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Shell is soft in young tortoise

Melanie Blue

New Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2020
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Hoffman estates
Hello,
I have an approximately 4 month old suclata hatchling. Over the last few days I've noticed his shell is soft all over both the plasteron and carapace. He also seemed to have changed colors to a darker tan. He is kept in a large bin with coco chips substrate with a humidity hide with wet moss in it. There is free feeding of Timothy hay and baby suclata pellets all with added calcium powder. There is also a cuddle bone. There are two shallow dishes in there with water (I added pedialyte yesterday since he clearly isnt feeling well) and they are offered veggies but havent eaten any yet. There is a new, from the box UVB bulb that is on at least 12 hours a day (sometimes more) and a heat lamp and pad on the same side. The humidity hut and cooler side of the enclosed is about 72 degrees and the hot side gets to around 85. I cant think of anything else I'm missing. He seems somewhat lethargic and has lost a few grams. The other baby in the same conditions with him is perfectly fine. Looking for any advice/suggestions/answers to what could begl going on here. Thanks
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
2,038
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
As I'm understanding your post, the 2 torts are together in the same enclosure?

Assuming I read it right, that could be your problem right there. Torts should never be housed in pairs. They are solitary in nature, and don't want company. They are also territorial, and when the fighting starts it can cause serious injury or death.

This all starts out as one bullying the other. Any behavior you see between them that you think is cute is, in reality, bullying. Following, eating/sleeping together, nudging, laying on top of the other, vying for the best basking spot, etc.

This makes both torts miserable. The bullied one has to suffer the emotional abuse, as well as maybe not getting enough to eat, and has no way to get away from his tormentor.

The bully isn't happy either. He has to spend his time being nasty, and he has no way to get that interloper off his property.

The one being bullied becomes so stressed that he falls ill, and may die. So...you need to separate them into two enclosures ASAP. Even if I'm wrong, and this is not the reason for one of them being sick, the day will come when it will be the reason. Might as well do it now.
 

Melanie Blue

New Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2020
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Hoffman estates
As I'm understanding your post, the 2 torts are together in the same enclosure?

Assuming I read it right, that could be your problem right there. Torts should never be housed in pairs. They are solitary in nature, and don't want company. They are also territorial, and when the fighting starts it can cause serious injury or death.

This all starts out as one bullying the other. Any behavior you see between them that you think is cute is, in reality, bullying. Following, eating/sleeping together, nudging, laying on top of the other, vying for the best basking spot, etc.

This makes both torts miserable. The bullied one has to suffer the emotional abuse, as well as maybe not getting enough to eat, and has no way to get away from his tormentor.

The bully isn't happy either. He has to spend his time being nasty, and he has no way to get that interloper off his property.

The one being bullied becomes so stressed that he falls ill, and may die. So...you need to separate them into two enclosures ASAP. Even if I'm wrong, and this is not the reason for one of them being sick, the day will come when it will be the reason. Might as well do it now.
Yes there are two. I know they are solitary but these are tiny hatchlings. I thought housing them together is fine for now, and I know they will need to be separated at some point. I can guarantee that bullying is not the issue as the two do not interact at all with each other. I can separate them no problem but I'm certain this is not the issue! Thank you for your advice though!
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
2,038
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Yes there are two. I know they are solitary but these are tiny hatchlings. I thought housing them together is fine for now, and I know they will need to be separated at some point. I can guarantee that bullying is not the issue as the two do not interact at all with each other. I can separate them no problem but I'm certain this is not the issue! Thank you for your advice though!
Have you read this? I certainly hope it is not the case, but it may help you.
In addition to the pedialyte, add some baby food pureed carrots to the soak water. It has helped many babies get through hard times with eating.

 

Melanie Blue

New Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2020
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Hoffman estates
Thank you for sharing that. It was a very interesting read. It's very possiblethat is what happened. It very much looked like that from the person i got them from. I'll be keeping a close eye on the other baby. Unfortunately I did loose my little guy last night. Dispite the vet care he was too weak and didnt make it

QUOTE="KarenSoCal, post: 1796119, member: 100202"]
Have you read this? I certainly hope it is not the case, but it may help you.
In addition to the pedialyte, add some baby food pureed carrots to the soak water. It has helped many babies get through hard times with eating.

[/QUOTE]
The
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
2,038
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Oh, I am so sorry! This breaks my heart when babies die because breeders keep them so dry it fries their kidneys.

There was nothing you or the vet could have done to save it. Its fate was sealed when it hatched. Once your other baby passes 50 gms, it should be ok.
 

Melanie Blue

New Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2020
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Hoffman estates
Thank you. Unfortunately I think the other baby is feeling softer today so I'll try my best to get him over this...


Oh, I am so sorry! This breaks my heart when babies die because breeders keep them so dry it fries their kidneys.

There was nothing you or the vet could have done to save it. Its fate was sealed when it hatched. Once your other baby passes 50 gms, it should be ok.
 
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