Slightly concave scutes in Hermann's

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Lucre
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Joined: 14 Oct 2019, 22:12

Slightly concave scutes in Hermann's

Post by Lucre » 07 Jan 2020, 16:36

Hello again.

I own a Hermann's that ate nothing but tortoise pet food and now he has a... i don't know what to call this exept for inverse pyramiding? I mean, the growth rings are slightly taller that the centre of the scute.

I put the tort back on a diet made of rocket salad and lattuce (that are the only two things in the world he will eat for now but I'm trying to make him eat the proper veggies by adding very small amounts of other leaves so that he cannot pick only the ones he likes the most - ugh, such a fussy eater...)

Sometimes I give him a bit of powdered calcium and D3 mix on his veggies.
I gave him baths, i have a UVB that was bought new in October, I have a 35 watts bulb that makes a 29° under the bulb and a 20-22° away from it.

I spray his enclosure with water when it dries up to keep the soil moist -because otherwise the seller told me he will develop Pyramiding (i dunno if that's true but I know Hermann's shoud be kept at a 60% humidity)

Is he developing inverse Pyramiding because he ate just tortoise food for two weeks? Or does he lack on something else?

Thanks for your help.
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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Slightly concave scutes in Hermann's

Post by Nina » 07 Jan 2020, 18:23

Hi Lucre,
Great to hear from you again, and I'm glad to hear that your tortoise is progressing (have you decided on a name yet)?

The wider variety of food you can give him (or her), the better. Rocket and lettuce is OK for a short time, but do persist in trying to get him to eat a wider diet -- there are lots of plants still growing outdoors at this time of year. I don't know where in Italy you live, but if it is in a milder climate then I bet there are lots of good things out there.

It sounds like you are providing a good environment (is he still in the vivarium?). The temperatures you are getting are good, and I assume that you still have the UVB lamp, and do give him the powdered calcium every day or every other day, as that will help him grow healthy shell and bone.

Regarding the slightly sunken scutes. If I remember correctly, your tortoise was born in September, and I think I have seen this sort of thing before in very young tortoises, and that there is nothing for you to worry about. Actually, from what I can see of his growth rings in the photos you attached, he looks good -- what I mean is that the growth rings are not too wide, meaning that he is growing slowly, which is what you are aiming for. I think that as time goes by his scutes will fill out and not have that sunken look. I am not a vet, and hopefully if someone has a different opinion they will post something here.

Are you keeping a record of his weight and growth? It's a good idea to keep a record, and you are aiming for him to put on between an average of between 1g - 3g per month. This is only an average, and some months he will grow more and some less, but it's good to keep records like that.

Happy New Year to you both, and I think your tortoise will really love it when the weather gets warmer and he can go out into that good Italian sunlight!

Nina

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Lucre
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Joined: 14 Oct 2019, 22:12

Re: Slightly concave scutes in Hermann's

Post by Lucre » 07 Jan 2020, 20:15

Thanks Nina for the info.

As I live next to a cornfield in a city near Milan, we have freezng winters and very hot summers. The temperatures outside now are -1° at night and 5-10°... so basically every wild plant my Jeff (I just assumed he's a male but I don't know) would eat is kinda dead.

That's why I don't want to keep him awake during the next winters… we still have shamrocks or clovers but they are from a field where dogs and other animlas could leave dirt, pee and poo… plus he would not eat those. I dunno if is for the smell, for the taste or for the scent, he just doesnt open mouth when I offer him clover Leaves.

I found a few dandelion growing spots but there are no flowers now, so I'll keep an eye on those plants.
The good thing is that I live far away from the centre of Milan so I'm not worried about nasty chemicals and pollution in the actual leaves.

I do have Jeff's growing sheet.

30 October: 23g
16 Novemer: 24g
23 December: 25g
4 January: 29g

I was surprised that he had 29g but I feel like he was gonna poop soon so ill say 28g? Maybe.

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Slightly concave scutes in Hermann's

Post by Nina » 07 Jan 2020, 22:28

Hi Lucre,

Well, it's certainly colder in Milan now than it is in Oxford. Yes, I can understand that most of the wild plants are dead at this time of year. If you do find any dandelions you can feed him the leaves -- just don't pick all the leaves off of one plant, as you will want that plant to continue to grow, to provide more food next summer. If you can find Kale in a supermarket, you could add a little of that to his diet -- just to give variety.

I'm glad that you are keeping records of his growth. He is making nice steady growth, and you are right -- a poo can make a huge difference in weight, so he probably didn't gain as much as it seemed between December 23rd and January 4th. But even if he did, that is fine because in the other months he only gained one gram, and it is an average of 1g - 3g per month over a whole year, so it evens out.

I think you are providing him with really good care, Lucre, and he will grow up to be a happy and very healthy tortoise!

For information, if he doesn't want to try new food, you could try the methods suggested in this article from our website. Tortoises can be really stubborn when it comes to likes and dislikes of food -- they like to stress us out!
https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tor ... hUFgvzgq9s (forgive me if I have sent you this link before).

Nina

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Lucre
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Joined: 14 Oct 2019, 22:12

Re: Slightly concave scutes in Hermann's

Post by Lucre » 07 Jan 2020, 23:06

Thanks for the advice.

Yes, I heard that you need to chop the old food with the new food and spray than so they’ll stick together. Maybe I have already read this article. I didn’t remember the cucumber trick but I’ll try that (even though I personally hate cucumbers with all my heart so I’ll just buy a very small one so it won’t be wasted).

I’ll keep you informed.

Happy 2020 to all of you and thank you again for your help.

Lucre

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