Sulcata squeaking

Poisondwarf

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Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Ashton-under-Lyne
Hi all. I've read good things on here for a while that has been very helpful and interesting, so I'm hoping that I'll be able to get to the bottom of this.

As of 6 days ago now I bough a 4month old sulcata tortoise. I've named him Angus and have endless love for him already. Since purchasing him Ive noticed every now and then he'll squeak. Very quiet and most adorable. I looked into it when 2 days after as I wanted to make sure everything was fine. I read that they don't usually make those noises and could be a sign of illness. I've made sure his basking temp is 47-50c the rest of the tortoise table is no less than 23c and 20c at night. I bough the setup with Angus so everything I have at the moment is what came with it. He won't eat the dried flowers that came with it, he won't eat the Komodo danelion tortoise diet pellets I got him. Not overly struck on grass but he's had more of it today. But here's a list of everything he has had to eat bear in mind it's been a small mix of these items over the last 6 days.
Rocket, 1 danelion head, basil, coriander, little gem lettuce, spinach, mustard cress, water cress, creeping Jenny, a few sedums, 1/2 slice cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower leaf, 2 geranium flowers.
I had wondered if the substrate played a part however he squeaked before he ever set foot on it (it's habitat advanced reptile bedding, tortoise bedding 10ltrs) I know you guys like the coca based substrates. I dampen his soil every day and more so the back house section. His food is served on a slate so as not to get soil in it. He did 2 very big poops on Monday and a large wee yesterday with toothpaste consistency urates so all good there. Not done as big since or before. He's had baths and doesn't like them I've made sure the temp is 35c or slightly higher. But I'm getting worried now because his squeaking has increased over the last 1.5hrs. is it possible it's tummy ache or trapped wind or should I be more worried?
He absolutely loves to dig and now I'm starting to think he's just trying to escape.

Points I'd like to make:
-He wasn't being handled at the time he squeaked,
-I've not notice bubbles or discharge, except for one bubble but I put that down to still being wet from his bath,
-No wheezing or problems breathing
-he has a good appetite
- will eat from your hands isn't skittish
- had a good run about in the garden while it was warm and sunny and enjoys mooching about his habitat.

I'm stuck. I'll try and get his squeaks recorded and will put it up as soon as I succeed. He's currently in his favourite sport under his make shift umbrella fast asleep. He seems to be stretching a lot at the moment too.
 

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Poisondwarf

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Ashton-under-Lyne
I've just given him a warm bath and made him stay in it for about 30 mins. He's doing better hasn't squeaked since, he's had a big fart which leads me to believe it was wind. I still think he has a bit left but he's happier now.
 

nicoleann2214

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Joined
Mar 11, 2020
Messages
846
Location (City and/or State)
NY
Hi all. I've read good things on here for a while that has been very helpful and interesting, so I'm hoping that I'll be able to get to the bottom of this.

As of 6 days ago now I bough a 4month old sulcata tortoise. I've named him Angus and have endless love for him already. Since purchasing him Ive noticed every now and then he'll squeak. Very quiet and most adorable. I looked into it when 2 days after as I wanted to make sure everything was fine. I read that they don't usually make those noises and could be a sign of illness. I've made sure his basking temp is 47-50c the rest of the tortoise table is no less than 23c and 20c at night. I bough the setup with Angus so everything I have at the moment is what came with it. He won't eat the dried flowers that came with it, he won't eat the Komodo danelion tortoise diet pellets I got him. Not overly struck on grass but he's had more of it today. But here's a list of everything he has had to eat bear in mind it's been a small mix of these items over the last 6 days.
Rocket, 1 danelion head, basil, coriander, little gem lettuce, spinach, mustard cress, water cress, creeping Jenny, a few sedums, 1/2 slice cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower leaf, 2 geranium flowers.
I had wondered if the substrate played a part however he squeaked before he ever set foot on it (it's habitat advanced reptile bedding, tortoise bedding 10ltrs) I know you guys like the coca based substrates. I dampen his soil every day and more so the back house section. His food is served on a slate so as not to get soil in it. He did 2 very big poops on Monday and a large wee yesterday with toothpaste consistency urates so all good there. Not done as big since or before. He's had baths and doesn't like them I've made sure the temp is 35c or slightly higher. But I'm getting worried now because his squeaking has increased over the last 1.5hrs. is it possible it's tummy ache or trapped wind or should I be more worried?
He absolutely loves to dig and now I'm starting to think he's just trying to escape.

