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Member Since 07 May 2015
Offline Last Active Today, 06:59 PM

#64194 Newbie - Hamm Hermanns

Posted by wizzasmum on 18 June 2015 - 09:04 AM

The travel for the baby, assuming it was done in cold dark conditions and deep solid substrate to cushion noise, road roll etc is not the biggest issue here, that would be the danger of cross contamination. If transported in warm conditions in light substrate though, this would be far more stressful to it. This is just one reason that I hate couriers, they rarely have the knowledge to transport tortoises. I think we can safely say the difference between people who buy from Hammand those who insist on UK bred is that one is a collector and one is a genuine carer. As you say, most people who have these 'dedicated' reptile rooms, use substandard conditions and convince themselves this is ok, purely by their knowledge of the species in general. It's a bit like most zoos, which will tell you that they are conserving the species, when in fact they are breeding in inadequate conditions and running into continual problems on the way. To my mind is better for a species to become extinct than suffer to preserve it, just look at the case of Lonesome George the Galapagos tortoise :( 2cm of leaf for a 5cm tortoise is fine, it's like a 20 cm bottle of milk to a 50cm human baby, so we would not expect it to eat more ;) hydration is far more important and giving it lots of places to roam to find the correct food. It's also a good idea to have a faecal pellet examined by a vet for parasites.

#64186 How Often?

Posted by wizzasmum on 17 June 2015 - 11:27 AM

If you see worms after the first dose then dose again in a week. It's easy to see little worms in the water dish or bath, bigger ones are more obvious. Don't do it near to hibernation but when they are most active and eating well.

#64164 Natural Hibernation

Posted by wizzasmum on 12 June 2015 - 11:50 AM

Thing is Wendy, that although your tortoise has survived and lucky you found her, this is not sustainable. In their natural habitat this would only occur for 3-4 months max and sometimes less. While your tort has survived this time, it's not consistent with thriving and 9 months without food is the exception rather than the rule and may well have put massive stress on her kidneys. If you do it again, it might not be such a happy ending, especially as most winters are not so mild as the last one. Do you have weight records before and after this event? I also had a Russian tortoise go missing one September and reappear on a sunny day in March, but any longer than this and you are really pushing the boundaries especially with a species that is a none burrowing species. I agree that uvb lighting is not necessary outdoors, but additional heat for bad weather times most certainly is. There is no way core temps can be sustained long enough for correct digestion in this country without extra help especially for a tortoise that is still growing and therefore has higher than usual mineral demands. Remember that if the UK was ideal for natural living, we would have a wild population of tortoises ;)

#64155 Tortoise Head Banging!

Posted by wizzasmum on 10 June 2015 - 03:26 PM

Thank you for your reply and information, He has just been doing it again and I have bathed him to take his mind of the bumping shell business.  I will look into changing his diet - do you have any suggestions on what to start changing his lettuce and cucumber diet that he loves.  Now I have found this site I can look up more info.  I do hope he stops doing it, it lasted ages today and his shell will wear down over his head, he does not stop if I put him in a pen, he just bumps that instead.  Thank you Mo

Does he have lots of room? Just wondering how to distract him. What part of Shropshire are you in?

#64151 Tortoise Head Banging!

Posted by wizzasmum on 09 June 2015 - 08:49 PM

It's male behaviour. Odd that it's taken so long to surface. His diet is not great and the only reason he will only eat this is because it's allowed. Cooling him down will help. Give him a cool bath and only offer decent food. Serious health issues can surface thirty years or so down the line of incorrect diet ;)

#64146 Are These Eyes Sunken?

Posted by wizzasmum on 09 June 2015 - 04:39 PM

pellets! They require no chewing or tearing, so muscles get slack. The same goes for fibrous foods though if they are cut up and literally handed to them on a plate. To gain powerful jaw muscles they need to work for their food. There are an increasing number of torts with slack jaws, a bit like dogs with sloppy diets :(

#64110 Future Unknown

Posted by wizzasmum on 06 June 2015 - 09:26 AM

It all depends on what you would wish for your tortoise. Sadly, the people who run many rescues are only too keen to get hold of females for breeding etc and some have even been known to sell rehomers. Once you have used the forum for a while you will get to know people and learn who you can trust. There are facebook groups too that you can join, but again care needs to be taken as, in all groups there are people lurking who are not always what they seem. Whereabouts in Scotland are you? You might get to know someone in your area who you can keep in touch with.

#64100 Future Unknown

Posted by wizzasmum on 05 June 2015 - 12:14 PM

LOL, I'm a bit paranoid with my torts as you know Karen and having seen some of the 'unscrupulous deals' in various rescue groups over the years, I don't want any of mine to fall into the wrong hands, ever!

