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Shell curling. Help!!!!!
Posted: 23/10/2011 by angel

Hi everyone it's been a while since i last posted on here.

I need advice desperately. Our tortys shell at the back near his tail has started to curl inwards towards his tail/shell and its quite bad. He has vitamins every 2 days as we were told, he only eats chinese leaf though he refuses to eat anything else and will go for days on end and not eat if he doesnt get it. his enclosure is a large rabbit cage and he has his uv light and heat lamp all set as it should.

Im wondering if the curling could be either dietrey problems or the fact that when hes out of his enclosure he goes off and hides underneath out ferret cage for hours and hours so not getting enough uv.

Here's a picture to help you see the curling.

http://www.tortoise-protection-group.org.uk/common/files/forum/angel/hold/10147/thumb_IMG00110-20111023-1239.jpg

Re: Shell curling. Help!!!!!
Posted: 23/10/2011 by DavidWYork

Hi there. First of  all his shell. I can see the curl you mention and also "bumps" on other parts of the shell. The curl under is characteristic in most male torts, and not, I feel, an issue. The bumps are indicating something long term is not quite right, and feeding solely on chinese leaves is  not a good idea. I know you add vitamins but he does need a more wholesome diet, and there is any amount of advice on care sheets of TPG and also on The Tortoise Table site. Unless you persevere with dietry change, things will only get worse. Vary rarely do tortoises turn anorexic when in reasonable health. They can become stubborn if we let them. He could go several weeks with fluids only, but I doubt it, if you provide small amounts of lots of variety of suitable leaves and flowers. I am sure other readers will offer advice and support too. Good luck and keep us up to date. Be firm!

                                   Regards, David nr York.

Re: Shell curling. Help!!!!!
Posted: 23/10/2011 by angel

Hi thanks for your reply i'm glad at least his curling is nothing to worry over internet searches seem suggest it was diet or lack of uv lighting that causes the curling.

What is a good diet to feed him? He refuses point blank to eat dandilion leaves or flower heads (i didnt know they could eat the flower head itself)

Lots of sites suggest things like carrots, lettuce, i even found green beans on one which are all things we were told not to feed him.

What could be causing the bumps? i'm worried about that now.

Thanks again
Kel

Re: Shell curling. Help!!!!!
Posted: 23/10/2011 by angel

I just found this on line but we were told never to feed half the stuff thats listed

Spur-Thigh Tortoise Diet
Sulcata Tortoises are strictly veggie eaters. Do not ever feed these guys insect or animal matter. Their digestive systems are not designed to process these types of foods. They need to get a large variety of grasses, dark leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables to be healthy. Their diet should consist of 80-90% grasses, hays and dark greens, 10-20% vegetables and fruits. Try things like collard greens, rye grass, clover, escarole, any type of grass, kale, timothy hay, alphalfa hay, and dandelion greens as the primary diet for sulcata tortoises. Moist greens can be offered in smaller amounts, including red and green leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, cabbage and the pre-cut variety packs of "baby greens" available at the grocery store. A lot of people plant different grass seeds in small shallow pans and then rotate them through the tank, allowing the tortie to graze from the growing seeds. Offer your tortoise berries, apples, peaches, beans, peas, carrots and as many different types of fruits and veggies as you can. Iceberg lettuce should NEVER be fed to any reptile. Rep-Cal Calcium and Multivitamin powder should be sprinkled over food 2-4 times per week.

Re: Shell curling. Help!!!!!
Posted: 23/10/2011 by DavidWYork

Hello again!  I am pretty certain your tortoise is not a Sulcata tortoise (African spurred tortoise), but a spur-thighed tortoise, (Testudo graeca). On his paperwork does it not mention species? Whatever his species though, one food type is unsatisfactory. On this site check out the care sheets to be found on the left, by clicking on "The Tortoise". Then of the care sheets,  read graeca and ibera pages. No site will suggest merely feeding one type of leaves.

Regards, David nr York.

Re: Shell curling. Help!!!!!
Posted: 24/10/2011 by angel

Hi and thank you again for taking time out to reply to me. I understand that him only eating one kind of leave is seriously unhealthy for him. It worries me to see him go for 3-4 days and not eat, i dont want people to think we are torturing him, or not feeding him at all.

I do however see what you mean about the lumpy shell, looking at the pictures of other torts of his species their shells are not lumpy like his.

Do you have any suggestions on how we can reverse this? Also i read on there that if they can see out of their enclosure this makes them want out, which would explain his constant climbing and wanting out all the time, but on the other hand when hes out hes hides under our ferrets cage and just stays there. I dont think its healthy for him to be in a cold dark place for so long due to the need for the heat lamp and uv light.

He is an indoor tort and would really love some ideas on indoor enclosures that will be big enough for him to roam in with out the constant climbing to get it.

Re: Shell curling. Help!!!!!
Posted: 25/10/2011 by DavidWYork

Hi there, I am pasting a link to an article on shell abnormalities which you (and mat be your vet) might find interesting. It shows how important it is to get the humidity right for captive tortoises. After a couple of reads, it all made good sense to me.

http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/pyramiding.html

I hope you find it interesting...I certainly did.

Regards, David nr York.

 

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