Points I'd like to make:
-He wasn't being handled at the time he squeaked,
-I've not notice bubbles or discharge, except for one bubble but I put that down to still being wet from his bath,
-No wheezing or problems breathing
-he has a good appetite
- will eat from your hands isn't skittish
- had a good run about in the garden while it was warm and sunny and enjoys mooching about his habitat.

I'm stuck. I'll try and get his squeaks recorded and will put it up as soon as I succeed. He's currently in his favourite sport under his make shift umbrella fast asleep. He seems to be stretching a lot at the moment too.
What are you using for substrate ?

@Tom
 

Hamiltondood

Active Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2019
Messages
248
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond, Texas
Hi all. I've read good things on here for a while that has been very helpful and interesting, so I'm hoping that I'll be able to get to the bottom of this.

As of 6 days ago now I bough a 4month old sulcata tortoise. I've named him Angus and have endless love for him already. Since purchasing him Ive noticed every now and then he'll squeak. Very quiet and most adorable. I looked into it when 2 days after as I wanted to make sure everything was fine. I read that they don't usually make those noises and could be a sign of illness. I've made sure his basking temp is 47-50c the rest of the tortoise table is no less than 23c and 20c at night. I bough the setup with Angus so everything I have at the moment is what came with it. He won't eat the dried flowers that came with it, he won't eat the Komodo danelion tortoise diet pellets I got him. Not overly struck on grass but he's had more of it today. But here's a list of everything he has had to eat bear in mind it's been a small mix of these items over the last 6 days.
Rocket, 1 danelion head, basil, coriander, little gem lettuce, spinach, mustard cress, water cress, creeping Jenny, a few sedums, 1/2 slice cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower leaf, 2 geranium flowers.
I had wondered if the substrate played a part however he squeaked before he ever set foot on it (it's habitat advanced reptile bedding, tortoise bedding 10ltrs) I know you guys like the coca based substrates. I dampen his soil every day and more so the back house section. His food is served on a slate so as not to get soil in it. He did 2 very big poops on Monday and a large wee yesterday with toothpaste consistency urates so all good there. Not done as big since or before. He's had baths and doesn't like them I've made sure the temp is 35c or slightly higher. But I'm getting worried now because his squeaking has increased over the last 1.5hrs. is it possible it's tummy ache or trapped wind or should I be more worried?
He absolutely loves to dig and now I'm starting to think he's just trying to escape.

Points I'd like to make:
-He wasn't being handled at the time he squeaked,
-I've not notice bubbles or discharge, except for one bubble but I put that down to still being wet from his bath,
-No wheezing or problems breathing
-he has a good appetite
- will eat from your hands isn't skittish
- had a good run about in the garden while it was warm and sunny and enjoys mooching about his habitat.

I'm stuck. I'll try and get his squeaks recorded and will put it up as soon as I succeed. He's currently in his favourite sport under his make shift umbrella fast asleep. He seems to be stretching a lot at the moment too.
it should be around 26 degrees c (80 f, im using google to convert the temps so sorry if it's inaccurate) at night/on the cold side. your basking spot temp is a bit on the hot side (should be 40 c to 45 c. a CHE hooked up to a thermostat should help regulate the temperatures at night. do you have a closed chamber/closed enclosure? is that perlite (white stones) in your substrate? i recommend switching it out for coco coir and like orchid bark anyways. here are some links that might help :
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
can we also get pictures of the enclosure? Good luck!
 
