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onions just got back from the vet...

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#1 Guest_markf_*

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 05:23 PM

Well we went to the vets, to see the reptile expert. He was a mad professor type of chap who obviously was passionate about reptiles and tortoises. He has tortoises of his own and breeds them. He has some hatchlings.

All well and good i thought until he said to change thier substrate. I had taken him in a box with a layer of tortoise substrate because i had some in the cupboard. I said "oh we dont always use that, we use top soil." He said not to use that either! He said the tortoises can ingest it with thier food , or may sometimes just eat it, and he has seen cases of internal blockages and even death!

I thought, well that sounds fair enough, i have seen the boys eating thier substrate before.... He suggested i use carpet tiles and newspaper, and to have some large slate stones etc. (fair enough).

I said that from next year they will be outside, thinking to myself thier new enclosure is all topsoil! He said he has a large run he moves around the lawn so they dont have the risk of eating soil.....

Im not overly concerned he was a bad expert giving bad advice, because there was no doubt he knew his stuff. At a glance he aged onion acurately and seemed thorough about checking his eye, and im sure he has seen examples of stupid tortoises eating to much substrate and getting poorly!!

So i thought i would just run it past you. Not really to slate the guy or to change our substrate etc, just to say, have you heard of that being an issue?? Pickle and onion definitely do eat thier substrate sometimes!

Anyhow the eye like i thought isnt to bad, it just has a mild infection, i have been given MAXITROL eye drops to use for the next three weeks. Ill start using them tomorrow unless you guys say "DONT USE THOSE DROPS!!!". HA!

They need to be used for three weeks. Looks like an overwinter this year....

#2 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 06:20 PM

Hi Mark

What you have to remember about reptile or tortoise vets, is they are great with their insides and infections etc. But mostly have no idea about husbandry. If soil was that bad for them, there would not be any tortoises in the wild:0)
How on earth can a female lay eggs in a carpet tile or newspaper?
How do they hibernate in the wild, in soil.
I have no idea about the drops, but if you felt confident in his medical abilities, then go with it.

#3 Guest_markf_*

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 06:58 PM

Ha! ok i guess the drops should be ok. I just remember there were some drops people said if a vet gives them to you dont use them?? I guess next time i have to go to the vet ill find another one. It does seem pretty rediculous to say dont use soil.

#4 Guest_jay_*

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 08:20 PM

Hi Mark,
I was reading my russian tort book last night as i had to wait 3 hours for my daughter and i read about substrates and impaction i will put what it says....It is commonly believed that some substrates such as sand,soil,gravel and some mulches pose a risk of gut impaction,impaction of the digestive system occurs when the tortoise ingests something that blocks the digestive tract,so the tortoise can no longer digest or pass its food.The tortoise eventually suffocates or the gut ruptures due to a build up of fluid and food that it cannot pass.Why tortoises ingest the substrate is a topic of much debate.However it is believed that if all of the enviromental conditions are correct and the tortoise is well fed and well hydrated,impaction is of little or No concern,it may help to feed tortoise on piece of slate or dish to avoid substrate ingestion.I have a few tortoise books and there are always contradictions.
I will always use top soil,like Sandy says there would be no tortoises in the wild and how could they dig and lay there eggs,he sounds as if he's a bit O.T.T.
I hope Onion's eye soon get's better,give her a chin tickle from me.
JAY,H,Becky and Humpty

#5 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 08:23 PM

Who was the vet Mark?
Just wondering if I have heard of him/her?

#6 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

Guest_Freddy McGavin_*
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Posted 24 November 2010 - 09:59 PM

That's the trouble with the mad professor types. They tend to intellectualize things when what is needed is practical experience and common sense!!! rolleyes.gif I came across a lot of them at Uni !!! wink.gif
Freddy biggrin.gif

#7 Guest_markf_*

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 03:13 PM

Ha! well i guess his line of reasoning completely removes that risk, but like you say it cant be a natural way of living for them!! Oh well now for the anti biotic eye drops and trying to keep him warm. Freezing here today!

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