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How Am I Doing With Cozmo?

Hatchling Hermann Sickness

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#1 Cozmo

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 04:12 AM

I'm a relatively new tortoise owner, I got Cozmo a few months ago, and I've been reading up on the susceptibility of sickness for Hermann hatchlings. I now find myself worrying about whether or not I'm taking the proper care of Cozmo.

Up until now, when I checked on him, he was usually sleeping under the basking light (95-100F) and borderline lethargic. I had him on reptibark for awhile but recently changed the substrate (which I'll get into later), and I hadn't bathed him as much as I should have, I supplied a constant water source however, by giving him a water bowl. I also spray the substrate daily. Since then I have changed the substrate to Mirical Grow's "Organic Choice", and have been bathing him daily. He seems to be less lethargic, but still often basks under the light. He has his eyes open when he is basking now which may be an indication of a healthier tort? I occasionally see him outside of the basking area but not as often as I would like. I may just be unnecessarily worried but I feel there is a slight chance of him being sick. I feed him 6 times a week, 5 days spring mix, 1 day a nutrient supplement. I also sprinkle calcium on his food. I have had some discrepancies as to how moist I should be keeping the enclosure, some say hatchlings need a lot of moister but the hermann's are a relatively dry species.

Is there anything else I could do to help him? Is what I am describing considered normal hatchling behaviour?

#2 Cozmo

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 04:42 AM

I also forgot to mention, the top of his shell near the back (right above his tail) has a little give to it. Is this like the underside of a hatchling? Where as they get older the shell hardens up? The shell is hard everywhere else.

#3 mildredsmam

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 05:24 AM

Hi, welcome to the forum. :)

Is it a tortoise table set up that you have for Cozmo, your basking temperatures are too high they need to be around 32c no higher really, do you know what temperature your getting at the cooler side, if their too hot they wont be as active the correct temperature is a must really, as well as the correct environment, I would change the substrate to just plain old topsoil or coco coir these are both good substrates to use, the substrate needs to be watered every now and then to keep it moist spraying it doesn't really work as it evaporates too fast. :)

Is he eating at all and is his nose clear etc, where is it you got him, from a breeder or a pet outlet, have you got a good uv source in the enclosure.

I would try and change his diet to a natural diet of weeds and plants you might find this helpful with that. http://www.tortsmad.com/diet.htm  :)



#4 wizzasmum

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 08:56 AM

Hi, welcome to the forum. :)
Is it a tortoise table set up that you have for Cozmo, your basking temperatures are too high they need to be around 32c no higher really, do you know what temperature your getting at the cooler side, if their too hot they wont be as active the correct temperature is a must really, as well as the correct environment, I would change the substrate to just plain old topsoil or coco coir these are both good substrates to use, the substrate needs to be watered every now and then to keep it moist spraying it doesn't really work as it evaporates too fast. :)
Is he eating at all and is his nose clear etc, where is it you got him, from a breeder or a pet outlet, have you got a good uv source in the enclosure.
I would try and change his diet to a natural diet of weeds and plants you might find this helpful with that. http://www.tortsmad.com/diet.htm  :)


I agree with Karen, temps need to be much lower. Sleeping under the basking lamp at this temp could be seriously dehydrating. Is it miracle grow compost from garden centres? If so, it's high in fertilisers, which could be very harmful to him. What supplements are you giving. If he is tiny and you are not supplementing, he could be seriously deficient. No, the shell being soft above the tail area is not normal and could mean he's not taking calcium in. Do you have pics? Hermanns do come from dry climates, but overnight at ground level humidity can be 100 % which is why they need humid hides to simulate this. Hermanns are particularly hardy and don't suffer so many ailments as some other popular species. Hope this helps ;)

#5 Cozmo

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 11:53 AM

Thank you for the responses! I will change the temperature right now, and I'm putting my thermometer in the cool side to get a read for later today.
I got cozmo at the Toronto pet exhibit from arachnophiliacs, they were one of the only tortoise breeders there. As for the supplement I use, it's zoo med gormet tortoise food.

I understand the give at the back of his shell may indicate calcium deficiency, so will the calcium I sprinkle on his food be sufficient or could I do more? I can't take pictures right now, so I'll post a reply later tonight giving you more detailed information on temperatures, as well as pictures.

