Treating a scrape/cut on a super shy rescued sulcata?

nootnootbu

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I noticed last night that my largest sulcata seems to have a little cut or scrape right below his mouth, on his chin. It *could* be just a little leftover strawberry, but, he is extremely shy and will not let me touch his face, or get near it with anything at all.

Is there maybe something I could safely put in his soak to help clean the wound? Something that wouldn't make him sick at all if he drinks it?

I was thinking maybe honey diluted into his soak since it's a natural wound treatment?
 

Tom

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I wouldn't soak in anything, especially since you aren't sure what it is. Just a regular soak with some light spraying should do it. They are pretty sturdy.

Also, sulcatas shouldn't be fed fruit. Their long GI tract doesn't handle sugary fruits well.
 

ZenHerper

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^that. They've evolved to be pretty impervious to minor daily scrapes.

No honey internally (sugar).

If you want to do something, go with natural vitamin C and antioxidants -> hibiscus tea.
 

nootnootbu

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I wouldn't soak in anything, especially since you aren't sure what it is. Just a regular soak with some light spraying should do it. They are pretty sturdy.

Also, sulcatas shouldn't be fed fruit. Their long GI tract doesn't handle sugary fruits well.
He only gets them as a very rare treat. Fruit makes up less than 5% of their diet, and I normally try to stick with fruits that are a little better for torts, like Mango. They primarily eat grass and weeds from the yard, and spring mix without spinach, and other greens and some hay they like to pick at. He had just had a strawberry that day, so I'm not 100% sure that's not the culprit.

Is a single strawberry once a week too much for a 6 pound sulcata?
 

wellington

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He only gets them as a very rare treat. Fruit makes up less than 5% of their diet, and I normally try to stick with fruits that are a little better for torts, like Mango. They primarily eat grass and weeds from the yard, and spring mix without spinach, and other greens and some hay they like to pick at. He had just had a strawberry that day, so I'm not 100% sure that's not the culprit.

Is a single strawberry once a week too much for a 6 pound sulcata?
No fruit! Some other species are able to have and process fruit. Sulcata are not one of them. He won't miss it you are feeding it more for yourself then the tort. It's not something he would ever come across in the wild.
 

nootnootbu

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No fruit! Some other species are able to have and process fruit. Sulcata are not one of them. He won't miss it you are feeding it more for yourself then the tort. It's not something he would ever come across in the wild.
I'm sad that you think I'm giving him a treat for myself.

I could've swore I read somewhere that fruit was fine as a treat in extreme moderation. It's possible I got their diet confused with my Russian's. In any case, their primary diet has been grass, hay, weeds, and greens, I will cut out the once a week fruit.

Forgive me my idiocy.
 
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Tom

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Most of the info about tortoises found from vets, breeders, authors, and "experts" is wrong. The same wrong things have been parroted for decades. I used to parrot a lot of that same wrong info too. Its what I was taught. Its not idiocy.

We know better about a lot of things now. Fruit isn't toxic, and small amounts won't kill them, but its not good for them. It causes havoc with the gut flora and fauna in the exceptionally long GI tracts. I phrase it like this: If its so bad that you can only feed it once a week or once a month, why feed it at all? Just feed them good stuff all the time.

Along these same lines, spinach is fine once in a while. We were afraid of the high oxalate content in years passed, but we are now learning that our ideas about tortoises and how they process oxalates might have been a little flawed. I still wouldn't feed whole meals of spinach every day, but I would't pick it out of the spring mix either... Which brings me to spring mix... Baby greens (spring mix) is not a good tortoise food. Tortoises need high fiber diets. Freshly sprouted baby greens are about as low as you get for fiber content. The grass and weeds you are offering are best. Also look for mulberry, grape and hibiscus leaves. Spineless opuntia. Gazanias, lavatera, and so many more. If you must feed grocery store foods for part of the year ( I do), favor endive and escarole. Also add in arugula, cilantro, collard greens, kale, and more for variety. When I have to feed grocery store foods I always add in some soaked horse hay pellets for fiber ($15 for a 50 pound bag), handfuls of dried leaves and flowers, soaked Zoomed pellets, and things of this nature to add in some much needed fiber and variety.
 

nootnootbu

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Most of the info about tortoises found from vets, breeders, authors, and "experts" is wrong. The same wrong things have been parroted for decades. I used to parrot a lot of that same wrong info too. Its what I was taught. Its not idiocy.

We know better about a lot of things now. Fruit isn't toxic, and small amounts won't kill them, but its not good for them. It causes havoc with the gut flora and fauna in the exceptionally long GI tracts. I phrase it like this: If its so bad that you can only feed it once a week or once a month, why feed it at all? Just feed them good stuff all the time.

