White Stuff

by Karen
(Cave Creek, Arizona)

What does it mean if my desert tortoise has white stuff in the aquarium? I am not sure which end it came out of. I am not even sure if its a boy or girl. Its a little over a year old and has been inside since I got it. I fed it kale, parsley, carrot tops, dandialion, and fruit once in a while. Have not had any issues until today. Please advise.

Comments for White Stuff

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Oct 15, 2010
Urates is what the white stuff is called
by: Don Williams

The white stuff is uric acid known as urates, and is a by product produced from protein and nitrogen to bind up potassium salts which can be toxic for your desert tortoise if in excess. If they are gritty or chalky, either your tortoise is dehydrated or it is getting too much potassium in diet.
Aquariums are not optimal habitats for desert tortoises and diets of grocery greens/veggies/fruits are not healthy either, and will often result in an excess of these urates.
Please research more up to date care info for desert tortoises, such as that found at
www.donsdeserttortoises.com and
I am also always open to private mails via my website with questions on my shelled friends, having done rescue and rehabilitation with captive desert tortoises via CTTC (www.tortoise.org) for almost ten years.
Hope that helps,
Don Williams

Oct 14, 2010
white Stuff!
by: Danielle

Is the white stuff chalky?

When my tortoise goes to the toilet all white chalky stuff comes out after, I asked a pet shop owner and she said it was calcium coming out. She gave me some Cuttlefish and told me to smash it to pieces and sprinkle it on his food daily cos its good for his shell.

Hope this helps

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