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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been planning to but a tortoise for a while and doing some research and planning. I was lucky enough to be bought a Hermann for Christmas, unfortunately she came from a pet shop in a huge terrarium!

She is eighteen months old, and has been fed on TRex dry tortoise pellets with Reptavite vitamin powder added every other day.

I think this diet is awful and have been introducing leafy greens, dandelions, etc. I keep offering pellets as a familiar food but she never eats them - which says alot.

When I first got her (xmas eve) she was doing a solid poo every day, but in the last 4 days has only done one rather sludgy poo and I'm worried that the change in diet has upset her system.

The pet shop owner told me not to give her any water, as she would fill up on it and stop eating! Contrary to this awful advice I have put a shallow dish in for her and have begun to give her baths. She never drinks and the milky bit (uric acid) in her wee has been solid - a bit like the sealant you get round the bath. So I am worried that she is dehydrated aswell.

I had planned to buy a tortoise from a breeder who fed it on natural foods and to do some planting so I would be able to feed it from the garden.
I now feel that I am rehabilitating a tortoise that has been mistreated without the skills to do so competently. I would really appreciate some advice.

She is still living in the terrarium which is 2feet X 4feet with a heat lamp and UVB. I keep one of the glass doors open for oxygen and to provide a contrast in temp. She also spends alot of time out of it exploring our house, and is very active when let out. I plan to move her to an open topped home, but didn't want to introduce too many changes at once.

I hope I haven't gone on too much and would really value some advice from someone with the know how.
Thanks.
 

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Well done for realising that your tortoise is being fed wrong and also in the wrong environment!
Dont worry-torts can not eat for quite a while as long as they have a constant supply of water(what bloody idiot says not to offer water to any animal) try warm baths twice a day to keep him hydrated,with the urates being solid it does seem he is dehydrated!
what do you mean by leafy greens?? dandelions and other weeds are best!
please get him out of the tank asap,you will be doing him a great favour and saving his life,any open topped box would be better even an old drawer!what substrate are you using?
try visiting some of these sites:
www.tortoisetrust.org
www.shelledwarriors.co.uk
www.yahoo.com/group/tortsmad
hth
 

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I agree with what Kerry says. What sixe is your tortoise? I get the deeling it is bigger than a hatchling and if so the sooner you change his habitat the better, as he is most probably wild caught and missing a bit of open space. Do you have photos of him?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
tort diet

Thanks for your comments.

My tort has a certificate to say she was bred in the UK and registered in June 2005.

She has a good appetite and I think that the change in diet has been good for her. She does not poo everyday but now she is not eating just protein pellets that seems reasonable.

I am feeding her weeds (go out in my suit and wellies every morrning-neighbours think I'm mad!). Mostly dandelions and similar and clover, as that is what's growing at the moment. Once a week she might have store-bought lettuce like rocket and a bit of cucumber, occasionally kale.

I intend to plant her an area of the garden so she can graze freely in the summer. I would appreciate advice on what else to feed her during the winter months.
 

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Are you sure she is uk born? check again,i bet the certificate says Slovenia or similar-i know of no pet shop that sells uk born tortoise,captive bred doesnt neccesarily mean in the uk. seems like you are doing well with the diet but id avoid cucumber as it has no nutritional value at all!
 

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I agree and beolieve me there is nothing reasonable about protein pellets. Protein = damgaed kidneys. Med torts systems are not geared to digest protein in any quantity, They are however geared to withstand periods of not eating which is what should happen until it decides to eat properly again. As Kerry says a cert with CB on it will not necessarily refer to UK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks.

I've checked the certificate again and it says captive bred in UK.

Her appetite is really good and she has not fasted at all. Infact when I first started feeding her weeds she ate like she had never been fed before! That has settled down now and she eats a small amount every day. I have never seen her drink but give her a bath every day and the amount or white urates? in her urine has reduced. She used to climb straight out of the water but now she paddles for a few minutes.
 

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Where did you get her from? Have you seen the new TortoiseProtection Group on yahoo groups to stop the importation of tortoises for the trade. I find it hard to believe that the tort has come from a UK breeder with such terrible advice. The new group is set up to try to prevent loopholes in the trade. Of course the breeders name would help to see if this is one of the places that needs to be investigated. I would have thought from your description of everything that it would be high on the list ;) Are you interested in helping others to avoid the same fate?
 
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