Soaking and rehydration- benefit and a recipe

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Maggie Cummings

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I have an Eastern box turtle who has some sort of a neurological disorder that makes it so she can't bite. So basically she can't eat. So part of my routine with her is to soak her in carrot water daily after I have fed her. I weigh her before and after. It goes like this, before I put her in the water she was 387 grams. For a full 15 minutes she has her head totally under the water and her neck fully extended. Then because *I* can't stand it anymore I pluck her out of the water and... she is 418 grams. That is 31 grams unless I can't subtract (and I can't) and then she vomits until she's back to about 390 grams. Why does she drink so much she vomits? That makes no sense to me, but this is something that happens every other day. She is fed Critical Care daily, but because I don't want her to vomit up the Critical Care every day, I only soak her every other day...This box turtle is making me crazy! But she was about to be euthanized so I am not going to complain. She is a great little turtle with a big funny personality. And I am glad we did not kill her...
 

laramie

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Thank you Madkins007 for sharing that important infor. You should teach a class on tort health:D
 

ascott

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Maggie....instead of letting her sink her head for 15the minutes during one soak..are you able to soak her like two or three times a day and let her sink her head only like 5 minutes then pluck her out and see if she can keep it down????? I don't know and you may have already done this ...but that is what I came up with :D
 

fbsmith3

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Maggie I find this so fantastic. The extra effort you have done to keep this beauty alive. Maybe you could start a new threat about what you have done to keep her alive.
It seems impossible to keep an animal alive who can not eat. You have proven it is possible and everything you have done that has worked, worked a little or did not work as expect will help others who have this situation in the future. Maybe there are more with similar situations.
 

paper_boy

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Maggie do you think this could still work?

1 liter water
.5 teaspoon pan salt (pan salt ingredients listed below)
.5 teaspoon baking soda
No table salt because pan salt already has sodium chloride

The only thing i could get from the super market was pan salt.
The ingridients are: 57% sodium chloride, 28%potasium chloride, 12%magnesium sulfate, 2%lysine hydrichloride, 1%silicon dioxide, .0036% potasium iodine
 

Pets101

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Great post Madkins,

I soak my hatchlings one a day for around 5-10 minutes in luke warm water before I offere them food. I do this every morning. I am talking soaking almost 100 little guys and gals a day.

I sold a Sulcata hatchling to a local bearded dragon breeder a few monhs ago. At the time, I provided her detailed care instructions and she informed me she was an experienced tortoise keeper. My friend went over to her house two days ago and while he was there noticed the sulcata was in the same cage as bearded dragons! My friend, told me the Sulcata was 1/4 the size of the rest of the clutch that I still have. At the time, he counseled her for the deplorable lconditions she was keeping it in.

I contacted the woman the next day and explained my concerns for the health of her tortoise. I told her I would like the tortoise back so I could nurse it back to health. I told her I would provide her a different tortoise at no charge if she showed me a perfectly correct setup.

The woman seems totaly sadden by the tortoise not doing well. She immediately bought the exact setup that I told her to purchase and showed me pictures to prove it.

The weird thing about this situation is she raises the most beautiful and healthy bearded dragons, which in my opinion as babies are much harder to raise then tortoises.

Long story short, I meet her today, she lives hours away from me. I am going to try your recipe for soaking. I am confidence I can rehab any animal. I have been caring for these guys for 20 plus years but I am still hoping for the tortoise to be in good shape. We will see.
 

Connie

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Even though I use reverse osmosis water for my redfoot I just got(No chlorine in the water). I also use the Reptisafe because it says it contains "electrolyes". It also states it aids in rehydrating among other things.. Has anyone ever used it??
 

Madkins007

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The recipe offered in this thread ARE electrolytes, which is just a fancy term for various salts. There is also not a lot of evidence that plain tap water is an issue for turtles or tortoises. If the chlorine bothers you, let an open container of water sit for 24 hours and the chlorine will gas out.

Distilled water is actually a little bad for drinking water for reptiles since it is completely devoid of any dissolved minerals. Bottled spring water is a much better choice, and oddly enough, de-chlorinated HARD water is great since it is chock-full of calcium and other minerals!
 

Connie

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Madkins007 said:
The recipe offered in this thread ARE electrolytes, which is just a fancy term for various salts. There is also not a lot of evidence that plain tap water is an issue for turtles or tortoises. If the chlorine bothers you, let an open container of water sit for 24 hours and the chlorine will gas out.

