Hydrotsunami

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Emergency!

Born June 24th, 2020 this little girl Honu was always a sweet, active, happy baby tort. Out of the litter some liked to charge but this girl was always very sweet. Hence why I think she's a girl. Here's a ton of pictures to help describe her issue she's going through.

Im fairly educated and have read a lot of forums to help better my understanding. My friend has started them very well and his whole batch was thriving. Real healthy and happy.

Here is Honu today, February 2nd, 2021. Her shell seems to be almost 3 inches in length. Her weights only 44.11 grams. Im worried about her health.

She stopped using her back legs the past week.

The last two weeks I noticed her back legs not working sometimes, but then she would use them as if nothing was wrong too the next moment. So I figured she was being lazy for a second I don't know. She's a baby.

Shes still fairly active during the day with the sun out. Shes strong enough to move around with her arms. She sleeps most of the day. Much like a healthy sulcata baby should right? (Believe they sleep 20+ hours a day as a baby?)

Her Home

Oahu, Hawaii, 80-90 during the day, 60-70 at night. Humidity usually 60-70% but occasionally 80-100% as it rains and gets tropical often. All in all I feel like an amazing climate for her. She has a 3' x 2' cage with walls, a good medium for her, and the normal stuff for torts. She loves it and doesn't try climbing out.

She has a little dome with a cloth bedding as she always seems to love laying on top of soft things.

The past week since I've noticed her health is weird so I have been taking extra care of her. I've been making sure she gets to stay in cool, well shaded, lit areas where she can still get sun light but it's warm and she can't overheat. She loves this too and will stay there forever.

She's strong enough to move her body so she would walk into the shade by herself if he wants.


Her Diet and Routine

Every morning before I do anything I check on Honu and move her cage into a spot where the sun comes around and lights her spot for a little - she has more than half the cage of shade still if she needed, and the sun is only there for a few hours before it goes behind a tree.

This is where she hangs out usually for her part of the day so plenty of UV and sun until she decides to sleep. Her cage is outside in a nice outdoor living room type area that's rain proof. She gets direct sun light through her cage without screen or windows in-between. She has a wire cage with 1 inch gaps that's connected to a tray. Used for some rabbits etc.l

I feed her these greens leafs called "koa" leafs that naturally grow here. Can Google them, not much info is found but they are known to be edible and used by Hawaiians. She's ate them most her life, was doing amazing with them. Pooping consistent and nice poops.

I have coral rock my friend harvested from his fish tank, I have always used that as her supplement calcium as it's pure calcium rock? I've read online and many people make their own with it too?

She gets fed the calcium rock 1-2 times a week and never had issues with her digesting. Her shell always looked great and not deformed once so ever. What do you think about her shell?

I just recently bought her cal fortified grassland tort food and some organic greens from the store to spruce up her diet a bit. She seems to like it and always has her appetite wanting to munch on stuff every morning.

I will give her baths once every other day. Yes I know not every day. Sometimes I will a few consecutive days in a row. She has access to water in her cage anytime.

I assume they don't get the luxury of puddles every day in their natural habitat. Which makes them such versatile creatures being able to conserve energy when needed, and live for years on end with little food or water. So bathing daily may not be as easy as getting hydrated in the wild.

Lately since I've been worried she's been getting warm water baths every day for at least 10 minutes in alkaline 7.8-8.4pH purified water from the hawaiian volcanic mountain.

She's always done amazing drinking and bathing with this water since y 1 as well so I always share mine with her.
Hawaii volcanic water analysis:
Naturally occurring
silica 39mg/liter
Magnesium 2.6mg/liter
Calcium 4.8mg/liter
Potassium 1.9mg/liter
Total desolved solids 73mg/liter
Total desolved solids (are usually calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium cations and carbonate, hydrogencarbonate, chloride, sulfate, and nitrate anions.)

I feel like if it's naturally occurring water, it doesn't mater to much where geographically the water is from as long as it has natural elements occuring and nothing out of the ordinary. I never fed her tap water. She's always done great and just the past 2 weeks I've noticed her legs acting up.

