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Hi, my nan has had her tortoise for over 50 years now and its never had any problems until recently. He developed very swollen front legs so my nan took him to a reptile vet who gave him an injection and took an x-ray, she said it looked as though he had problems with his kidneys.

The injection didn't help so today my nan took him back to see the vet who gave him blood tests and suggested putting the tortoise in a bowl of warm water with added vitamins to try and encourage him to drink... he never usually drinks water, only gets his fluid through his food.

So has anyone experienced this before? any advice would be much appreciated. I was also wondering if he's getting enough heat/sunlight to warm him up? he's always lived outside but i've seen some tortoises on here with heat lamps? would a heat lamp help him??
 

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The idea that tortoises dont need any extra water other than from their food is a myth, Water should be provided at all times. Do what the vet says, Hope the tort gets better soon. : victory:
 

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Hi, my nan has had her tortoise for over 50 years now and its never had any problems until recently. He developed very swollen front legs so my nan took him to a reptile vet who gave him an injection and took an x-ray, she said it looked as though he had problems with his kidneys.

The injection didn't help so today my nan took him back to see the vet who gave him blood tests and suggested putting the tortoise in a bowl of warm water with added vitamins to try and encourage him to drink... he never usually drinks water, only gets his fluid through his food.

So has anyone experienced this before? any advice would be much appreciated. I was also wondering if he's getting enough heat/sunlight to warm him up? he's always lived outside but i've seen some tortoises on here with heat lamps? would a heat lamp help him??
Firstly :welcome: to RFUK... secondly well done to your nan for having kept him nice and healthy for over 50 years.

Torts should really have access to water and it would be a good idea if your nan followed the vets advice. The solution the vet will have given your nan will help the tort rehydrate. Once he's recovered it would be a good idea if your nan carries on with the baths two or three times a week to encourage him to drink. Just an old washing up bowl with lukewarm water up to the bottom of his shell for about 15 minutes.

Does the tort have an indoor shed or something that he has access to in the garden? A heat lamp in something like that would probably help him but he's obviously done okay so far! We all tend to use supplements like nutrobal and calcium which I don't suppose he's had either... but as just said he's done okay.

Do you know what species the tort is?

Send my best wishes to your nan and tell her I hope her tort makes a full recovery... oh tell her she has a lovely grandchild too to be so concerned. :)
 

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I don't have any experience of kidney problems with torts I'm afraid. All I can say is, is the vet a specialist in torts? Too many vets know very little about torts but "treat" them.

I do think the tort should have access to water at all times. I bath mine 3 times a week in hand warm water, if they want to drink they can, but if they don't want to they won't bother. They also have a water bowl that they can drink from at any time.

Yes, I would definitely say your tort needs a basking light and UV, especially if your weather has been anything like mine recently! The basking light only needs to be a spotlight bulb, but hung so that the temp at tort shell level is about 28-30C (approx 82F). You can buy a UV strip light from a reptile shop, it also needs a starter unit. I use a Reptisun 10.0 for my torts.
 

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The idea that tortoises dont need any extra water other than from their food is a myth, Water should be provided at all times. Do what the vet says, Hope the tort gets better soon. : victory:
I have tried everything to encourage my Leopards to drink but they just wont - I bath them most days and mine do get hydration from their food - mind you I wash my weeds several times before I give them anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the replys, i will set up a basking lamp for him tomorrow, would it be a similar set up as what my turtles have? just a normal light bulb for a basking lamp and then a 10.0 reptile uvb tube?

He does have water but never seems to drink, my nan does soak all his food in water though and he loves dandelions which have the milky stuff in the stem so i presume he gets fluid from those?

I'll try and get some pics of him to post if someone could tell me which species he is?
 

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Bless Him,
All Our Torts Have Water And Basking Light Ect, Im Sorry To Hear He Is Unwell,hope What The Vet Sugested Will Do The Job And Hope The Blood's Are Ok 2,never Heard Of Kidney Problems Hope I Dont Need To Research It Either Wouldnt Wish This On Any Tort I Do Hope Your Guy Gets Well Soon,
If You Post Pics We Can Have A Go At Id'ing Them For You,
 

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Thanks for all the replys, i will set up a basking lamp for him tomorrow, would it be a similar set up as what my turtles have? just a normal light bulb for a basking lamp and then a 10.0 reptile uvb tube?

He does have water but never seems to drink, my nan does soak all his food in water though and he loves dandelions which have the milky stuff in the stem so i presume he gets fluid from those?

I'll try and get some pics of him to post if someone could tell me which species he is?
Yes the lights will be the same as you use for your turtles. You should be aiming for a basking temp (measured as though it's at the top of the torts shell) of 30 - 32 degs C.

He will be getting fluid from his food, especially as it's soaked in water, that's what I do when I feed mine too. A bath two or three times a week will not only help him hydrate it also encourages them to pass urates which is very important so that there isn't a build up.

It would be lovely to see pics of him and hopefully someone will be able to id him for you and your nan.
 

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often kidney problems are caused by dehydration. its exactly the same in us humans. as soon as we are diagnosed with an infection we are told to drink much more fluids to flush out our kidneys. the "old school" methods never really favoured bathing a tort or providing water. By the sound of it my aunty may was just the same as your nan! we would always find thetortoise in the digs water bowl when i was a kid.

and just as an after thought, my aunts tort lived in the garden and died of kidney failure after a neighbour used some different chemical pesticides/ fertilizers on the greenhouse plants next door. the stuff leached under the ground and poisened the grass he was eating. may be worth you asking the nieghbours if they have put any chemicals down or changed anything.

i really hope yourtort is ok, tell your nan the vet will do his best to get him back to full health.
 

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Hello

I had a very similiar scenario last summer with a tort who had just come to me.....she had swelling and when she did pass urine it was disgusting...almost like egg yolk(it wasnt eggs that she had retained and had broken inside).

She did the very best she could to help herself...oddly enough....she drank copious amounts of water. It may be worth trying rainwater as she would drink that every time...she will not touch tap water, also she liked it cold...even now she sits out in the rain drinking water from puddles all the time.

It took 3 months for her to turn a corner and begin to eat, she was obviously dehydrated and anorexic.

You should see her this year!! she is singled handedly clearing all the edible plants/clover/lawn..
 
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