Star Tortoise (MBD) Shell feels soft.

leno

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Hi all,

I have a star tortoise from August 2012 almost 3-4 years of age, I have noticed that the shell of my tort is abit soft to the touch.
By this age, my tort should be grown to a palm size, whereby I have noticed that the shell did not seem to grow much, and currently in the picture attached, she can only go into her carapace max with her head still popping out.

I am very worried! I have read up and gotten Exo-Terra Sun Glo 160w UVB for my star tort. And have been giving calcium powder.

Question now, Is it too late to save my star tortoise from growing normally? And what can i feed my tort for additional calcium vegetables? Pls advise.

Thanks in advance for all your help!
 

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ascott

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Hi all,

I have a star tortoise from August 2012 almost 3-4 years of age, I have noticed that the shell of my tort is abit soft to the touch.
By this age, my tort should be grown to a palm size, whereby I have noticed that the shell did not seem to grow much, and currently in the picture attached, she can only go into her carapace max with her head still popping out.

I am very worried! I have read up and gotten Exo-Terra Sun Glo 160w UVB for my star tort. And have been giving calcium powder.

Question now, Is it too late to save my star tortoise from growing normally? And what can i feed my tort for additional calcium vegetables? Pls advise.

Thanks in advance for all your help!


Is the tortoise eating? Does the tort open its eyes? Is that bulb you are referring to one that is a curly type bulb?
 

leno

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Hi, thank you for replying so promptly.

Yes,she is eating happily daily, moving around and busking under the lamp. As she was kept in enclosed area, without direct sunlight. I have only know recently that I have to provide UVB bulbs, whereby previous I have been using Exo-Terra Sun Glo 50w, which does not have UVB function.

Just yesterday, I have changed the bulb to Exo-Terra Solar Glo 160w, hopefully this would help her condition. Pls do recommend what vegetables to feed her as I have been feeding lettuce for a very long time.
 

ascott

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Hi, thank you for replying so promptly.

Yes,she is eating happily daily, moving around and busking under the lamp. As she was kept in enclosed area, without direct sunlight. I have only know recently that I have to provide UVB bulbs, whereby previous I have been using Exo-Terra Sun Glo 50w, which does not have UVB function.

Just yesterday, I have changed the bulb to Exo-Terra Solar Glo 160w, hopefully this would help her condition. Pls do recommend what vegetables to feed her as I have been feeding lettuce for a very long time.


I would be certain to offer at least 12 hours per day that this tortoise can go to that basking area to obtain warmth and uvb rays...also be sure to provide areas that the tort can go to out of that heat and uvb if and when it needs to...the tortoise will need to be able to regulate warmth and uv with cool down and hiding spots..the tortoise will do well with dark leafy greens, you can use a mixed salad blend, what have you been feeding the tortoise ?
 

leno

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For years, she had been only taking lettuce and some long beans, french beans, carrots. Is it a normal size for a star tortoise of age 4 yrs to be still inside my palm size? I have noticed she cant fully hide in her shell.
 

ascott

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For years, she had been only taking lettuce and some long beans, french beans, carrots. Is it a normal size for a star tortoise of age 4 yrs to be still inside my palm size? I have noticed she cant fully hide in her shell.


I only know the basics for this species...so I will share with you the limited knowledge I have, okay.

If you are going to offer store bought items, then you can offer;

collard greens
turnip greens
mustard greens
dandelion greens
hibiscus leaves and flowers
grape leaves
escarole
cactus pads
carrots
zucchini
butternut squash
mushrooms from the store, not the yard.
sweet potato (you may need to steam a bit to soften)
yellow squash
bell peppers

You will also need to make sure that the tortoise remains hydrated, so provide a shallow drinking dish with fresh clean water every day,
You can also offer warm water soaks for the tortoise itself for about 20-30 minutes, in water only deep enough that the tortoise can still
easily lift and keep is head comfortably out of the water.

You will want to be sure to keep the temps no lower than 75 degrees at all times, but you will need to provide a basking spot of about 95 to 100 degrees during the day hours and at night you may want to provide a night heat source to assure that the temp does not fall below 75 degrees at night...
 

leno

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Okay, will take note of the various veggies, Do you know if this is the appropriate size for a star tort of age 4 yrs still this small ?
 

Aunt Caffy

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Okay, will take note of the various veggies, Do you know if this is the appropriate size for a star tort of age 4 yrs still this small ?
I'm no expert, but I'd say that's too small for that age.

My tort loves sweet potato and butternut squash but will only eat the sweet potato if it's softened.

image.jpg
(Sweet potato face)
 

leno

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I'm no expert, but I'd say that's too small for that age.

My tort loves sweet potato and butternut squash but will only eat the sweet potato if it's softened.

View attachment 148583
(Sweet potato face)
Hi Aunt Caffy,

I am currently giving my best to my tort as previously I was only providing UVA which is only heat source for my tort and its lacking UVB, therefore I think that the lack of vitamin D is what causes my tort to slow in the growth on shell.
 

Aunt Caffy

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Hi Aunt Caffy,

I am currently giving my best to my tort as previously I was only providing UVA which is only heat source for my tort and its lacking UVB, therefore I think that the lack of vitamin D is what causes my tort to slow in the growth on shell.
Your tort, by the way, is adorable.
 

ascott

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Okay, will take note of the various veggies, Do you know if this is the appropriate size for a star tort of age 4 yrs still this small ?

That tortoise is on the small side..but more concerning is the way the eye area looks as though that tort sleeps too much...also a huge red flag is the soft shell..you said in the last 2 to 3 years the tortoise has had no uvb rays..that is a problem not only to the shell but to the tortoise health all together..you will need to be diligent I'm n changing your behavior with regard to the enclosure as well as improving in the diet right away..that tortoise life depends on you to do better, do right..
 

leno

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I will do my best to provide all i can for the health of my torts. thank u!
 
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