Tortoise Identification

MeredithkhK

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6B0AE1B4-9787-43A0-B021-F405EA98BAD1.jpeg Hi all!! I just received this tortoise from my mother-in-law (his name is Ice Tea) I am trying to identify what breed of tortoise he is so that I can give him the best care I can! He has mostly been eating pellet type food and I would love to find out the optimal diet for his breed. I am starting to introduce fresh greens into his diet. 728AFF84-1979-4CC5-942B-2B183803C24E.jpeg
 

Yvonne G

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Hey, Meredith: Ice Tea is an ornate box turtle with an extremely overgrown beak and misshapen shell. He needs his beak taken care of to make eating easier for him.
 

MeredithkhK

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Hey, Meredith: Iden is an ornate box turtle with an extremely overgrown beak and misshapen shell. He needs his beak taken care of to make eating easier for him.

Hi Yvonne,
How can help him with his beak? Is this something a vet can do for me or what should I do to help him?
 

MeredithkhK

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Hi Yvonne,
How can help him with his beak? Is this something a vet can do for me or what should I do to help him?


Hi Yvonne,
How can help him with his beak? Is this something a vet can do for me or what should I do to help him?

I forgot to mention in my first post that he is my mother-in-law’s recently deceased husband’s turtle that he received after the turtle’s original owner died.
 

maggie3fan

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Oh boy. Yes, an exotic vet can file it, or you can if you have a small dremel tool like what manicurists use on acrylic nails. That is not a tortoise, it's an ornate box turtle, they are semi aquatic and would enjoy something like a paint roller pan to soak in. They eat live food, worms, bugs, slugs snails, berries, cat food, they are so easy to care for it hurts me to see one so deformed. please read this and stick around so we can help you get Ice Tea set up for a better life. He needs water to drink and soak in daily. Here's reading material for you...

 

Chubbs the tegu

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i think it would be a lot quicker and lesss stressful with a large pair of reg nail clippers... if u dont feel comfortable doing it urself a vet can trim it for u
 

MeredithkhK

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Georgia
Oh boy. Yes, an exotic vet can file it, or you can if you have a small dremel tool like what manicurists use on acrylic nails. That is not a tortoise, it's an ornate box turtle, they are semi aquatic and would enjoy something like a paint roller pan to soak in. They eat live food, worms, bugs, slugs snails, berries, cat food, they are so easy to care for it hurts me to see one so deformed. please read this and stick around so we can help you get Ice Tea set up for a better life. He needs water to drink and soak in daily. Here's reading material for you...


Thank you so much for this information!!! I was definitely misinformed on Iced Tea. I will be reaching out to vets tomorrow to help me fix his beak and I will be fixing his environment. Thank you both so much. I want to give him the best care possible and he is my first ever turtle.
 

maggie3fan

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Thank you so much for this information!!! I was definitely misinformed on Iced Tea. I will be reaching out to vets tomorrow to help me fix his beak and I will be fixing his environment. Thank you both so much. I want to give him the best care possible and he is my first ever turtle.
You will fall in love! Have you got something to keep him in?
 

MeredithkhK

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Georgia
You will fall in love! Have you got something to keep him in?

I do love him! I have only had him for two days and he has so much personality!!! I have his tank from his previous owner but after looking at some of the information you provided me his old house needs a makeover! He has a fairly large tank but if this is not a proper home I am happy to purchase whatever you recommend! (Especially if you know any cat proof ones, Ice Tea has been hanging out in my home office for the time being) I was trying to find a good brand of peat soil. Do you have any recommendations? I ordered a basking stone for him when I thought he was a tortoise because I read that it would help his toenails. His toenails also seem very long, is the basking stone still a good idea to have in his tank?
 

maggie3fan

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I do love him! I have only had him for two days and he has so much personality!!! I have his tank from his previous owner but after looking at some of the information you provided me his old house needs a makeover! He has a fairly large tank but if this is not a proper home I am happy to purchase whatever you recommend! (Especially if you know any cat proof ones, Ice Tea has been hanging out in my home office for the time being) I was trying to find a good brand of peat soil. Do you have any recommendations? I ordered a basking stone for him when I thought he was a tortoise because I read that it would help his toenails. His toenails also seem very long, is the basking stone still a good idea to have in his tank?
Is a basking stone a hot rock thing? Nope, those can burn. He needs a 65 watt incandescent light bulb to bask under like the sun, you can use fine grade orchid bark, cypress mulch or co coir. Not peat. Actually you can trim his nails yourself. Use the same device to trim dog nails, or toenail clippers, remembering not to cut the vein in the nails. So just trim a little at a time. I'm thinking the thing to concentrate on now, is his habitat, he needs access to soaking everyday, I really stress that
 

MeredithkhK

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Georgia
Is a basking stone a hot rock thing? Nope, those can burn. He needs a 65 watt incandescent light bulb to bask under like the sun, you can use fine grade orchid bark, cypress mulch or co coir. Not peat. Actually you can trim his nails yourself. Use the same device to trim dog nails, or toenail clippers, remembering not to cut the vein in the nails. So just trim a little at a time. I'm thinking the thing to concentrate on now, is his habitat, he needs access to soaking everyday, I really stress that


Thank you so much! I will return the basking stone!
 

