A LITTLE ADVICE

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A LITTLE ADVICE

Postby weeg » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:19 am

Hi Guys,
I have been reading a book called Sulcata and leopard Tortoises by EJ Pirog. But was wondering about information in there, he suggests using Pig Mat (which is a large heatpad for there housing. Would this be better for the tortoises than having the overhead heating that on above them during the night. They have Basking lamps each as they are too big for one bulb during the day and a thermostatically controld tube heater if temps drop below 18 degrees. He suggest it is more econimical and provides good ambient temps for leos and sully. What do some of you Big tort experts think to this idea. are they okay for them ?
he also shows them eating leaves from squash plants as a good source of food,

Any advice appreciated

Gordi
weeg
 
Posts: 452
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:40 pm
Location: warwickshire

Re: A LITTLE ADVICE

Postby Tortoise Trust » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:15 am

Any for of underfloor heat can potentially, cause problems if over-done. This is what Stuart MacArthur says:

“Ventral heat mats are inappropriate heat sources... the digestive tract lies relatively unprotected from heat just above the plastron within the coelomic cavity. Heating this area increases the digestive processes and can derange gut fermentation resulting in rupture of the small or large intestine and even death. This author (SM) has been presented with several hatchlings where use of ventral heat mats has resulted in gut rupture and death and strongly advises against this form of heat provision”.

I'd stress this applies mainly to use of heat pads in a typical vivarium, as a prime (or almost prime) source. Now... with large tortoises in a cold climate, damp/cold floors can be an issue, so here, some gentle underfloor heating will "take the chill off" and can help. It should not, in my opinion, be the main heat source however, for reasons set out above. We have used hot-water pipe underfloor heating with leopards, sulcata, stars, etc. with good results - but only as an ancillary background source to prevent chilling of the plastron. You do have to be ultra careful of electric heat and large tortoises in the UK... our voltage is 230v as opposed to 115v in the US, so any damage + water (from urination, for example) would be disastrous. Possibly one reason why you do not see these "pig blanket" type heaters in use in the UK, even on farms!

Andy
Tortoise Trust
 
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Location: Almeria, Spain

Re: A LITTLE ADVICE

Postby weeg » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:00 am

Thanks Andy,

Has answered my question perfectly. I understood it was not safe, but wanted to check that this applied to all torts. The floor is well insulated and doesnt feel cold So I shall stick with my current setup. I wondered why I hadn't heard of these blankets before.

Gordi :)
weeg
 
Posts: 452
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:40 pm
Location: warwickshire

Re: A LITTLE ADVICE

Postby Tortoise Trust » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:00 pm

They are much more common in the US, Gordi.

In fact, I do not think I have ever even seen one for sale in the UK.

Andy
Tortoise Trust
 
Posts: 8865
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:07 pm
Location: Almeria, Spain


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