Digestion and temperature

This forum covers all aspects of tortoise diet and nutrition, including mineral and vitamin supplementation and foods appropriate for different species.
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Teddy28
Posts: 34
Joined: 06 May 2017, 10:57

Digestion and temperature

Post by Teddy28 » 01 Sep 2017, 16:30

Hi there just after some advice. My tort appears to have been straining over last few weeks which I initially thought was flashing as his 'boy bit' kept showing . Erring on side of caution he went to vets (one on your list of specialist vets) who did xrays and no stones and lungs clear, so recommended daily baths for 30 plus minutes and keep an eye on him in case he prolapsed his 'boy bits'. He been much better for over a week and other than the straining he had been alert and active. Today he s straining again so i 've popped him in his bath whilst I pen this. What I m pondering now is this, is it possible that his MVB light isn't providing enough warmth and thus his digestion is sluggish causing him to be constipated? I m checking the temps as I type as he s dug into the substrate so may have lowered the substrate
level and increased the distance from lamp to shell height. Grateful for any thoughts?

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lin
Posts: 157
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Digestion and temperature

Post by lin » 01 Sep 2017, 21:11

Hiya Teddy28.
It does seem a bit strange for there to be nothing there and yet he is still straining. We are sure he is a boy :?:
It might be just a male thing, when he is warm he wants to be all manly and all that but I would keep an eye on him as the vet suggests.

Hopefully someone else will come in with their thoughts too.

Lin

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Elaine
Posts: 73
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 12:55

Re: Digestion and temperature

Post by Elaine » 01 Sep 2017, 22:14

Hi Teddy,
Firstly well done for ruling out the obvious by taking him to the vets.

It will be good to know what the temperatures are. Please remember to measure from the bottom of the light to the top of where the tortoises shell would be height wise.

With a MVL you MUST stay within the manufacturers specifications (normally on the box). Within these safe distances you can raise and lower but DONOT go below the safe distance recommended as this can cause eye damage.

If when you measure the temps. they are low you can always add another light bulb, it doesn't need to be a special UV but a simple house bulb would do.

Can i ask what substrate he has? Could he have ingested this and it may not have shown on the x-ray?

If you think constipation is the cause, the soaks will help but you could always add cucumber or any succulents to his diet to up the water content. Was he on a varied diet?

Look forward to reading your replies,
Elaine
Elaine on behalf of The Tortoise Table (T.T.T.).

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lin
Posts: 157
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Digestion and temperature

Post by lin » 01 Sep 2017, 23:47

:oops:
Hi again Teddy28.
Its just been pointed out there could be a typo or misunderstanding that we should iron out regarding the bulbs.
Do you have a MVB lamp or a MVL lamp and whatever lamp it is can you tell us what wattage it is?
Thanks.

Lin

Teddy28
Posts: 34
Joined: 06 May 2017, 10:57

Re: Digestion and temperature

Post by Teddy28 » 02 Sep 2017, 08:23

Hi all and thanks for your replies. I was a bit concerned about him possibly ingesting substrate (was pro rep tortoise substrate for his first 3 months but changed to 50/50 sterilized top soil and play sand in july) so we put in a platform after seeing Nina s tort table design and he feeds up there now rather than off a slate which he was dragging substrate on to. His light is an Acadia D3 basking lamp 100w which I 've had since mid March and its been on on average from 8 till 6 each day (unless of course it's been warm and sunny thrn he s been in his outdoor enclosure and lamp turned off) so wouldn't expect it to be ready for changing yet. Noted point about cucumber and succulents I 'll try that, he one of the rarities who turns his nose up at cucumber but will try again. Main part of his diet is plantain (the thin tall ones) leaves and lambs lettuce with as many other varieties of leaves and flowers I can add from the database. Sorry if I 've not answered something, just dashing to get tort out of bath back under lamp and get myself out to work. Btw I mist his substrate most mornings whilst he s in bath. Thanks again

Teddy28
Posts: 34
Joined: 06 May 2017, 10:57

Re: Digestion and temperature

Post by Teddy28 » 03 Sep 2017, 16:25

A first, he s just eaten a bit of cucumber and seemed to enjoy it after months of turning his nose up at it!!

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Nina
Posts: 221
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Digestion and temperature

Post by Nina » 03 Sep 2017, 16:36

Great news. They do have such strong will power, but you've obviousy persisted and won him over!

Nina

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lin
Posts: 157
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Digestion and temperature

Post by lin » 03 Sep 2017, 17:57

:lol:
I agree with Nina. Your winning, yeah!

Lin

Teddy28
Posts: 34
Joined: 06 May 2017, 10:57

Re: Digestion and temperature

Post by Teddy28 » 05 Sep 2017, 18:39

Hi again,
Sorry for the delay, Elaine asked for some temps and measurements re his light.
So it's an Arcadia D3 100w basking lamp. I 've measured the distance from top of his shell to the bulb and this is approx 18cm or 7 inch.
Took a while to measure temperatures because I have a probe gauge but he seems to take a fancy to it and kept knocking it off! Measuring again at tortoise shell height I have just got a reading of 84 to 85F (28.9 to 29.4C) directly under the lamp and else where in his table is approx 69 to 73F (20.5 to 22.7C).
I 've noticed he is moving away from directly under the lamp so only part of him is under the lamp.
Another thing I have noticed is that he is doing a fair bit of tail waggling from side to side but without wee or poo (the wee and poo functions do appear to be happening quite regularly tho) and then he buries his tail in the substrate and leaves it there, sometimes staying like that all night once his lamp had gone off, with his tail still buried in the substrate. He s still having daily baths and still seems happy with a little chunk of cucumber in with his other food.
Grateful for advice

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Elaine
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 12:55

Re: Digestion and temperature

Post by Elaine » 06 Sep 2017, 19:03

Hi Teddy<
Now we might be getting somewhere. The basking bulb should be between 12-14 inches from the top of his shell and the bottom of the bulb. So you really do need to raise this up as soon as you can. The half in half out basking MAY be because he is so desperate to act natural and gain the heat and UV but the light being so close could be to bright and powerful for his eyes. So once you've raised the basking bulb, check the temp as before (just make a little sand castle with the substrate his height) and then you will know if you now need an additional bulb to bump up the heat.

It's really good he's eating cucumber as an additional hydration in his diet under these circumstances. Always good to try foods over and over again for this very reason.

What substrate are you using?

HTH
And do get back to us if you need any help with the new bulb.

Elaine
Elaine on behalf of The Tortoise Table (T.T.T.).

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