Urate

Tom

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Urates are of course caused by Oxalic Acid and the main contents are Calcium Oxates. If you don't believe me, you can feed your tortoise with spinach which has very high oxalic acid. It is not only harmful to tortoise but but also harmful to human. If you eat spinach too much, you will get urates accumulated in your body and fint tally get the kidney stone disease. If you don't trust me the human part, you can ask your doctor. I am a medical school student
@Will
May I request the favor of a better explanation here?
 

Markw84

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Urates are of course caused by Oxalic Acid and the main contents are Calcium Oxates. If you don't believe me, you can feed your tortoise with spinach which has very high oxalic acid. It is not only harmful to tortoise but but also harmful to human. If you eat spinach too much, you will get urates accumulated in your body and fint tally get the kidney stone disease. If you don't trust me the human part, you can ask your doctor. I am a medical school student
Since you are a medical student, you should know that urates are in fact the end product of purine degradation. Purines are the end product of the digestion of certain proteins in the diet. Oxalic acid has nothing to do with urates.

There are some uroliths ("stones") that are indeed calcium oxalate. However, these are by far a less common form of urolith and in reptiles almost every single urolith ever tested has proven to be purines - a byproduct of protein digestion - and not even contain calcium, let alone calcium oxalate.

Tortoises have a very different digestive system. Perhaps in medical school you have not yet learned that tortoises lack the loop of Henle in the kidneys and produce a hypotonic urine, unlike mammals. They process oxalic acid differently than mammals and don't seem affected by them at all.

Perhaps a bit more study is in order??
 

Kapidolo Farms

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Some word clarification might help...

Urates: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uric_acid . please take not neither calcium nor oxalic acid are components of urates. Urates are caused by an imbalance of protein intake and water intake. Higher levels of protein require higher hydration. Some species live in areas with so little water, that urate stones are a population limiting factor. The adaptation you talk about

Oxalates are a 'secondary compound' in that they are meant to inhibit animals wanting to eat them. However that deterrent is more mechanical than nutritional. That is, it can cause skin abrasion (as it dose for people who farm opuntia cactus). I posted an oxalate fate map here on TFO for the potential for it to interfere with nutrient absorption. I have also posted that same fate map as one slide in a powerpoint presentation at a conference. https://kapidolofarms.com/2018/11/08/2018-turtle-and-tortoise-preservation-group-presentation/ .

One time I was loading a BBQ for a person when I worked at Home Depot, after several hundred such efforts you have an onboard ability to quickly sort out if the un-opened box will fit into the trunk or back area of a SUV. Often they BBQ had to be unbox to get it into the buyers car. One customer really did want us to unbox the BBQ and declined all choices offered to solve the pressing need to get the BBQ in the box. So we placed it in every orientation and showed the customer it just wouldn't fit. That customer finally told us about there degree from Harvard, that they they might know more about it based on that education and maybe we should do it "better". My response was "maybe you should get a refund from Harvard, ' cause this box don't fit". We took the parts out of the box and got them all in.

ariesxiao, maybe you need to study more at school and use simple resources like wikipedia to know what you are suggesting/talking about? Maybe not? But you couldn't be any more mistaken about urates.

No one suggested that spinach be more than a small part of a very varied diet. Most leafy greens have some small load of oxalates. Spinach is a great occasional addition to salads to increase variety. A few percent inclusion a couple meals a week has been working for me for several years now. One of the most authoritative veterinarians who is into tortoises personally, has said the same thing when presenting on the exact topic of tortoise nutrition. Tom Boyer if you're wondering.

ariesxiao please keep your interest in tortoises, they have been the carrot in front of me to learn much.

