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My herman won't eat.


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#1 Guest_tasmin_*

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 10:03 PM

Hello, I'm hoping someone can help me. My male herman tortoise is stopped eating for a good month. I'm very worried about him and he used to have a good appetite. When I leave him wander around, he's very quick to try and eat the cat biscuits (obviously I always pick them up or stop him). He was living with a female but I had to separate them, when he wanders he climbs into her home and starts nipping her (which is why I had to separate them because my female became very ill with him trying to mate with her all the time) so he seems happy in himself otherwise. But he won't eat and tends to sleep more. I'm very upset by this and am wondering if they are better off in a shelter. Can someone please help me?

Many thanks for your time x



#2 Guest_Hermie + Pebble_*

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 10:19 PM


Hi, couple of questions to help answer you,

how old is he?
has he ever been wormed?
did he hibernate this year?
what sort of set up is he in, what lights etc? (if not hibernating they can need more heat /light to counter the urge to sleep)
what are you offering as food and is he bathing and drinking?


don't worry, loads of peeps on here with good advice for you. xx

#3 Guest_tasmin_*

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 01:04 PM

QUOTE (Hermie + Pebble @ Jan 31 2010, 10:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi, couple of questions to help answer you,

how old is he?
has he ever been wormed?
did he hibernate this year?
what sort of set up is he in, what lights etc? (if not hibernating they can need more heat /light to counter the urge to sleep)
what are you offering as food and is he bathing and drinking?


don't worry, loads of peeps on here with good advice for you. xx



Hello,

Thank you ever so much for your reply. He is 4 years old, and I haven't hibernated him yet as I was told to wait until he is a little bigger as there is a chance he could die. He was wormed in 2008 which has made me realise I need to have him wormed, so I will get him to the vets asap. He is in, which I absolutely hate, a vivarium. I want to keep him out doors but with the weather and the fact I'm not advised to hibernate him is putting me off keeping him outdoors. I can't have an open top table as I have cats which makes it difficult, and I have two tortoises which the vet told me to keep seperated as the male harrasses the female, and she became very ill with being pestered! typical male!! lol!

#4 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 01:39 PM

Hi Tamsin

Firstly its rubbish that tortoises have to be "a little bigger to hibernate them" as they hibernate in the wild from year one. And its perfectly ok to hibernate them, provided you follow the right instuctions.
Its usually keepers too scared to hibernate their tortoises:0(
He has probably slowed down, because he has not hibernated, and has tried to do this himself, especially if previously he has been healthy.

You can easily keep your tortoise in an open topped enclosure, just put a removable wire mesh over the top of the enclosure.

You should only in my opinion worm tortoises if they are shop bought or captive farmed. Then after that as and when you see worms. I dont like medicating my tortoises unless really needed too.

Males I am afraid will do what males will do:0) And keeping them seperated inside is a good idea, as the female can get really stressed. But outside if you have a big enough enclosure with lots of plants to hide in and from. You have more chance of putting them together.


#5 Guest_wizzasmum_*

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 05:50 PM

QUOTE (tasmin @ Feb 9 2010, 01:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hello,

Thank you ever so much for your reply. He is 4 years old, and I haven't hibernated him yet as I was told to wait until he is a little bigger as there is a chance he could die. He was wormed in 2008 which has made me realise I need to have him wormed, so I will get him to the vets asap. He is in, which I absolutely hate, a vivarium. I want to keep him out doors but with the weather and the fact I'm not advised to hibernate him is putting me off keeping him outdoors. I can't have an open top table as I have cats which makes it difficult, and I have two tortoises which the vet told me to keep seperated as the male harrasses the female, and she became very ill with being pestered! typical male!! lol!



Hi Tasmin
Tortoises in the wild will hibernate from day one so don't worry on that score, it's usually what pet shops tell you to give their imports a better chance to survive - doesn't always work though.
Have a faecal sample done to see if he has worms before going ahead. Years ago I took part in a study for the Royal Veterinary College and the conclusion was that all imported tortoises should be worked immediately on coming into the country, captive bred tortoises are generally OK if kept indoors as hatchlings but once outside should be wormed annualy as birds, frogs etc all carry the same species of worm that affects tortoises, therefore constantly reinfecting the soil they walk on. In the wild tortoises shed faeces containing worm eggs but are not so likely to walk over that ground again, getting reinfected, than if kept in captivity. I therefore worm all my tortoises (same as my dogs etc) annually to be sure of a healthy gut. The Tortoise Trust recommends the same too http://www.tortoiset....html#Parasites
Hope this helps

#6 Guest_Hermie + Pebble_*

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 06:59 PM



Has he made any improvements over the last couple of weeks? It does rather sound like he is just acting on instinct and trying to hibernate. Alot of people who have to overwinter their torts for whatever reason do say they need to up the lights to keep them awake. Don't forget how strong instinct can be.

Food wise it could also be that he knows he shouldnt be eating at this time of year- they have to be well warmed up to eat as well. Are you checking his weight regularly?

