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My Grandma Has No Self Control And Now I Have A Sick Hatchling Sulcata Please Help

Discussion in 'Tortoises' started by The Splendid Monarch, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. (this post is long and rambling, sorry but this situation has been really stressful) Gram, famous in our family for getting dogs spurr of the moment without much thought or planning, has graduated from dogs to Tortoises. Yesterday she got two hatchling Sulcata tortoises from our local pet store.
    This caught everyone with their pants down and now we have to scramble to get the stuff they need. I had a 70 gallon tank on hand so we used that, we didn't have a loam/play sand mix or anything like that so i used some spare aspen bedding i had for my snake. They also have a heat lamp, a small UV lamp, a water dish, Tortoise food, some rocks to climb on, and a temporary cardboard box hide that they both ignore.

    I was checking them this morning and I noticed that the smaller one had a soft shell! I just soaked them both in warm water and I'm going to look for a cuttlebone and take the littlw guys outside later. I'm basically trying everything i can to help the soft shelled one and prevent the ither one fron getting a soft shell but we literally cannot afford to go to the vet. Is there anything else that i can do or need to do? If i can afford it i will do it i am so worried about these guys.

    tl;dr Grandma got sulcatas one has a soft shell we cant afford the vet
  2. Here are some pics. The one tucked into its shell is the soft shelled one. The other appears to be fine. Soft shelled didn't drink any water when i soaked it, other one did. IMG_20151025_083147969.jpg IMG_20151025_083036579.jpg IMG_20151025_083050089.jpg IMG_20151025_083054405.jpg IMG_20151025_083147969.jpg IMG_20151025_083036579.jpg IMG_20151025_083050089.jpg IMG_20151025_083054405.jpg IMG_20151025_083134334.jpg IMG_20151025_083134334.jpg
  3. This is the soft shelled one, he's outside now but in an okd drawr so he doesnt wander off and get eaten

    Attached Files:

  4. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not sure so much about sulcattas, as ours was bigger than that when we got her, but I know hatchling aquatic turtles usually have fairly soft shells for a bit until they get going on food, so this may be the issue here. Can't be sure though. They will need access to UV, and a moist hide to retreat to. And make sure they have a shaded area to retreat to anytime you have them outside, in case they need to cool off.
  5. Buggy0123

    Buggy0123 Established Member

    They need 8-14 hours a day of UVA/B rays in order to absorb the calcium from their food, the calcium makes their shell hard and if they don't have it, their shell softens up. So I would get a UVA/B bulb, that should help out.
    DwarvenChef likes this.
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    What you are looking for is specifically UVB, That is what allows them to process the calcium. UVA is just visible light.
  7. lisas

    lisas Elite Member

    I don't know anything about tortises, but would a calcium supplement be in order? If so, with or without vitamin D? I normally give my reptiles (lizards) calcium once per week without the D and a supplement with vitamin D once per week.
  8. mimo91088

    mimo91088 Elite Member

    The vitamin D comes from the uvb. But yes, I would suggest a calcium supplement for sure. If you haven't had proper UVB up til now, go with the vitamin D. If you're confident the lighting has been fine, you can go without the D.

    But if it were me, I'd go with the D just in case since they came from a pet store. Worst case scenario, you're doing it for no reason.
  9. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    It sounds like your tortoise needs a UVB source. Also hatchlings should be kept moist and humid to avoid pyramiding. They are almost always chronically dehydrated. Toss out the sand (it is an impaction risk) and get some coco coir.

    Generally speaking as well - Sully's are not safe in pairs. There will always be a dominant and a submissive tortoise. Signs of bullying include: following each other, sleeping face to face, sitting on the food dish, one tortoise hiding, etc. You might want to try to convince your Grams to return one and exchange it for items needed for a proper set up.

    I hate to send you to another forum, but you may want to read up over here: Sulcata tortoises | Tortoise Forum HC is great, but we don't have a ton of tort specialists here.

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