Most urates are Calcium Oxalate. If your tortoise have too much urates. It means

1. the calcium in the food is not used by its body. You may need to consider to add D3 or expose it to higher UVB or sun light directly to increase the absorbance of calcium

2. Too much oxalic acid in the food. Spinach has very high oxalic acid along with many other vegs. Mature pad cactus also has high oxalic acid. Try to feed it with some grasses which have much lower oxalic acid

3. Some desert tortoise body has a mechanism to reuse the water in their urine. And they But their bladder will only absorb the water but leave the urates in the urine their bladder. Later the urates will grow larger and large and finally will be a big health problem. Those desert tortoises are designed by their DNA to use this function more and so they usually don’t like to pee. In this case, you should soak the tortoise everyday. Soaking can trigger the tortoise to pee. So it will have some chance to pee the urates out. Also try to increase the humidity. If the tortoise is not in a dry environment. Their bodies will absorb less water from their urine and will also let the urates will not be accumulated in their bodies but get out through pee.
 

Miscally

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Ariesxiao - appears to be his eighties, so maybe out of date information?
 

Pure Tortoise Power

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1. No. This won't harm the tortoise unless you give it too much or too often. In that case, it will cause mineral imbalances, not stones.
2. Evidence to support my point. Look at the protein content in your foods. What is it? 12%? 15%? More?
3. Small enclosure + hot bulb = dry tortoise and low humidity.
So the food I feed my sully has 15% crude protein. And its on the high end isn't it
 

Tom

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So the food I feed my sully has 15% crude protein. And its on the high end isn't it
I would agree that 15% protein is on the "high" side for a grass eating tortoise species, but it is not a problem in any way for a well hydrated tortoise that is receiving a balanced and varied diet.

Someone consistently feeding Mazuri, or any other food with 15% protein is likely going to see more urates than someone who is feeding a diet consistently lower in protein. Still, this doesn't make it "bad" for them. Just means they are digesting more protein.
 

Pure Tortoise Power

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I would agree that 15% protein is on the "high" side for a grass eating tortoise species, but it is not a problem in any way for a well hydrated tortoise that is receiving a balanced and varied diet.

Someone consistently feeding Mazuri, or any other food with 15% protein is likely going to see more urates than someone who is feeding a diet consistently lower in protein. Still, this doesn't make it "bad" for them. Just means they are digesting more protein.

Here's a description of the food I feed my tort 1551590029087.jpeg 1551590098062.jpeg
Sorry if the words on the second pic is hard to read. I can type it down if necessary.
 

Tom

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Here's a description of the food I feed my tort
Sorry if the words on the second pic is hard to read. I can type it down if necessary.

Mazuri is good as a supplemental food, but not as the main diet in my opinion. Grass, broadleaf weeds, flowers, and succulents should make up the majority of the food your tortoise eats. I like to feed them Mazuri once or twice a week.
 

Pure Tortoise Power

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Mazuri is good as a supplemental food, but not as the main diet in my opinion. Grass, broadleaf weeds, flowers, and succulents should make up the majority of the food your tortoise eats. I like to feed them Mazuri once or twice a week.
Is wheat grass as the main source of food good for it?
 

Tom

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Is wheat grass as the main source of food good for it?
You will hear all sorts of percentages for what the diet should be, but the fact is that many different diet strategies will work well for this adaptable species.

Wheat grass is good. 10, 50 or 80% wheat grass would all be good.

In general, you need foods that are high in fiber, high in calcium, and have at least a 2 : 1 calcium to phosphorous ratio. But don't focus too heavily on these dietary facts. The best strategy I've found is to use lots of variety from all of the tortoise foods lists. For sulcatas, I also feed a lot of grass. How much? I don't know. It varies a lot. This time of year, they graze on all the fresh growing grass in their enclosure all day. In our hot summers and all the grasses and weeds are dead, they have free access to grass hay and they eat a lot of it. I have patches of weeds and grass that I irrigate, so even in summer, they still get some fresh grass.

The general trend that I see is people going to the store to go buy tortoise food. I used to do it that way too. With a little effort and some learning, much better foods can be had for free. Everyone just needs to learn about the plants, vines, trees, weeds, flowers and succulents that grow all around them, and then take advantage of all that good stuff.
 
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