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RE: Sick redfoot?

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Posted by: tglazie at Tue Apr 8 06:02:16 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by tglazie ]  
   

Both of your tortoises look fine. It is strange that the smaller animal (the cherry-head) has grown so little over the past few years. Has it really not grown at all? What was its length and weight when you obtained it? What are these measurements now? Slow growth I can understand, as some tortoises simply grow more slowly than their fellows. However, no growth often means a failure of development (which is unheard of in animals so large as yours; it is typically a condition of hatchlings and similarly young juveniles). It is obvious that your smallest animal suffered a substandard diet prior to your obtaining him/her, but I have seen worse. It certainly wouldn't cause a continuous lack of growth, though. Competition can have something to do with it as well. Do you notice the larger tortoise crowding the other away from foodstuffs. Does he/she sit on the food while eating, preventing the other from partaking in the feast? A friend of mine has a 1.4 group of Venezuelan red foots, and the largest female of the group engages in this greedy behavior, making it necessary for him to offer food to the tortoises individually (i.e. keeping three to four different substrate-free feeding areas). Even this, at times, does not keep her from trying the tactic. Anytime she sees another tortoise taking a bite of something, she has to rush over, squat over the food, and have at it when said tortoise retreats.

Your tortoises don't drink from their water bowl, which is not at all uncommon. I find that many times, redfoots kept indoors tend to form routines around soakings. Also, the warm water is that much more attractive than the room temperature offerings of the sitting bowl. Your misting routine is also probably contributing to the seeming refusal of drink from the water bowl as well.

Ultimately, what it really comes down to is whether or not the animals are eating, whether or not the animals are active and alert, and whether or not they are free from injury or visible symptoms of illness or deficiency. If your tortoise has been in exceptional spirits and livliness for the past year, chances are it will continue to be this way lest some accident or new arrival puts this in jeopardy. I've never kept cherryheads, so I'm not certain of any diseases that can be transmitted between these animals. Chances are, as said previously, if they've been together this long and there are no problems, there probably won't be any. Redfoots are hardy tortoises, and I've never known one to succumb to a respiratory illness (or any illness, for that matter) following exposure to a different species of tortoise. That being said, I wouldn't go taking any chances with new tortoises, not even other redfoots, at least not without a proper period of quarantine. Redfoots tend to be inquisitive, and this is often mistaken for friendliness, but I would describe it more as a nonaggressive curiosity.

From the description of your care regimin, I would say you're doing just fine. Keep up what you're doing. Post up details should either of your animals suffer a decline in health.

T.G.


   

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