#64093 Future Unknown

Posted by wizzasmum on 05 June 2015 - 07:51 AM

What I have done is to give my daughter contact numbers/emails of people who I know in the tortoise world, so that they will be able to help if the time comes. I do give her more contacts as reliable people are added to my phone list. I know she would take on the old favourites, but not all of my 'gang'. As far as I know there isn't a registered organisation that does this and I would always be wary of just offering him/her to a rescue group, as 'sometimes' they can fall into the wrong hands, particularly where breeding age females are concerned. I would let your family members know that there are contacts in your phone address book under the name tortoise, so that if ever they have to deal with this distressing problem without warning, they will know where to look. Sorry not to have been more help.  

#64078 Possible Respiratory Infection?

Posted by wizzasmum on 02 June 2015 - 09:45 PM

It was the same here Becky, we have to provide added heat to help things along in the British Isles north or south ;) I do know of a keeper on the East coast of Scotland though who keeps African sulcatas outdoors, so Scotland is not so different ;) You wont be able to keep them indoors indefinitely really if you want them to thrive and if you wish to specialise, this will be something you would be better doing in order to help your clients do the best by them too.

#64076 Lighting Help!

Posted by wizzasmum on 02 June 2015 - 06:28 PM

I love the megaray ones too. I've used numerous combis and found the megarays to me most reliable and for whatever reason, they seem to promote activity in the babies more than others too. I use the old uvb tubes as extra light, especially at either end of the season when natural light is lower ;)

#64059 Possible Respiratory Infection?

Posted by wizzasmum on 01 June 2015 - 09:59 PM

Obviously I'm not a vet but have never seen sunken eyes in anything but a dehydrated tortoise, even in rehabbers. At this size your tortoises should really be outdoors at this time of year. Indoor tortoises do tend to have more illness's often because humidity is so low. He needs to be able to choose his own humidity levels by offering humid hides and have plants to dig under. Have you asked your breeder if any of the others have had any problems? Did they give you a care sheet outlining correct habitats etc? The prorep needs to be watered really as spraying evaporates immediately. Your substrate needs to be damp below the surface but dry on top as in nature, this is so that he can dig down to thermoregulate properly, it also prevents dehydration and helps with smooth growth too. If he is dehydrated then antibiotics can make him feel really poorly, so  I would def put the emphasis on hydration from all angles ie watering substrate, soaking daily, offering water at all times in his enclosure, spraying his food etc etc. Your vet should really have told you about hydration before treatment, to prevent other damage.

#64026 Outdoor Enclosure Advice

Posted by wizzasmum on 31 May 2015 - 03:51 PM

You might find that the he would hide away in the wasted space underneath. Torts need to dig down when retiring for the night, so he might find this confusing. Most kennels, sheds greenhouses etc are set on soil for tortoises, allowing them to do things naturally. Often I find several tortoises missing at night, just to see them emerge from the soil in the morning, just like they would in nature. We really cant improve on nature, so the next best thing is to mimic it as much as possible ;)

#64002 Sexing? And Early Signs Of Pyramiding?

Posted by wizzasmum on 28 May 2015 - 08:15 PM

Hiya sorry for the late reply, thank you so much for commenting. 
Thank you for helping me sex him, he weights 284g. He has recently been put on a grass only diet with the occasional succulent and flower thrown in.  In regards to the humidity, what levels should his tortoise table be? iIn his hide there is currently straw, would it be beneficial to take that out and put soil and sand in to make the hide humid too?
JerryMaffz, I went to Acorn House Veterinary Surgery on Linnet Way. I might take her to Scotts next time then.

Hermanni don't digest grass well, that's an odd diet. Mine won't even touch it, pulling it from their mouths when taken accidentally with other food. Hay is a problem and will cause respiratory problems so best removed. I would suggest you find a new vet to be honest who has studied Chelonia rather than charging you good money for guess work :(

#63962 Tortoise Losing Weight - Advice Please

Posted by wizzasmum on 23 May 2015 - 01:41 PM

Only just seen this, but I AM having problems seeing which posts are read right now. To be honest I would say Roobarb is adjusting far better to her new outdoor life and I know you are not concerned about Custard but I would be far more concerned re her weight gain to be honest. Almost a quarter of her weight increased since hibernation is really not healthy at all. She should have gained more in the region of 15-20 grams max I n that time. As Keith says a faecal screen could be worth doing, especially if imports, but I would say the lighter one is adjusting beautifully and it's the other one you need to worry about. At that rate of gain, she is going to be adult size in a few short years :(