Along these same lines, spinach is fine once in a while. We were afraid of the high oxalate content in years passed, but we are now learning that our ideas about tortoises and how they process oxalates might have been a little flawed. I still wouldn't feed whole meals of spinach every day, but I would't pick it out of the spring mix either... Which brings me to spring mix... Baby greens (spring mix) is not a good tortoise food. Tortoises need high fiber diets. Freshly sprouted baby greens are about as low as you get for fiber content. The grass and weeds you are offering are best. Also look for mulberry, grape and hibiscus leaves. Spineless opuntia. Gazanias, lavatera, and so many more. If you must feed grocery store foods for part of the year ( I do), favor endive and escarole. Also add in arugula, cilantro, collard greens, kale, and more for variety. When I have to feed grocery store foods I always add in some soaked horse hay pellets for fiber ($15 for a 50 pound bag), handfuls of dried leaves and flowers, soaked Zoomed pellets, and things of this nature to add in some much needed fiber and variety.

I don't actually have to pick the spinach out of the spring mix, I get the one that has no spinach to begin with. My grocery store sells them separately, they have regular spring mix, and then spring mix plus spinach.

I already feed mustard greens, collard greens, and turnip greens. They eat a fair amount of the hay I give them, and they love the grass and weeds from the yard, which I get fresh for them every day.

I hadn't heard of feeding horse hay pellets before now, but I should be able to get them at my tractor supply I think. Is there any specific kind you use? Are they just plain hay made into pellets, or do some have added ingredients I need to make sure aren't there?

Also, for some reason, my grocery store never has endive or escarole except very rarely. I think they must only get them seasonally.

Also, that guide with the mention of fruit as very rare treats, seems to also have all the same info diet wise as your guide, with the exception of the bit about fruit. I can just remove it from the diet of the sulcatas entirely. It sort of became a habit to give them a small piece too when I give the fruit to my red foots. (That's mainly who the mango and papaya are for anyway).
 

wellington

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Russians should not eat fruit either.
I didnt mean anything bad by saying you feed it for you. It's like dog food. All the shapes and colors are for us not the dog. The more colorful and cute shapes the more it sells but the worse it is to feed our dogs.
If you want to give your tort a treat, get mazuri pellets, soak them and feed. Get the regular not the LS. The LS Mazuri is still very good but lots of torts don't like it and it's not cheap.
Feed couple times a week. He will love it.
Most of us have done the same thing. Luckily we and you found this forum. Not idiocy, we just found the wrong info first, but smart enough to keep searching.
 

nootnootbu

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Russians should not eat fruit either.
I didnt mean anything bad by saying you feed it for you. It's like dog food. All the shapes and colors are for us not the dog. The more colorful and cute shapes the more it sells but the worse it is to feed our dogs.
If you want to give your tort a treat, get mazuri pellets, soak them and feed. Get the regular not the LS. The LS Mazuri is still very good but lots of torts don't like it and it's not cheap.
Feed couple times a week. He will love it.
Most of us have done the same thing. Luckily we and you found this forum. Not idiocy, we just found the wrong info first, but smart enough to keep searching.
Yeah, I read the exact same info about Russians, that fruits are acceptable for a rare treat, and may even contain important vitamins for them. But, I am assuming the Mazuri food would be even better for the added vitamins without any sugary drawbacks.

The fruit is primarily for my red foots, but since I'd read it was acceptable for the others to have a tiny bite now and then, it didn't seem troublesome to add them a single bite to their plates very sparingly.
 

Tom

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I hadn't heard of feeding horse hay pellets before now, but I should be able to get them at my tractor supply I think. Is there any specific kind you use? Are they just plain hay made into pellets, or do some have added ingredients I need to make sure aren't there?
Tractor supply should have them. The ones I use are just plain ground up Timothy hay formed into little pellets. No additives, binders, preservatives, or anything else of any kind.

A little goes a long way. Start with just a few pellets. Soak them and within a few minutes they turn into grass hay particles. You can then mix it in with the day's greens. Like any new food, it will take some time for the tortoise to get used to it and accept it, but its great once they do. Its a cheap easy way to add some much needed fiber to grocery store greens. A 50 pound bag will last a very long time for just a few tortoises.
 

nootnootbu

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Tractor supply should have them. The ones I use are just plain ground up Timothy hay formed into little pellets. No additives, binders, preservatives, or anything else of any kind.

A little goes a long way. Start with just a few pellets. Soak them and within a few minutes they turn into grass hay particles. You can then mix it in with the day's greens. Like any new food, it will take some time for the tortoise to get used to it and accept it, but its great once they do. Its a cheap easy way to add some much needed fiber to grocery store greens. A 50 pound bag will last a very long time for just a few tortoises.
Thank you, I will definitely look into this. I had just been giving them the bailed kind of timothy hay.
 

