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pygmy tortoise question


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#1 Guest_KatieAnnaNFrank_*

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 04:11 AM

My husband and I reccently bought a pygmy tortoise, her name is Shelby. She is our baby, she has a nice tank and since my husband works in produce she always has fresh romaine lettuce and a variety of vegatables. When we bought her the pet-store guy said she would only go to the bathroom when we soak her once a week, but this is not true. She goes to the bathroom EVERYWHERE, several times a night. I thought maybe it was because she got nervous when we took her out of the tank but she goes in the tank too. It gets all over her legs and tail, I don't mind cleaning her but I was wondering if this is normal or is she sick? Thank-you :)

-Katie Anna


#2 Guest_mic263_*

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 10:19 PM

hi i have never heard of a pygmy tortoise would love to see a picture.


#3 Guest_vwplaygirl_*

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 12:42 AM

hi there i myself have not heard of a pygmy but with ur tort she may be pooing loads due to her diet do u feed her just veg and what kind of veg ect ..also what is she housed in i also would love to see some pics the more info u can give the more help i could be able to give u luv becks xxxxxx i will help if i can


#4 Guest_vwplaygirl_*

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 12:58 AM

Dietary management
Tortoises which are provided with the incorrect diet for their species can suffer serious problems, particularly in respect of the liver and kidneys. If these are damaged, the risks associated with hibernation are very greatly increased. While some tropical tortoises and box turtles do require animal protein, desert species do not, and nor do 'common' or Mediterranean tortoises. So, despite what you may have read elsewhere, never provide meat products to 'common' tortoises. In the long term, it can and does kill. Tortoises require a diet which is HIGH in minerals and vitamins, LOW in fats and proteins and HIGH in dietary fiber. Meat products are totally the opposite, and lead to enhanced urea levels, which damage the kidneys and cause a massive build-up of fats in the liver. The high phosphorous content of most meat products also seriously affects the Calcium-Phosphorous (Ca:P) ratio of the diet, which in turn leads to acute nutritional osteo-dystrophy or "lumpy shell syndrome". Our own tortoises not only survive, but thrive without any meat products whatsoever, they breed successfully, and the hatchlings have beautiful, perfectly formed shells without lumps, bumps or pyramids. Living proof that claims of the "necessity" of meat for tortoises are entirely inaccurate.
Suitable dietary items for Mediterranean and Desert tortoises can include:

Romaine or red leaf lettuce, in very limited quantities. Never use head lettuces such as iceberg, head lettuces contain very little in the way of adequate vitamins or minerals. Opuntia (spineless) prickly pear cactus, pads and fruit. Sometimes referred to as "Nopales", the fruit are often referred to as "tunas", watercress, dandelion, naturally occurring non-toxic weeds, hibiscus flowers and leaves, white (Dutch) clover, both leaves and flowers, rose leaves and petals, and sowthistle.
Most land tortoises can and do fare quite well when allowed to graze, offering the other listed items as supplements. Twice weekly, a commercial food, such as Pretty Pets Tortoise Food, can be offered as a dietary supplement. Never offer cabbage, spinach, chard, bok choy, or any vegetable related to these, as they inhibit calcium absorption and can cause tremendous health problems. Add a mineral-vitamin supplement + extra calcium. The use of cuttlebone left in the enclosures allows tortoises to regulate the amount of calcium in the diet. Some tortoises like this very much, while others will not eat it. For those that won't, the use of a phosphorous free calcium supplement is recommended.
Grass is actually quite a useful food for tortoises (especially Desert, Leopard and African Spurred tortoises) , but is not adequate by itself. It is particularly useful as a source of dietary fibre. Certainly many giant tortoises enjoy it as part of their natural diet, and young grass shoots are equally favored by many other species. Dandelions and parsley are excellent, having a positive Ca:P ratio and being particularly rich in vitamin A (14,000 i.u/100g for dandelion, 11,000 i.u/100g in the case of parsley). When feeding weeds or wild flowers, be sure that they are free of weed killer or other lethal contaminants. On the same subject, never use slug pellets or other garden chemicals anywhere near tortoises....

hope this help it is a section from this site http://www.tortoiset...rg/backidx.html
as i do not know what type of tort this is u have i can not be much more help ...unless i hear from u again hope this does help u luv becks xxxxxxxxx




