Smelly pee maybe. Help please 🥺

ZahraE

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Jan 28, 2021
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Mombasa
Hi once again everyone,

Okay sooooo.. I don't know if I'm being paranoid or what but what is a torts pee suppose to smell like? For the past 2 days I think my baby tortoises pee smells a little weird and bad. Now I'm not sure if it was smelling like that from the start as yesterday is when I noticed but he normally pees in the water that he soaks in so when I tried to smell that it did not smell like anything. I ended up thinking it was him. Today is when I confirmed and realised its his pee that smells like that cause he peed in a container without no water. It wasn't clear pee. Slightly yellow. Since yesterday I've started to think about everything and noticing things than worrying. I felt like he looked a little puffier but his morning it had gone down. I dont know. I'm scared and worried. I really need to know what normal pee looks and smells like. Please help.

He's mostly been normal and active. However he kind of had diarrhea today. I didn't feed him just for today to take a break as I think he may have been eating alot/over feeding for the last week. As well as that I read somewhere to have about 2 starving days for torts so I decided to start today. Thinking of doing Saturdays and Wednesdays.

Other than that I took him out to bask in the sun for about 15 minutes today and he was super active. I think I'm overthinking but please can someone help my mind to calm down.

Thank you for your time and replies.
 

Jan A

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Boulder, CO
Hi once again everyone,

Okay sooooo.. I don't know if I'm being paranoid or what but what is a torts pee suppose to smell like? For the past 2 days I think my baby tortoises pee smells a little weird and bad. Now I'm not sure if it was smelling like that from the start as yesterday is when I noticed but he normally pees in the water that he soaks in so when I tried to smell that it did not smell like anything. I ended up thinking it was him. Today is when I confirmed and realised its his pee that smells like that cause he peed in a container without no water. It wasn't clear pee. Slightly yellow. Since yesterday I've started to think about everything and noticing things than worrying. I felt like he looked a little puffier but his morning it had gone down. I dont know. I'm scared and worried. I really need to know what normal pee looks and smells like. Please help.

He's mostly been normal and active. However he kind of had diarrhea today. I didn't feed him just for today to take a break as I think he may have been eating alot/over feeding for the last week. As well as that I read somewhere to have about 2 starving days for torts so I decided to start today. Thinking of doing Saturdays and Wednesdays.

Other than that I took him out to bask in the sun for about 15 minutes today and he was super active. I think I'm overthinking but please can someone help my mind to calm down.

Thank you for your time and replies.
ZahraE, how many days/week do YOU not eat? Torts in the wild graze all day long. The info re tort fasting is OLD info & certainly no longer supported by all the photos of beautiful tortoises owned by other members on this forum, including you. Internet info, even on social media, is outdated because TF updates what works constantly!!

When you are stressed about your tort, your tort will be stressed because you relay that stress onto your tort. Enjoy your tort time...Enjoy your tort.

Reread the care sheets on this forum. Reread the list of foods on this forum that are good for your tort. Ask questions here.

I would ask others on the forum to respond to smelly pee in torts.
 

KarenSoCal

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As Jan said, there is no reason to deprive a tortoise of food a day or 2 a week, no reason at all. Torts do, however, like having a schedule so he knows what's next. Soak, feed, nap, walk, soak, feed, nap, walk, eat, drink, bed.

Normal tort pee is clear with no cloudiness, pale or medium yellow in color, and in my experience almost no smell when it's first done. If it dries, then there's a bit of a smell, but I don't think it's especially unpleasant. It certainly doesn't gag me like many other smells do.
 

ZahraE

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Mombasa
ZahraE, how many days/week do YOU not eat? Torts in the wild graze all day long. The info re tort fasting is OLD info & certainly no longer supported by all the photos of beautiful tortoises owned by other members on this forum, including you. Internet info, even on social media, is outdated because TF updates what works constantly!!

When you are stressed about your tort, your tort will be stressed because you relay that stress onto your tort. Enjoy your tort time...Enjoy your tort.

Reread the care sheets on this forum. Reread the list of foods on this forum that are good for your tort. Ask questions here.

I would ask others on the forum to respond to smelly pee in torts.

That's true. It makes sense and I won't be doing that no more. However what about the over feeding then, do they over feed or that's not a thing?

I'll definitely be checking everything all over again. I love my baby and I'll try my best to stop stressing and enjoying him a little bit more 😊😍

Thank you so much.
 

ZahraE

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Joined
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29
Location (City and/or State)
Mombasa
As Jan said, there is no reason to deprive a tortoise of food a day or 2 a week, no reason at all. Torts do, however, like having a schedule so he knows what's next. Soak, feed, nap, walk, soak, feed, nap, walk, eat, drink, bed.

Normal tort pee is clear with no cloudiness, pale or medium yellow in color, and in my experience almost no smell when it's first done. If it dries, then there's a bit of a smell, but I don't think it's especially unpleasant. It certainly doesn't gag me like many other smells do.

That's exactly my routine except the soaking and feeding twice. Is it okay to soak more than once in a day?

