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Bath Time Blues & Urates

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#1 Guest_Chrissyan_*

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 07:47 PM

My question is two fold. In the seven months we have had Rufus, he has never ever liked a bath, he must be a boy! We usually use a plastic takeaway container with luke warm water, he never drinks, wees (as far as I am aware) or poos in the bath. That could of course be because he never stays in long enough. He usually starts to try and clamber out after about two minutes and we usually give in and remove him after about 5. He has never ever had a 20 min bath since he has been with us.

He does always have a shallow dish of water on his table, which he regularly ploughs through if nothing else, looking at the mess he leaves it in, I have seen him drinking from it on occasions. We spray his substrate and his food with water, so I never had any reason to think he might be dehydrated.

Following on from my conversation with Kelly on May 22nd at 10.16 PM : http://www.hermann-t...496 about urates, I am now a little concerned that Rufus may be dehydrated, although he doesn't seem to have any symptoms and seem fine and healthy and eats well, what does everyone think? I am a bit worried after reading the Tortoise Trust link Kelly put up.

My second question is connected it is regarding how to get him to like his bath and what we are doing wrong. Please can someone give advice on bathing, what is the best material for a bath to be made of and how do you keep the water from cooling off too much?

#2 Kelly


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Posted 24 May 2012 - 08:03 PM

I think all tortoises are different, some like their baths.... others don't!!

I put Norman in the kitchen sink! It's nice and deep and he can't see out, so maybe that's why he stays in there for 20 mins with no issues. I make sure it's nice and warm and lap it gently over his shell and head when he first gets in and then he simply stretched his little legs out, loving every minute of it. :) The only time he tries to get out is after he's weed, passed his urates and pooed!!

When I first got him he was severely underweight and Andy from the tortoise trust said because he'd been kept in a viv, there was a good chance he was dehydrated. It was confirmed for me because he was passing, chalky, gritty urates for a few months until he got it all out of his system!!

You won't really know if Rufus is dehydrated until you get a look at his urates. They should look like toothpaste. Try him in the sink with the techniques I've mentioned, lapping the water over him and leave him there until he passes something! Top up the warm water every now and then, because I find if it gets too cold Norman wants to get out too.

I shouldn't worry about not seeing him drink. I've only ever seen Norman drink once since I got him in Sept. If he has water in his enclosure, he'll be drinking when he needs it. :)

#3 Greenslider


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Posted 24 May 2012 - 08:48 PM

I was bathing in a separate container and they were always scrabbling to get out. Finally, I bought a slightly larger turtoise water dish..you know the resin ones in the shops with the little in built ramp. i merely place this in their table under a lamp ( not their MVB,,just a 40w thing) and they sit in this set up til they are kicked out or food arrives..

#4 Hettie


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Posted 24 May 2012 - 08:52 PM

If you are using a takeaway tub is it transparent? Torties will try and clamber through to where they can see if it is? I use an icecream tub for bathing little ones. One that can't be seen through. :)

Paula x

#5 Guest_Chrissyan_*

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 09:10 PM

Thanks for your replies everyone. The takeaway container is not really see through, it is kind of white/opaque (you can see a little through it, but not much I am not really sure I want him in and especially passing anything in my kitchen sink, :blink:

It does however make it easier to to top up the warm water.. I think I may look for a different type of container to bath him in and perhaps try like Greenslider, to put it in his table under his heat lamp.

I will let you know if I get him to say in his bath and if I see any urates.


#6 Guest_Chrissyan_*

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 10:43 AM

Yesterday I bought Rufus a white ceramic roasting dish from Asda, don't worry I am not going to roast him, ;) At £2.50, it was far cheaper than anything from a pet shop. I will see if he is happier bathing in that.

As I was in possession of my son's debit card, to buy more tops soil et,c I bought some Readigrass to try, that I couldn't source locally, so ordered it on line. My son doesn't know about that little addition to his bill yet lol As far as I am concerned, if he wants a tortoise, he has to be prepared to pay for whatever it needs, even if it is decided by me. Iain & I seem to do most of the care, so the least he can do is pay. Posted Image

EDIT: Thinking about it, perhaps white wasn't best colour if I am hoping he will pass urates and I will see them. Posted Image

#7 jeanette


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Posted 26 May 2012 - 09:33 PM

My top tips for successful bathing is..

Do it as soon as they wake in the morning before they get warm.. I have to do this with cola and I end up having to get her out..I have the water nice and warm (like a babies bath)
I use a large cat litter tray, and she loves to rest her head on the edge. When she is gravid and won't stay still for a second I even resort to hand feeding her whilst she is in the bath..

Jeanette x

#8 Guest_Chrissyan_*

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:17 AM

Bathing Rufus as soon as he wakes up is not an option, his actual owner, my son, is permanently on 6am to 2pm shift Monday to Friday with his apprenticeship. He leaves the house at 5.40 am. My partner and I (who actually do most of the caring,) leave the house at 06.20 Posted Image and get back home about 4.15 pm, if we come straight home that is, when it's not supermarket shopping day or something.

Yesterday we actually had our first taste of the nice weather the rest of the country have been enjoying. Every other day it has been marred by sea mist and/or cold winds off the sea. Posted Image

It was probably only about 18ºC, but warm in the shelter of our south facing back garden. I sat and sunbathed for two hours Posted Image Rufus got a little longer. I bathed him in the garden in his new 'bath' out in the sun. I kept topping up to make sure the water didn't go cold. I left him in for nearly the full 20 mins, it was hard. After two mins, he started to determinedly try to scrabble out, moving every now and again to a different spot to try to get out. I gently poured water over him with a little scoop, I stoked his shell and talked to him, but he just wanted to be out.

The end result? No drink, no wee, no poo, no urates and both of us distressed. Posted Image

We do actually have an unused cat little tray in the shed, but to be honest Jeanette, I don't think it will make a great deal of difference.

#9 Guest_Chrissyan_*

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 04:40 PM

Things have improved slightly with a bigger warmer bath, but he still doesn't like them much. :rolleyes: However today, he did pass urates in the bath. This is only the second time I have seen them since October. He didn't poo in his bath, but as he had left a big one by his eating area, I wasn't expecting one.

#10 Guest_Chrissyan_*

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 10:13 PM

So basically what you are saying Ozric is that we don't need to worry too much? We seemed to hit on the right water bowl first time by accident. It is a very shallow saucer from an old gravy boat and yes we do keep it in the same place. Originally it was temporary, but as he seems to like it, we kept it. I see him in there most days. :)

#11 Peter29


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Posted 17 June 2012 - 12:52 PM

I use two plastic containers. I put one with hot water under the other one with lukewarm water. I think it is a effective and simlpe way to keep the bathing water for the tort from cooling off too much.

#12 Guest_Chrissyan_*

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 05:27 PM

That sounds a very good idea Peter. Posted Image

#13 louy06


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Posted 19 June 2012 - 06:12 PM

Nettle enjoys a bath first thing when she wakes up and if you dont get her in within 20 minutes of her waking up she will try to scramble out of her bath! I use a washing up bowl and lap water over her which she loves! She never, ever wee's or poo's in the bath ... but always waits until I place her on a towel afterwards! You have to love them! :wub:


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