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Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 03/03/2009 by paddockpeople

HI,I have a horsefield or Russian tortoise called ted he is 3-years old,i,m new too tortoise owning but i have taken the best care in reading,asking advise etc etc before getting him,anyway he was in his tortoise table and i came in and theres blood!!so i took him out & have treated the injury with benadein (sorry may have spelled that wrong) & antiseptic cream (i read too do this in a tortoise first aid book) it is only minor surface cut but should i do anything else?e.g trip to vet's??any advise would be great

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 03/03/2009 by Shelbyville

Hi there,


I have only kept Horsfields for six months and I am sure one of the others will give you there expert opinion when they see your post. In the mean time, where is the injury on your tort? Is it still bleeding? The betadine should help stop infection from entering the wound but I don't know whether it is necessary to have antibiotics from the vet to be on the safe side or not. If you have a photo of the injury it will help. Sorry I'm not more help but I nurse humans for a living not tortoises. One of the others will post soon I'm sure.   

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 03/03/2009 by paddockpeople

P.s he is super active little man and spends alot of time running around,he also spends alot of time pacing in his table??is this normale?e.g walking up & down alot one side,untill the weather warms up he is indoor's but i have an enclosure outdoors being fitted.i do sometimes think perhaps he needs a friend?but i like the fact i can spoil him & i feel untill i become comfortable looking after him i shouldent over step myself.i take the upmost care looking after him,i have 2-thermometers each end he has hindy built in place & he is skipped out (poo & wee removed everyday) and then ones a week cleaned out with everything
cleaned.

He gets food every other day and weighed every week,i grow his own food ( i got a whole list of what they can eat from tortoise trust website which i follow like a bible) and his water is changed 4/5 times a day too make sure he has fresh water at all times.

he has a uvb 10% output light set above his cage & a basking lamp which are turned on at 7am & off at 9.30pm.He has pebbles around his water & i have a humidity stat in his table aswell which i make sure always reads around the 50 mark (so not desert & not tropical) is this right?

He also has limestone on his food and Nutrobal. aswell as cuttlefish ( although i think this is what has hurt his mouth????)

he is bathed every other day for 20mins ,in warm water,i also have crital care & a back up power supply incase of power cut & a back up basking light & heat emitter just incase.

Is there anything that i'm doing or not doing?

Sorry to have a big list and go on,and on but i just want too make sure i,m taking the best care i can of him.'

I own many different animals mainly horses but i have never had a tortoise and i love taking care of him.

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 03/03/2009 by tpgNina

Hi,

I'm really sorry to hear that your little tortoise has been bleeding. As Shelbyville said, do you know where the bleeding came from, and is it still bleeding? Do you have another tortoise that could have caused he injury (male horsfields are notoriously aggressive), or another pet (a dog?) that could have got to the tortoise? And do you know if the blood came from a wound to the body or if it came from the cloaca (with a wee or poo)? I think you are doing the right thing with the betadine (make sure it is diluted properly), but this may well warrant a trip to the vet if it is not just a little cut somewhere. Can you send us photos of the injury?

Nina

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 03/03/2009 by tpgNina

Hi again,

Your P.S. came in while I was pushing Send on my message, so I didn't see that he is a lone tortoise (and therefore couldn't have been bitten by another). Thanks for telling us exactly how you are keeping him -- it always helps to have the fullest picture -- and it sounds like you are doing everything right, and that you have made a good home for him. Do you know where the blood was coming from and is it still bleeding?