Shes strong.

Honu has a strong will do keep going. She greets me every day, she will turn around and come full speed just to stand by my hand for head rubs and shell rubs. She is literally super sweet. When she sees her food, she gets excited and she's there in seconds even with her back legs not working well. Every little while I see them kicking. She will move them sometimes if I'm touching them. She has feeling and control. Just seems to be going away slowly.

I work from home and can care for her throughout the day. Lately as it gets 60-70 at night I'll keep her by my bed inside a sweatshirt staying cozy. If I'm awake she will be on my chest loving the body warmth. (She chooses cloth over dirt, and body warmth over cloth)

I do know it's natural for her temps to drop a little over night. Inside my room may be around 65-70 it's not very cold.

What worries me...

Her back legs not moving well, I see red veins in her legs.(pictures)

I just noticed today some of her scales on her leg is missing. That wasn't there a month ago I know for a fact. I often look around her for any bugs etc. As I've heard they can get pests.

Is her shell good? I don't think there's pyramiding. Does the spinal part look fine and not too raised? I don't know why it would be if she's had natural sun daily, good water often, digested her food well with coral rock sprinkled over (which is pure calcium.)

Her shell feels a little soft on the bottom, top has a hardiness. Just moving my finger along the bottom of her body can see the middle move a little, but it's more like plastic NOT sponge as I read is bad. (Hoping the best)

I understand it's normal for baby torts. I don't expect her to be hard as a rock.

What concerns me the most, which I believe can contribute to her legs, is her growth. She's a good 3 inches long, but 44.11 grams heavy. She's a little over 7 Months. It seemed like her growth stopped last month or so. She hasn't had any routine change

I did research and read a forum of tiny sulcatas around 6-7 months like mine. Theirs being about 2 and half inches in size and 45-50 grams. All active and growing appearently. But I see others age/weight and at 9 months someone has a 100 gram sulcata. I need more input. I know fast growth can be bad as well, and slow steady is key.

On her left arm in photo you can see a bump that's not symmetrical to the other arm. It's a little red as well. Her arms seem to work normal and has strength.

Only time she could had got hurt was when she was climbing over stuff and falling on her back/sides while rampaging through her cage.

Conclusion

I feel like I expressed all my concerns please let me know if you have any input or techniques to care for her the best way possible. She's staying in warm temps, getting a lot of sun/UV, never getting to hot, daily warm baths over 10 min, eating mix of calcium fortified tort food and greens. Im going to buy her calcium supplement and more greens for her to enjoy. Thank you so much for reading.

Sorry for any miss spelling this was on my phone and kept glitching out.

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Hydrotsunami

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Same day January 26th she's chilling in her favorite spot. She likes to climb there every time.
 

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Hydrotsunami

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January 30th just eating koa leafs with coral rock powder (calcium rock)
 

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Hydrotsunami

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December 25th cozy on a sock
 

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Hydrotsunami

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November 24th eating koa leafs with coral rock powder (calcium rock)
 

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Hydrotsunami

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Im hoping she's just constipated. I haven't seen her poop the past two days. Besides yesterday she almost passed some.

She's still here and hanging in there.

Sun and warmth in 6 hours along with another few soaks today to ensure a bowel movement.
 

wellington

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You are putting way go much human feelings into her care. She does not prefer soft material over natural substrate and even if she did, you as the care taker need to give her what is best for her. Soft material is not it and would never be found in the wild. You need to get back to basics and read and follow our care sheet. Babies need a controlled environment with all proper heat, uvb, humidity, substrate and diet and hydration.
The diet does need umprovement and more variety.
The water can come right from your tap as long as you can drink it.
They need 80 temps all over day and night and to be able to bask under 95-100 to properly digest their food.
It's too easy living in Hawaii and some other states to think added light, heat, humidity etc isn't needed but it is needed. A proper enclosure with plenty of room to move and build muscle tone etc is needed.
Soak every day in warm water in a large contain that she? can walk around in a lot.
She possibly either has a stone or bas not been able to poop. Get the correct temps asap.
 