#5 Guest_KatieAnnaNFrank_*

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 12:54 AM

I hope she's a pygmy tortoise, thats what they told us... We don't really know much about tortoises I'm trying to learn more on the internet and I'm going to take her to a vet next week, we got her about 2 weeks ago and the petstore was kind of shady so I want to take her to the vet and make sure she's ok. She lives in a tank inside because we live in New York and it's cold outside, and I believe the species is from Africa so the New York weather would be waaay to cold. She eats lettuce, spinach, broccoli and sometimes a little bit of a sweet potatoe, also we but calcium powder on the food. Here's some pics. I hope you guys can help. :) Thanks!
-Katie Anna






#6 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 08:28 AM

Hi Katie Anna,
I'm not an expert, but it sure looks like a Russian Tortoise to me (Horsfield tortoise). If it is then you want to go to:
http://www.russiantortoise.org/
It's the best site for all the information you need to know about Russian Torts. And there is also a good forum at
http://groups.yahoo....ussianTortoise/
Most of the people on that forum are from the States, they will know about your particular climate conditions, etc. there are also lots of pictures of enclosures on their site (what you need is a tabletop enclosure - an open box - lots of people just use an old set of bookshelves on its back with the shelves taken out, or make one). Do go to the sites and check them out. There are also some pictures of tabletop enclosures on this site (click on 'pictures' at the top of the page).

He looks like a lovely tortoise, but he really shouldn't be in a glass tank (it is difficult to get the right temperatures in a vivarium - needs to be 90 degrees at the hot end and 70 at the cool end). Also, tortoises don't understand the concept of glass and will get frustrated trying to get out all the time. Pet shops sell people these glass tanks because they are profitable, but they are very bad for tortoises. Do you have a UVB light as well as a basking light? It's good that you're supplying a calcium supplement.

Sorry if I seem to be bombarding you with stuff, but you clearly love your tortoise and I know you'll do the best for him. He is lucky to have found such caring owners.


Nina


#7 Guest_vwplaygirl_*

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 11:05 AM

hi katie anna i also think it looks like a horsefield i will check with a few ppl and get back to you ... also glass enclosures or vivs are a big no no its no good for the little guy ..and his diet needs looking at this is why hes pooing like he is i think but im no expert myself ...
i will get back to you asap
luv becks xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
if u like email me aarabec@msn.com :*


#8 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 06:54 PM

Hi Katie Anna,

I should have said in my previous email how great horsfield tortoises are! They have loads of personality and are really intelligent (you can tell I'm the proud keeper of a horsfield). They don't come from Africa - they come from the deserts of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Northwestern China. They are very hardy as the environment they live in is very harsh (very hot summers and very cold, long winters), and in the wild they hibernate for up to 7 months of the year.

For this reason they are programed to eat as much as possible in a short space of time, so in captivity you need to ensure that they don't eat too much as this can cause the bumpy shells (called pyramiding) that some tortoises get, and it can be a symptom of metabolic bone disease, which is serious. So slow growth is the way to go -- people think about 1 or 2 gms a month is about right. Many people feed as much as they can eat in 20 minutes or no more. Some feed for an hour a day but then have a day with no food. I use the image of feeding as much as it would take to make a little jacket to fit over his shell (stupid image, I know, but it sort of works for me).

Anyway, enjoy your Russian Tort - I'm sure you'll become obsessed with him (if you aren't already!). And do go to the russiantortoise.org site that I mentioned in my earlier email - it's just packed with information. And the people on the forum link are really helpful too.

Nina




#9 Guest_jeff_*

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 07:46 PM

HI There yes it is a horsfield tortoise,They are escape artist.They are very good at climbing and borrowing to,they are great tortoise.


#10 Guest_vwplaygirl_*

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 08:21 PM

yes defo a horsfield .... hello there jeffy i told u u can run but u cant hide lol luv becks xxxxxxxxxxxx


#11 Guest_KatieAnnaNFrank_*

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 03:47 AM

Thanks guys for all your help! I'm glad to know what type of tortoise Shelby is so now I can find out more info on her. I'm going to make her a new living situation this weekend. I'll post pics :) Thanks xO

-Katie Anna


#12 Guest_vwplaygirl_*

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 07:45 AM

hi katie anna thats gr8 news hun keep us posted and u have my addy if u need any further help luv becks xxxxxxxxxxxxxx





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