Tom

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Thank you, I will definitely look into this. I had just been giving them the bailed kind of timothy hay.
Large adults can handle Timothy, but its too tough and stemmy for little ones. At 6 pounds, they are too little for dry hay. That is more for older, larger ones. When the time comes to introduce hay to a young sulcata, I like to cut up a handful of orchard grass hay or Bermuda hay with scissors so that no piece is longer than an inch or two. Then I soak it in plain water for an hour or two, then mix it in with the tortoises favorite foods. It only takes a week or two if you start with a tiny amount at first.
 

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Thank you for the info. They seem to eat a good bit of the hay already, but maybe it's not doing them much good. I will swap them to the hay pellets immediately. Their former owner was feeding them nothing but dry hay, dubai roaches, and lettuce. It's a wonder they even survived to get to me. :( And I'm sure the roaches is why their pyramiding is so out of control.

The other infant sulcata I got was being fed lettuce and meal worms only. It's amazing how far off people are sometimes with their diets. -_-
Large adults can handle Timothy, but its too tough and stemmy for little ones. At 6 pounds, they are too little for dry hay. That is more for older, larger ones. When the time comes to introduce hay to a young sulcata, I like to cut up a handful of orchard grass hay or Bermuda hay with scissors so that no piece is longer than an inch or two. Then I soak it in plain water for an hour or two, then mix it in with the tortoises favorite foods. It only takes a week or two if you start with a tiny amount at first.
 

Jan A

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Thank you for the info. They seem to eat a good bit of the hay already, but maybe it's not doing them much good. I will swap them to the hay pellets immediately. Their former owner was feeding them nothing but dry hay, dubai roaches, and lettuce. It's a wonder they even survived to get to me. :( And I'm sure the roaches is why their pyramiding is so out of control.

The other infant sulcata I got was being fed lettuce and meal worms only. It's amazing how far off people are sometimes with their diets. -_-
We'd be pretty boring people if we weren't able to keep on learning as we go. (I know a few of those) It's the remembering that becomes the problem as you age, or as I like to think of it, mellowing (like fine wine or day old MD 2020).
 

maggie3fan

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He only gets them as a very rare treat. Fruit makes up less than 5% of their diet, and I normally try to stick with fruits that are a little better for torts, like Mango. They primarily eat grass and weeds from the yard, and spring mix without spinach, and other greens and some hay they like to pick at. He had just had a strawberry that day, so I'm not 100% sure that's not the culprit.

Is a single strawberry once a week too much for a 6 pound sulcata?
Their kidneys CANNOT process sugar the way ours do. No fruit means, no fruit. It's very bad for Sulcata, they live on grasses and weeds, no fruit.
read this...
 

nootnootbu

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Update: It definitely is a scrape and not food.

I treated it today with a small smear of honey on the wound. It's not where he can reach it to eat it, and even if he did, it's only a few drops. Amazingly, he allowed me to use a q-tip to smear a tiny bit over the wound without shutting his arms in front of his face.

Further research I've done today indicates that honey is great for wound care, and safe and non-toxic for pretty much all pets, and, it promotes healing rather than being a detriment to healing like many of our chemical antiseptics can be. I found it specifically recommended for wound treatment in other reptiles, so decided to give it a try.
 
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nootnootbu

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Tractor supply should have them. The ones I use are just plain ground up Timothy hay formed into little pellets. No additives, binders, preservatives, or anything else of any kind.

A little goes a long way. Start with just a few pellets. Soak them and within a few minutes they turn into grass hay particles. You can then mix it in with the day's greens. Like any new food, it will take some time for the tortoise to get used to it and accept it, but its great once they do. Its a cheap easy way to add some much needed fiber to grocery store greens. A 50 pound bag will last a very long time for just a few tortoises.
Are these pellets also good for my Russian?

What about the red foots? The red foots seem to really like any tortoise pellets I get for them, would they like the hay pellets as well?

And one last question if I could, does it matter if it's alfalfa timothy, timothy, or orchard grass?
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/search/hay pellets?These are what I found on Tractor supply when I searched. I don't know if Alfafa is as good for torts? I think I remember reading somewhere that it's not?
 

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Update: It definitely is a scrape and not food.

I treated it today with a small smear of honey on the wound. It's not where he can reach it to eat it, and even if he did, it's only a few drops. Amazingly, he allowed me to use a q-tip to smear a tiny bit over the wound without shutting his arms in front of his face.

Further research I've done today indicates that honey is great for wound care, and safe and non-toxic for pretty much all pets, and, it promotes healing rather than being a detriment to healing like many of our chemical antiseptics can be. I found it specifically recommended for wound treatment in other reptiles, so decided to give it a try.
It also attracts ants, bees and other problematic insects and everything sticks to it. Not good for an animal living on the ground.
 
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