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Hello From Hermione!


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#1 Hermione15

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 11:58 PM

Hello! 10 days ago I become the proud owner of Hermione, a six year old Hermann's tortoise. Like all newbies, I am both besotted and overly anxious, so I hope you don't mind me asking a few questions!
Hermione is 266 grams and approx. 4.5" in length (Can't be more specific until I've bought a tape measure!). She is having daily baths, pooing and passing urates well. She loves red lettuce and clover, but these are only given occasionally- I've trialled dandelions, plantain, thistle, geraniums, rose, lavender and African violet, but she only liked the thistle! I'm hoping she will grow to love her diet and I can find new things she likes.
My main concern is, is her weight about right for her size and age? I would attach a photo but I don't know how! I'm not planning on hibernating her this year as I want her to settle in first.
Many thanks for your help! Chris and Hermione
:-)

#2 wizzasmum

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 11:13 AM

Hi Chris. Welcome to the forum. Has your tortoise always been indoors or is she partly outside. It's impossible to say what is the right weight for a tortoise of any age, but she's not a bad weight for her age if that helps. In captivity they all grow at different rates, so as long as she is gaining weight slowly and getting correct light and heat levels, then that's a good sign. Red lettuce and clover are fine, but be careful with any shop bought plants and dont feed them to her until next year when all traces of pesticides, fertilisers etc have gone and only feed her new growth, not what was the plant when sold. If it helps none of mine eat roses, African violet or geraniums. Lavender is a good cover plant but again, mine don't eat it. Good luck with your new tortoise.

#3 Hermione15

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 02:46 PM

Thank you, that's really helpful advice! I took my two year old nieces out foraging today, and Hermione is now happily tucking in to dandelions, plantain and pansies from her new slate dining table! I think she was mostly kept indoors, but had access to a garden at times. I am keeping her indoors until she has got used to her new home, but we have a large garden for her to explore.
I'm making modifications to her table in the meantime, and expecting her UV light and topsoil (currently on pellets) to arrive this week. She seems happy, which is the main thing :-)

#4 wizzasmum

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 08:31 PM

You're doing a good turnaround for her Chris, you will see a difference next year ;)

#5 Hermione15

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 08:41 PM

Thank you, I hope so! She's amazing :)

#6 mildredsmam

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 11:17 AM

Hello! 10 days ago I become the proud owner of Hermione, a six year old Hermann's tortoise. Like all newbies, I am both besotted and overly anxious, so I hope you don't mind me asking a few questions!
Hermione is 266 grams and approx. 4.5" in length (Can't be more specific until I've bought a tape measure!). She is having daily baths, pooing and passing urates well. She loves red lettuce and clover, but these are only given occasionally- I've trialled dandelions, plantain, thistle, geraniums, rose, lavender and African violet, but she only liked the thistle! I'm hoping she will grow to love her diet and I can find new things she likes.
My main concern is, is her weight about right for her size and age? I would attach a photo but I don't know how! I'm not planning on hibernating her this year as I want her to settle in first.
Many thanks for your help! Chris and Hermione
:-)

Hi welcome to the forum. :)

If you would like to add a photo of her you can just click on more reply options, then attach a file that will bring your photos up, sorry im not quite sure how you do it from a mobile. :)



#7 Hermione15

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 08:35 PM

Ah brilliant, thanks for the advice! Here are a few shots of her (on the pellets I'm afraid). She's really enjoying her food now, I think I've given her a bit too much but she never eats it all, I'm looking forward to seeing her outside! I'm a complete amateur but I think she may have some pyramiding, hopefully someone in the know can give me their opinion. She's a dear little thing though 😀Attached File  image.jpg   42.13KB   3 downloadsAttached File  image.jpg   60.65KB   0 downloadsAttached File  image.jpg   64.24KB   0 downloads

#8 wizzasmum

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 09:48 PM

I'm afraid your tortoise has had a bad start to life Chris. She needs a serious beak trim and an X-ray by a specialist to see if she is suffering from metabolic bone disease. In her earlier life she has not had correct uvb lighting, supplementation and incorrect feeding and housing. She's possibly eaten the pellets which are dangerously high in protein. Does she walk on tip ties or close to the ground? She has a depressed spine, so needs lots of tlc. Are you giving her a good supplement?
I'd be looking at getting her checked by an exotics specialist pretty soon, so you can get her on the right track.

