Talking about poop is never an enjoyable subject, but for a sulcata tortoise owner, knowing about poop can help you identify if you have a sick pet on your hand, ensuring you provide the best care to help your pet thrive in captivity.
How Often Should A Sulcata Tortoise Poop
A sulcata tortoise should poop every two or three days. They don't go as often as humans or other animals, due to their genetic makeup. Some tortoises poop less frequently than others, at the same time going too long without pooping can be a sign of a health problem that needs your attention.
What Should Sulcata Tortoise Poop Look Like
Knowing what normal sulcata tortoise poop looks like, compared to a runny or white poop, can help you quickly identify any potential health problems, making necessary adjustments, or seeking veterinary care soonest to ensure you have a healthy sulcata on your hands.
Sulcata Tortoise Healthy Poop
Sulcata tortoise poop is firm and well-formed. It's usually brown or a green/brown color and is fibrous. You can usually identify the plant material easily within the poop.
Sulcata Tortoise Runny Poop
If your tortoise poop suddenly becomes runny, then there could be cause for concern regarding diet. The same as humans, if you eat too much of something it can cause digestive issues. Correct diet is often the most common cause of runny poop. Your sulcata diet should comprise of what it would eat in the wild, therefore plenty of vegetables and leafy weeds. If you have a tortoise with a sweet tooth, then too much fruit can make the poop become watery. Ensure you provide a fiber-rich diet with plenty of leafy vegetables.
Another cause of a runny poop in your sulcata could be a parasitic infection. If you change the diet and the poop still appears runny, then you will want to speak to your vet and collect a stool sample for analysis. Sulcata tortoises are also prone to threadworm, which are very small worms which will be noticeable in the runny poop. This may be accompanied with a lack of appetite and lethargy.
Sulcata Tortoise White Poop
Noticing that your sulcata tortoise’s poop is semi-solid with white material can be worrying. It's not uncommon for sulcata tortoises to urinate when they poop. Urine is a release of toxins that is yellow in color. Tortoises release urinates as well, which is when the nitrogen is released in the urine known as uric acid. This uric acid can be dry and may not dissolve in liquid. It may be gritty and look semi-solid or liquid.
If you see white urate in your tortoise’s poop, then you can relax, this is healthy urate and should look similar to toothpaste.
Why Is My Sulcata Tortoise Eating Poop
Horror, you look in your sulcata tortoise's enclosure and it’s sitting here eating its own poop. This is very common with these tortoises and isn't cause for concern, in fact, it helps the tortoise absorb any nutrients it didn't absorb the first time around. Ensure you are providing ample high-quality fresh food and that your tortoise isn't eating its own poop due to hunger.
How Long Can A Sulcata Tortoise Go Without Pooping
Not every sulcata tortoise is going to poop at the same time, some go every second day, and some every fourth. The average is two to three days, which means that if your sulcata hasn't gone in five to seven days, it’s time to start seeing if there is a problem.
Getting to know your sulcata tortoise’s poop routine is the best way to quickly identify if there are any problems. Monitoring their poop behavior gives you an effective way to monitor their overall health.
How To Make A Sulcata Tortoise Poop
Soaking your sulcata tortoise in a warm water bath for up to thirty minutes can help to encourage your pet to poop. Ensure you keep the water warm, which means you may need to add some more warm while your pet soaks. The water will help rehydrate your pet and encourage a natural bowel movement. If the tortoise doesn't go, try it again the next day. Soaking can be done daily for up to thirty minutes.
Interestingly, pumpkin can be a natural laxative for your tortoise, encouraging it to poop. Not all tortoises will enjoy the taste. Consider using a cheese grater and grater it into the food. Pumpkin, with seeds, is an excellent dewormer.
You want to ensure you keep your tortoise’s enclosure at optimum humidity levels. Humidity aids in hydration and your tortoise may not poop due to dehydration. Adding some coconut fibers to your tortoise’s favorite area in the enclosure and misting regularly can help to increase humidity and boost hydration.
Sulcata tortoises should eat leafy weeds, not salad greens. Lettuce doesn't contain much nutrients, but it is an excellent source of moisture. If your tortoise won't or cannot poop, consider giving it some lettuce to make the poop watery and encourage defecation.