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#1 Piddy123

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 07:07 AM

Hi,

Sorry for the odd question, but was wondering if anyone has experienced the same.

A couple of times Trev seems to have trouble when pooing. It's as if it gets stuck.

He is bathed first thing in a morning for about 15-20 mins.

I have had to ease it out the last couple of times.

Please let me know if I'm doing anything wrong.

Thanks

Chris

#2 Kelly

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:11 PM

What kind of things are you feeding him, Chris?

#3 Piddy123

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:23 PM

At the moment its mainly dandelion leaves, blueberry and strawberry leaves, clovers and some dried tortoise mix flowers. He has calcium supplement sprinkled on daily too.

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 01:12 PM

What substrate are you using and are you watering it? If kept too dry, no amount of bathing will stop him getting too dry, especially if small as babies can dehydrate in a matter of minutes. What temp is your hot spot? . Dried flowers will not help either, as if freeze dried, they are of a different composition to naturally sun dried flowers. they can in themselves cause dehydration. Tortoise Nutrition group do not recommend deliberately dried flowers and weeds and state that they can actually be harmful.
Hope this helps

#5 Kelly

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 02:44 PM

How about upping the fibre content in his diet with some pre alpin?

http://www.tortoisel...co.uk/page8.htm

If the poo is not properly formed he may have trouble passing it. ;)

#6 Piddy123

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 05:36 PM

I am using a top soil substrate which is watered daily whilst he is in his bath. His temperature under his lamp is around 34 degrees and 20 degrees in the shade area.

I will stop using the dried tortoise mix, I didn't realise it was harmful and will try some pre alpin instead.

Thanks for your help and the link attachment.

Chris



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Posted 11 October 2012 - 06:17 PM

I am using a top soil substrate which is watered daily whilst he is in his bath. His temperature under his lamp is around 34 degrees and 20 degrees in the shade area.

I will stop using the dried tortoise mix, I didn't realise it was harmful and will try some pre alpin instead.

Thanks for your help and the link attachment.

Chris


I would be very careful with any dried food if he is having constipation problems and increase hydration, humidity etc first I would also introduce opuntia or aloe to the diet, which will not put any overload on the kidneys. What species are we talking about here?

#8 Piddy123

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 07:55 PM

He is a Testudo hermann and hatched in 2010. Is there any way I can encourage him to drink more? He doesn't appear to have been near his water bowl today.

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 09:08 AM

I'm not sure what the TT said about pre-alpin, I know they put it above other dried foods, but feel it's a bit of a dodgy choice if there is obviously a hydration/constipation issue to be honest. Not sure if the TT or any other organisation have commented on that. I tend to stay well away from dried foods, for the reason given by Tortoise Nutrition. I know Annie has made a statment on her discussion group about it and being an animal nutritionist, I tend to go along with what she says ;) If the OP is giving a ture description of what her torts are eating, it would seem the fibre is not in question here - just my thoughts ;)

#10 Kelly

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 09:53 AM

A fibre rich diet and lots of fluids are the best way to alleviate constipation.

Pre alpin is one of the foods that the Tortoise Trust recommends when a tortoise is suffering from constipation...... It is also a particularly useful food source when overwintering as it increases a tortoises much needed fibre intake. ;)

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 12:47 PM

Ah, that makes more sense Ozric. I've not used it so wanted to know more about it. I know animals eat dreid stuff in the wild at teh end of the season, but that is not quite the same as specially dried foods that use a much quicker process. Leaves, dried slowly in the sun are more or less the same composition as what they were when growing, whereas freeze dried foods change composition completely - must check with what Annie says about that. I know TT take a lot of advise from her, having done a lot of research alongside her, this is why I ALWAYS take her advice as she is so much more knoweldgeable than most of us ;) I only use dried food in an absolute emergency and never for convenience, as manage to find enough stuff to keep my lot going until hibernation time ;)

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 12:52 PM

A fibre rich diet and lots of fluids are the best way to alleviate constipation.

Pre alpin is one of the foods that the Tortoise Trust recommends when a tortoise is suffering from constipation...... It is also a particularly useful food source when overwintering as it increases a tortoises much needed fibre intake. ;)


Yes, the same applies to humans, but as this little one seems to have additional problems, I would always be wary of just bulking up in case of a gut problem, such as narrowing of the gut or a bowel loop as can happen in some cases. If a tortoise is always constipated, where it's companion is not, I personally would be looking at there being possibly something else going on there other than the normal case of constipation.

Just my thoughts of couse but I always try to look past eh obvious just in case it might make matters worse ;)



#13 Kelly

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 03:47 PM

Here's Norman enjoying some mixed with his weeds. ;)

Posted Image

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 04:31 PM

Here's Norman enjoying some mixed with his weeds. ;)

Posted Image





Def not trying to be pedantic here, but what is it supposed to do for the animal as opposed to a wild natural diet? I tend to liken these things to artificial human baby food etc lol

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 04:38 PM

I found Annies document if anyone would like to see it. I have copied and pasted it from her site, which I am sure she will not mind. It can also be found on the yahoo groups TortoiseNutrition discussion group. She explains it far better than I can lol


Dried Weeds-Friend or Foe?




Some dried "weeds," herbs, etc. are FAR from healthy.



Alfalfa is a perfect example. Far too high in vegetable protein, and can cause problems with pyramiding, bladder stones, MBD, etc. Some of the clovers are also packed with proteins...as are other plants that might seem harmless at first.

A few species of tortoise do eat dried plants during the heat of summer. Take Gopherus (desert tortoises) or Sulcata, even some of the Testudo species.