I did research on the particular substrate I am using, and it does not contain fertilizer, the main worry for this bag is garbage being in the soil. I checked it thoughly and didn't find anything that could harm him, but I will switch the substrate to topsoil as soon as I can.
I'll get back to you soon!

#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 12:41 PM

I don't usually advocate the use of buying this way as there is a high risk of cross contamination from other species, which won't show immediately. Make sure he is well hydrated and don't offer artificial food as its high in protein and will only add to his problems. You need a calcium balancer with D3 in it. Have a look on Amazon for Nekton MSA. Only get the small size as its used very sparingly and will like go off before its used up. Looking forward to pics. Take care

#7 Cozmo

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 07:31 PM

Attached File  IMG_3804.JPG   17.99KB   2 downloads Attached File  IMG_3805.JPG   18.15KB   0 downloads Attached File  IMG_3807.JPG   27.64KB   0 downloads Attached File  IMG_3808.JPG   26KB   0 downloads Attached File  IMG_3801.JPG   29.47KB   0 downloadsMy basking temp is now 32C, and the cool side is between around 20C.

 

He is eating his food as you can see from the picture, I gave him the usual spring mix but I added a cucumber this time as they are practically water. He ate most of the cucumber,( which he has never done before).

 

I have the strip bulb over top of the enclosure as you can see from the picture, and I'm thinking his calcium deficiency may be the result of the uvb light not reaching him?

 

I just gave him a bath, and let him walk around my room on a towel to dry him off, and as soon as I put him back into his enclosure, he goes right for the basking light.

 

I put my hand in the soil and it seems to be nice and moist, so I don't think there is a problem with dehydration anymore..



#8 Cozmo

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 07:40 PM

UPDATE:
He moved out of his basking spot after a few minutes which is great, and moved to his food bowl and started eating the remains. I noticed he started biting his arms which scared me, he stopped after a few bites and went back to the food. I checked his arms and I didn't see any damage or food he was trying to get at. Why would he be doing this?

#9 wizzasmum

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 08:47 PM

Is that glass over the top? If so its not a good idea and won't allow correct heat or uvb penetration. Maybe he got cucumber juice on his front legs, which made him bite them. He's very young. What does he weigh? Is he burying under the soil at night and staying there? Why do you not feed him one day a week? This wouldn't happen in nature.

#10 Cozmo

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 08:54 PM

No it's not glass, it's hard to see from the picture but it's like a small window screen, it should allow for uva and uvb penetration:)

#11 Cozmo

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 09:10 PM

I don't have a scale to weigh him:/ and I've heard a lot of people say to only feed them 5 or 6 times a week, should I be doing 7? And I apologize for continuing to post multiple replies, it's a bad habit and I'll try to control it (;

#12 mildredsmam

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 04:15 AM

No it's not glass, it's hard to see from the picture but it's like a small window screen, it should allow for uva and uvb penetration:)

Hi, it's hard to see from the picture, but glass, window screens etc wont allow uv through, there is a product on the market that does but it's a bit expensive, is there a reason you have this on there as it would be better removed for better air flow and to allow the uv through. :)



#13 mildredsmam

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 04:21 AM

I don't have a scale to weigh him:/ and I've heard a lot of people say to only feed them 5 or 6 times a week, should I be doing 7? And I apologize for continuing to post multiple replies, it's a bad habit and I'll try to control it (;

It would be best if you could get some scales just so you can keep an eye on his weight, if you weigh him on a regular basis it will give you an indication of how he's doing, I would feed him every day just a little bit and once you have your scales you can keep a check on his weight gain, I would also try and get him eating some weeds as this is much better for him, he's lovely by the way. :)



#14 Cozmo

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 05:54 AM

Thank you! So what I understand is that the Issue with the back of his shell is likely due to the uvb not getting through. I'm glad I know what I believe to be the issue. I'll change my set up today to make sure the uvb is getting through, and I will alter his diet :) thank you all for your help, I may revisit this thread with updates in the future:)

#15 wizzasmum

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 12:13 PM

No it's not glass, it's hard to see from the picture but it's like a small window screen, it should allow for uva and uvb penetration:)


As uvb is much lower than the sun would give, I wouldn't screen it at all. I've read somewhere how much mesh reduces uvb, but don't have the stats here. It would be better to put a uvb strip below the screen really. Make sure he has a supplement with D3 which after all is what uvb is doing to his calcium intake. Nekton MSA is less than £10 from Amazon :)





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