Nina

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 03/03/2009 by paddockpeople

HI,thanks for replying its nice too know i,m doing ok with taking care of my little man.Right his cut is on the soft part of his mouth so the bottom on his jaw it was quite red
& when i saw his table there was a fair amount of blood on the side walls,however i cleaned that and since treating it,it has now slowed/stopped bleeding but still looks soor.and i dont think he is very happy about it,i think he may of caught it on his cuttlefish as that is the only thing has it could of possibly been which i have now removed from his table.Should i put it back?and should i keep treating it everyday and if it gets worse then take him too the vet?it looks alot better now and is not a deep cut.thank you all for replying any advise is very helpful & comforting. :-)

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 03/03/2009 by paddockpeople

P.s i do have dogs and 1-cat but when i have him out i watch him like a hawk & no dogs are in a room with him and my cat could not be less interested in him & just incase i have chicken mesh fitted around/above his table (Wooden/open top table) so when i,m not there they cant get too him even if they tryed.i also have made sure he cant hurt himself of the mesh as its high enough that he cant touch it.:-)

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 03/03/2009 by tpgNina

Hi (sorry, I don't know your name),

It might well have been the cuttlefish, as that thin, horny covering on it can be very sharp indeed if some is broken off leaving a pointed bit. I sometimes shave off that hard surface. The rest of the cuttlefish is soft enough and shouldn't cause any problems, so maybe leave it a day or so and then put it back in, with the hard bit shaved off.
I would just keep an eye on it now, and it probably will heal up fine. Keep up the betadine (a colleague has just told me that cotton buds are good for applying it), and see how he gets on. I'm sure he'll be right as rain again in no time, and that a trip to the vet is not needed if he continues to improve.

I meant to ask -- what sort of substrate are you using (it's just that there are occasionally reports of hemp causing minor injuries because that sometimes has hard pointed edges too)?

They do scare us sometimes, don't they? Worse than children I sometimes think, but you've done everything right and I'm sure your treatment will help him heal up really quickly.

Nina

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 03/03/2009 by tpgNina

LOL - and a P.S. from me too (posted mine before I saw your last P.S.) I just wanted to say how good it is that you are alert to the possible dangers from other animals and have made your tortoise's enclosure secure. We hear too many stories of tortoises being terribly injured by the placid family dog who never showed any interest in the tortoise until one day it saw it as a new chew toy.
It sounds like you are an excellent tortoise keeper. Feel free to post photos of your set-ups in the members picture gallery -- it's always nice to see more ways of housing our tortoise friends.

Nina

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 03/03/2009 by paddockpeople

Hey my names claire:-)

i,ll most defo do that with his cuttle fish from now on.

Its good that you brought up his bedding i was then going to ask....I have read so many different things about all different beddings.

He is kept on hemp bedding called auboisobe ( i may have spelt that wrong,do excuse my spelling its not the best) its very fine hemp i do check for pointy bits but i,m so unsure of what too keep him on with hemp its easy too keep clean & he doesnt eat it,where i have read with sand & soil they can eat it and cause damage too there stomach (this can happen with horses too which i know alot about) which is why i dont know if i should use it,another thing i read said too use rabit pellets???

Any ideas,the two things that i cant make my mind up on is hibernation & bedding,but i figure with hibernation i have quite awhile before i have too do that so i shall learn as much as i can before i do that....

So what do you think about the whole bedding things??

Oh i have also heard of cocanut bedding is good...?

Thanks so much for you help

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 03/03/2009 by tpgadmin

Hi Claire

Please don't use rabbit pellets for substrate.  Your tortoise will eat them and they are mainly made of alfalfa which is too high in protein for a tortoise which requires a low protein diet. 

I keep and breed horsfield tortoises and for the hatchlings and juveniles I don't use anything now other than topsoil mixed with play sand.  It's as close as possible to their natural environment in the wild.  I have to admit to using aubiose for one group of my adults because it is much cleaner.  However I have another group which I have just moved on to soil/sand and so far I am very happy in using it.

To prevent it drying out and becoming too dusty is has to be sprayed or watered daily until it is damp, but not wet.

Helen

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 03/03/2009 by paddockpeople

LOL p.s (started so may aswell continue):-) i,m very carfull with them,however much i love my other animals & when i,m around i,m not as worried as there not aloud near him,that does not mean i trust them as i do not,i, fully aware that given the chance they might try so i just dont let that happen,and i agree with you with me in the room if my little dog is on the sofa she could not care less but that doesnt mean if i was too leave the room she wouldn't....and i would never forgive myself if that happened too my lil man. and i,ll take some pictures of him and his table tomorrow and post them on the gallery id like too know thoughts.I,m very lucky my uncle is a carpenter and he made my table aswell as making me an outdoor enclosure ,we're moving soon and bless him he is building me a big indoor table built in for ted in my room ,as his table at mo is temp for a few weeks untill we move as it about 2x3foot and i think it should be bigger but he is only small at mo (he is 3-years old) and he only has too be in it for a few more weeks.

