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Rescued tortoise - advice needed

Discussion in 'Indian Star and Burmese Star tortoises' started by Sarah3, Aug 14, 2019.

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  1. Sarah3

    Sarah3 New Member

    Aug 14, 2019
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    Hi, I have recently acquired an Indian star tortoise from less than savoury conditions and I'm a bit stuck on what to do with him for the best.

    I've read the super helpful thread on raising a star in the pinned threads section and I now know that the set up he came with isn't quite big enough so I'll need to upgrade his terrarium as soon as I can afford it. I'm struggling to keep humidity up - even in a closed terrarium so any tips on that would be appreciated.

    I have no idea how old the little guy is, he does have quite a lot of pyramiding, and was eating a diet of almost exclusively rocket before I got him. I've now got him on a diet of 70% plus grass, with added weeds and small amounts of green vegetables plus occasional zoo med grass tortoise pellets. (I use the tortoisetable.com to make sure the weeds and vegetables are safe to feed)

    He is eating well, toileting well and is nice and active.

    My biggest concern is that his breathing is a bit snuffly and much faster than ideal. The vet thought that with him not displaying any other signs it could be parasites, so he is being de-wormed and then in 10 days if he's no better I'll take him back.
    Does anyone have any experience with snuffly stars? Any tips for what has helped them clear their breathing up?

    I've attached some pictures if anyone would like to help out with an estimate of his age.

    He's very bold and used to humans, never retracts into his shell when I open the enclosure or anything like that, loves his baths.

    He weighs 580g and measures 15cm by 8cm. Am I right in thinking this is a bit underweight?

    Thanks in advance!

    Attached Files:

  2. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

    Jan 17, 2012
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    Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
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    That is not horrible pyramiding. Pretty "normal" for the way most people raised them until recently.

    If your 15 cm is a straight line carapace length, 580 is a bit underweight. I like to see stars at about 625-650g by that size.

    From the look of your tortoise, I would guess it is about 5 years old. It does has very defined growth lines indicating being kept in a way that caused periods of slow or no growth - probably an annual thing with temperature and lighting changes. That would also indicate it probably was not kept a ideal temperatures and was allowed to have too much cooling at night and in cooler weather. So the "sniffles" you see could very well be a low grade, persistent respiratory issue. I would bump temps to a min of 85° and keep the humidity up. That is the best and primary course of action to catch this. With it eating well, it is a very good sign and should come around quickly.

    A bit concerning the vet would automatically deworm without a specific fecal test finding. Especially a stressed, tortoise showing some beginning signs of respiratory issues does not need additional stresses to the system. The symptoms you are concerned about are not parasite symptoms at all except for the low weight. But that is probably a hydration and diet issue.

    Good luck with your tortoise. It sounds like you are on the right track and searching to do the best for it.
    g4mobile likes this.
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