Please give me advice, my Hermanns Torto needs help...

EnIiight

New Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2020
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
California
So my Hermann's name is ironically Herman, and I took him in when I was in third grade (8-9 years old (I'm 16 now)) from someone who couldn't anymore. The only thing is, for the past 7-8 years, I haven't been taking the best care of him. I'm not going to make excuses like I was busy with school, a social life, and some health issues because it is 100% my fault; now I'm trying to change that. The main thing that's bothering me is that the bottom of his shell is really malleable and there are lines between the scutes (with like a light brown/reddish color). When I got him, he wasn't like this, so I don't think it's very healthy...

He's in a 13in x 37in cage, which I think is big enough, as he has a good amount of room to spread out. I used to have a loose coconut fiber substrate in there, but I switched to gravel because it's much easier and less messy to clean. However, ever since I made the switch in the last year, his condition has started to look worse, and I've noticed that some of the gravel is sticking to his tail and I'm worried that it may actually be embedding itself into him; is that possible and should I switch back or should I just not be worried?

Also, I know that torts are supposed to be exposed to a decent amount of UV light, and I think he might not be getting enough from my window, so I shall be investing in getting him a UV lamp.

If someone or some people could please respond and give advice/ confirm or disprove my worries, that would be greatly appreciated. I'm worried about my bby boy and I don't want to see him suffer. I've definitely made his life not fun, so I'm trying to turn over another leaf, but I need your help so I know what's right and wrong for him.
 

ZEROPILOT

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
21,382
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
What type of UVB light are you/have you been using?
No UVB light passes through a windows glass and you tortoise sounds like it has metabolic bone disease MBD.
Gravel is a very bad substrate.
What is he or she fed?
Any more information or photos will help us to better help you both.
 

EnIiight

New Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2020
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
California
I haven't gotten one yet, as no vivariums or pet stores near me are open, do you have any recommendations?

What does MBD entail for a tortoise? Is it dangerous? Should I take him to a vet?

I feed him a salad (usually romaine but sometimes some mixed greens) and sometimes I add some bell pepper or strawberry tops depending on what is being eaten in my house. A while ago I also heard that adding some calcium and multivitamins aren't a bad idea. And as I have 2 leapord geccs, I have some of that so I sprinkle a pinch of each container (see files attatched) on the food.

If there's any more info you need or I can give I am more than willing!
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
84,810
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
We have a very good care sheet for the Hermanns tortoises: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/sticky-hermanns-tortoise-care-sheet-updated.101410/

A couple points - Don't use gravel. The new growth on the plastron might be red due to the harsh gravel, or it MIGHT be septicemia. I like to use fir bark. 1'x3' isn't nearly big enough for a full grown Hermanns tortoise. They need much more room than that. As Zero has said, UV doesn't pass through glass, so he's NOT getting the UVB he needs for strong bones and shell.

Do you soak this tortoise? Every morning while you're preparing his food, place him into a deep bowl that he can't climb out of and add warm water until it comes up to the middle of his sides. Leave him in there for about 15 or 20 minutes. This will hydrate him and will also help dislodge the gravel from his tail.
 

Lowstorm

New Member
Joined
May 7, 2019
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Mid Minnesota
It says you live in California? Do you have a way to take him outside for a half hour + a day? That will help get him UV rays right away.
 

New Posts

Top