Owning a pet tortoise comes with many joys but there are times when they can frighten us with something you have never seen them do before. When I saw my pet tortoise peeing seethrough liquid I was frantically researching as my belief at the time was tortoise pee white urates.
In most cases, a tortoise peeing seethrough liquid is nothing to be concerned about and is a sign you have a well-hydrated tortoise. However, it is best practice to check the diet that it is not overly wet. A tortoise should be fed on a mainly dry diet of weeds and grasses.
While that is the simple answer and should put your mind at ease upon my research I did find some things that are worth considering and checking if you do see the clear liquid.
Do Tortoises Pee Liquid?
My early knowledge of tortoises was that they do not pee and their pee is in the form of a white paste. As my understanding over the years of owning tortoises grew I now know I was a little off in my thinking.
Tortoises produce both urine and urates. Urine is in a liquid form which is stored in a tortoises bladder. The urine contains waste and toxins that are filtered from the bloodstream. Your tortoise also produces urates or uric acid which is also excreted.
So, while my early knowledge was that tortoises pee a white paste (urates) a tortoise does actually pee liquid (urine). My mind was put at ease as soon as I found this out but this does leave more questions.
Why Did My Tortoise Pee So Much?
Many people will worry when they first see their tortoise pee and some tortoises can produce lots of pee. Why some tortoises pee more than others is in most instances down to their diet.
A tortoise that pees a lot will need you to check its diet. If your tortoise pees once per day then your tortoise should be fine. However, if your tortoise is peeing more often it can be a sign your tortoise is overhydrated.
Your tortoise should have a dry diet made up of mainly grasses and weeds and you should avoid overfeeding your tortoise on wet foods. While you need to make sure your tortoise gets enough water for hydration you don’t want to overdo it. A sure sign your tortoise is over hydrated is if they are peeing lots.
At times a tortoise can become overzealous on drinking water I have one tortoise that will not keep out of the water dick. He pees a lot more than my other tortoise despite having the same diet.
In this case, I do not worry about him too much as I know that he loves to soak and this is the reason he pees more than my other tortoises.
Never Seen My Tortoise Pee Before
The worry comes when you have never seen your tortoise pee before. I would say they more than likely have you just haven’t seen them pee.
A tortoise in most instances prefers to pee when they bathe they will also poop in the water. It is harder to see your tortoise pee when doing it in the bath. While it is harder to see it is not impossible so keep a close eye on the rear of your tortoise.
If you do see your tortoise pee or poop in the water is would be advised to change out the water so your tortoise can bathe and drink clean water.
It will also be hard to spot a tortoise pee due to the best tortoise substrate to use will make it hard to see.
When To Act When You See Tortoise Pee?
If your tortoise is peeing more than once per day then you should start to take action. A tortoise peeing more than once per day is a sure sign that your tortoise is over hydrated.
The first step you should take is looking at your tortoise’s diet and making sure that you are not overfeeding your tortoise wet foods. Most tortoise diets will be mainly made up of grasses and weeds.
After making changes to your tortoise diet if your tortoise is still peeing more than once per day. The best cause of action would be to contact a local vet for some help who should be able to help you.
Being new to tortoises can lead to small mishaps that are easy to spot by someone with more experience. They are nothing wrong with asking for help and a simple fix in the most instance will get your tortoise health in better shape.
Tortoises are hardy reptiles however, the earlier you get the help if you are unable to turn it around any problem the less likely your tortoise will become seriously ill. A vet will be more than happy to help you with your tortoise and should help you point out any problems.
While seeing pee for the first time can be scary and worrying in nearly all cases it will be nothing to worry about. Even if it is our care that is causing it should be overcome with simple dietary changes.
I hope that this blog post helps ease your worry and helps you overcome the problem if you feel you have one. I know how it feels as I still remember seeing my tortoise pee for the first time.
In most instances, it will just be that we have never seen your tortoise pee before. If it is in fact that your tortoise’s diet is a little off then this should be easily overcome.
If you are new or old to tortoises educating ourselves on our shelly little friend’s diet and what foods they can and can’t eat is best practice. In most instances, a tortoise with poor health will come from a poor diet.
While tortoises are relatively easy to care their diet is always a stumbling block and we have many articles on our site to help you out.