You're in > TPG Members Forum > Tortoise Care, Health/Problems > Urates

Urates
Posted: 01/08/2009 by Jette

Hello all,
I have a male 28y old Russian Tortoise and worried about his urates, which are gritty. Therefore, I contacted a Vet and he gave me the advice to raise the water supply and to bath him. As the tortoise doesnīt like to drink during bathing, I gave him cucumber and wet leafs and the urates became better. However, allways, when I stop this kind of feeding, the urates become gritty some days later again. The feces became very soft now due to the cucumber and wet feeding, because the Vets didnīt find any parasites.
I donīt know, what I can do. The tortoise is active and shows a normal behaviour.
In general, I feed him with different wild plants.
How long does it take to correct a dehydration?
I hope he has no serious healthy problems.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Best regards, Jette (from Germany)


Best regards,
Jette
from Potsdam, Germany

Re: Urates
Posted: 01/08/2009 by TPGDarren

Hi Jette,

Welcome to the forum - it's good to hear from you:-)

Deydration can be corrected very quickly. I would be inclined to try the bathing again. Whilst it may not be apparent, he will be taking on water whilst bathing. Tortoises can take in water through their clocoa (tail). You may notice he passes water when bathing, this will be because he has replenished his reserves.

HTH
Darren

Re: Urates
Posted: 01/08/2009 by Jette

Hi Darren,
thank you very much for your prompt reply, Iīm very happy about that.
I have never been observed urates or urine during bathing, but after feeding, I suppose this is the same effect.

I also thought that dehydration can be corrected quickly and, indeed, after feeding cucumber or zucchini, the urate become softer and more liquid. However, I wonder, why heīs not able to keep this status when I continue a diet containing only leafs - without this water-rich vegetables??

Do you have any idea?

Thanks for your help,
Jette


Re: Urates
Posted: 01/08/2009 by TPGDarren

Hi Jette,

It's difficult to say without a clear picture of how he is kept. If he is kept too warm and isn't able to thermoregulate (cool down) he will dehydrate quicker. Tortoises that are unable to burrow down and minimise the loss of water through evaporation will dehydrate quicker.

Would you mind giving us a run-down on how he's hept; enclosures, heating/lighting, access to water?

Best Regards
Darren

Re: Urates
Posted: 01/08/2009 by Jette

Hi Darren,
heīs kept in a vivarium, only when the weather is good, heīs outside in the garden.
Inside, the lowest temperature at night is around 70°F. He has a house for sleeping, but not a burrow like in nature. (I try to imitate the humidity by water spraying.) In the vivarium, there is a 100 Watt lamp and a water bowl, but I have never seen him drinking or bathing. (Therefore, he has to take a bath once a week in warm water.)
The water content of the leafs I giving him for eating is probably lower compared with the "fresh" plants in the garden.

This conditions certainly cause a dehydration of the tortoise? Therefore, he needs aditional water supply, like cucumber? But from this the feces becomes soft.
I have to keep him outside all the time?

Thanks for your help,
Jette

(In winter, he is hibernating in a frigde.)



Re: Urates
Posted: 01/08/2009 by TPGDarren

Hi Jette,
Is your vivarium completely enclosed? - with a roof, 4 sides and a base please?

Re: Urates
Posted: 01/08/2009 by Jette

Hi Darren,
no, it has only 4 sides - without a roof.
BR, Jette

Re: Urates
Posted: 02/08/2009 by TPGDarren

Hi Jette.

Sorry for the confusion, vivariaums in the UK are generally (not always) considered to be a high sided box with a roof with a glass door at the front.

I'd be inclined stick with regular bathing (every couple of days) and add a small proportion of high water content food to his normal diet. Fed on a daily basis as an addition to his normal diet will maintain hydration, rather than an intense rehydration project, and will hopefully eradicate any stool problems.

HTH
Darren

Re: Urates
Posted: 02/08/2009 by Jette

Hello Darren,
thanks for your help, I will try that.
Maybe, when a dehydration is developing over a longer time period, it takes longer to correct it? It seems to me, that he can better use water when itīs still inside of the cells, I mean when heīs eating for example some zucchini in whole pieces. When I give him very wet feed, the water is eliminated relatively quickly, but the urates become not really better. But itīs only an assumption.
Best regard and thanks for all,
Jette

Re: Urates
Posted: 02/08/2009 by Laraine

How large is your viv? As your tortoise is an adult, is there a possibility he could live outside in the good weather?

Laraine

Re: Urates
Posted: 02/08/2009 by Jette

Hello Laraine,
the Viv is about 2 m2 - too small for this active animal. Thatswhy heīs outside whenever it is warm and sunny. Next year I will keep him outside only, here in Germay you can buy tortoise-specific hotbeds with the possibility to fix a lamp inside and a small exit to go out.

Today, he was very active in the garden, but the urates were not so creamy.

Best regards,
Jette






 

Web Design Bristol