Possible MBD in Baby Sulcata?

cait_lr

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Hi everyone, I'm kind of freaking out right now. I've been private messaging people left and right, and I'm honestly terrified for my baby's life. I think my sulcata is beginning to show signs of possible MBD?

Long story short, there was a misunderstanding when it came to purchasing his UVB lightbulb a while ago, and we ended up using the wrong kind for about 3 weeks. As soon as I realized he wasn't getting the proper UVB he needed, I bought a replacement bulb immediately. However, he's recently started to begin showing symptoms of MBD, such as lethargy, unwillingness to eat, soft shell & plastron... ): I'm so worried right now. He hasn't been eating very much at all lately, but tonight I was (thankfully) able to get him to eat some spring mix. However, he's gone back to sleeping and hasn't moved since. Tomorrow I'm planning on soaking him in baby food, as well as purchasing a calcium bone.

Does he have MBD? If so, is there any kind of cure? My parents are in a bit of a financial situation, and told me they can't afford to take him to a vet. I'm honestly terrified, I don't want to lose him. ):

Oh, here is some more background information just in case:
-He is roughly around 2 months old, about 3 inches
-He lives in a 30 gallon tank
-Average temp. of about 82 degrees, basking 95, night time mid 70's
-Moist coconut fiber substrate
-Daily soaks, around 10-15 minutes
-Diet consists of mostly grass, weeds, spring mix, and the occasional kale, cucumber & carrots. Calcium supplement is added around once or twice a week.

Thank you everyone.
 

dmmj

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those are not signs of Metabolic Bone Disorder. They actually sound like signs of a tortoise that was started out dry. Do you know the background of this tortoise before you got it?
 

cmacusa3

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Also the night temps are too low. This baby needs to be kept warm and humid. No less than 80 at night
 

cait_lr

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those are not signs of Metabolic Bone Disorder. They actually sound like signs of a tortoise that was started out dry. Do you know the background of this tortoise before you got it?

Oh, thank goodness. I got him as a gift from my grandparents, from breeders in New York, called "Tortoise Town." I'm not sure how they started out their tortoises honestly, but I'll definitely look into that now. Sorry if I seem ignorant. This is my first reptile, and there are still some things I have to learn.

Despite not having MBD, do you think he may be ill? It's still kind of unusual for him to be this lethargic. ):
Thank you!
 

cmacusa3

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Have you read the care sheets on the site? I would also suggest posting a picture of the set up. We can provide you with some advice on things we can see that could cause some of these issues.
 

dmmj

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is the plastron soft and pliable from being a newborn tortoise or is it getting softer?
 

cait_lr

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Here are some photos of the set-up. In his food bowl is some spring-mix from earlier. Thanks! 15208028_343803889321058_1681918311_n.jpg 15207926_343803899321057_1212526667_n.jpg 15226467_343803912654389_666213936_n.jpg 15226398_343803915987722_97907629_n.jpg 15207908_343803919321055_1203525673_n.jpg
 

sibi

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Dave is absolutely correct. MBD is mostly discernable (without an x-rays) with squishy carapace and plastron and/or weak hine legs. As the tort grows and the condition had not been corrected, it will eventually die. The good news is that your baby doesn't show signs of that. Torts that develop MBD have little or no exposure to natural sunlight or a good UVB bulb, have no calcium supplement, and have inadequate diet and exercise. None of the above applies to your tort, right? What you have to ajust is that night temp! Sulcata babies should never be in temps below 80 degrees. All your other temp levels are good. And, I hope you don't have any kind of light at nighttime cause that can cause issues. What about his poop? Is he going and if so, how does it look? If he hadn't pooped, how long had it been since you've seen him poop? Also, what kind of lighting do you now have? Can you show us a picture of the box the bulb came in? Oh, and one more thing, if he contours yo be lethargic, when you soak him, try using Pedialyte (unflavored electrolytes given yo babies when they aren't eaying, and they have diarrhea). Usually, this will perk yhem up. Remember to use the electrolytes ay room temps or else heat it a bit before putting it in the soak.
 
