Magpie attack!

Post your pictures and any questions here of European tortoises e.g. Ibera Spur Thigh, Ibera Graeca, Marginated, Hermanns, Kleinmanni and we include the Horsfield tortoise. Also, do add pictures of Mediterranean tortoises you have seen in the wild.
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sd2e10
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Joined: 14 May 2020, 14:04

Magpie attack!

Post by sd2e10 » 14 May 2020, 14:16

Hi all,

I just wanting to post to see if anyone could tell me what this mark is that is on my tortoises neck?

A magpie recently got into his outside enclosure and whilst there was no immediate damage (thank goodness) I have spotted this mark today. He's passed urine, urates and pooped since the attack and they all seemed fine (urine a tad yellow). He's also eating fine and running around still but I have noticed that every so often he opens his mouth for an extended period of time. I thought this could be RI but it is only happening 2/3 times a day and he seems fine in himself.

At night he is kept in an indoor box with a heat lamp that turns on at 8am each morning. Dependent upon the weather he will then be moved to an outdoor pen (since fixed to be magpie-proof). His diet is a dried wildflower mix with Nutrobal on top.

Any advice any one can give would be hugely appreciated! Our usual vet is currently closed and I'm reluctant to take him to a new one in case they just give him a Vit-A hit.

Thank you :) [attachment=0]IMG_9751.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=1]8be7baea-a437-401b-b91e-87cf0afa0e23.JPG[/attachment]
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lin
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Re: Magpie attack!

Post by lin » 14 May 2020, 19:30

Hiya. sorry I dont know your name, but how lucky you were nearby to protect your little one from danger.

I cant see what you have circled, it seems to be to dark and I wonder if you could take another one and send it in a higher resolution to stop the pixelating when its enlarged.
I hope you dont mind me mentioning that he could do with a beak trim and it will allow him to eat more comfortably.

Can you also send in a photo of his enclosure where he spends the nights and what are the temps in there. And if it is to cold outside a photo of where you keep him indoors and the temps in the hot and cool areas in that too.
Sorry for lots of questions but if you can provide answers it will allow us to comment more on the health sude of things.

Here is a horsfield caresheet that you might find useful if you don't have one.
https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... 014New.pdf

Lin

sd2e10
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Joined: 14 May 2020, 14:04

Re: Magpie attack!

Post by sd2e10 » 14 May 2020, 22:16

Hi Lin!

Thanks for the reply :) My names Sam!

I recently dropped my phone and since then the camera hasn’t been great; as soon as I can I’ll post pictures!

Underneath his heat lamp it’s between 32-34 and then the cooler end of his table is about 20. I will let him outside if it’s above 20.

Re: his beak, I don’t mind you saying at all! Before all this lockdown happened he was booked in to have it treated at the vets! I also wanted them to assess whether he has pyramiding but I guess I will have to wait for that answer!

Torts are such difficult pets as there’s always so much conflicting advice :(

Thanks for taking the time to reply x

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lin
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Re: Magpie attack!

Post by lin » 15 May 2020, 23:45

Hi Sam, before I forget can I say that tortoises are almost the easiest pets ever to care for. All we have to do is get the husbandry right, their dietry needs met and a safe secure enclosur and they practically look after themselves. :lol:

The heat - Can you drop it down a tad under the hot area so that it is aboout 30°C and measure the temp with a probe at the height of the shell directly under it. Photo below.

Thats typical the vets all closing down for lockdown just as we need them. It wont hurt to wait a while. Can I be the bringer of bad news and say yet he does have pyramiding, probably MBD, but it is something that has been going on for a while now and as I mentioned once we tweek the care and habitat it could slow down the process of the shell growth and it will never be smooth but could start to show some smooth growth in the future with slower growing

I agree there is a lot of conflicting advice out there and also good websites. Hope you like the good one you have found - ;) ;) ;) .

If you pick your tortoise up Sam, and hold his shell to your ear - can you hear anything, fluid or bubbles. I dont think the gulping motion is anything to worry about but keep an eye on him just incase.

Look forward to getting the photos when you can, no rush.
[attachment=0]Thermometer checking_TTT_Debbie_Swindells.jpg[/attachment]

Lin
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sd2e10
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Re: Magpie attack!

Post by sd2e10 » 06 Sep 2020, 09:03

Hi Lin,

I am SO SO sorry for the delay in my response! It completely slipped my mind!

