortoise Diet - http://russiantortoise.org/russiantortoisediet.htm
Nutrient Analyses of Replacement Tortoise Foods - http://home.earthlink.net/~rednine/nutrient.htm
CTTC - Tortoise Diet Information - http://www.tortoise.org/general/tntdiet.html

Pyramiding and Shell problems
Pyramiding - http://africantortoise.com/pyramiding_in_tortoises.htm
Metabolic Bone Disease - http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/lighting.html
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=17&cat=1797&articleid=2700

It has also been found that African Sulcata tortoises raised in dry conditions are more likely to develop a shell abnormality called "pyramiding," which is an abnormal hump-shape of the scutes. Tortoises raised in environments with 45-99% humidity had less abnormal shell growth than those raised in drier conditions.
 

barbie69

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Thank you so much!! Great information and it looks like I am doing okay so far. He is very little, smaller than my palm at this point and very light weight-wise. Before I brought him home he had seen a vet and they gave him some antibiotics just in case but did not come up with anything in his poo when they checked.
I think he was kept very cold and without proper food or lighting and it led to him not eating and becoming so lethargic. Poor little thing.
I keep checking on him for fear he will not make it, but he is still hanging in there and he is never in the same place so I know he is moving around.
 

Coldliz

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I think its funny that you guys said yours don't use their hides. Mine is in hers all the time, usually only comes out to eat and at night for a bit.
I wish the best of luck nursing your little guy back to health.
 

Crazy1

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barbie69
Good luck with Quasimoto. Hopefully with warm soaks, warm lights, a good diet and your loving care he will bounce back quickly.
 

barbie69

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I had a lot of trouble with photobucket last night so I am waiting for someone at my house to e-mail the pics I took of him last night. He is still not opening his eyes but he has been checking out his new enclosure, I can see his trail through the aspen. He stays on the warm side constantly though. I am almost positive he was kept cold for the few weeks he was with his previous owner. Poor little guy. I will post pics as soon as they get here. Thank you all for your wonderful wishes.
 

barbie69

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Okay, I had to run home and e-mail them to myself:rolleyes:...but here they are.
This is Quasi sleeping...
ann140.jpg


and a view from behind, you can see his hump...
ann143.jpg


and here is the sad little face that made me have to try and save him...
ann141.jpg

ann144.jpg


He was up and sitting in his food dish when I went home at lunch so I tossed some greens in front of him and my fingers are crossed he eats something.
 

Crazy1

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Is his eyes still not open? Any discharge?
Is he now eating?
I think I would get him into a vet if his eyes still arn't opening, especially if you question he is eating.
 

Coldliz

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Have you tried to soak him yet? Maybe that would help "wake" him up and he may open his eyes.
 

barbie69

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His little eyes are not open yet but he seems to be eating a little bit. No discharge and no audible sound with his respirations. He goes to his food and he goes to his water and I noticed he went potty in his water sometime last night so I hope that is a good sign.
I had to have a CT scan myself today and so I am not able to get him into a vet til at the earliest next week.
I think I will keep him nice and warm and do a little warm soak each day for a few minutes over the weekend. He seems to enjoy the soaks, he streches out and looks like he is enjoying the warmth of the water.
I will keep you all updated if there are any changes and my fingers are crossed he perks up more and opens his eyes soon.
thank you all again!!
 

Crazy1

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Barbie, I hope every thing is OK with your CT scan.:) you may have answered these questions already, sorry If I am repeating any. What is the temps and humidity in his enclosure? (cold side, spot light, warm side?) How long do you soak him for?
I soak mine for a min. of 20 min. 2 to 3 times a week. I often have to change the water 2 or 3 times just keep it clean and warm. that is cuse I am afraid too many soaks will cause him to lose too much food to fast ( he poos almost everytime I soak him).
 

cvalda

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aw what a lil sweetie! he's lucky to have you!
 

barbie69

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Crazy1 said:
Barbie, I hope every thing is OK with your CT scan.:) you may have answered these questions already, sorry If I am repeating any. What is the temps and humidity in his enclosure? (cold side, spot light, warm side?) How long do you soak him for?
I soak mine for a min. of 20 min. 2 to 3 times a week. I often have to change the water 2 or 3 times just keep it clean and warm. that is cuse I am afraid too many soaks will cause him to lose too much food to fast ( he poos almost everytime I soak him).

Just checked the temps and humidity....90 deg on the hot spot and 75 on the cool side with it a little cooler at night. Humidity looks to be at 38% right now. I had not really worried too much about humidity due to his condition and warm soaks so this is the first time I even checked it:rolleyes:. He seems to hang out in his water dish on the cool side or directly in the heat on the hot side. Never in between.
I only soak him for about 15 minutes at a time and I also re-do the water to keep it warm for him;). He really seems to like this.
 

barbie69

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cvalda said:
aw what a lil sweetie! he's lucky to have you!


Thank you! I really hope I can turn him around and make him happy and healthy. Sarah, my 15 year old said "I just need to be positive and he will be fine." She said she tells him everyday how much she loves him and how adorable he is. Such a good girl:).
 

TortGirl

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Crazy1 said:
It has also been found that African Sulcata tortoises raised in dry conditions are more likely to develop a shell abnormality called "pyramiding," which is an abnormal hump-shape of the scutes. Tortoises raised in environments with 45-99% humidity had less abnormal shell growth than those raised in drier conditions.

I have never heard anything about this before. I was under the impression that Sully's don't really need high humidity. So would spraying down the tort home to keep the humidity over 45% be a good idea?

Agnieszka :D
 

egyptiandan

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Hi Barbie,
It sounds like he might have a vitamin A deficiency. With my hatchling I soak them once a week with liquid vitamins in the water.
I use Vitasol for birds for a liquid vitamin. For him I'd use it twice a week until you saw improvement.

Danny
 
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