White stone

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Starsks
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Joined: 21 Jan 2020, 15:12

White stone

Post by Starsks » 11 Feb 2021, 16:43

Hi we just removed this stone from hutch by gently breaking it up
Is this just dehydration as there are 2 water baths and I give them a bath every other day ?
Or is it food ?
We recently left soaked dry food only small amount like 10 tiny bits over the last 2 weeks
Not sure why this happened ? That’s all we changed ?
It was the size of a small un ripe grape 5mm long 2mm thick
Can’t up load it says file to big
We googled what to do as we were in a panic as hutch was being aggressive and jumping around that’s how I first noticed his tail looked bigger , turning him over we saw this huge stone :o
We soaked him but it was rock hard so gently broke it up with dental pick it came out !
He also had a normal poo after it and has calmed right down
I need to prevent this as it has been traumatic for him and us
Any advice gratefully received
Thanks
Starsks

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Nina
Posts: 1460
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: White stone

Post by Nina » 11 Feb 2021, 18:21

Hi Starsks,

Ouch! Glad the stone came out though and didn't have to be surgically removed. If you can't reduce the size of your photo, just send it to me at nina@thetortoisetable.org.uk and I will reduce it for you and post it here. In the meantime, here is a good article about bladder stones in tortoises that should give you some information about them.
https://lbah.com/reptile/tortoise-bladder-stones/

It's hard to know the exact cause of stones, but the usual reasons are dehydration or a diet that is too high in protein. I really don't think it could be dehydration in your case because you are doing everything recommended to keep them well hydrated. Also, I know that you feed a good diet, so I doubt that the protein content is high enough to cause a stone to form. And the amount of soaked dry food you are feeding -- even if it was a type that was high in protein -- would be very unlikely to have caused this, plus a stone that size would take some time to form.

So I'm at a loss really. Has he been producing normal urates with his wee before this stone was passed, and have they been watery/soft --- or sandy/gritty/hard?

Nina

Starsks
Posts: 25
Joined: 21 Jan 2020, 15:12

Re: White stone

Post by Starsks » 11 Feb 2021, 18:59

Hi Nina
Thanks for reply
I will read up on your links
He had one case which was clear mixed with toothpaste but like bird poo Sunday
Could nutribal a supplement for tortoises cause this
I put a tiny pinch on food which I spray with water twice weekly ?
Thanks
Starsks

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: White stone

Post by Nina » 11 Feb 2021, 19:54

Here's the bladder stone that is being talked about. Other than dehydration and high levels of protein in the diet I'm not sure what the cause is, unless it is something about the way that this particular tortoise isn't processing the uric acid properly.
If anyone has any ideas, please post.
Nina
[attachment=0]bladder stone.jpeg[/attachment]
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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: White stone

Post by Nina » 11 Feb 2021, 20:08

Toothpaste consistency is fine, so I'm really not sure what caused the stone, but an excess of calcium (like your Nutrobal supplement won't have caused it).

Tortoises do need lots of calcium to support all that bone and shell, and with young ones like yours they should be having a small pinch of Nutrobal every other day, and another source of calcium (like calcium carbonate powder or cuttlefish bone) on the days when they aren't having Nutrobal. The urates and the stone happen to be the same colour as white calcium but they aren't the same, and it is more likely to be either an excess of protein or too little 'long fibre'.

Can you sort of summarise his diet? I know it's difficult in winter, when there are fewer leaves around, but tortoises do need coarse fibrous material -- for example, if you are feeding sowthistle flowers and leaves, feed the stems too. Coarse, or even dried plant material makes up a lot of the diet of wild tortoises, but in captivity they tend to get plants with 'short fibres' or 'wet' food like salad leaves. These go through the digestive system too quickly and the tortoise gets less nourishment. I'm not explaining this very well, but here's an article by The Tortoise Trust that explains it: http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/dietaryfibre.html

Nina

Starsks
Posts: 25
Joined: 21 Jan 2020, 15:12

Re: White stone

Post by Starsks » 11 Feb 2021, 20:41

Read this and explains what your saying ie nutrition can be reduced but this does not cause the stone right ? Just that supplementing with shop lettuce stuff does not give much nutrition? During winter
Am I right ?
Thanks
Starsks

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: White stone

Post by Nina » 11 Feb 2021, 21:15

Yes, that's right, and I think I got sidetracked a bit. The urates (which can become bladder stones) are a product of protein digestion, and I was wondering if really slow digestion (which happens when the tortoise's diet consists of a lot of long fibres), might process any protein in the diet more efficiently than a diet of short fibres. I'm not sure if that is the case though. Everything I've read indicates that dehydration is a primary cause of the formation of stones, coupled often with too high a protein content in the diet, but that doesn't seem to be the case with your tortoises, so I'm at a loss for an explanation.

One way to get a bit more water into them is to thoroughly wet the food you are giving them (and that also helps the Nutrobal to stick to the leaves and not be wasted). You might already be doing this, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.

I'm sorry that I can't be of more help here!

Nina

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lin
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: White stone

Post by lin » 11 Feb 2021, 22:20

Hi Starsks..

I read with interest about your post tortoises stone that you amazingly removed.
I have found that some tortoises don’t process the nutrients like they should, just like us humans don’t all handle cholesterol the same.
My Mali always, in his younger years, had problems, exactly the same as your Starsks. Liquid rates one day and a few days later he would have trouble passing a fairly sizeable stone. He had water, baths, good diet, loads of finer, low protein and plenty of fresh and dried graze. The lady, Sali, she had no trouble at all with stones. Always pasty urates, same diet as Mali. Nobody could give me a reason and the only reason I could think of is just like humans they are all different and also like us we all process different things in different way.
Your thoughts?
Lin

Starsks
Posts: 25
Joined: 21 Jan 2020, 15:12

Re: White stone

Post by Starsks » 15 Feb 2021, 19:41

Hi Lyn
Thanks
I agree it’s actually hutch that’s struggling
Starsky the other one is laid back ,sleeps , eats and acts like a calm happy tortoise
Hutch however ( the stone passer) races round and round the enclosure , or front room always on the go , he’s flatter and wider than starsky , who is small and rounded
Since passing the stone he has calmed down and seems more relaxed
I wonder if it could be that he’s uncomfortable ? Hence why he’s on the move a lot ?
Starsky passes urine that looks like bird poo sometimes with grit
But hutch his urine is nearly always clear ?
So we have also been thinking he’s not passing this chalky waste and should be , it’s maybe clogged him up so to speak ?
He seems much calmer but have to wait and see , if it builds up again over the next months , if it happens again I suppose we can assume it’s a digestive issue with Hutch and hope he grows out of it
I will keep in touch
Thank you all for your help you’ve been great
Cheers
Starsks

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lin
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: White stone

Post by lin » 16 Feb 2021, 23:08

I agree his running and stomping around clearly shows his discomfort.
I wonder if it could have anything to with stress and anxiety. Are they male/female, maybe male/male.
I don’t think ssulcata,or the bigger species pass as much urates mainly because they absorb more for the amount of shell and bone growth that’s needed. Not 100% sure of that though so would have to look into it.
Lin

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