Hello,My Russian tortoise has been acting like something is biting him in the butt. He will be still the lunge forward walking like mad. Then he stops and then repeats this. I checked and didn't see anything. Also, he is fine when picked up or sitting in water. And, it is not all the time but most of the time. So, I'm puzzled. Thank you,David
Pet's Gender: Male
Pet's Age: 12
Name of Animal: Snarf
Can you tell me where Snarf is housed?
What type of diet is he on?
Is he housed outside or inside?
If inside do you have a UVB light?
Have you noticed any small bugs in the enclosure?
Snarf is inside mostly unless the weather is nice, then he's outside on a fenced balcony. He eats mostly a designated toroise food from a pet shop. He also likes dandelions and clover. He gets plenty of sun this time of year. No bugs in his enclosure. This has happened twice before in the 12 years I've had him. This is the first time it has lasted more than overnight.
This is an unusual situation. I would suggest adding some timothy hay and grasses mix to the diet as well as a few more fresh veggies. This is a great mixture that can be offered fir fiber in the diet: http://www.oxbowanimalhealth.com/products/type/detail?object=1532 this next link I am giving you is a suggested diet for Russian tortoises:
My suspicion is that Snarf may have had a gas bubble or tried to pass stool but had some difficulty and this is what may have made him jump. This can come from lack of fiber in the diet. I would try some of the dietary suggestions that I have listed and see if it makes a difference.
As I said this is very unusual and have never seen this behavior. You may also want to video it if it happens again and take Snarf and the Video into the Herp Vet to see if they feel there is something going on that needs to be addressed.
This behavior is very unusual and I hope that this information is helpful and may help resolve the problem. Please hir reply for further help and I will be happy to continue to assist you until satisfied.
Would a gas bubble last almost a week? As far as passing stool, I let him sit in water for awhile, and that helped clean out his system as I thought maybe he was constipated. He isn't! One thing I wondered, is it possible the back end of his plastron is sore? I don't see anything, but maybe when he's on the floor it applies pressure which isn't present when I pick him up and probably not present when he's sitting in water. So, is that possible, and what else should I look for?
The plastron is a possibility if this is only happening on a hard surface. I would make sure he is getting 12-14 hours of UVB rays. UVB cannot pass through glass or screening, so having a UVB light in the enclosure and offering a calcium supplement can help with shell issues.
Sometimes we see shell issues if there is not enough UVB/calcium which can cause Metabolic Bone Disease and some shell deformities.
If this continues I would have him checked out by a Herp Vet to see if there is something going on with the Plastron. A video would help the Herp Vet. If you do not have a Herp Vet, I can help locate one for you with a State.
Hi Again Joan,
Ok, I'll up his UVB and calcium. Does Metabolic Bone Disease cause tenderness as I'm thinking maybe that is what it is although, like I said before, it has occurred twice before, but it only lasted overnight. Don't have a Herp Vet. I'm in norhtern CT, just south of Springfield, MA and north of Hartford, CT.
MBD can affect the body that includes over growing of the beak, softening or mishapen shells, softening of the bones, swelling, and organ damage. Vitamin deficiencies can also cause issues, that is why I suggested some dietary improvements. The problem when the Pet shops sell a reptile, they do not give the most updated information.
These are Herp Vets in CT: http://www.anapsid.org/vets/connecticut.html
These are Herp Vets in MA: http://www.anapsid.org/vets/mass.html
This is a link for Tortoise Vets listed by State: http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Info/state_resources.htm
I personally suggest that all owners should have a once a year Exam for their Reptiles due to parasite issues as well as to be sure that they are healthy. They hide illness so well, sometimes when we see them it is late into their illness and it is heartbreaking.
Thank you very much Joan. Turtle Rescue sounds pretty rewarding.
I do all types of reptiles and living in Fl, we seen many non native species that have been imported and released.
If my answer is satisfactory, please do not forget to Rate me with a Smiley Face.
I have been doing Reptile Rescues for 15+ Years
Curiosity. You mention 12 to 14 hours of UVB. Even when I have him outside all day he spends a lot of the time in his hut. So, I'm not sure just how much UVB time he gets. Indoors hee has a large area to roam, so it would be hard to have him exposed to UVB for 12 to 14 hours. Any thoughts?
If he is getting natural unfiltered sunlight, he does not need the UVB as much inside, but if he does not get at least an hour of good sunlight that is not being filtered through a screen or glass, then he would need the UVB light longer periods.
Note: Just be cautious with the heat wave as he can dehrydrate or become overheated outside.
Ok, good. He hasn't spent too much time outside during the heatwave. He's convinced it gives him wrinkles, and he's very vain about his looks.
I am sure Snraf is a very handome Devil! I am sure he would never look bad and a lady tortoise would love him! Joan
Yes he is. He's a babe magnet. Sometimes I'm surprised he fits in his shell with that ego of his.
Give him a little fruit treat for me. Joan
Ok, will do Joan.