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harrythetortoise

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Hello! I agree with the above recommendations. Warmer temperature is needed for digestion and bowel movement.
Have you read our care sheet Tom provided for your species? It helped me a lot at the beginning and still does.
Also I would not handle her too much - she's a baby and babies are prey, they are naturally afraid of other larger beings. I only handle mine when I soak him in the mornings and leave him alone the rest of the day.
I believe stress has negative effect on their immune system, and overall not good.
Make those changes as suggested above, and I'm sure you'll see improvement :)👍
 

maggie3fan

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You are putting way go much human feelings into her care. She does not prefer soft material over natural substrate and even if she did, you as the care taker need to give her what is best for her. Soft material is not it and would never be found in the wild. You need to get back to basics and read and follow our care sheet. Babies need a controlled environment with all proper heat, uvb, humidity, substrate and diet and hydration.
The diet does need umprovement and more variety.
The water can come right from your tap as long as you can drink it.
They need 80 temps all over day and night and to be able to bask under 95-100 to properly digest their food.
It's too easy living in Hawaii and some other states to think added light, heat, humidity etc isn't needed but it is needed. A proper enclosure with plenty of room to move and build muscle tone etc is needed.
Soak every day in warm water in a large contain that she? can walk around in a lot.
She possibly either has a stone or bas not been able to poop. Get the correct temps asap.
I absolutely agree with Wellington. She hit the nail on the head. I will not repeat her, but I do want to add, she is a baby, she needs stuff you are not providing and some you are providing too much. No chemicals to make her poop. Her diet is not right, so her pooping is not right. Stop with the supplements and improve her diet. She absolutely needs night heat. She can't live and flourish the way you are keeping her. And she's too young to sex. We want to help so stick around and change some stuff and things will be better
 

maggie3fan

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Plz read this
 

Maro2Bear

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Greetings. As others have already noted, your overnight “not very cold” temperatures are one of the things impacting your young Sulcata.

You - Inside my room may be around 65-70 it's not very cold.
TFO/Sulcata Guidance - minimum ambient of 80F is required.

Sooo, if your cool temps are into the 65 range (or a degree or two lower) that’s a good 15 degrees TOO COLD. Your tort is a reptile, metabolism depends on the ambient temps - digestion & bowel movement on the ambient temps.

Re-read Tom’s Sulcata & Leopard guide regarding temperatures, humidity & being outdoors.

Ps - in my opinion, it’s easy to “over handle & touch” a baby tortoise. I think minimal handling, but optimum husbandry are essential. Handling too much is stressful.

PPS - careful on those “Koa” leaves.

➡️➡️ Acacia koa is a species of flowering tree in the family Fabaceae. It is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, where it is the second most common tree. The highest populations are on Hawaiʻi, Maui and Oʻahu.
➡️➡️ Most reference tables indicate to be wary of “Acacia” plants for torts.... Id cut back on feeding your “Koa” and feed other known leafy grass, weeds & greens.

Good luck. 🙏

Also on the Koa. It breaks down in the Plant Family Acacia koa is a species of flowering tree in the family Fabaceae. And Subfamily of Mimosoideae. Again - most “mimoso” plants are NOT recommended as tort foods.
 
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Skip K

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Forum members...what is the consensus of what’s causing the red tint in the rear legs...is this a indicator of why the tort has trouble with them? Also the buildup of fecal matter at the cloaca?
 

Hydrotsunami

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More pics
 

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Yvonne G

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Your little tortoise is making a valiant effort to stay alive under not so good conditions. In all your pictures its eyes are either closed or not open very wide.

The first few pictures show a very hard poop stuck to the tail, which gives me a clue as to why it can't use the back legs.

1. Set this baby up in a covered, humid enclosure and stop handling it.
2. Maintain an overall temperature, day and night of 80-85°F
3. Soak it daily for a half hour in warm water
 
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