Seeking expert advice

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herpgirl24

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Background:
You may have read in one of my other posts that I recently acquired (on Tuesday) two new additions. They are a Russian tortoise and a three toe box. they were housed together in a 40 gallon aquarium, care fresh bedding, black heat light, no UVA/UVB.

The box is doing fantastic, I am a little concerned about the Russian.

She weighs 389g and is 5". Luckily Michigan is having a wonderful Indian summer so I have had her outside everyday soaking up the rays! She is eating, but only a few bites here and there. I have been soaking her twice a day, adding vitamins to the water. She doesn't move around much and just dozes all day.

Here are my questions:

1. Nail polish - She has been painted on her back and nails. Should I try to remove this or let it wear off?

2. Eyes - Her eyes seem puffy to me. They have went down and look way better than when I first got her.

3. Walking- She does not really walk. She just pushes forward with her back legs and scoots. She can move all her legs fine and when I hold her a few inched off the ground she will eventually put her legs out and try to get away.I am thinking it is due to being kept in a glass tank with the care fresh bedding and not getting traction. (As I am writing this I look over and she is half walking in her tank!)

I am planning a vet visit but cannot take her until Thursday. Just my luck the reptile vet is out until then. She is getting more and more active and alert everyday! I just thought I would seek some expert advice while I wait for the vet appointment.

Sorry the post is so long but I know the more info the better!

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Jacqui

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Not an "expert", but do have lots of years experience but still take everything with a grain of salt as always. :cool: :D

Quick question, you say she eats, but just a little, my first question is does it seem to you that her overgrown beak is causing her problems with eating?

I would let most of the nail polish sorta come off on it's own. However I would try to perhaps gently brush or even use my nails a little and try to get off the polish on the new growth areas.

How warm are you keeping her?

I would continue doing soaks and lots and lots of outside time (okay so as much as this time of year allows).... for both the sun, but also to help strengthen those weak sounding legs from her old tank.

She did not get this way overnight and it will take some time to get her back into shape.
 

ascott

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no expert here either......I agree with Jacqui...alot of sun time, especially since you say she had none with the prior set up...work on getting that beak down....and soaks soaks soaks, warm water--30 mins minimum in warm/tepid water and continue to offer food as you are....it is a time thing :D

She is a little cutie for sure..:p
 

Yvonne G

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In my opinion, the leg problem is due to a calcium deficiency. The tortoise should have calcium sprinkled on every meal (not much...some tortoises won't eat if you use too much), and then get plenty of sun shine. If the sun isn't available, you MUST get a good UVB light. The UV helps the calcium to work. I think the eye problem will clear up when the calcium problem is fixed.

Trim that beak! The tortoise might eat better if the beak were snipped off.

Thanks for the pictures. It helps us give good answers when we can see our subject! :D Its a real pretty tortoise and I hope it gets well and starts eating soon.
 

Torty Mom

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I agree with all the advice given, I'm no expert either, I would add some vitamin A to her diet also, her eyes are pretty puffy, add some butternut squash to her diet. REAL sunshine is soooo good for her right now. When you lose the sun, I would get a powersun MVB, a little pricey but totally worth it. Amazon has good prices. Good luck!! We are here if you need us!!
 

fbsmith3

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First WTF, sorry, I can not believe anyone would put nail polish on a tortoise. Thank Goodness she is now in the hands of someone who cares.

Have you tried the salt water soaks?

Hopefully an expert will be on soon and give you better advice than me.

Glad the Boxie is doing well at least.
 

herpgirl24

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Will get her beak done at the vet later this week. I have been adding calcium to every meal. And I do have the powersun MVB for the indoor space.

I don't think the overgrown beak is the problem. She just takes a few bites of food then turns away from it.

I have been seeing slight improvement everyday so I think she will be OK.

Thanks for the advice! Never had a tort that was in such rough shape and was wondering if it all sounded normal.
 

SailingMystic

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The vet will most likely give an eye med too. What does her poop look like now? Can you see worms in it?

fbsmith3 said:
First WTF, sorry, I can not believe anyone would put nail polish on a tortoise. Thank Goodness she is now in the hands of someone who cares.

Have you tried the salt water soaks?

Hopefully an expert will be on soon and give you better advice than me.

Glad the Boxie is doing well at least.

I agree! How could you put nail polish on an animal ? It's toxic...
 

Torty Mom

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Again, I am not an expert, but Lou had the same thing with his eyes. He was kept in a box with no sunlight and his eyes were super puffy. I think if you add calcium, some vitamin A and some sunshine you will see a big improvement with her eyes. Natural sunlight works magic!!! It did take a few months, Lou looks great now and he had all kinds of problems when I got him. Soaking will help with the poo, I bet she is dehydrated too! I would soak Lou 3 to 4 times a day at first.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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I would soak her in carrots and I disagree with Angela, they do all the drinking they're gonna do in the first 5 minutes in the water. The rest of the time is just soaking for her skin. So add the carrots and let her soak for 15 minutes and that's all she needs. Any more is just a waste of time. (No disrespect meant Angela:))...
What kind of food are you offering? Can you ask her previous keeper what she was fed? You may have an eating disorder and you'll need to switch her from eating crap to a good diet. So first, find out what she was eating before...that will help a lot...

I have never heard of salt water soaks and it doesn't seem right to me. Salt would dry out the skin and hurt the eyes. I wouldn't soak any animal of mine in salt water...
 

SailingMystic

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Keep doing what your doing- food, calcium, etc... Like someone mentioned it will take a while. Her nails look long and dull... Minimum excersise. Fear of the box too maybe? Make a list of all this so you don't forget when you get to the vets office. She needs love :) and your awesome for reaching out and helping her. Keep the bathing going and I'll keep my fingers crossed she eats more and poops in time for the vet. If it poops save as much as you can - solid or not. Does the box poop solid and often?

The
 

herpgirl24

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I have no idea about the box's poo either. He digs in his tank so much that I would never find it, and drags lots of leaves and dirt in the water too. Guess he is just so happy to have actual dirt :D

Her eyes already look better than they did before!

I tried to ask the previous owner questions but he was not too open with me. He just said the box is his favorite kind of "tortoise" and he had no idea what kind the Russian was :( Since he was an adult that thought it was a good idea to nail polish a tort, I am thinking he was not 100% himself, not to be mean or anything but I really think he was a little slow.

Hopefully I can get her all fixed up over the winter so she can go in the outdoor pen with Steve in the summer

Keep all the great ideas coming! And I will keep updating progress!
 

fbsmith3

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As for the three toed Box turtle, that is something I know a little about. Cleo poos every morning after eating and only in her bath dish.

Every single morning, wake up, eat, swim, poo, and take a nap in the sun. Just like our dogs.
 

SailingMystic

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All I can suggest is take both to the vet on Thursday with whatever poop samples you can get :)!! Nice try-- touching base with previous owner. Now you know- to just move on... Lots of luck! I'm so glad they are in your care now :))!!
 

Torty Mom

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ascott

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You have received alot of good advice here ....please keep us posted with the progress :D:D:D:D:D

maggie: no disrespect taken dear...we can agree to disagree from time to time :p:p
 
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