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BMD ???
Posted: 13/07/2012 by Amelias mum

Hi everyone

My little Amelia is a rescue tort and for 18 months now she has not eaten on her own, I have to put it in her mouth and she then eats it, apart from this she is very lethargic, she will walk if i put her on the lawn and she needs cover but apart from that she does not do much, she is bright eyed and her mouth is fine, she poops and pees and gets warm baths most days, she is outside but in a tort house and that is in a purpose built little conservatory so on wet days she is still warm, I have searched for an answer and I am almost sure she has BMD, my vet has no idea and said I knew more about torts than she does(true) I have had them for many years and at present have 3 rescues, the boys are eating me out of house and home and are no worry but Amelia is, I will keep feeding her forever if thats what it takes(she goes on holiday with us as well) but can anyone give me any tips or help, can she be cured, I am grating cuttlefish on her food(weed fed) also I put lime flour and nutrabol on her food, and have just ordered some reptoboost for her baths, be honest will she ever get better, I have seen a huge amount of improvement in 18 months, at first she just sat with her head down and looked depressed but now when she is out her head is up and she is nosing everywhere, any ideas would be so appreciated.

Re: BMD ???
Posted: 13/07/2012 by DavidWYork

Hi there. You are very dedicated to be hand feeding all this time. Well done.

Does torty sniff at food...does she actively walk away to avoid it? Are you convinced she sees well enough? Does she get plenty of warmth and uv light or natural sun exposure? How long have you ever not fed her for? Is her shell deformed at all, or soft?

Tons of questions, but all in mportant for us to know about to give really useful advice. Have you searched the vet list on this site for an accessible torty vet?

I would suggest just a drop or two of olive or codliver oil. It helps in metabolism of calcium, if body levels of vitamin D are low or depleted. Torts do not like the oil, so you have to be sneaky and add onto favourite food, or do as I do: open mouth, keep open with a lolly stick and drip onto back of tongue. You have to be patient and persistent, only giving a drop or two every 3 days or so for 3 applications. It can be really good with eye issues and with anorexic tortoises. Try it, and see if in 2 weeks there is any change. DO NOT OVER FEED THE OIL. Small regular amounts, then stop and appraise for a couple of weeks and treat again. I would make every effort to locate a good vet...what is your postcode please? Another member may help then.

Morbid bone deficiency can take a long time to manifest if torty has been kept badly prior to your rescue. It could be one of so many things. Please reply giving more info and answers to questions. Hopefully someone else out there will take up the thread.

Regards, David nr York.

Re: BMD ???
Posted: 13/07/2012 by Amelias mum

Hi David, thanks so much for help, Amelias history is she was given to a woman I worked for who hadnt got a clue what to do with her, I know the first owner was a young lad who had her in a viv and fed her pellet food,he went to uni and she came to my boss just prior to hibernation, she was put in a barn in a box and I worried all winter,when she emergered I begged my boss to let me have her, she gave in, she owns a school and a farm and parents give her animals they dont want, stupid woman had already given me 2 boy torts as she did not want them when she realised they were hard work. eventually I nagged and Amelia joined the 2 boy torts.

I have not put her in hibernation, she has a tort table in utility room over winter, in summer she is outside. They have wooden houses inside a purpose built mini greenhouse/conservatory that hubby built them. I open door in morning and out come the boys , she never comes out, I have to get her out and often she just stays where I put her, funny thing though we went to Yorkshire for 2 weeks and took her and after I fed her she tanked of all round the caravan site with me following, much to everyones amusement. and she walked for ages,but as soon as we come back she stopped. the weather in Yorkshire was glorious and has not been since we returned so not sure if that is the reason,but as to eyesight she seems to know where she is going and often if I put her near her house she will go in on her own.

