TO CARE FOR AUSTRALIAN FRESHWATER TORTOISES
If you keep the
water clean, feed your tortoises on a variety of the proper
foods and provide sunlight rays and calcium, they should never
encounter sickness. Sickness is often caused by malnutrition.
Sores on the plastron are caused by rough surfaces.
Use smooth rocks in pools and enclosures, cover concrete with
sand. Treat sores with a common antiseptic - not mercurochrome,
Treat cuts and bites the same way. Allow the antiseptic
to sink in for several hours before replacing the tortoise
in the water.
Swollen eyes are a result of poor diet and living conditions.
Check diet, and bathe tortoise frequently in lukewarm water
in which a little iodised table salt is dissolved.
This salt bath is also the remedy for infections of the eye
and fungus infections of the skin. Another excellent
fungus combatant is a preparation called "ANTIMALADIN"
available in aquarium shops. IODINE may also be successful.
Preparations that are safe for fish are safe for tortoises.
Warm, unfiltered sunlight is the best medicine for tortoises,
providing shade is always available. Baby tortoises can easily
be infected with fungus if they do not receive sunlight or
a sunlight substitute.
Respiratory infection may develop due to inadequate
heating of living quarters. Look for a discharge from the
nose and mouth in the form of bubbles or liquid, loss of appetite,
a "wheezing" breath and drooping head. Gradually
increase the temperature of the living quarters and treat
..... with antibiotics such as sulphadiazine, sulphamezathine
or aureomycin. In liquid form, an approximate
dose of 30mg a day for three to four days should be administered
to a tortoise with a carapace length of 22.5cm and correspondingly
smaller doses for smaller tortoises. This allows
for spillage which may occur, but if a full dose is taken,
treatment for the following day should be omitted."
Following this treatment the tortoise should be kept apart
from other tortoises until it is recovered.
Soft shell can be a fatal condition and is due to lack
of calcium and sunlight. If it does eventuate, rectify the
conditions immediately and add an antibiotic to the water
to prevent fungus infection.
If you see red or white worms wriggling at the bottom of the
tortoise tank, it means that your pets are infested with
the parasites. Treatment for worms is as follows: "Adult
tortoises are given 1 gram santonin with 1 gram calomel, and,
the following day, a full eye-dropper of castor oil. Smaller
tortoises are given a smaller amount." (Cann,
p.45). Clean tank thoroughly after treatment. A vet can give
alternative treatment for tortoises with worms.
PAGE 1 PAGE 2 PAGE
Indoor Living Quarters: PAGE
4 PAGE 5 PAGE
6 PAGE 7 PAGE
8 PAGE 9
Outdoor Living Quarters: PAGE
Feeding: PAGE 11
Hibernation: PAGE 12
Ailments: PAGE 13
Behaviour and Intelligence: PAGE
How Old is the Tortoise? PAGE
Dangers: PAGE 15
Reproduction and Sexual Differences PAGE
References: PAGE 16