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What do I Keep and what do I throw away

Discussion in 'Tortoise Health' started by katieandiggy, Jul 14, 2019.

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  1. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    Since my tortoise passing last week I decided to get to grips with clearing out the enclosure.

    My vet said to me to throw stuff away just in case there was something else other than kidney failure that contributed to my tortoises death.

    What would you guys throw away and what would you keep? What’s the best thing to clean stuff with?
    Bleach? Vivarium disinfectant?

    I’ve emptied out all of the substrate...

    What else needs to go:

    Slate
    Rocks
    Wooden hide
    Plants
    Whole enclosure?
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  2. Chubbs the tegu

    Chubbs the tegu Well-Known Member

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    I would scrub everything down really well with a 1 part bleach 9 parts water mix and rinse really well and should be good
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  3. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I used to do turtle and tortoise rescue. When people brought me their animals they also gave me the animal's supplies. It never occurred to me the supplies might carry germs. I just hosed them off and stored them in my reptile supply room. I've been using hand-me-down tortoise supplies for over 30 years and have never had any sick or dead animals attributed to dirty supplies. Just clean all the supplies and leave them sitting in the sun for a day or two, then store them away.
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  4. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all.
    It didn’t occur to me either to throw everything out until she mentioned it.
    I will give them all a good scrub. I’m not planning a tortoise for the rest of this year, hopefully spring next year.
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  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I had an outbreak a few years ago. I decided the risk of keeping the old stuff wasn't worth the price old the old stuff. Chuck the old stuff. Especially anything porous. Look at the cost of a new rock or log. Is that worth the cost of vet bills, stress, animal suffering and possibly the death of a formerly healthy animal?

    Anything non porous should be scrubbed with hot soapy water and rinsed thoroughly. Then submerged or bathed in an ammonia solution. Bleach does not kill some of the organisms that attack our tortoises in some circumstances. A 20% ammonia solution will get most everything.

    In my case I threw away everything. I couldn't throw away the walls and floor of the room, so I put on a scuba rig and got a Hudson sprayer full of the aforementioned ammonia solution and doused the walls and floor. Three times. I cleaned and disinfected the glass enclosures and then let them cook in the summer sun for months. I then left that room empty for about 16 months. With no host, there is no way a disease organism can survive.
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  6. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Did you know what the outbreak was?

    Yeah your right, the stuff is cheap to replace.
    I think I will just hang on to my heating and lighting/thermostats etc and all the rest I will throw out.
  7. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Cryptosporidia. The reptile version is not curable and very contagious. Bleach will not kill it when it is encysted. It cannot live without a host for more than a few months and ammonia kills it.
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  8. Relic

    Relic Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much what I did when my daughter got married and moved out...
  9. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hydrogen peroxide is a good item to spray when bleach is not effective. Some things are killed with bleach and some with hydrogen peroxide. :)
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  10. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Oh goodness, I hope she never sees this post :0-
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  11. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    THanks @Tom this is why I love this site. Another Zoonotic disease. Thanks for the info. I have always cleaned my fur babies stuff when we transfered over the years for just that reason. It is amazing how long stuff stays on something.
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  12. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    My wife has been using peroxide for a couple of years now to clean things like counter tops.

    I don't know how effective it is at disinfection of all the potential tortoise pathogens.
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  13. JMM

    JMM New Member

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    I echo what others have said. Anything that is porous--the wood hide and any wooden parts of the structure should ideally be tossed and removed from the property. Any substrate should be removed and thoroughly composted and not used in the housing area. Any parts of the enclosure that are bare ground should be exposed to the elements (sun, heat, drying) for several weeks--this won't get rid of everything but it will get many things. The best is to move your enclosure to new area if you are using outside bare ground. The rocks and slate can be cleaned and disinfected. If on bare ground, just make sure to pick up slate and rock and clean separately and leave ground exposed. It is important to note that disinfectants are inactivated by organic matter. So, you need to clean items with soap and water and then disinfect. Cleaning will also remove the bulk of what you are trying to get rid of so the disinfectant can do its job better. 10% bleach (1 part household bleach to 9 parts water) is the best overall disinfectant. Wet the items with the 10% bleach solution, let sit for 10 min. and then rinse thoroughly. It is strongly advised to wear eye protection, wear clothes you don't mind ruining and to work in a well-ventilated area. The one organism that bleach does not kill, is indeed Cryptosporidia sp. Cryptosporidia sp. are however, organisms that are quite fragile and are very susceptible to dessication and so just making sure everything is really well dried out can kill the sporocysts. Heat is also very effective. So, simply cleaning really well with soap and water and allowing things to dry and better, also heating them above 160 F, will kill the sporocysts. Ammonia at very high concentrations does kill the bulk of Cryptosporidia sp. but some sporocysts are still known to survive. Another excellent disinfectant that will also kill Cryptosporidia sp. and bacteria and viruses, are activated/potentiated/accelerated hydrogen peroxide agents. While hydrogen peroxide alone is effective against some organisms, unless you know what you trying to kill and whether it is targeted, it's not very useful. These special hydrogen peroxide agents are used in healthcare and so are not widely available to the public.
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  14. Chubbs the tegu

    Chubbs the tegu Well-Known Member

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    Wow.. or just sell your house and move LOL
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  15. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    LMAO....laughed so hard, startled the dog.... :)-
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  16. The Hutt

    The Hutt New Member

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    I cleaned and disinfected all my stuff but still was very nervous. So I just made a new enclosure with all new stuff. I did keep all of the old things. So maybe they can be used for a new little guy???
  17. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Years ago a "breeder" posing as a tortoise rescue sold me two tortoises. One was actually VERY sick and near death.
    She remained quarantined while her sister joined my perfectly healthy group.
    (What a potentiality stupid move)
    I was lucky that no other tortoise was effected.
    The sick tortoise eventually recovered after months of extensive testing and treatments and the actual cause was never determined.
    I got lucky. It wasn't something contagious.
    I also received a free tortoise once and even after a full 5 month quarantine, he gave the other 6 tortoises a horrible parasite outbreak.
    So I WAS careful and it still went badly.
    I would probably throw it all away.
    But that doesnt mean it's neccessary. It's just what I would do.
    And you did ask.;)
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  18. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    It’s all gone in the bin. The only thing I have kept are my thermostats which I will disinfect repeatedly. And the enclosure is still in place but I think it’s going to go. The next tortoise I get will be kept outdoors (adult rescue) so I shouldn’t need it. If I do, I can recreate it in a day easily (bookcase)
    Thanks all, I appreciate all of the advice
  19. AliG

    AliG Member

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    I am so sad to read your news :-(
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  20. Lyn W

    Lyn W Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I didn't know you had lost your tort.:(
    So very sorry to hear this.
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