Distilled water is actually a little bad for drinking water for reptiles since it is completely devoid of any dissolved minerals. Bottled spring water is a much better choice, and oddly enough, de-chlorinated HARD water is great since it is chock-full of calcium and other minerals!

That's why I put in the reptisafe in the water .It says it adds essential electrolytes including calcium and is good for tortoises.
What about adding "aquarium salt" It says it also adds electrolytes(minerals) to the water??( A little of both maybe??) I don't use Reptisafe to remove chlorine, that is one of the uses, but the bottle states it is good for turtles, tortises and frogs and reptiles in general and contains essential electrolytes for them. I know reverse osmosis removes everything, that is why I am adding back. I am in control as to what is in the water. BTW alot of the time bottled water is reverse osmosis water.You gotta read the label...I also read that bottled water has been known to contain junk ,not just minerals in the water( feces) and we drink it!!! It's natural spring water--right???
 

Madkins007

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Electrolytes do not include calcium, iron, or other minerals naturally occurring in most water, and that are removed by the osmosis.

You are absolutely free to use what you wish, but I personally would not use a chemical dechlorinator agent like Reptisafe unless it told me exactly what chemicals it used to do the job. As for as the electrolytes- I see no list of what they include or the dosages. This all worries me quite a bit. The formula offered here is a known dose of known chemicals that has a proven world-wide track record with humans. The formula offered is also cheaper than aquarium salt.

Quite honestly, I see no value in Reptisafe at all, pretty much ever. (I find that much of the stuff in the pet aisle of the pet stores to be questionable.)

You do not need electrolytes in tortoise drinking water (or turtle swimming water)- the salts in the electrolytes are naturally occurring in foods. (You restore your personal electrolyte balance with the salts in your own foods.) This is for soaking water for dehydrated or possibly dehydrated tortoises.

Also personally, I just use tap water. Cheap, convenient, and no known health issues. I don't even bother letting mine sit and age.

(Bottled water is indeed often just bottled, filtered tap water but that is why I specifically mentioned 'spring water'.)
 

Connie

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Well that is not what it says here:(got it from the online encyclopedia)
Physiological importance
In physiology, the primary ions of electrolytes are sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), chloride (Cl−), hydrogen phosphate (HPO42−), and hydrogen carbonate (HCO3−). The electric charge symbols of plus (+) and minus (−) indicate that the substance is ionic in nature and has an imbalanced distribution of electrons, the result of chemical dissociation.

All known higher lifeforms require a subtle and complex electrolyte balance between the intracellular and extracellular environment. In particular, the maintenance of precise osmotic gradients of electrolytes is important. Such gradients affect and regulate the hydration of the body as well as blood pH, and are critical for nerve and muscle function. Various mechanisms exist in living species that keep the concentrations of different electrolytes under tight control.

Both muscle tissue and neurons are considered electric tissues of the body. Muscles and neurons are activated by electrolyte activity between the extracellular fluid or interstitial fluid, and intracellular fluid. Electrolytes may enter or leave the cell membrane through specialized protein structures embedded in the plasma membrane called ion channels. For example, muscle contraction is dependent upon the presence of calcium (Ca2+), sodium (Na+), and potassium (K+). Without sufficient levels of these key electrolytes, muscle weakness or severe muscle contractions may occur.

Electrolyte balance is maintained by oral, or in emergencies, intravenous (IV) intake of electrolyte-containing substances, and is regulated by hormones, generally with the kidneys flushing out excess levels. In humans, electrolyte homeostasis is regulated by hormones such as antidiuretic hormone, aldosterone and parathyroid hormone. Serious electrolyte disturbances, such as dehydration and overhydration, may lead to cardiac and neurological complications and, unless they are rapidly resolved, will result in a medical emergency.
 

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ascott said:
This is reason I will soak mine from time to time even if they are hydrated....I soak them like a bucket of beans......LOL :D

:)
 

Connie

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Madkins007 said:
Electrolytes do not include calcium, iron, or other minerals naturally occurring in most water, and that are removed by the osmosis.

You are absolutely free to use what you wish, but I personally would not use a chemical dechlorinator agent like Reptisafe unless it told me exactly what chemicals it used to do the job. As for as the electrolytes- I see no list of what they include or the dosages. This all worries me quite a bit. The formula offered here is a known dose of known chemicals that has a proven world-wide track record with humans. The formula offered is also cheaper than aquarium salt.

