Russian tortoise stubborn with water

Taylorlynn48

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Why are Russians so stubborn with drinking water?? Just wish they weren’t so stubborn sometimes!! I drink so much water it makes me question them on how they aren’t thirsty 😂
 

RosemaryDW

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I know we talk often here about the importance of soaking tortoises and it’s certainly important for young, sick, or new-to-you tortoises. But a healthy Russian in a good enclosure doesn’t need constant soaking or drinking; they come from an area that is bone dry all year, they are quite good at maximizing an amount that seems tiny to you and me. My Russian drinks after hibernation and has done it a couple of times when she was sick, that’s it. Her first year she had a water bath in the yard; she never used it once; we finally got rid of it because it was attracting birds and we have cats. I used to soak her every week, then every few weeks, and now probably only every six to eight weeks, when I want to weigh her. My tortoise is eating fresh greens all the time and it’s not super dry here so she doesn’t need it.

If you feel strongly about soaking yours and it’s being a jerk about it, soak early in the morning when it’s still sluggish. Make the water slightly warmer than room temp (90-95 degrees) and put it and the tortoise into a bowl with high sides. Then go away and don’t stare at the tortoise. My tortoise will tolerate about ten minutes of this; she never drinks anything but yours might.
 

Taylorlynn48

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I know we talk often here about the importance of soaking tortoises and it’s certainly important for young, sick, or new-to-you tortoises. But a healthy Russian in a good enclosure doesn’t need constant soaking or drinking; they come from an area that is bone dry all year, they are quite good at maximizing an amount that seems tiny to you and me. My Russian drinks after hibernation and has done it a couple of times when she was sick, that’s it. Her first year she had a water bath in the yard; she never used it once; we finally got rid of it because it was attracting birds and we have cats. I used to soak her every week, then every few weeks, and now probably only every six to eight weeks, when I want to weigh her. My tortoise is eating fresh greens all the time and it’s not super dry here so she doesn’t need it.

If you feel strongly about soaking yours and it’s being a jerk about it, soak early in the morning when it’s still sluggish. Make the water slightly warmer than room temp (90-95 degrees) and put it and the tortoise into a bowl with high sides. Then go away and don’t stare at the tortoise. My tortoise will tolerate about ten minutes of this; she never drinks anything but yours might.
I only worry because I feel like my russian tortoise barely drinks water. When I first got him in March 18,2020 he did drink more water, now he drinks none. Since then I havent seen him really drink as much. He will put his head under the water in soak baths and I believe making sure he is hydrated to prevent bladder stones
From dehydration. I do spray his food with a sprits bottle every day to make sure he is at least getting some kind of hydration.
 

MichaelL

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You really don't need to worry about it drinking. Mine rarely drink, however after months of dryness and sun every day, I sprayed down the enclosure with a hose and one of them drank a good amount. Today, it rained some and that same one went to the food dish and drank the water pooling there. It's cool to see them drink since they do it so rarely. They are experts at conserving water and don't get thirsty as often as we do. If water is in much abundance, they don't take advantage of it as much. No need to worry if you give them a soak every once in a while or they live outside and it occasionally rains.
 

Taylorlynn48

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You really don't need to worry about it drinking. Mine rarely drink, however after months of dryness and sun every day, I sprayed down the enclosure with a hose and one of them drank a good amount. Today, it rained some and that same one went to the food dish and drank the water pooling there. It's cool to see them drink since they do it so rarely. They are experts at conserving water and don't get thirsty as often as we do. If water is in much abundance, they don't take advantage of it as much. No need to worry if you give them a soak every once in a while or they live outside and it occasionally rains.
is it pointless to spray food with a water spritzer? I do it every time
 

louieboy!

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I only worry because I feel like my russian tortoise barely drinks water. When I first got him in March 18,2020 he did drink more water, now he drinks none. Since then I havent seen him really drink as much. He will put his head under the water in soak baths and I believe making sure he is hydrated to prevent bladder stones
From dehydration. I do spray his food with a sprits bottle every day to make sure he is at least getting some kind of hydration.
If your tort isn't drinking the water, it's most likely absorbing it through its cloaca. When Louie was still here and I would soak him, he would only take like two or three gulps of water, but he still seemed hydrated. I always made sure that his tail wasn't blocked by waste and that it was submerged in the water. I hope this helps ease your anxiety :)
-Gracey
 

Taylorlynn48

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If your tort isn't drinking the water, it's most likely absorbing it through its cloaca. When Louie was still here and I would soak him, he would only take like two or three gulps of water, but he still seemed hydrated. I always made sure that his tail wasn't blocked by waste and that it was submerged in the water. I hope this helps ease your anxiety :)
-Gracey
They can absorb water through different parts of the body of a turtle?
is the cloaca the area where they poop/ pee?
 

louieboy!

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They can absorb water through different parts of the body of a turtle?
is the cloaca the area where they poop/ pee?
yes, and as gross as it is, that is where they poo/pee. I learned this through a vet I visited a while ago, and I think more people should know so that they don't get worried :)
 

maggie3fan

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I have 2 Sulcata...one drinks 'normally', but the other does not visibly drink...however...he sits in pools from a sprinkler...grazes under the sprinkler eating wet grass...walks into the box turtle pond and sit's under the water on the bottom...he loves to sit in the rain and splash water up on his carapace...I was really worried about it for a long time as Knobby is a rescue being extremely pyramided and found wandering downtown streets...but after making myself a helicopter keeper and getting a head of gray hair...I come to the realization that Knobby is either gonna drink or he isn't... but all the worrying and fussing ain't gonna change nuthin...so I do what I'm supposed to do for him, and leave the drinking up to him as well...his new growth is smooth as hell...
 

RosemaryDW

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Since then I havent seen him really drink as much. He will put his head under the water in soak baths and I believe making sure he is hydrated to prevent bladder stones
.
If he is putting his head in the water he is drinking. Some of them you can barely tell when they are doing it, If you’ve only had him a few months you may not be able to tell when it’s happening. Mine is that way once she’s had her first big drink after hibernation; super subtle.
 
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