The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
- Jan 9, 2010
- Location (City and/or State)
- Southern California
Tom! I tracked you down from a YouTube video and now on here, I need help with my 2 young sulcatas. I have had them about a year and 6 months, they are probablaly 2 to 3 years old maybe. I rescued them from a lady in Northern California, they were kept in a glass tank inside with no lights and nothing but a slippery glass floor to walk on. Upon getting me they both had severe pyramiding, both had super soft shells, and both had flat back legs, as they dragged themselves around in that tank. So time has gone by but I don't know what else I can do to help them... they both live outside, they have a 10'x10' pen with freshly grown sulcatafood.com grass seed, small river rocks in patches to help them walk better, and a box I built for them with a heat lamp to keep it about 70 degrees in the winter time, I am located in so cal, oh and yes a water dish as well. So in that time their shells have become hard again, they are out everyday getting sun and exercise unless it's raining, I give them turnip greens with calcium powder 1 to 2 times a week, and try to soak them 1 to 2 times a week. I have been so worried about them, and I don't know what else to do. The pyramids are still there, both shells have hardened up nicely, the smaller one walks normal now, the larger one still drags himself around but has improved a lot, the rocks really force him to walk correctly. They both had a vet visit when I got them since they had a respatory infection, running nose and eyes... but they have been in good health since. I am probably forgetting some details but that's the majority of my story. any help you could possible offer? I would greatly appreciate it. The smaller one is Barnaby, the large one is Harold.
Sounds like you are doing a pretty good job. Here is what I would suggest:
I would get rid of the heat lamp and replace it with a Radiant heat panel and a Kane heat mat all on one thermostat. I'd set the thermostat to 85 in winter and 75 in summer.
I'd soak 2-3 times a week.
I'd make the pen 3 times that size.
I'd separate the two. Tortoises don't do well in pairs.
Here is some more info in case you haven't found this all yet:
Here is an example of one of my night boxes with the type of heating I suggest. Over head lamp and ceramic heating elements desiccate the carapace terribly. Its worse on larger ones, but still not good for smaller ones like yours. This carapace desiccation tends to worsen the pyramiding and in some cases actually damages, or "slow burns", the keratin layer on the top of the carapace.