He's pee is not cloudy just slightly yellow..kind of like our pee. I wish I could explain exactly how it smelt. The most I could say is that its in a way bitter smelling. Its not bad to the point it makes me gag either but it does smell odd.

Thanks
 

ZahraE

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Joined
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Location (City and/or State)
Mombasa
As Jan said, there is no reason to deprive a tortoise of food a day or 2 a week, no reason at all. Torts do, however, like having a schedule so he knows what's next. Soak, feed, nap, walk, soak, feed, nap, walk, eat, drink, bed.

Normal tort pee is clear with no cloudiness, pale or medium yellow in color, and in my experience almost no smell when it's first done. If it dries, then there's a bit of a smell, but I don't think it's especially unpleasant. It certainly doesn't gag me like many other smells do.

Another thing; How long should the naps approximately be?
 

AgataP

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Torts are grazers. My tort gets breakfast and dinner but also his enclosure has grass growing, some pieces of cactus, little weeds he enjoys. So he can graze when he feels like it. However is I sleep in I can see him walking angry circles waiting for food to show up.
We soak than we have morning coffee conversations with Herbie 😂 which means he snacks on some greens while I drink coffee and complain to him about the whole world.

Than he is off to do his tortoise things which this week include constant remodel of his enclosure.

No smell if it comes to pee. Also most of his potty stuff is done during the soak.

Honestly if you provide your tortoise with bunch of weeds, greens etc. I don’t think you can over feed it. Like I said they are grazers.

I tried to track his napping but I realized shortly that varies. In general he is pretty active but after hard work of rearranging nap is a must 🤣😂

He also enjoys to sit and just look around not napping. But I think this also varies on tortoise.
8A3D82BA-2700-44C5-B489-29DE307123E6.jpeg
 

ZahraE

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Mombasa
Torts are grazers. My tort gets breakfast and dinner but also his enclosure has grass growing, some pieces of cactus, little weeds he enjoys. So he can graze when he feels like it. However is I sleep in I can see him walking angry circles waiting for food to show up.
We soak than we have morning coffee conversations with Herbie 😂 which means he snacks on some greens while I drink coffee and complain to him about the whole world.

Than he is off to do his tortoise things which this week include constant remodel of his enclosure.

No smell if it comes to pee. Also most of his potty stuff is done during the soak.

Honestly if you provide your tortoise with bunch of weeds, greens etc. I don’t think you can over feed it. Like I said they are grazers.

I tried to track his napping but I realized shortly that varies. In general he is pretty active but after hard work of rearranging nap is a must 🤣😂

He also enjoys to sit and just look around not napping. But I think this also varies on tortoise.
View attachment 319552

Wowwwww! That's so cute. He's so cute 😍😍

I found myself talking to my baby last night too. I think we all do it 😂😊 About the rearranging looks like I'm going to be rearranging too :)

Thank you so much for your reply. 😊
 

Lyn W

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His wee colour can change depending on what he is eating.

I was told to think of the shell as an upturned bowl and feed that much - if he eats it all then feed more. You can't over feed a tort, they will stop eating when they've had enough but food and fresh water should always be available.

A nap takes as long as it takes. If he was sleeping all day and generally seemed pretty lethargic I would look at his temps to make sure he isn't too cold and other aspects of his care.
Most things that go wrong with our usually healthy torts are because we aren't providing the right temps, diet, space, uvb etc. So check everything and follow the caresheet as best you can.

I'm not familiar with plants/weeds in Mombasa and don't know of you have similar to the UK and US available but www.thetortoisetable.org.uk is a good guide to tort safe foods.
 

ZahraE

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His wee colour can change depending on what he is eating.

I was told to think of the shell as an upturned bowl and feed that much - if he eats it all then feed more. You can't over feed a tort, they will stop eating when they've had enough but food and fresh water should always be available.

A nap takes as long as it takes. If he was sleeping all day and generally seemed pretty lethargic I would look at his temps to make sure he isn't too cold and other aspects of his care.
Most things that go wrong with our usually healthy torts are because we aren't providing the right temps, diet, space, uvb etc. So check everything and follow the caresheet as best you can.

I'm not familiar with plants/weeds in Mombasa and don't know of you have similar to the UK and US available but www.thetortoisetable.org.uk is a good guide to tort safe foods.

I was feeding him these plants that I was able to confirm on that website. Me being paranoid I wanted to confirm with people here so I posted on a thread. About 2-3 plants/weeds people didnt know of and they told me not to feed him anything if I werent a 100% sure so I eliminated those ones and I'm focusing on the ones that I feel 100% about. Hopefully the smell goes and if it doesnt I'll try to take him to the vet.

I try to provide food the size of his shell but now I know to provide food for him at all times. My baby doesnt sleep all day. He takes naps for about 2-3 hours than either I wake him up to go for his walk or most of the times he's awake and ready already.

Thank you for your reply.
 

Lyn W

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I was feeding him these plants that I was able to confirm on that website. Me being paranoid I wanted to confirm with people here so I posted on a thread. About 2-3 plants/weeds people didnt know of and they told me not to feed him anything if I werent a 100% sure so I eliminated those ones and I'm focusing on the ones that I feel 100% about. Hopefully the smell goes and if it doesnt I'll try to take him to the vet.

