Proud (and worried!) mom of two 10 month old Tortellinis

IrishTortelliniMom

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Hi everyone!

Happy to be here! I've always loved tortoises and realized that, since I'm a responsible adult, why not go for it, and teach my almost 7 year old daughter to love them too! We adopted Tortilla and (unfortunately my daughter did not like the name "Chip") Sunflower, two 10-month old Greek tortoises. We've had them less than 2 weeks.

I immediately noticed one was bigger and more outgoing and active than the other. Then a few days later, I noticed Tortilla (the smaller one) just wasn't acting right. Making squeaking noises and hiding while the other was being outgoing. Took them to the vet and they were diagnosed with respiratory infections. They got IV fluids and got started on Baytril (sp?) antibiotic for a week and I have to feed with a syringe. They were also diagnosed with pinworms, so we did the first deworming treatment today. Sunflower was 70grams and Tortilla was 50 and clearly emaciated, poor baby!

We live in southern California near the beach, and they live in a 50gal tub with chicken wire on the locking lid to keep out critters as they are outside during the day to soak up the sun and brought in at night.

I guess I'm just looking for advice and encouragement at this point, as I'm very worried about them and kinda was thrown for a loop bringing sweet babies home to suddenly become sick.
 

Jdaniel

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Hello, irishtortellinimom, and welcome to the forums.

Sad to hear about your babies not doing well.
Still learning myself, hopefully somebody sees this that can help you.
 

KarenSoCal

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Sounds to me like a classic case of bullying.

Torts just can't be kept in pairs. Groups sometimes work, but never pairs. There is always the bigger, stronger one, the bully. The other one is being bullied, kept from the food, denied access to the best basking or sleeping spot, etc. What we see as cute, is actually the opposite. Following = chasing; eating together = trying to keep the smaller one away from food; sleeping ogether = hoarding the best sleep spot.

Next you will see them head bobbing at each other, then little nips, then downright fighting, and injuries that may kill the small tortoise.

There's only 2 cures: 1. separate them. Each needs his entire own enclosure, no time together. The second way is to get one or two more. You need a ratio of 1 male to 2 or 3 females. And there is no guarantee that they will all get along.

So, you need to separate them. 2 complete enclosures. The firdt thing thst will happen is the small one will start growing to make up for lost time.

Here's 2 links from 2 members describing their experiences.


 

Yvonne G

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Hi, and welcome to the Forum!

You've been given good advice. If you want to see Tortilla thrive, he's going to have to live in his own territory. . . yes, I said "territory." Tortoises are not herd animals. They are territorial, even at this young age. They don't want other tortoises in their territory and it's very stressful for both of them to be locked in together.
 

Jdaniel

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Not sure how applicable it is to Greek tortoises, but in searching for ways to prevent problems with my box turtle, it was stated on this website that respiratory infections are often secondary to vitamin A deficiency.


This website mentions incorrect temperature (usually too low) and incorrect humidity as other contributing factors to reptile respiratory infections in general, while repeating that vitamin A deficiency is also a common cause in turtles and tortoises.


The above mentioned bullying could be a contributing factor as well, overcrowding can be stressful to BOTH dominant and subordinate animals

Edit: it seems from what I have read vitamin a (also available as beta carotene) defeciency, incorrect environment, and metabolic bone disease are three of the more common contributing factors to turtle and tortoise health problems.
 
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