Keeping people safe while caring for pets during the COVID-19 outbreak
To all our valuable clients and their pets, we at the Veterinary Center will continue to stay open to care for ill pets during this difficult time, but to ensure the health and safety of you, your pets, and our staff, we are implementing some new protocols:
All payment for services will be due at the time of treatment, as usual, and will be processed over the phone. We are sorry if these new policies inconvenience our clients in any way, but in order to keep our staff healthy so that we may be there to treat your pets, we feel that these steps are necessary. We cannot compromise on these new policies and risk the health of our staff. Please be patient during these trying times so that we can all get through this safely and not compromise our health or the health of our beloved pets.Learn More
All tortoises should be examined by an exotic animal veterinarian both just after purchase, to ensure that husbandry and feeding requirements are being met, and annually to make sure tortoises stay healthy. In general, all tortoises carry some gastrointestinal parasites. Thus, their feces should be checked, and they should be de-wormed at least once. Proper preventative medicine, particularly with reptiles, whose health depends so much on their environmental conditions, is essential to helping ensure your tortoise’s well-being.
Above adapted with permission from the Zoological Education Network.
Larger species need penned off areas such as small rooms, screened in areas outside, or garages. Ensure all enclosures are safe from predators. Must have a secure, “night house” (i.e. wood box) for shade and safety. These houses may need radiant heaters during cooler nights.
Prevent accidental escapes by burying a foot of hardware cloth 8 inches deep around the perimeter of the outdoor area and placing at least a 2-foot high fence above ground.
The general recommendation for most tortoises, depending on species, is to feed commercially available high fiber pellets as the basis of the diet, supplemented with fresh vegetables and small amounts of fruit, with unlimited amounts of grass hay or untreated/unfertilized grass. Avoid feeding excessive amounts of asparagus, beets, and kale, as these may be associated with urinary tract problems if fed in excess. Some commercially available pelleted diets made for tortoises are too high (>24%) in starch and should be offered only in very small amounts. Tortoises should receive supplemental calcium without vitamin D3 dusted on their food every other day.
Tortoises also should be supplemented 2-3 times per week with a calcium supplement (phosphorus-free) without vitamin D3 dusted on food every day when they are growing and every other day when they’re adults. Tortoises should also be supplemented with a general multi-vitamin 1-2 times per month.