I try to provide food the size of his shell but now I know to provide food for him at all times. My baby doesnt sleep all day. He takes naps for about 2-3 hours than either I wake him up to go for his walk or most of the times he's awake and ready already.

Thank you for your reply.
I don't think you'll need a vet yet, just frequent soaks to keep him hydrated and variety with his food.
I can sometimes smell my tort's wee but he is generally well and active.
I soak my torts leaves and feed them wet to get more hydration in to my tort.
Do you give him any calcium? Only a small pinch a couple of times a week is needed - if any at all - but most of his vitamins and nutrients should be coming from his food.

If you ever do need to visit a vet try to find a tortoise specialist if you can.
Can you post a pic of his enclosure? Maybe it's something to do with his substrate.
 

ZahraE

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I don't think you'll need a vet yet, just frequent soaks to keep him hydrated and variety with his food.
I can sometimes smell my tort's wee but he is generally well and active.
I soak my torts leaves and feed them wet to get more hydration in to my tort.
Do you give him any calcium? Only a small pinch a couple of times a week is needed - if any at all - but most of his vitamins and nutrients should be coming from his food.

If you ever do need to visit a vet try to find a tortoise specialist if you can.
Can you post a pic of his enclosure? Maybe it's something to do with his substrate.

I also soak my baby's leaves to get dirt or any animals off it. It ends up being wet when he eats it. I'll try to soak him as much as I can too but he was a little puffy so I thought it could be water retention but I'm going to continue doing that.

No, at the moment I don't give him any calcium but there was these minerals from the pet store that I bought him from that they advised to buy so I'm going to be getting that asap.

I hope I don't need to go to the vet because I'm sure they're going to be super expensive and they won't help much. Especially cause I'm not sure if I'd be able to find a tortoise specialist.

Going to post a picture soon 😊
 

Lyn W

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If he is puffy then a picture would certainly help members see if he's OK and if it could be related to smelly wee, so the sooner you can post one the better.

Overuse of minerals and calcium can also cause problems for torts so use sparingly.

If you can't get calcium powder use cuttlefish bone (used for birds) You can scrape a pinch of that over his food a couple of times a week. If he is big/old enough you could remove the metal or plastic cage clips from it and let him nibble it if he wants - my leopard completely ignores his.

With a varied diet he shouldn't need much in the way of other minerals and vitamins.
 

ZahraE

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Okay. Here is a picture of his enclosure. I know the substrate is sand and somewhat loam.. I'm getting coconut coir/fibre tomorrow or this week so please don't come at me :( The good thing is he barely walks around in there. I take him out to walk and then when I put him back inside he almost always goes straight to take a nap. He doesnt eat it and he's sleeping on towel/cloth temporarily. And yes I'll plant some weeds/plants for him to graze on when the fibre comes. Right now I'm feeding him as much as he wants. I promise. As for a UV light its extremely hot over here. The temp being 88°F/31°C and humidity being 62%. However, I will be getting a UVB light for the future when it gets rainy and colder. I may be making another thread in regards to questions with that.

The reason why I didn't get the minerals when I got my baby was for the exact reason. Should I then still get the minerals or do you think cuttlefish and proper diet should do?

Another thing. He's pee doesnt smell. Looks like its him when I put him in warm water to soak...only when I put him in water. Is that normal? He peed separately and I tried to smell it 😬😂 but nope it didnt smell. The swelling has also gone so I'm guessing it was water retention or the other foods I was giving him. Maybe 🤔

The enclosure:
 

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ZahraE

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I
As Jan said, there is no reason to deprive a tortoise of food a day or 2 a week, no reason at all. Torts do, however, like having a schedule so he knows what's next. Soak, feed, nap, walk, soak, feed, nap, walk, eat, drink, bed.

Normal tort pee is clear with no cloudiness, pale or medium yellow in color, and in my experience almost no smell when it's first done. If it dries, then there's a bit of a smell, but I don't think it's especially unpleasant. It certainly doesn't gag me like many other smells do.

Is that a routine for a baby tortoise and Should I wake him up to feed and soak him again or wait for him to wake up himself?
 

ZahraE

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Wake him first thing in the morning with a soak, then feed, then leave alone.

In the morning he normally wakes up himself when I wake up. After soaking and eating he takes a nap. After a couple of hours I check if he's awake and if not I try to wake him as the sun is hot and nice to walk around and bask in during those times. After that I leave him alone until he wakes up and starts roaming around himself which he does then I take him to walk outside again. :):<3:
 

Lyn W

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He may smell because he's been lying in stale pee or on a towel soaked in it.
I know you said you're changing the substrate so you obviously know how sand can irritate tort eyes and skin as well as cause the gut to become compacted which is very painful and sometimes fatal for torts, so please do it asap.
With a good diet he shouldn't need any added vitamins etc, but any supplements should only be used a couple of times a week and just a small pinch.
 
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