Please this is urgent

by Samantha Adams
(P.E South Africa)

My baby tortise lives in an empty kitty litter box, He has a shelter and always has fresh lettuce. I always make sure there is a bit of water there for him too. At the moment he has an extremely soft shell, so soft it seems as if it is dented. I have no idea what to do and I am worried sick.Please help.

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Dec 12, 2010
Sick Tortoise
by: Shelly

Your tortoise has metabolic bone disease also known as MBD. This is very serious and will kill your tortoise if you do not reverse this right away. It sounds like your tortoise has an advanced case.

MBD is caused by a lack of calcium. First of all, the diet of lettuce is inadequate. Each type of tortoise has its own dietary needs. I have made this page about tortoise food. At the end of the page, there are links to the diets for specific tortoises.

But a tortoise needs more than a proper diet to metabolize calcium. It also needs sunlight. If you cannot provide direct sunlight (not through a window) then you need to provide a UVB light. Please read this page about proper lighting for a tortoise.

Please change your pet's diet and lighting and you may save its life.

Keep it slow and steady.

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