New sulcata hatchling Reverse pyramiding?

SarahA

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
20
Location (City and/or State)
New Hampshire
I purchased a sulcata hatchling online and received him today. When he arrived I thought he was dead, he wouldn’t move at all, looked swollen, and was cold. I also noticed his shell is deformed/misshapen. After warming him up for a couple hours in warm water and heat lamp, he came around. He became very active, drank, pooped, and ate a lot. He has continued to remain active and looks healthy except for his shell. It looks like the opposite of pyramiding, it’s concave up by his head on the left side, which makes his shell look very lopsided.
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
2,472
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Here are some pics
Aww...poor baby!

It looks like something pushed against him and caved in his shell, but his shell was still so soft that it didn't break.

Is his shell still soft? Maybe it will straighten out? As long as it doesn't affect his arm or organs, it hopefully will just be cosmetic. It gives him character!

I know nothing about sulcatas, but am curious about this.

I'm very sorry about your recent loss, and wish you the best with your new baby!
 

SarahA

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
20
Location (City and/or State)
New Hampshire
It's nothing to worry about. They are pretty soft when in the egg and for a while after they hatch. It will straighten out as he grows.
Oh that’s fantastic to hear!! Is there anything special I should do, or avoid to help that, other than what’s recommended normally for hatchlings
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
48,497
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Looks like a normal baby. Does it still have an egg tooth?

What was the source of this baby? It looks like it was started in a dry environment. See the notch between the scutes? It shouldn't be that way. Soak this baby every day and get it into a humid warm environment. The shell should straighten out over time.

Here is all the care info in one place for you. Please take note of each detail. These threads are the product of decades of trial and error. Most of the care info you find for them is old, out-dated and incorrect:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
 

SarahA

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
20
Location (City and/or State)
New Hampshire
Looks like a normal baby. Does it still have an egg tooth?

What was the source of this baby? It looks like it was started in a dry environment. See the notch between the scutes? It shouldn't be that way. Soak this baby every day and get it into a humid warm environment. The shell should straighten out over time.

Here is all the care info in one place for you. Please take note of each detail. These threads are the product of decades of trial and error. Most of the care info you find for them is old, out-dated and incorrect:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
Thank you! I have a setup for him pretty much identical to what is ideal, ie; closed top enclosure, thermostat controlled using CHE set to 90F, basking light on for 12 hrs a day, nice humid substrate mix of coco coke and organic soil. And yes I have read the above threads a few times each since joining the forum lol!! Fantastic info on them, thank you. :)
As for his started environment, according to the breeder he was started out in ideal conditions, they assured me he was not too dry. But considering the way he arrived, which was VERY cold, dry, EXTREMELY lethargic....like I said above, I was convinced he was dead for over an hour :(
He does appear to have his egg tooth still, I’ll attach a pic, so you can tell me lol As I am new to this.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
48,497
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
...according to the breeder he was started out in ideal conditions, they assured me he was not too dry.
This sounds like double speak to me. "Ideal conditions" to the breeder is probably not my idea of ideal. Likewise, their idea of "not too dry" is very likely different than my idea of that concept.

It is okay to share the source here. If they are a good breeder and have done a good job, other members seeking a new tortoise can reward them with business. If they've done a bad job, shipped poorly, started the baby all wrong or too dry, then everyone should know about it, so they don't buy from the wrong source when the time comes.

If your baby still has an egg tooth, that means it is less than about 6 weeks old.
 

SarahA

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
20
Location (City and/or State)
New Hampshire
This sounds like double speak to me. "Ideal conditions" to the breeder is probably not my idea of ideal. Likewise, their idea of "not too dry" is very likely different than my idea of that concept.

It is okay to share the source here. If they are a good breeder and have done a good job, other members seeking a new tortoise can reward them with business. If they've done a bad job, shipped poorly, started the baby all wrong or too dry, then everyone should know about it, so they don't buy from the wrong source when the time comes.

If your baby still has an egg tooth, that means it is less than about 6 weeks old.
Yes I agree with your statement about “double speak” I got him from Underground Reptiles online.
I am guessing he is very young, since he still has, excuse my lamens term, a “belly button” lol
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
48,497
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Yes I agree with your statement about “double speak” I got him from Underground Reptiles online.
I am guessing he is very young, since he still has, excuse my lamens term, a “belly button” lol
I don't want to alarm you, but that is a bad sign. You need to know what you are dealing with so you can prepare accordingly.

If you look in the vendor review section here, you'll find that they do not have a good reputation, but enough about that.

The belly button you mentioned means the baby was indeed started too dry, not kept in a warm humid brooder box as it should have been, not soaked enough, and sold much too soon. All of this is par for the course with UGR, and many other sellers too.

Having said that, don't worry too much too soon. Many poorly started babies survive, thrive, and go on to live long healthy lives. All you can do is offer the best care possible, which it sounds like you are, and hope for the best. Your questions are welcome, and we will do our best to help your baby thrive. Long warm daily soaks will go a long way toward helping your baby. 40-60 minutes would be good. I'm glad you found us. :)

Many times when things don't go well the new owners blame themselves and sometimes these awful sellers blame the new owner, so they don't have to take a monetary loss. Its despicable. This won't happen to you because now you know better. I'm wishing all the best for you and your new baby.
 

Hjpetey

New Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
1
Location (City and/or State)
Texas
Hi Sara, I purchased my first Sulcata hatchling from Underground Reptiles as well with similar situation. He’s now a happy, healthy and thriving little guy. It sucks that our little ones had a rough start to begin with but what we do with them going forward is what’s important. Your doing a great job, and being on this forum will be helpful. Keep up the great work!
 

SarahA

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
20
Location (City and/or State)
New Hampshire
Hi Sara, I purchased my first Sulcata hatchling from Underground Reptiles as well with similar situation. He’s now a happy, healthy and thriving little guy. It sucks that our little ones had a rough start to begin with but what we do with them going forward is what’s important. Your doing a great job, and being on this forum will be helpful. Keep up the great work!
Thank you :) and I’m happy to hear your little guy is doing well. My little Lumpy seems to be doing well now too, and yes it does suck. Makes my heart ache that they aren’t properly started out :( But you’re right what’s important is their care going forward!! As I’m sure you feel the same, I’m happy I can do my best to make the rest of their life happy and healthy even if they had a rough start.
 
Top