The "green" season in arid areas is very short, sometimes lasting only a couple of weeks. When
anything (and everything) green dries up, they're left with dried plant matter. This is not the same type of plant matter as commercially harvested plants.

If in their native environment, they instinctively know what to eat. Most of what remains after spring are dried GRASSES, and a few forbs. This gives them the roughage they need, and is an important (and critical) part of any arid species' diet.

What many people do not realize is that a dried plant harvested commercially (depending on species) is usually far more concentrated than if left in the ground to dry up and DIE...because these items are harvested when they are in full leaf and very much ALIVE. Does this make sense? They don't get the chance to dry out, turn brown, put their remainng energy (proteins) into seed, bulbs, or runners and THEN die, they are green and lush (and therefore much more concentrated) when harvested.

Alfalfa is an absolutely classic example.

As always, try to mimick the native food preferences of the species if possible. Growing what we can is best. If not possible, make sure the choices made are LOW in protein, LOW in goitrogens, LOW in phosphorus, HIGH in calcium, LOW in moisture content, LOW in oxalates, and HIGH in fiber content. A few dried dandelion leaves, and a few others are OK of course...but a steady diet of nothing but protein packed plants (regardless of plant species, dry or "in the ground") with a bad calcium to phosphorus ratio will put a tortoise at risk for a lot of health problems.

Keep in mind that some species (such a Redfoots) can tolerate a little bit more vegetable protein, and occasional animal protein.




If someone still wants to bite your head off, feel free to use this post.

Here is a chart that may be helpful:


http://turtlestuff.com/avoidthese.html



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Annie Lancaster
Director
TortoiseAid Int'l Inc.
Apple Valley CA 92307 USA

http://tortoise-aid.org
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#16 Kelly

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 04:48 PM

Def not trying to be pedantic here, but what is it supposed to do for the animal as opposed to a wild natural diet? I tend to liken these things to artificial human baby food etc lol


You can't get more natural than dried cocksfoot, amaranth, meadow fescue, dandelion, false oat grass, yorkshire fog, lady's mantle, english plantain, bush vetch, cats tail, crested dogs tail, perennial ryegrass, alpine meadow grass, clover, common yarrow, ladys bedstraw, meadow fescue...... all plants that tortoises consume as part of a natural blanced diet if foraging in the wild..... ;)

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 04:54 PM

OK this is where we have to agree to disagree Kelly - as Annie says, commercially grown is not the same and not natural and I would def not recommend it if there is still natural 'growing' food around. A lot of those plants are not found in the tortoises natural terrain, so I'm still going to wowrry about it being too widely as a convenience food. Just my thoughts. If on the other hand you can come back in twenty or thirty years time and say 'Hey, look at what this has done for my tortoise' as opposed to 'look what this has done to my tortoise' I may think again ;)

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 05:32 PM

I'd love to see how it is dried and how long they think it will stay viable for. I would expect it to have a shorter shelf life than freeze dried. I do have more faith in the German way of tort keeping on the whole, they are usually way ahead of the rest of the world. I would prefer to see more plants from the Med included though rather than German native flowers. None of my hermanns digest grasses well, so that would be a bit of a waste to my mind as it's not exaclty cheap pound for pound :(
Mefeels a mail coming on :)

#19 Hettie

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 08:53 PM

Hi Sue,

I was really interested to read Annies thoughts on dried weeds. I have wondered about this for some time.
I had heard that the compounds were different in dried weeds but found a German site that suggested the only difference was ... water! :D I thought I must be missing something... it doesn't take much.. and chickened out of offering the sowthistle plants I had dug up and hung upside down to dry.
Although I must admit my main reason for offering these was the worry that if they hadn't dried quickly enough they may have turned mouldy!!

Paula x

#20 Kelly

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 08:15 AM

Sue it's natural organic pasture in Germany and from what I have been able to find out its just like a meadow. They cut it and dry it in what they claim is natural way. So I think this is one of the better ones in terms of dried stuff. But I agree that a lot of those plants do not occur in the region where the hermanns live.


...... and I wonder how much of what we feed here in the UK is actually found in their native environment?. :hmm:

OK this is where we have to agree to disagree Kelly - as Annie says, commercially grown is not the same and not natural and I would def not recommend it if there is still natural 'growing' food around. A lot of those plants are not found in the tortoises natural terrain, so I'm still going to wowrry about it being too widely as a convenience food. Just my thoughts. If on the other hand you can come back in twenty or thirty years time and say 'Hey, look at what this has done for my tortoise' as opposed to 'look what this has done to my tortoise' I may think again ;)


This is one of the few dried tortoise foods that the Tortoise Trust advocates due to it's high fibre content. They state that it helps with problems like diarrhoea and constipation and recommend it during the winter months as part of their diet if overwintering. ;)

As Andy Highfield states:
"While it is the case that on the surface pelleted foods may appear to be an attractive means of providing dried vegetation to captive tortoises, most - as noted - fail in a number of critical respects. The development of pelleted foods that include a high proportion of very long fibres, coarse, large particles and an appropriate protein and trace-element content should not be impossible, however. Some commercial manufacturers have already moved in that direction (Pro-Alpinand Pre-Alpin Testudo). These products are unusual in that they include a much broader diversity of plant species than typical mass-produced pellet feeds, and they omit the potentially very damaging grain and maize-based derivatives included in most other commercial offerings. They also have crude fibre and protein levels that more closely approximate that of the typical wild diet."

You can read the full research findings here: http://www.tortoiset...etaryfibre.html




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