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Rescue Tortoise- Shell Help & What To Do Next

shell new owner help

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#1 Sarahemily

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 10:05 AM

Hello,

I rehomed a 4 year old Hermann's tortoise on Sunday, I have wanted one for a while but decided I wanted to rescue instead of buy. When I saw the conditions Hermy was in I knew I had to take her! I'll try and attach pictures of her current table, but it's tiny I suspect the previous owners bought everything (including water bowl) when she was a baby and in 4 years has not adapted them to her size. They also only fed her mixed leaf lettuce bags from Aldi... every day... So after checking her over it looks as though her shell has either triangle or just you can see the ridges, I'm not sure how to explain it, again I'll try and attach a photo. So given the circumstances, what can I do about her shell and also how can I start to bring new food into her diet without her rejecting it?

(P.S is it normal for her to not have come out of hiding since Sunday even though she's still in the table until I make a new one this weekend? should I be taking her out of hiding for a bath or just leave her be?)

Sorry if this is a lot of information, I just want to do the right thing for her!

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#2 wizzasmum

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 11:03 AM

Well done on rehoming your little one. Firstly, the shell isn't too bad at all. It's overall nicely domed, but has a lot of fast growth showing. I'm not sure what you mean about ridges as ridges are a bad thing, not a good one. Maybe you e seen a fair few poorly grown ones and are thinking this is the norm. I'm guessing you are giving a good calcium balancer such as Nekton MSA. If not I would get some asap. What heat/ lighting are you offering? A good light and heat temp will assist with activity. It's early days yet though as tortoises don't like change, so are inclined to hide away for a time. You are lucky the previous owners gave it a lettuce mix and not just one variety, or even worse cabbage. You are right that it needs a bigger enclosure, outdoor would be even better and it doesn't need a hide end as it's better for tortoises to dig down overnight. Did you get papers with this little one?

#3 Sarahemily

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 11:17 AM

Oh good, I was worried her shell was really bad. By ridges I mean the fast growth, just couldnt find the right words, sorry!

Yes I've already started sprinkling her food with calcium dust. I'm currently using a combined UV and heat lamp, I've bought a dome for it that should be arriving today as the previous owners didn't have one (they gave me everything they had for her) so the bulb is bare and heat is not localised, so I assume it's not hot enough for her at the moment. The bulb they have provided me with is an Arcadia mini D3 80W bulb for basking and heat- I'm not too sure this will give off enough heat, I've also ordered a thermometer so I can find out what temp it's at, but the temp might change anyway when I build her a new table on Sunday, as it will be bigger I'm worried the other end of the table might not be warm enough if the lamp is at other end. I'm going to be keeping her inside, and will let her in the garden regularly throughout warmer months.

Yes I did get the certificate with her.

Sarah



#4 wizzasmum

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 01:53 PM

Growth rings should ideally be hardly visible, around the width of a thin pencil line. Make sure the supplement you use is not just calcium, but a proper balancer containing correct levels of D3, such as Nekton MSA. Calcium alone is not enough indoors as with the lack of sunlight D3 is critical. 80 watt won't be enough for a decent size table, I would go for 100-150 watt to cover a bigger area. You will need to raise the bulb higher to cover a bigger area. You don't need to heat the entire table, the tortoise will need a cooler area to sleep in. Normal house temps are fine for background heat.

#5 Sarahemily

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 01:58 PM

Okay thank you I will look at getting Nekton MSA. Which brand is best for bulbs of that wattage, Arcadia? I wonder if I can take it back to Pets at Home and exchange it for a higher watt, as they gave me a spare unused 80W bulb too.

Sarah



#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 03:55 PM

I only use Megaray bulbs now, they are much more reliable and give better temps than the one you mention ;)





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