You'd be surprised at how long they can go without food as well, remarkable little critters really. lol.

Let us know how he's going and any more worries post them on here. Have a look through some of the pics as well, Dawn I think posted pics of here rabbit cages used for the torts- great idea for inside if you have cats and not too expensive either. Would be nice to be able to get them back together, and if theres enough room and hidey holes she gets to hide and he gets a good mooch around and gets sidetracked with other things- you know how easy it is to sidetrack a bloke!!! lol

xx

#7 Guest_Hermie + Pebble_*

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 07:01 PM


By the way- would definitely hibernate him next year. Loads of info on here about it and plenty of support as well. xx

#8 Guest_tasmin_*

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 05:02 PM

Hello everyone, thank you all so much for the kind advice and help. I let him out for a walk yesterday and let the female out too, they seemed to be sniffing each other for a while and she seemed happy enough, I left the room for a few minutes only to come back and find them mating - not amused. I separated them (much to my males horror who tried to 'finish off' by mating with him wooden bed - I felt so mean) and since then his appetite has picked up!! He ate quite a bit of food and he's munching away now as I type. So perhaps it was a case of him needing some 'loving', I don't know.

But I REALLY hope she doesn't have eggs again :-( it cost me 300 last year for her to have eggs with the x-rays and treatment, and I had to have her induced twice.

I am looking into getting an open top table for them, but I have no room for two separate ones so I have been thinking of possible designs to build two in one kind of thing. My parents are very keen for me to give them up to a shelter :-( I really really don't want to, I was going to move out with my partner and had a whole housing plan for them both indoors and outdoors where they would have had loads of room and freedom, but we have split up and I can't afford a home of my own!!

I knew they would be indoors for a few years when I had them but I didn't expect the female to grow as she has, she is living in her second vivarium now and even that is getting to small for her.

I really don't know what to do. It would break my heart to let them go, and I'm getting upset thinking about it because I really don't want to! and I am definitely not the kind of person who has animals and then 'gets rid of them', these were going to be part of my inheritance and passed on to my children if I ever have any! But I am wondering if its kinder for them both :-(

Has anyone been through this kind of thing?

xx


#9 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 06:07 PM


Hi Tasmin,

I have found myself wondering about the answer to your problems, but truthfully, only you can decide.

An indoor vivarium is not, as you know, an ideal set up long term. Could you build an outside run for the summer? Would your parents help? What if you were to let one of them go, could you manage then? How old are your torts? Why is your female growing so fast? What do you feed her? Do they get bathed often? As can dehydrate quickly in a viv.

It really is a tough decision that only you can make. If you choose to keep them perhaps the people on this site can offer lots of advice to help you improve things for the little guys.

Paula x

#10 Guest_pollyanna_*

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 08:09 PM

QUOTE (tasmin @ Feb 9 2010, 02:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hello,

Thank you ever so much for your reply. He is 4 years old, and I haven't hibernated him yet as I was told to wait until he is a little bigger as there is a chance he could die. He was wormed in 2008 which has made me realise I need to have him wormed, so I will get him to the vets asap. He is in, which I absolutely hate, a vivarium. I want to keep him out doors but with the weather and the fact I'm not advised to hibernate him is putting me off keeping him outdoors. I can't have an open top table as I have cats which makes it difficult, and I have two tortoises which the vet told me to keep seperated as the male harrasses the female, and she became very ill with being pestered! typical male!! lol!



Hiya, just a thought for you regarding the Viv, we have an "indoor house bunny" type set up for our torts. It is a large container, with metal type bars/cage going over the top of it. It seems to work quite well for us, and looking at it, I think it would prevent cats "gaining access" to it..

#11 Guest_Hermie + Pebble_*

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 09:00 PM



Just remember when it comes to the tort table it's us who want it to look good, the torts dont care. As long as they can stretch their legs and have something to walk around so its not boring they are happy.

Dont feel too pressured about big fancy structures, and if space is a problem you could have a 'bunk bed style' setup. Google tortoise tables or tortoise enclosures etc and have a look, you'd be surprised at the setups and the inventive use of old furniture.

It would be a shame to have to rehome as you seem to have their best care at heart, so have a good nose around to see what the options are before you make such a big decision. But when it comes to it you have to do what you feel is best for both of you.

Keep posting and we will do or best with advice and support.

Lezlie xx





#12 Guest_tasmin_*

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 08:08 PM

Hi everyone,

Thank you all so very much for all the advice you have given me, I really appreciate it. Sorry i haven't written sooner I don't come on the computer very often. I have been doing lots of thinking about setting up a new enclosure for them, and thinking of ways I can alter my bedroom to set up a new home. I am determined to keep them, they are 4 and 6 years old, I really don't want to give them away, they are my babies!!
I haven't a clue how she is so big, all I feed her are mixed leaves and salad, veg, and the pellets now and again, she clears the bowl and I don't like to give more just incase, should I be giving her more?

The vet did say females grow bigger than males so perhaps that what it is :-)

xx





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