kpopfreaksgeneral submitted to thewhimsyturtle:
Thank you very much for replying <3
This is my brother’s turtle, Morten!
I did talk to my brother between the previous submission and this one.
He says Morten is allergic to UV lights, and that it almost killed him last time since he stopped breathing. Is that something that can really happen?
Hello, Morten! What an awesome name and what a sweet grumpy face hehe. <3
There must have been something wrong with the UV light Morten had before. It was definitely not the UV itself that he was allergic to! Having a proper source of UV light is absolutely CRITICAL for a healthy tortoise. Not having UV leads to metabolic bone disease (MBD), a horrific and painful condition that is always fatal if left untreated.
We tortoises (and turtles) need a LOT of calcium to keep both our big shells and all our bones healthy. But we can’t process calcium without vitamin D, which we get from UV light, just like humans. When we don’t get enough UV, we become calcium deficient, which leads to soft and deformed shells (which causes deformed organs), brittle and unhealthy bones, and a myriad of health problems. We cannot stress enough how critically important a UV light source is!!
Hey there, @kpopfreaksgeneral
We just wanted to second what Kirby and Whimsy said above. This is really good advice. They shared some of the best articles and places to find info with you too! ( Kirby is very wise for his age.)
Having UVB is perhaps the most important of the things Morten needs. Morten is definitely showing signs of MBD and quick changes to his home he will die 🙁
I can honestly say, and I tried to do more research after reading this to be sure, that it’s not possible for him to be allergic to UV lights. That would mean Morten is allergic to sunlight and would not have survived long after hatching.
Looking at the set up I’m guessing the UV lamp increased the temperature and dried out his enclosure. This creates dust and makes things like swallowing and breathing hard. This could have caused choking or him having trouble breathing.
Please check out the amazing links Kirby and whimsy shared! All of our go to info is there. You will need to change up the substrate and try a more open enclosure. That way it can be warm right under the lamp and he can move around when he’s too hot or cold, all while getting the UVB he needs to grow a strong shell.
Like they said, it seems like a lot but its totally doable, even if you don’t have that much money. I have done lots of tortoise home DIY with very little money. Things like old bookcases, big giant tubs you can get around Christmas… lots of ways to make it work. You can also find the lamps suggested on Amazon and the substrate as well.
We hope your brother gets Morten a lamp as soon as possible, and good for you for caring enough to ask questions!