#9 Hermione15

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 09:59 PM

Oh no! Poor Hermione! How can you tell she has a depressed spine, and what can I do to help her with this? She won't die will she? I know she was given calcium daily, but I have bought nutroban (not sure I've spelt that right- but it was one thar was recommended on here)- should I give this daily, along with calcium? I could see her beak was long, which is why I got her the slate, but I didn't know they could be trimmed. Anyone know of a good specialist vet near Brighton? I'm really sad for her, I read up loads before I got her but didn't realise she was so unwell. On the plus side, her eyes are bright and she is eating/ drinking/pooing well.

#10 wizzasmum

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 11:25 PM

You can tell by the shape of her shell. If you look from the side you will see it slopes away to the rear. When looked at from above, you shouldn't be able to see the pattern of the marginal scutes, but on her you can, as she is rather flattened instead of highly domed. She won't be able to get rid of such a long beak on a slate, it needs to be trimmed. Get a specialised vet to do it as when they gave MBD the jaws can be weak, so extra care needs to be taken. Don't give her calcium and nutrobal together. Give her nutrobal daily on her food and leave her a dish of limestone flour to help herself as she needs it. Make her enclosure as interesting and large as you can as exercise helps the bones. Keep her well hydrated and off those pellets ASAP. I don't personally know of a vet near to you, but there is a list here if it helps www.tortsmad.com/vets.htm
You should never hibernate a tortoise with this condition as there is not enough body space within the shell.

#11 Hermione15

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 07:12 AM

Thank you so much for all your help. I didn't sleep last night worrying about her! So, up early for a bath, weeds and a run around the house (I don't want to put her out at the moment until she has been checked over).
She IS walking on her tiptoes, which is good, but maybe slightly lower on her back legs? Almost like she's dragging them ever so slightly, but I'm not sure what is normal!
Did you mean never to hibernate her, or just not until she's better? Do you think she will get better? I know you can't possibly know for sure, but I don't know what recovery rates are like for depressed spine/ MBD. I'm going to do absolutely everything you advise because I love her to bits and I feel responsible for taking her on in such a bad state, although I suppose at least now I can do my best for her.
Once again, thanks so much for your expert advice! Chris and Hermie x

#12 wizzasmum

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 07:12 PM

The lower, weaker back legs is typical of MBD. Keep calcium levels high and don't feed anything from the cabbage family including, spinach, cauliflower leaves etc. No, never hibernate her, although the shell strength can improve, she will always have limited space inside for internal organs, so it would always be a risk. Also never let her near to a male as it might be impossible to pass eggs if space between carapace and plastron is narrow. This would be a serious problem. I would certainly have her xrayed by a specialist vet, who will probably also take bloods to assess how serious the condition is. Good luck ;)

#13 Hermione15

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 09:27 PM

Thanks, well at least I know what to do now. She has had a good old run around tonight and the UVB light has arrived so we're getting there slowly :)

#14 wizzasmum

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 09:30 PM

Give as much uvb as you can, at least 10 %, but as mentioned it's very important to see a specialist as MBD does need specialist treatment. Don't let her run around the house, just the correct setup.

#15 Hermione15

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Posted 25 October 2015 - 11:27 AM

Just a quick update, Hermione is now on topsoil and is charging around her table, which I think means she is a bit perturbed by it all! She is constantly muddy, as she keeps going in her water bowl, is this ok? Seems to be rubbing her eyes a bit since the change over which she wasn't before, so I think she may have got it in her eye- still looking bright and wide eyed though. I'm hoping she learns to dig soon!
Her walking seems to have improved (a bit higher at the back) although obviously not perfect. Unfortunately the lamp for my UVB bulb seems to have a loose connection so I'm replacing it today. Just a quick question- at the moment she is indoors, our house is pretty warm so 20-22c overnight- is this too much, or should I be treating her like a sick tort with slightly higher temps anyway?
She is exploring new foods, marigolds, cow thistle, cats ear, as well as plantain and dandelion, dusted with nutrabal. Going to the vets to get a beak trim this week. Thanks :)

#16 wizzasmum

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Posted 25 October 2015 - 01:24 PM

Sounding good, although improvement in MBD can take years, so lots of patience required. Do make sure that your vet is a specialist as otherwise it will just be wasted money. You need to see bone density and shell density too.

#17 Hermione15

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Posted 25 October 2015 - 04:11 PM

Thank you, I am going to go for the consultation and hopefully a beak trim (if they seem ok), then decide whether to trust them with the rest! There are several that say they are specialists so I will keep trying until I find one I'm happy with! I think she's walking better just because it's easier on topsoil than pellets. :)

#18 wizzasmum

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Posted 25 October 2015 - 05:36 PM

Do let us know how you get on. A good vet will advise both bloods and X-ray for mbd. There are some which will say that if the shell is hard you have nothing to worry about, so that should give you an idea of how clued up they really are ;) good luck




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