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Keeping Tortoises With A Weakened Immune System


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#1 Flora

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 01:22 PM

Hi all,

For as long as I can remember I've always wanted a tortoise. Having spent the last 6 months or so extensively researching tortoises and their requirements I am as keen as ever. However I have an auto immune condition called lupus and I'm obviously aware most people advise against keeping tortoises due to the salmonella aspect regarding these reptiles. My question is to whether anyone who is in a similar position and keeping a tortoise or whether I should just accept that this isn't a good idea. Any advice or guidance would be very much appreciated. Thanks

#2 wizzasmum

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 04:21 PM

Hi there. I know of several people who keep tortoises with autoimmune disorders. I have to admit I didn't know there was a direct problem between salmonella and immune problems. Is that just because you have to be careful re infection? I know of people with MS, rheumatoid arthritis etc who keep tortoises with no problems, all of them long term keepers. It's always important to be careful to avoid cross contamination, so be careful with hand washing etc, but as far as I know most tortoise problems are not transmissible to other species, according to one of the vets on another group. Hope this helps, sorry not be more helpful.

#3 Flora

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 06:20 PM

Thank you for your response. It's good to know that other people with auto immune conditions keep tortoises.. I'd read in a couple of pages during my research that people with weakened immunity should avoid all reptiles due to the increased risks of associated with that possible infections but like you say as long as your careful with hand hygiene etc.

#4 wizzasmum

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 09:56 PM

I've kept and bred them for over thirty years now and haven't come across a problem, but it's always best to be cautious. I would expect there to be less risk with captive bred, but then a risk is a risk I suppose. Both my daughter and granddaughter have been immunosupressed and neither had a problem. Good luck and if you need any advice on keeping a little one, there's always someone here to help out.

#5 Flora

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 04:51 PM

Thanks for all your advice.. I've decided that I'm definitely going to be getting one. During my research I noticed you are a breeder of Hermann tortoises in the Shropshire area. Would it be better to wait till the spring now to purchase one? I haven't got a setup sorted yet and don't want to rush putting one together.

#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 05:30 PM

I'm sure you won't regret it Flora they are very addictive. I have little ones, but still very small. The biggest is 25 grams and I like them to be 30 grams before they go, to give them a good start in life. I let them go at all times of the year, so long as people have the right set up for them. This is how I keep my tiny one www.tortsmad.com/hatchlings.htm and here is a pic of this years babies having their daily bath. I like to deliver my babies where possible as I don't trust couriers. If people are a long way away I am happy to meet halfway :)

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#7 Flora

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 05:38 PM

That's great to hear. Thanks for the picture.. I will start putting together my setup so it's exactly what a tortoise needs. Good to know you like to deliver your babies, gives you a chance to make sure the setup is correct. I don't think I'd be happy to have a tortoise delivered via courier, like I'd never buy from a pet shop either. I'm sure once I start sorting my setup I'll have plenty more questions.

#8 babettebeau

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 08:24 PM

Hi Flora
I got my two babies from Wizzasmum last year in August 2016. If you would like I can list on this thread the equipment and substrate I got for the indoor enclosure set-up of my two little ones. I can also post some pictures of their indoor enclosure they live in when it is not spring/summer.
Please let me know if you would like that.

#9 Flora

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 06:56 PM

Hi Babettebeau,

Thantbwould be great thanks, all the advice I can get would be very much appreciated.. I have purchased a few things already for my setup etc..




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