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Tortoise Toileting

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#1 Guest_terrance_*

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 10:19 AM

Hello my tortoise is 1yr 8 mthsI got him in April this year. I am worried about hibernating him this year as he is still only small so probably wont unless advised otherwise. I have a concern though as i have noticed a couple of time'e recently that when he has gone to the toilet (wee) it is a white ish colour his Poo is normaland his behaviour is normal. He wonders around the front room and can get in and out of his Vivarium as and when he likes which he does. He is quite content and seems very happy this way, there is nothing that he can eat that he shouldn't and I do not have any other pets. Do you know what the reason for this could be or is it nothing to worry about, the first day i brought him home he weeded a white ish colour but since then I have not noticed this until recently I have noticed it about 3 times now mainly after bathing. Just worried he might be poorly. I mainly feed him greens and for treats now and again some cucumber / tomato / fruit. I normally feed him every other day as he his only yound still and don't want to over feed him.
Please advise.
Many Thanks
xxx :(

#2 Guest_milou1_*

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 01:00 PM


See below regarding white in their wee. Its from the Tortoise Trust Website. Worth looking there for loads of care tips. Also, there's some great info on this forum plus loads of good support too. I've found it invaluable as a relative 'newby' Happy reading.

1) My turtle / tortoise's droppings / urine is white! What does this mean and what should I do? What do normal droppings look like and how often is "normal"?

[Alex {Carter}Dempsey] The white substance is urates (concentrated uric acid). It's a perfectly normal product of protein metabolism, but if it's being passed more than a couple of times a week, it can indicate too much protein in the diet.

Urates should be anything from totally liquid, to about the same consistency as toothpaste. If they're hard or gritty when they're expelled, this indicates dehydration (which is common in terrestrial species kept in vivaria) and if left untreated, dehydration rapidly proves fatal. The tortoise should be bathed immediately by standing it in a bath of shallow, luke-warm water. This should be done daily, until the urates return to normal. Generally, this bathing should be done two to three times every week (more often for hatchlings, who can dehydrate more rapidly than adults).

#3 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 04:05 PM

Hi Gemma,

Milou has given you the definitive info on urates - it's perfectly normal unless it's sandy/gritty. Re the 'treats' - do cut out the cucumber, tomato, and definitely cut out the fruit. Tortoises aren't designed to digest fruit and it can cause a bloom of the wrong sort of flora in their guts (and tomato is a fruit). The only time I use cucumber (which has no nourishment and is mostly water) is in the summer when it's hot and I think my tort needs some extra water, or when I need to give medication (I smear it on a piece of cucumber and he eats it with gusto). A great treat for a tortoise is a piece of opuntia cactus pad (with all the spines and hairs removed first by burning them off). Get yourself an opuntia from a garden centre and cut little chunks off for treats and your tortoise will love you even more!


#4 Guest_terrance_*

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 08:38 AM

Thank you very much for this information, I am very relieved to hear it is quite normal. I will take your advise on the cucumber and Fruit and will look out for one of those plants and get Terrance a christmas treat...
Any other advise on what to feed them is must appreciated, are there any other plants I can get which would be nice for terrance and that I can have indoors for this time of year, I don't have any plants in my garden as we have not lived there long so also what should i look out for to plant when it come's to spring.
Thanks again for your advise.
Have a good weekend.


#5 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 12:51 PM

Hi Terrance,

The best diet for tortoises is weeds, which, of course, are harder to find in the winter, but if you go to a park or field (where they haven't sprayed insecticide) you can still find lots of dandelions, plantain, clover, etc.). And if you've just moved in and there aren't any plants in your garden yet, then I bet you've got some weeds growing there (not all weeds are good - stick to the ones on the lists below, but you're always safe with dandelions, plantain, and sowthistle). In winter you can feed partly from a salad pack called Floretti Crispy that they sell in most supermarkets (everything in that mixture is good for tortoises), water cress (not the salad cress that comes in little punnets - that is a different plant), romaine lettuce. But this should be supplemented with weeds if possible. It is easy to grow your own weeds indoors in the winter. There is a great seed mixture specially formulated for tortoises available here:
8 sounds like a lot for 100 gms, but they last a really long time (I grew lots of little trays of seeds last winter and I still have three quarters of the bag left).
And check out these sites for lists of edible plants:

And don't forget to dust his food with limestone flour (available from horsefeed suppliers or from the Shelled Warriors shop on
and a small pinch of Nutrobal twice a week.


#6 Guest_terrance_*

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 04:41 PM

Hi Nina

Thank you for that information its a great help. I will have a look out in the garden for the weeds you mentioned and try these out.
I will also check the websites out for extra advise.
Thanks again have a good Christmas and a Happy New Year.


#7 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 09:52 PM

Hello Terrance
Any weed name that you don't know on Lins web site, type it into Google and click on image.

Food for now if you really can't find anything.
Cos/ Romaine Lettuce, Floretti CRISPY salad bag, Rocket, Water cress,
There is also a plant list on this site as tortoises love flowers favourites include Hibiscus, Laverta, Petunia and Campanula

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