He recently had a check-up at the vets and had his beak trimmed which he is very happy about! The vet advised he is ‘on the skinny side’ and that I can increase his daily food intake. For reference he has a mix of lambs lettuce, kale, petunias and dandelions daily. 3 days a week I put Nutrobal on his food. The vet advised that there doesn’t seem to be anything too sinister going on (clear eyes, respiration fine etc.) but that the pyramiding can be slowed down my soaking more often and spritzing his enclosure with water daily.

I’ve added some photos of his indoor enclosure. He has a calcium block in there too it’s just hidden in his house part!

Thanks Lin :)

Sam

sd2e10
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Joined: 14 May 2020, 14:04

Re: Magpie attack!

Post by sd2e10 » 06 Sep 2020, 09:07

Sorry Lin!

Struggling with the file size of the photos, hopefully you can see the one below. If it helps the subtrate he’s on is this one here:
https://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/-7104116p--1
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lin
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Re: Magpie attack!

Post by lin » 06 Sep 2020, 12:09

Hi Sam.
I bet he is a different tortoise after having the beak trim. Maybe that could have been part of the reason for him being underweight.
There are still plenty of weeds growing like plantain and sowthistle, bristly ox tongue,chickweed I have in my garden. So still plenty to add if you can find it. The petunia is still flowering here too. :lol:
If you haven’t already you could add a few bits of interest to the enclosure but don’t put anything too near the edges that can be made into an escape ladder. Those bendy sticks that can be made into bridges or tunnels or little Bendy fences . Half a flowerpot also makes good hiding areas, slate squares (you can buy these cheaply single or a set of slate table mat). An area of pebbles all for different textures and places to explore. Some people even put in a coloured ping pong ball so they can chase around after.
So pleased he is on the up and his neck was nothing to worry about and thank you for the update.
Don’t forget if there is anything else we can do for you just get back to us.

Lin

sd2e10
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Joined: 14 May 2020, 14:04

Re: Magpie attack!

Post by sd2e10 » 06 Sep 2020, 14:50

Hi Lin,

Thank you so much! I will be adding in some more interesting bits this week and will send you a new photo :) I’ve been told on another forum that my subtrate is hazardous and that the dishes I am using are a ‘death trap’... do you think they’re OK?

Thank you again!

Arnie and I appreciate the help loads :) xx

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lin
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Re: Magpie attack!

Post by lin » 06 Sep 2020, 20:38

OMG. Who on earth would say a thing like that :o . Did they give a reason and scientific proof in writing that it isnt any good. I am sure Nina uses the pro rep substrate now and again without any bad results, hopefully she will come on in a bit and confirm.
The water dish is fine in my opinion, I never had any mishaps using one for water and I would use slate for food because it helps keep the beak down, no other reason and certainly not because the dish isnt classed as suitable. Again, if that is the case you need written scientific evidence and not just someones say so.

Anyway, hope this has helped and I do love the name Archie, its a proper tortoise name. If there is anything else then do get back to us.

Lin

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Nina
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Re: Magpie attack!

Post by Nina » 06 Sep 2020, 22:09

Hi Sam,

I completely agree with Lin. There is nothing wrong with the Tortoise Life substrate. I have heard some people criticise any substrate that contains sand, on the grounds that it can be ingested and cause blockage, but there is no evidence to support this. If you look at the sort of substrate that tortoises live on in the wild it is a very sandy soil.

So your substrate is fine, but it's a bit expensive, and you can substitute a mixture of ordinary sterilised topsoil and children's play sand (bags of which can be bought at garden centres, Homebase, etc. and are much cheaper). Many people mix them 50/50, but personally I prefer a bit more soil than sand in the mixture, so I mix mine 60/40 or 70/30. And then you either spray it lightly each day, to keep it from getting dusty, or just pour some water on it every two or three days and mix it in. The result should be only the teeny tiniest bit damp -- not wet at all.

I used Tortoise Life five or six years ago for a while and had no problems at all, In fact you can do some interesting things with it. Because there is a fair amount of clay in the soil component, I found that if you take some Tortoise Life and wet it (so it's like a mud or wettish clay), you can mould it into things and it dries rock hard. I used to put it over one of those bendy log thingies and make a hill out of it, and I know other people have created little mounds or other shapes. Just something amusing, and eventually it breaks down, but it's fun to experiment.

Your dishes look absolutely fine to me! Did the person say why there were a death trap? If I were you I would ask them why those dishes would be a death trap for a tortoise and ask if they have evidence of tortoises dying because of them! It's absurd.

You've made a nice enclosure for your tortoise, and a few more things of interest will bring some variety, and he will really enjoy this tortoise table.

Best,
Nina

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