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Old 13-07-2020, 05:15 PM   #1
Rambotron
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Default Soil stuck in tortoises.... "intimates"

Hi All,

My tortoise, Irwin , has reached maturity recently and sometimes displays himself (when urinating or for 'fun') the only issue is, I keep him on a mix of coco coir and loam and he ends up with substrate stuck on his bits

I assume this happens in the wild so I wouldn't be too worried except it seems to be uncomfortable for him and he spends a long time afterwards shaking his tail around and straining.

I dont want the force of him straining to shake off substrate to cause him a prolapse or anything.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Hes a 5-6 years old Mediterranean Spur Thigh, I adopted him 3 years ago.
I thought he was a female at first but the vet set me straight a while back. Hes not tried to hump anything yet lol, its like hes just discovered his junk and isnt too sure what to do with it.

As a bit of background, not long after I got him he passed an enormous urate mass that had been building since before i got him. He was treated by the vets for a while after to ensure no further build up but he tore his cloaca during the process of passing the stone and although healed no, it remains somewhat 'loose' and so soil enters easily.
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Old 13-07-2020, 06:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambotron View Post
Hi All,

My tortoise, Irwin , has reached maturity recently and sometimes displays himself (when urinating or for 'fun') the only issue is, I keep him on a mix of coco coir and loam and he ends up with substrate stuck on his bits

I assume this happens in the wild so I wouldn't be too worried except it seems to be uncomfortable for him and he spends a long time afterwards shaking his tail around and straining.

I dont want the force of him straining to shake off substrate to cause him a prolapse or anything.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Hes a 5-6 years old Mediterranean Spur Thigh, I adopted him 3 years ago.
I thought he was a female at first but the vet set me straight a while back. Hes not tried to hump anything yet lol, its like hes just discovered his junk and isnt too sure what to do with it.

As a bit of background, not long after I got him he passed an enormous urate mass that had been building since before i got him. He was treated by the vets for a while after to ensure no further build up but he tore his cloaca during the process of passing the stone and although healed no, it remains somewhat 'loose' and so soil enters easily.

It sounds like he might have bladder stones again, I dont know if the vet told you, its a sign of dehydration. This time of the year your tortoise should be outside, where temps vary through out the day. When they are kept inside with the same temps all day, and the temps outside are high, there is more of a chance of dehydration. I think coco coir is a very dry substrate (sorry I have never used it) and could well be irritating him. The only other thing would be to get it checked by a vet, he might well need a stitch to help keep things in more easily:0)
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Old 13-07-2020, 09:54 PM   #3
Rambotron
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Thanks for the reply

It's definately not bladder stones, his last x-ray was 4 months ago and he had no signs of building one up again.

It was dehydration and poor care from the previous owners that caused the first. He was in very poor shape with advanced MBD when I got him, I've worked closely with a specialist vet to get him healthy again over the last 3 years and he's been given a clean bill of health.

I moisten his substrate twice a week in hot weather and he has a 30min soak every other day (because i seem to have the only tortoise in the world who loves a warm soak) in which I've seen him drink regularly.

All bowel movements, urination and urates are normal. Hes not straining to poop.

It's simply that the substrate keeps sticking to his hemipenes and causing him discomfort :/
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Old 14-07-2020, 01:58 AM   #4
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If you spot this behaviour (which it sounds like you are) would it be an idea to jet wash" it off with a syringe filled with clean water? I have done this with various things needing cleaning, its worked well & would stop him straining, if it were clean??
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Old 14-07-2020, 06:03 AM   #5
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You say you are using a loam and coir mix so I assume you mean some sandy stuff if so get rid of it and just use good old top soil as I'm sure I wouldn't like to have sand all over my bits and bobs which is probably whats doing it.
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Old 14-07-2020, 08:48 AM   #6
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You say you are using a loam and coir mix so I assume you mean some sandy stuff if so get rid of it and just use good old top soil as I'm sure I wouldn't like to have sand all over my bits and bobs which is probably whats doing it.
I agree with Gordon if no other problems health wise:0)
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Old 14-07-2020, 10:24 AM   #7
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Thanks guys I'll remove the Loam (sand &soil mix) and switch just to top soil.

And I'll try the 'jet wash' that's a good idea! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has encountered this issue
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