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Tortoise health

Tortoise Health

Monitoring your tortoise’s health is necessary to help to treat any health conditions as well as detect them early.

Due to natural wild instincts most tortoises are very good at camouflaging their health problems. In the wild, predators usually prey off the weak and the sick ones and therefore it is hard to know when your tortoise is sick and need help. And since you are the only one he has to depend on for his survival it is essential to continuously keep a check on the eating habits and physical condition and tortoise health.

As there are very few vets who are skilled in reptile care, it is very vital that you find one in your vicinity so that you are at rest about your tortoise health concerns. You could also find other tortoise lovers and owners to share your concerns or even join a club. Sharing information about the tortoise health care will help you be better prepared to deal with them.

Some of the most common tortoise health problems that you may face with your pet can be parasites.

Parasites are common health hazards to most pet reptiles. They can be in the form of protozoa or worms in the stomach or even as ticks on their bodies. Though all reptiles are carriers of parasites, it is the number and magnitude of the parasites that can be a risk to your pet. Sometime your pet’s enclosure can become the breeding place for such parasites due to lack of sunlight or too much of confinement. Another tortoise health problem can be the shell rot. Small enclosures and unclean water can promote fungus growth which can be very damaging to the tortoises shell. Shell rot might take a long time to heal moreover it can also lead to further secondary infections if this concern is not addressed immediately. Thus it requires great caution on your part to keep your pet in the right and clean environment.

Other than this, tortoises are also susceptible to metabolic bone disease. This disease usually occurs due to a poor diet and very little calcium which makes the bones very weak and brittle. This causes the shell to curve outwards and the limbs to spread out and make it difficult for the tortoise to walk properly and they tend to drag their feet each time they walk. This can be corrected by providing the right kind of diet and keeping your tortoise in the kind of environment that is favourable to it. Proper tortoise hygiene and the correct diet are the best ways of tortoise health care.

  Submitted on August 6, 2010  

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