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Help with Hermann
Posted: 27/07/2015 by Sarah mills

I have an 11 yr old Hermann & she never recovered after hibernation this year? Went to a specialist vet as no poo or wee & given drops to help poo(worked after a few days), vet said slight soft shell so calcium drops daily & more kale/spinach & more expensive basking lamp/bulb all returning to normal but now 2 weeks later not eating or moving I thought at first she was sulking due to calcium drops as her face said it all?! Now feel a bit lost & love her to bits but 200 spent, doing warm baths & checking temp under lamp as has run of house but not moving now tried so many foods to tempt her? Any ideas or should I hand her over to an experienced owner?

Re: Help with Hermann
Posted: 27/07/2015 by Tom


Kale is a brassica & should not be fed.
What else do you feed it ?

Soft shell is caused by poor husbandry & lack of UVB light.
Which bulb are you now using ?

You say it "has run of house", is there some reason why it is not kept outside, with a roomy waterproof house for at night.


Re: Help with Hermann
Posted: 28/07/2015 by Sarah mills

Hi Tom vet said to feed her more with a higher level of vitamin d like Spinach & greens as mainly baby leaf salads & dandelion/tortoise friendly weeds (grown in garden) but not eating these new greens anyway? I got an Arcadia 80w UVA/UVB basking light. She has run of garden but not much sunshine at moment live in the north & defo not warm enough & I've always kept her in at night! I'm a bit soft & don't want her stolen. What I wanted to find out is there anything else I should try as not very active or eating now. The vet has given me daily calcium drops for her shell & digestive system. Many Thanks.

Re: Help with Hermann
Posted: 29/07/2015 by Tom

What temp is it below the lamp Sarah ?

What temp is it outside ?
It doesn't have to be full sun, in fact torts prefer hazy days. It will get far more UVB on such days, than from any lamp.
The forecast suggests a return to better weather on Friday.

It can be very difficult to get a sick tortoise to feed. 
Salad leaves are best avoided, usually, as is lettuce. But in this case I suggest you get some Little Gem lettuce, cut a section & the fresh smell might tempt it.
Minimum handling is best.

Though in at night, it still needs a decent house.

Let us know what happens,

Re: Help with Hermann
Posted: 30/07/2015 by Sarah mills

Thanks Tom under lamp around 30', outside 12' & very wet at the moment! But me & Womack maybe need to toughen up on Friday? I will try the little gem lettuce as well & I've put her in the floor level cat house tonight. I really appreciate your help & you have been more help then all the hours I have trawled through the tortoise internet. I will let you know how we progress.

Re: Help with Hermann
Posted: 31/07/2015 by Tom

Any luck Sarah ?

It's shell growth looks pretty good. Where is the shell soft ?

Re. house - I meant it still needs a decent house outside, despite coming in at night.
Somewhere to retreat to if you are out & the weather turns 'rough'.

Is there a bit of it's beak broken off ? If so use a fingernail sander to level it up, (over several months/ years.)



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