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Baby Sulcatas, Soft Shells

Discussion in 'Tortoises' started by Enchilada, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. Enchilada

    Enchilada Member

    Hey Guys,

    So I'm taking care of 10 baby sulcatas, less than a year old. 2"-3". They are in a tub with cypress bedding. We feed collards, turnips, mustards, kale, and a variety of veggies. We do calcium in the first helping, and whatever they eat the rest of the day doesn't have calcium. Their humidity is usually around 70, their hot spot is a little over 100F, and the rest of their enclosure is around 75F.

    We had one individual start to get concerningly soft about a month ago. I read that was a calcium/UVB deficiency so I started leaving their UVB on at night and upping the calcium. This baby got softer and softer until it died. :( Now a few others are getting a bit too soft for comfort. What can I do?
     

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  3. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, are the animals kept in the same facility where some of the Iguanas were also sick a few days ago? If yes, the "powers that be" need to rethink their methods urgently...
     
  4. Jay1718

    Jay1718 Established Member

    I agree. Does the facility have a vet?
     
  5. Enchilada

    Enchilada Member

    Yes, same facility. The last one visited the vet and it was she who suggested the calcium/UVB. I read into it and I can't find anything else it would be which is why I'm asking here.

    Please offer more constructive criticism than "rethink (your) methods urgently". The vast majority of our animals are healthy, including the iguanas from the previous post. I've laid out our care, please tell me how I can be better rather than "rethinking" our methods.
     
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    If a number of the animals are sick and you need to come to a forum to ask for advise when there`s a (presumably) fully qualified vet in attendance surely the "powers that be" who run said facility DO need to change their husbandry methods. I had the impression you were just an employee (good that you care, but where are the owners and vet)? From what you`ve said there are almost 20 animals in poor health, that is AWFUL!
     
  7. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Have the iguanas now been separated and are they receiving veterinary treatment? "Rethinking methods" means adjusting the husbandry which is clearly substandard, if you can show a few photos of the enclosures it might be possible to see something that needs adjusting (you said a few days ago you`d put some pics up)...
     
  8. Jay1718

    Jay1718 Established Member

    I was concerned that the facility had no vet to help manage the animals. I would triple check the housing requirements. Since a lot of them are getting the same symptoms, I would think it has to do with the housing. I would suggest possible shell rot, but your vet should have caught that. I know young turtles have soft shells that harden up, but I'm not sure on the time that takes.
     
  9. Enchilada

    Enchilada Member

    4 baby iguanas had some lip swelling. As stated in that thread, (please go read it) I pulled them aside into quarantine, did daily soaks, and fed them softer greens. And they were better within a week.

    Now I have 2 baby sulcatas that I need some advice with. Not 20 sick animals. They're under veterinary care and I'm simply looking for more advice. I posted a picture of the tortoises' bin complete with temp and humidity gauges.

    I will ask the vet about shell rot. Any actual advice is appreciated.
     
  10. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I don`t quite understand the numbers, if one has already died and a "few others" have similar symptoms, nevertheless, looking at the photo it seems the gauge is analogue, they can be very inaccurate (as much as 15%+ out) which means you/we don`t know what the real figures might be? Exactly how many inches/cm is the face of the MVB from the closest surface of the animals?
    Edit: I`m looking at the gauge stuck on the side of the fishtank.
    Sorry, I noticed another thing, that is I cannot see a basking area with anything that can absorb and maintain the heat other that the bark chips, so where are you measuring the surface temp?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  11. Jay1718

    Jay1718 Established Member

    Are you feeding them any kind of commercial tortoise pellets?
     
  12. Enchilada

    Enchilada Member

    I'm not - should I be? Would that be beneficial? The only time I looked at the label of one of those commercial feeds it seemed to have a lot of filler.
     
  13. Jay1718

    Jay1718 Established Member

    A good brand commercial tortoise pellet should make up around a third to a half of there diet, then reduce it as the tortoise gets older, it helps them grow stronger shells
     
  14. Jay1718

    Jay1718 Established Member

    Mazuri makes a great food
     
  15. Darkbird

    Darkbird Subscribed User Premium Member

    Definitely sounds environmental or dietary. I would suspect either the lighting is not putting out sufficient UV, or something in the diet is not allowing them to absorb available calcium. If your not using a supplement with D3, might be a good idea to switch. You might also want to get the basking temps a bit hotter, I usually kept mine around 120° or so.
     
  16. Enchilada

    Enchilada Member

    Just tested the light and it's putting out about 150- I'll try some commercial food! Thank you!
     
  17. Darkbird

    Darkbird Subscribed User Premium Member

    150 what? And if this is temp, how and where are you measuring?
     
  18. Enchilada

    Enchilada Member

    150 µW/cm². We measure UVB output with a solarmeter and replace them when they drop below around 100 for iguanids and tortoises. So I know the UVB output is good.

    I attached pics of our meter (though in a different enclosure) and a laser temp gun reading the tortoises' basking spot at 112F.

    I tried giving them commercial food yesterday, moistened. 2 or 3 of them kind of nibbled at it and the others weren't interested. :( ideas? I'll try mixing it with some greens later today.
     

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