m irwin

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It's great that you're trying to improve the turtles care, and man does need it! As previously stated, his beak is seriously overgrown. I would recommend a vet doing the corrective action (it's one thing to know you need to file it down, it's another thing to actually hold a turtle and cut its beak with clippers or a file or a hand power tool...) His shell it also deformed. And his nails are too long. Why all these problems? Because it was given poor husbandry (improper care). This is yet another example how love for a turtle (or any pet I guess) does not supersede its needs for proper care for its species. All the previously mentioned suggestions will help and I agree. However, I would strongly consider housing the turtle outside - as nature intended. No heat lamps needed (the SUN takes care of that). No UVB special lamps needed (the SUN takes care of that). No worries about overgrown beaks and nails (foraging around in his enclosure will keep them filed down NATURALLY). No worries about substrate or humidity or any of that because nature provides! Sure, you can supplement his enclosure but nature will do most of the heavy lifting. He will be able to self regulate his temperature as long as there are shady and sunny areas to move to in his enclosure. Living in a box in a house there are only so many places to go. If you have it too hot, he can't get away. Too cold, he can't find heat. Substrate do shallow, he can't burrow down. Too "soft" and his beak and nails grow un-checked. To little humidity, he's gonna suffer. YOU may think it all appears fine (heat, humidity, etc,) but only he knows really. I see you're in Georgia and even though Ornate's are not native to your state, it's plenty warm there for them to live outside.

Another factor to consider is Ornate's are not a beginners turtle. They are harder to care for than say Three Toed's. Ornate's develop respitory infections, ear abscesses, etc.. more readily and you have to recognize them and treat before they get to far along. Time and money involved - especially when a vet is needed (notice I said when not if a vet is needed). And then you have to make sure you're dealing with a vet who knows turtles - less vets out there than cat and dog vets. So things to consider.

Not trying to preach. Only trying to give you help and things to consider before you make spending and husbandry decisions. I have rescued many turtles from Craigslist owners who no doubt loved their turtles but eventually got bored of them, caring for them, the expense involved, or the turtle just slowly degraded over time from bad conditions and they are eventually given up for adoption. It's sad how deformed and mal-nourished they get. Many of them were simply crossing the road one day and were unlucky enough to be doing it when a car drove by and the driver decided today was a good day to "resuce" a turtle. From the turtles viewpoint, I doubt they felt "rescued".

Hope this helps. Ask questions and the folks on here are good at providing answers.
 

MeredithkhK

New Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Georgia
It's great that you're trying to improve the turtles care, and man does need it! As previously stated, his beak is seriously overgrown. I would recommend a vet doing the corrective action (it's one thing to know you need to file it down, it's another thing to actually hold a turtle and cut its beak with clippers or a file or a hand power tool...) His shell it also deformed. And his nails are too long. Why all these problems? Because it was given poor husbandry (improper care). This is yet another example how love for a turtle (or any pet I guess) does not supersede its needs for proper care for its species. All the previously mentioned suggestions will help and I agree. However, I would strongly consider housing the turtle outside - as nature intended. No heat lamps needed (the SUN takes care of that). No UVB special lamps needed (the SUN takes care of that). No worries about overgrown beaks and nails (foraging around in his enclosure will keep them filed down NATURALLY). No worries about substrate or humidity or any of that because nature provides! Sure, you can supplement his enclosure but nature will do most of the heavy lifting. He will be able to self regulate his temperature as long as there are shady and sunny areas to move to in his enclosure. Living in a box in a house there are only so many places to go. If you have it too hot, he can't get away. Too cold, he can't find heat. Substrate do shallow, he can't burrow down. Too "soft" and his beak and nails grow un-checked. To little humidity, he's gonna suffer. YOU may think it all appears fine (heat, humidity, etc,) but only he knows really. I see you're in Georgia and even though Ornate's are not native to your state, it's plenty warm there for them to live outside.

Another factor to consider is Ornate's are not a beginners turtle. They are harder to care for than say Three Toed's. Ornate's develop respitory infections, ear abscesses, etc.. more readily and you have to recognize them and treat before they get to far along. Time and money involved - especially when a vet is needed (notice I said when not if a vet is needed). And then you have to make sure you're dealing with a vet who knows turtles - less vets out there than cat and dog vets. So things to consider.

Not trying to preach. Only trying to give you help and things to consider before you make spending and husbandry decisions. I have rescued many turtles from Craigslist owners who no doubt loved their turtles but eventually got bored of them, caring for them, the expense involved, or the turtle just slowly degraded over time from bad conditions and they are eventually given up for adoption. It's sad how deformed and mal-nourished they get. Many of them were simply crossing the road one day and were unlucky enough to be doing it when a car drove by and the driver decided today was a good day to "resuce" a turtle. From the turtles viewpoint, I doubt they felt "rescued".

Hope this helps. Ask questions and the folks on here are good at providing answers.


Thank you so much for all of this information. Ice Tea has an appointment with a reptile vet tomorrow. I really appreciate all the advice and how welcoming this community is!!!
 
Joined
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Also ornate box turtles are omnivores so they to feed worms and crickets and vegetables And lots of greens and leafy greens. Sometimes you can give fruits as a treat but they are high in sugar so don’t feed often.
 

maureen allenza

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Oct 19, 2012
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Oh boy. Yes, an exotic vet can file it, or you can if you have a small dremel tool like what manicurists use on acrylic nails. That is not a tortoise, it's an ornate box turtle, they are semi aquatic and would enjoy something like a paint roller pan to soak in. They eat live food, worms, bugs, slugs snails, berries, cat food, they are so easy to care for it hurts me to see one so deformed. please read this and stick around so we can help you get Ice Tea set up for a better life. He needs water to drink and soak in daily. Here's reading material for you...

I would have a vet do his beak. Also do a check up.

View attachment 318644 Hi all!! I just received this tortoise from my mother-in-law (his name is Ice Tea) I am trying to identify what breed of tortoise he is so that I can give him the best care I can! He has mostly been eating pellet type food and I would love to find out the optimal diet for his breed. I am starting to introduce fresh greens into his diet. View attachment 318645
 
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