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Snuffley nasel sound
Posted: 16/03/2016 by jennyjames

Hi, we are anxious parents of 6month old marginated tortoise, he sounds a little sniffles when you hold him to your ear... is this normal, are we just anxious New parents worrying unnecessarily... advice please

Re: Snuffley nasel sound
Posted: 16/03/2016 by Tom


This is usually a sign of a husbandry problem.

Please give full details of where & when obtained, together with FULL details about how it is kept, with pics of your setup.


Re: Snuffley nasel sound
Posted: 17/03/2016 by jennyjames

Hi Tom, I have included pic of our set up, we bought him in February, he was hatched in July 2015 the breeder is K Whitlock in Weston Super Mare, we have 100 watt basking solar light, he has mixed leaf diet, he gets bathed 3 times a week, he is allowed time out of his home most evening's and enjoys exploring the living room

Re: Snuffley nasel sound
Posted: 18/03/2016 by Tom

Thanks for the reply Jenny,

It's good it is CB.

I assume that the bulb is UVB, possibly Solar Glo ? 
What is the temp. at tort. level below the lamp ? and at the cool end?

Re. diet "mixed leaves" are not good except as a 'standby.' Look at - for a good book on diet.

The pellets you are using as a substrate are dangerous, if they are consumed, they are likely to cause compaction in the gut, this can be fatal. Slightly moist garden soil is fine.

It's not good to let them out of the table, as it will lead increasingly to frustration when put back in.

Now is the time to make an outdoor pen, (no base).


Re: Snuffley nasel sound
Posted: 18/03/2016 by jennyjames

Hi Tom, thank you for your input, we have a external pen for the garden already, just waiting for weather to warm up a little, and it has chicken wire top to protect George from seagulls cats ect. We will take on board your feedback 're the substrate pellets, the soil is a soil sand mix specifically for tortoise, the light is 100watt uva basking solar light, under temp is 32 degree, the cool end is 20 to 22 degree his house/ bed is 20 degree, we have tried to introduce other foods to him, but he is resistant to trying them, he also will not eat if his food has been washed with tap water, also he won't eat if we dust his food with nutrobal, hence the inclusion of the cuttlefish, we leave full one in with him, also break smaller bits off and leave them as edible size for him

Re: Snuffley nasel sound
Posted: 19/03/2016 by Tom

I'd take the lamp up to achieve 30C below it. UVA is not good, it needs to be UVB, if it's Solar Glo, rather than "solar" as you state, then fine. No light/heat at night, of course.

They get hooked on those leaves, the breeder should know better.
Don't feed it for a day or two - it will eat dandelions, inc. flowers, etc. Try "calcidust", as it may not eat much cuttle, also even adults need it broken up.

I suspect that the snuffle is due to the stress of being placed close to your head.

The soil/sand mix is specially for pet shops [i.e. saleable !!], rather than tortoises,
by the way.

Any further probs, let us know.

Best wishes,


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