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cait_lr

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is the plastron soft and pliable from being a newborn tortoise or is it getting softer?

I'm honestly not sure. It is possible that it's because he's a newborn, but I don't remember his plastron being this soft. I hadn't paid much attention to it before I realized his behavior was off.
 

cmacusa3

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Ok so what I see right off the bat is the screen top, that does filter some of the UVB and it's also letting all your heat and humidity escape. Cut some small holes in the screen but make them small so the lamps don't fall inside the enclosure then wrap the screen with aluminum foil so it closes up the tank then make the holes in the foil where the holes are in the screen for the lights. That will get temps back up
 

cmacusa3

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Ok so what I see right off the bat is the screen top, that does filter some of the UVB and it's also letting all your heat and humidity escape. Cut some small holes in the screen but make them small so the lamps don't fall inside the enclosure then wrap the screen with aluminum foil so it closes up the tank then make the holes in the foil where the holes are in the screen for the lights. That will get temps back up
 

cmacusa3

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Do you have any night heat? You said that coir is moist and at night the temps are dropping to whatever the room temps are 70ish. This tort needs to be warm asap, I think this is the major issue.
 

cait_lr

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Dave is absolutely correct. MBD is mostly discernable (without an x-rays) with squishy carapace and plastron and/or weak hine legs. As the tort grows and the condition had not been corrected, it will eventually die. The good news is that your baby doesn't show signs of that. Torts that develop MBD have little or no exposure to natural sunlight or a good UVB bulb, have no calcium supplement, and have inadequate diet and exercise. None of the above applies to your tort, right? What you have to ajust is that night temp! Sulcata babies should never be in temps below 80 degrees. All your other temp levels are good. And, I hope you don't have any kind of light at nighttime cause that can cause issues. What about his poop? Is he going and if so, how does it look? If he hadn't pooped, how long had it been since you've seen him poop? Also, what kind of lighting do you now have? Can you show us a picture of the box the bulb came in?

Thank you for the response. It's a huge weight off my shoulders knowing he does not have MBD.
Regarding the night time temps, it gets kind of cold here (around 68-70 degrees) in our home at night, so it's been kind of hard trying to maintain the temperature after dark. Do you have any suggestions on how I can raise them without a night bulb?
Regarding his poop, since his diet is mostly greens, his poop is usually a green color. His stools seem to be fine, they don't seem watery or anything. I believe I last saw him poop yesterday. :)
Also, I currently do not have the bulb boxes on me but I will definitely search for them and try to get a pic. Sorry about that.
 

cait_lr

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Ok so what I see right off the bat is the screen top, that does filter some of the UVB and it's also letting all your heat and humidity escape. Cut some small holes in the screen but make them small so the lamps don't fall inside the enclosure then wrap the screen with aluminum foil so it closes up the tank then make the holes in the foil where the holes are in the screen for the lights. That will get temps back up

Okay, thanks. That will definitely be my Thanksgiving DIY project, haha. Quick question though, if I block all the holes with aluminum foil, will there still be a good source of ventilation?
 

cmacusa3

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Okay, thanks. That will definitely be my Thanksgiving DIY project, haha. Quick question though, if I block all the holes with aluminum foil, will there still be a good source of ventilation?
Yes he will still get some air. You have to close this thing off. I would recommend keeping those lights on to keep it warm until you can close it up and get some night heat. Place him under the log just to keep it dark for him. It's a must you read those care sheets in the Sulcata section on the forum.
 

sibi

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You won't be able to keep heat and humidity by just using aluminum foil. I suggest you get a piece of plywood (1" thick) draw a circle from your light lamp, cut it out so you can place the lamp on it. For ventilation, use a drill to put holes through the plywood at both ends. If possible, cut out an opening to be able to add food and clean out the enclosure. If you create a door with hinges, that would be best. It's the best way to hold in heat and humidity short of a closed chamber like the ones Tom build for his babies. Have you seen those? If not, I strongly recommend you do. When your baby grows a little bigger, you'll need to consider what enclosure you'll build for your ever growing sulcata. What country/ state do you live, BTW?
 
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