She sometimes seems to sniff the food but not alot, she had a terrible runny nose when she cane out of hibernation. yes she does walk away from the food. I try to get her to watch the boys and have tried all sorts of food with no luck. She seems well to me but I saw her 18 months ago and she has improved 100 times to that, she weighed 680 g now she weighs 910g. she is kept outside in summer, dry and warm, but weather not been good as you know. I have starved her once for 7 days and nothing. I will try the oil as I have no trouble opening her mouth to put in food I only guessed at the MBD as on researching the syptoms seemed identical. My postcode is IP28, I live in Mildenhall, Suffolk. Thanks once again, I will get some oil tommorrow and I love her to bits so am willing to try anything, its so sad to see her like this, the 3 boys are recking my garden, and eating like there is no tommorrow I would do anything to get her like that. Any more info I can give that will help, please ask

Regards Christine

Re: BMD ???
Posted: 13/07/2012 by DavidWYork

 Hello  again. Below is name and number of a torty vet. Is it too far from you?   Maybe they could recommend an exotics vet nearer to you if you cannot get there. :

Chapelfield Vet Practice

Tharston Industrial Estate

Wellesley Road

Long Stratton


NR15 2PD

01508 530686  

Regards, David nr York.       Keep us up to date if possible!

Re: BMD ???
Posted: 14/07/2012 by tortoise7

Hi Christine
Well done for rescuing Amelia it isn't easy taking on a tort that has not had the correct care, but very satisfying when you see them flourish knowing you have given them that chance.

From what I have been reading you say that when you take her away she is walking around care free, it suggests to me that by putting her in with two males which normally the ratio would be 3 females to one male, that she is being pestered, coupled with the runny nose (Possible RNS) would suggest she is very stressed, which could be why she is not eating. I would seperate her straight away and see how she responds. Did you quarentine her from the boys when you first got her?
You say she has Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) how bad is this? can you post any photo's. MBD is caused by bad diet and lack of UVB, and as you know that was the case in her previous ownership, but now you are giving her the correct environment and diet she should start to slowly repair. I would still take her to a specialist vet to get her checked over, as the RNS  needs to be addressed.
 You mentioned Reptoboost, that is good for a couple of baths to give as a boost, but not in every bath as it is high in glucose and will interfer with the Gut Flora, plus until you know why she is not that interested in food and is lethargic, which could be stress, you just need to keep her warm and well hydrated.
As David has said a visit to a specialist vet would be advisable.
Hope this has been of some help, please keep us posted



Re: BMD ???
Posted: 14/07/2012 by Amelias mum

Hi Jane and David thanks for reply

Firstly I am not sure of the MBD but having researched for ages, she has all the symptoms, the RNS was when I first got her feb 2011 and she was under the vet for that and as of now  that looks clear. I kept her away from the boys for about 5 months. The boys ignore her anyway, they have a little sniff in passing but she might as well not be there, when I looked after my friends female they never gave her a moments peace, I had to keep them seperate. But with Amelia they are more interested in food. The Vet suggested by David is over 40 miles away but I will call them and see what they say.

My 2 boys had a horrendous life, I cried when I first saw how they were living and now 4 years later, you are right it is so satisfying to see how they thrive, they have a big garden and are so loved. Should I keep Amelia in on days like today, its not cold at all but overclouded. the boys are grazing so its warm enough for them but she is just sitting in the door way watching the world go by(I have put her over the other side of the garden away from the boys. I have tried to upload some images but if not successful will try again.

Best regards, Christine

Re: BMD ???
Posted: 14/07/2012 by Amelias mum

The phots are on there under photos of Amelia, hope this helps, in the meantime I will try all of your suggestions.


Re: BMD ???
Posted: 05/08/2012 by Amelias mum

Hi jane I hate to pester but can you look at my posts and see what you think, I have not heard from david so assumed he's on his hols, I have plumped for the starvation thing and we are on seven days and I am panicking she seem the same, I am bathing her and yesterday tried sweetcorn but she walked away. I can't leave her for much longer can I , I know this is supposed to be tough love to get her right but its upsetting me more than her. I posted all the statistics David asked for.

Any thoughts would be appreciated



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