Quite honestly, I see no value in Reptisafe at all, pretty much ever. (I find that much of the stuff in the pet aisle of the pet stores to be questionable.)

You do not need electrolytes in tortoise drinking water (or turtle swimming water)- the salts in the electrolytes are naturally occurring in foods. (You restore your personal electrolyte balance with the salts in your own foods.) This is for soaking water for dehydrated or possibly dehydrated tortoises.

Also personally, I just use tap water. Cheap, convenient, and no known health issues. I don't even bother letting mine sit and age.

(Bottled water is indeed often just bottled, filtered tap water but that is why I specifically mentioned 'spring water'.)

Excuse me, I read Natural Spring Water(Bottled) contains the Junk (traces of feces). There are basically two types of "Bottled" water --reverse osmosis and Natural Spring water. I don't think there ARE any other kinds of "bottled water" . Is there??? Not that I know of...
 

Madkins007

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I am not sure how this has become such a long discussion. All I was trying to say is that I don't use Reptisafe or similar products, or do anything special with my water.

Calcium salts (Na2+) are subtly different than plain calcium (Na) and I cannot find which one is in Reptisafe. Even if it includes all of the necessary electrolytes and minerals an animal needs, I would not bother using Reptisafe as my healthy animals get what they need from their diet, and if I needed an electrolytic formula for theraputic soaks, I can find or make cheaper options.

Bottled water can also be distilled, which makes it pure H2O- no flavors, no dissolved minerals, nothing else. Some bottled waters (spring or filtered) have been tested to be higher in contaminants that tap water is allowed to be, but that does not automatically mean that they are a health risk.

(Besides, to be perfectly honest, traces of feces in my tortoise's soak water is not an issue to me since they will poop in it themselves within minutes and they eat poop every chance they get.)

Again, you are welcome to use whatever methods and products work for you, as we all are.
 

Connie

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I only brought up the the word "calcium" because you stated wasn't an electrolyte. Yes it is.. I just said Reptisafe states they add essential electrolyes including Calcium..
I am quite confident Zoo Med did their homework as to which Calcium and what amount is required for reptiles. If one in unsure they can always call and find out the exact ingredients and get the amounts of each. I do not need to because I have confidence in ZooMed and their products. The amounts I am sure are based what is needed for reptiles, not humans because our bodies have much different needs than a reptile and I personally wouldn't use a study and ingredients base on humans for Reptiles.... We have a completely different make up and are warm blooded as apposed to cold blooded.
I love a juicy steak smothered in onions and a glass of wine but is it good for a tortoise or reptile?? How about a a piece of cake for dessert?? Our make up is different and I am not knowledgeable as to what is the right amount of electrolyes or whatever for a reptile. I personally leave it to the companies who spend thousands if not millions on what is best for the reptile. It is their livlihood, their reputation.. Electrolyes can be DANGEROUS and can cause the heart to stop if not in the right proportions .My dog died because she was given too much potassium by a stupid vet--her heart stopped. Elemental potassiium instead of the glucognate potassium which is 8 times stronger. The labeling also on potassium can be very deceiving. It can state glucognate , but in the back in small print it can say elemental--but that is another story.....
Yes there is distilled bottle water (forgot about that) but is the same as reverse osmosis in the end ...
I was not talking about tortoises when I said I read that traces of feces are in Natural Spring water . I was referring to the fact that WE, humans are drinking it..ICK!! I never said it was a health risk though...
 

Madkins007

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Distilled water is generally created by evaporation/condensation since reverse osmosis does not remove enough to pass distillation standards.

Electrolytes can be dangerous, as can an overdose of anything else, but the basic formula for how blood is formed is close enough between animals that the relative proportions are pretty well understood. People have even been using Gatoraid to rehydrate reptiles for years.

I find it interesting that you trust ZooMed, a company that makes a lot of products of questionable value, but distrust both your vet and the company that makes the meds he used. Many big name pet vitamin products were analysed a few years ago, and almost all were found to be lying about the ingredients and ratios. There is comparatively little regulation or oversight on the pet industry.

I use some ZooMed products but I don't trust them any more than I trust the bottled water industry- who not only lies about the source of their water often and what is in it, but does it in a way that is destroying the environment (and does it spending a heck of a lot more in research than ZooMed ever could.)
 
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