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 03/03/2009 by paddockpeople

Hi Helen:-) Thank you,no i wont use the rabbit pellets its just something i read and was wondering about it.I was very unsure of it.

With the bedding thing its quite difficult to deside he seems happy on the hemp which is the
same kind as you use with one of your groups and as you say it is cleaner.

I,m worried about the sand&soil tho because of him eating it and it causing problems with his stomach/gut?

is it common?

And also i dont mind extra work with cleaning as cleaning his table is no work compared too mucking out horses stables....lol but sand & soil can get "damp" and i was told horsefield
tortoises hate damp???

Do let me know & thank you for your advise.

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 03/03/2009 by tpgadmin

You are right horsfields don't do damp, but here we are talking about prolonged damp - like left outside in the UK climate.  In a table top where it has a reasonable ambient temperature in the room and where there is a basking lamp there is no problem as long as the soil isn't left soaking wet.  The lamp does dry it in no time - believe me lol.


Tortoise would eat soil in the wild - no-one stops them there and the evidence I think you are referrig to is when sand only is used as a substrate.  I haven't seen any got problems using soil/play sand mix.


Tell me about mucking horses out Click and drag me down to the editor I keep them here too.


Helen


 

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 04/03/2009 by paddockpeople

Hey,yes i agree when it come too keeping horses clean or my little man,he is so much easier,however i now know what it must feel like to buy a horse for the first time ,as with both there's so much advise/info out there that
can confuse the hell out of you.

Everybody has something different to say,and with horses you go by what works best for that horse & i think its the same with tortoise's apart from theres "guide" lines to follow with both.

With russion tortoise's do you or anybody else reading this post,know any good books?that are worth buying.

as some books i've read have been way off the mark.:-)

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 04/03/2009 by tpgadmin

Not really any good books on Russians to be honest.  Carapace Press do a DVD (featuring one of my Russians on the front cover and in the video)on Practical Care of the Russian Tortoise.  It also comes with a booklet.  It is a few years old now, but still worth it.

Ed Pirog does a book entitled the Russian Tortoise, but it has almost every other med species in the book too.  Some of Ed's care is contraversial, so yo have to read it along side other articles.  There is a decent web site on Russian tortoises, but it is American.  Absolutely nothing wrong with that at all, as it does contain some excellent stuff, but you have to remember, climates and the way we do things in the UK can be very different.

Helen

 

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 04/03/2009 by tpgadmin

I forgot to give you the web site address: www.russiantortoise.org/

I'm so sorry I forgot to ask how your tortoise is this morning.  Did you remember to dilute the betadine so that it looks like cold tea?

Helen

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 04/03/2009 by paddockpeople

HI,thanks i,ll look them books up and as you said take some stuff with a pinch of salt:-)

I,ve had a look on the website looks great theres lots of info on there.

Thank you for asking the cut looks alot better since treating it with the betadine its less saw and he seems alot happier,he's on his daily missions again e.g messing up his water so his mum comes and changes it,and moving his bowls & bedding around:-)

I watered it down as it said too on the bottle and it seems to have done the job which i,m very happy about although i,ll get him out again today and do it afew times aday untill i think its totally healed.

I have a question,....my little man is very cuddly and friendly e.g when i go onto my room and up too his table he comes straight up too me & when he is having a run about the lounge he,ll after awhile come up too my foot untill i pick him up then he will go too sleep on me.

Are all russians this friendly? i think its great,i,m very carful with handling him & washing after & before .is it ok for him too sleep on me??

Speak soon :-)

Re: Advise needed asap injury with horsefield tortoise
Posted: 04/03/2009 by paddockpeople

P.s he only has like a nap,on me then i put him back in his table.

 

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