Last edited:

Poisondwarf

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Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Ashton-under-Lyne
Thank you guys. I realized after I put temps on I got it wrong. I am using Google to sort temps the rear of his encourage is 25c I've ordered a ceramic heat lamp to put there and maintain temperature at night. I lowered the mercury bulb to get the temperature up a bit it doesn't hold steady it fluctuates from 41.7c then goes back up to 47c I'm in the process of searching for a basking ligh and purchasing a t8/t5 light for the UV. I don't much like that mercury uvb light as I said it flutates too much and ive heard they can damage my pets eyes.

The substrate came with the table it's (habitat advanced reptile bedding, tortoise bedding 10ltrs) thats all that was on the bag. I don't much like it and yes it does look like perlite, it looks like tiny pieces of limestone, and what seems to tiny pieces of brick in there too. I've orderd the Coco core, bark, and Moss so that should be here within a few days. I caught him eyeing up the white bits last night after I sent this and didn't want him to try to eat it.

The back of his table just has a plant pot in there filled with a bit of the substrate I thought seems as he likes to dig he'd be able to dig himself a little burrow but he hasn't used it bearly goes into the back hoping that changes when the new substrate and bedding arrives.
 

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KarenSoCal

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The open topped table is always going to give you troubles. It's impossible to maintain correct temps and humidity in it. You need a closed chamber.

You are correct to replace the MVB. They are temperamental, as you see in the fluctuating temps. Get an incandescent flood light bulb, not spot...flood. The UVB tube light should be a T5. T8's are OK, but as I understand they are not as good as T5's. The fixture should have a shiny reflector.

You are correct to get rid of the substrate with limestone in it. It encourages the baby to eat it, and he eats dirt at thrle same time. The dirt is an impaction risk.

You said you have moss coming. Not a good idea. Again, babies try to eat it, and impaction is the result. I have also heard of a baby getting a fiber of moss wrapped around a limb and cutting off blood supply. It doesn't seem likely to me, but even the thought of something like that would prevent me from using it. Dampen the substrate...moss isn't needed.

You are keeping your tort at the upper extremes of temp. The basking should be 35-37°C. The cool side and nighttime should never fall below 27°C. The humidity should never fall below 80%, day or night. Your life would be much easier with a closed chamber.

I am linking a post I wrote a while back on ways to get/make a closed chamber. I hope you find it helpful. And be sure to read the links Hamiltondood posted in post # 4.

 

Poisondwarf

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I was thinking of putting a lid on it I have some materials left from my bike port that'll suit it. I'll leave out the moss, I've seen on a few places like kamp kenan to use it in their bedding areas to keep humidity after dampening. I'll leave it out just in case.

It is confusing on the temperature side of things, I keep seeing that you should keep the basking area 100-110f so I've been trying to get that. I've raised the lamp this morning to see how he does it staying at around 38.4c 43% humidity at the moment. I'll spray it again to raise it.

I've ordered the t5 12% desert tube kit with reflector. Just looking for basking lamp but that's where I'm failing. Getting all confused as every search I do combines heat and UV/uvb but I have the t5 for that surely it'll be too much to add another source. And then it's the wattage. I've found an HEEPDD Reptile Heating Bulb, Soft Light Frosted Incandescent Heat 100w is this suitable?
 

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KarenSoCal

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Having the basking temp as high as 110°F is higher than I have seen recommended. 95-105° is what I am familiar with, so 38.4°C is perfect. You want the humidity above 80%.

The bulb you linked is exactly what you want for basking. They get quite hot, so you should have a ceramic fixture for it. If you get a CHE for nighttime, that also needs a ceramic socket.
 

Poisondwarf

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Smashing I've got the bulb on order. Hopefully the Coco coir will be here soon so the humidity will be better I've got it up to 55% but it drops quickly so ill keep on it as best I can. Thank you so much for the help.
 
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