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help please
Posted: 02/12/2014 by sam.s

hi new to this forum.

I have 2 5 year old female spur thied tortoises, that have been fine since august,

we had  quite a cold august which was also wet, sept they were ok, but I noticd

they were sleeping a lot and not eating much, they have been at the vets for 4 weeks, and diagnosed with hexamita, they have had a course of  metromdazole,

I brought them home on 28.11.14, they have not eaten anything except a few dandelion leaves I have managed to find, I have plenty of salad leaves and wild plant leaves still in the garden, they are under full light and heat in a tortoise table in a greenhouse, the green house is heated  24 hours with a oiled filled radiator with a ambient temp of 25 degrees, I am getting worried I am going to lose them in the near future, according to the vet she has seen a lot of this hexamita this year, with 2 other tortoises in her care,what can I do.thanks sam.

Re: help please
Posted: 02/12/2014 by Tom

Hello Sam,

Are you sure that your g'house is at 25C with just an oil filled radiator ?

How does the vet recommend that you keep them ?

I suggest you keep them in the house, in the tort. 'table' with a UVB bulb for heat & light (preferably a Megaray bulb). They will be easy to observe & the temp at tort. level can be controlled.

How long have you had them & where did you get them? I ask because hexamita is fairly rare in Spur-thighed torts..


Re: help please
Posted: 03/12/2014 by sam.s

yes the temp is a steady 25, I know this because I have a very expensive weather station, which monitors indoor and greenhouse temp and humidity. the tortoises ive had for 2 years and are English bred from a very well known breeder with over 30 years experience, why do you say hexamita is rare in spur-thied tortoises,as this parasite can effect fish, all retiles,and birds.

thanks for your reply

Re: help please
Posted: 03/12/2014 by Tom

I accept what you say re. temp., but I am surprised given the type of heater.

I asked about the history of your torts., as where hexamita tends to occur, is in imported or otherwise highly stressed torts.

Just because it occurs in a very large range of animals, doesn't mean that it is common in Spur-thighed. 

Does the vet feel that treatment began before the problem was too advanced ? If so then they should make a full recovery.

Let us know how they progress.


Re: help please
Posted: 04/12/2014 by sam.s

hi tom. the tortoises have had xrays, blood tests, and other tests,there is no liver or kidney damage, vets said just anaemic, and hexamita found, the smallest seems to have eaten again today,it is the other one that seems to be  the main concern,although both of them are not too great,i just feel uneasy about vets when it comes to anything not the norm,as from past experience when I kept and bred tropical parrots, and Japanese koi carp. about as much use as a chocolate fire guard, 

thanks sam.    

Re: help please
Posted: 04/12/2014 by Tom

I assume that you are giving them a long soak daily (in separate containers).

As there is no organ damage, they should recover. However the treatment itself 'knocks them back' substantially. That is why I suggested that you move them into the house - so that you can see exactly what they are eating & observe their behaviour closely.

Re. your comments about vets - you seem to have a very good one, I suspect that comparatively few vets would diagnose hexamita, especially in 'Spurs' since it is rare in the genus Testudo, with the exception of imported animals.

Minimal handling & keep trying to tempt them to eat as much as poss..


Re: help please
Posted: 04/12/2014 by sam.s

thanks tom, will keep you posted,

Re: help please
Posted: 16/04/2015 by sam.s

tortoises all fit and good.

brought 2 new females and a male.

got them home and one female laid 5 eggs,

previous owner said she was ready to go down.

made a incubator, and got them in, temp at 30, humidity  at 70%

fingers crossed.

put the new same size male with my other male, and the new one was butted

and mounted, like ww1 broke out.

had to put him with females for a short period and he went for all of them.

I thought males would live peacefully with each other.

and he would get a pal to keep him company.

I don't know whether he is sex mad or a nasty bully.

do I get rid of one of them,which I don't want to do.

or try to get a swap for a more placid male.

he even tries to bite me, and our Bengal leopard cats.

thanks guys sam. 


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