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Harriet's Shell And Not Feeding

Feeding and health issues

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#1 Harriet

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 02:29 PM

Hi there,

Sorry I've been away for a while just thought I'd got a username and password only to find I've now had to re-register with my previous username, but strange that I had to use another E-mail address as the previous one I used must still be somewhere in the system.

Anyway what has spurred me on is harriet, first she seems to have gone off her usual food fresh dandelion leaves and fresh cress with the odd carrot skin and a the ocasional piece of fruit all to no avail she just doesn't seem to want to eat and her weight has dropped to near that of her coming out of hibernation weight. We're worried plus we have had nothing but rain up here in bradford and so she has not been out and about just free in our front room where sometimes the sun makes an appearance. She just seems happy in her box to go into her covered den and cool down rather than be out and about and eating and keeping warm.

Her next problem not sure if these are related is that on her underside shell she has a flaky piece that I don't want to pull or cut off but I'm just unsure what has caused it and it is something like a salmon fish scale if that makes any sense half of it is firmly attached to her shell the other half just ocasionally catches when I dry her off after here regular daily bath.

Anyway anyone have any ideas as to what is going on if so please post your thoughts they would be most welcome.

Many thanks, Tim.

#2 Freddy

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 03:06 PM

Hi Tim,
Sorry about the problem with your username and e-mail address. I am not too sure what happened there.
The weather hasn't been very good over the past few months which is probably why Harriet hasn't been eating too well. I have had the same problem with my own tortoise. My way around this is to ensure she eats on the sunny days she is outside. I do this by hand feeding her. This can be time consuming but at least I know she is getting some food inside of her. Some tortoises simply will not eat indoors especially when they are used to outdoor life.
With regard to the flaky piece on Harriet's shell. It is probably from wear and tear and will eventually resolve itself over time and with regular bathing. I wouldn't try to pull it off as it might cause an open sore and lead to a bacterial or fungal infection. Anyway Tim, I hope my advice has been of some help to you. I wish you the best of luck for now and l look forward to talking with you again soon.Take care.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#3 Harriet

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:07 PM

Hi there,

Thanks Freddy i did think along those lines and she has always eaten indoors and out of doors as well but the weather has been so aweful and still remains so at the moment, never mind it could be worse.

She has eaten today but she certainly is not eating like she normally has done.

i certainly wasn't going to cut or rip the flake off I was more wondering what it was and how it had happened as you rightly say nature will resolve it over time.

Doesn't seem so long since she came out of hibernation and now it's not so long before she is due to go into hibernation and i just wanted her weight to increase rather than decrease like it normally has guess she's just living in not such an ordinary time, I guess she must know by the way she is controlling what and when she eats, just remarkable.

Anyhow I will if I have to resort to hand feeding and maybe trying other different foods into her diet.

On the membership question did the whole system crash and everybody had to be reallocated with their usernames etc. I tried to logon a while ago with what had been my user name and I just gave up in the end until today when i just rejoined but there is one of my E-mail addresses still remains within the system that I cannot use good job i have other E-mail addresses. Anyway it is now working, and hopefully so will harriet in the near future.

Again many thanks for your quick response.

Tim.

#4 Guest_Chrissyan_*

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:45 PM

Welcome back Tim-Ann :wave:


The forum suffered from some severe problems, it was inundated with spam & then hacked :unsure2: Everyone, I mean everyone's accounts were deleted, even the admins.http://www.hermann-t...?showtopic=7248

However the forum is back & running okay now :thumbup: I didn't know about the e-mail issue, I must have inadvertently used a different one when I re-joined, luckily the old accounts still show with the user names, but their posts and photos, so it could have been a lot worse. :phew: I do not believe anything can be done to free up the old e-mail accounts, but I will check it out. EDIT: Harriett http://www.hermann-t...?showuser=22562 is using it. :winkgrin:


Re: your tort, I expect like the rest of us, she doesn't understand it's summer. :rolleyes: Are your UV and warming lamps still good,?I have read that the combi ones need replacing regularly. On the odd occasions the sun does shine up north, get her outside in it. Do you give her calcium & vitamin supplement?

Carrots should not be fed as they are too high in oxalic acid stopping them from absorbing calcium, also fruit should not be fed at all, not enough fibre & nutrition and too much sugar (it's like giving children sweets)

The upside of this rain is that there are weeds everywhere, so perhaps she might like to try a few new ones, such as plantain (I even have this in my lawn) :rolleyes: sticky weed, ground elder etc. There are also a lot of garden plants with edible flowers she might like to try, like pansy, rose petals, nastursium etc.A good varied weed & flower diet, with no fruit & vegetables is the best nutrition wise for Harriet :) The Tortoise Table have an edible plant booklet you can print off: http://www.thetortoi..._booklet_40.asp

I can't really advise on the shell, if you are still concerned perhaps a visit to a specialist vet might be in order. Do you want to post a photo of the damage and one of our members with more experience than me may like to give their opinion.

#5 Harriet

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 07:37 PM

Hi there,


Ah that's what happened well thus far they haven't managed to spam back to me fingers crossed.

I renew all her lamps evry year and we use a heat lamp and have a heater element as well but she seems at the moment to prefer to head back into her sleeping area and when i pull her out she is cool but not ice cold after all it hasn't been cold just a lack of sun and loads of rain.

Harriet has only had a strawberry top once in her young life and only a couple of carrot skin peelings but it's not something we give here loads of but I do feel concerned that her life revolves around Dandelion’s and fresh Cress I do remember last year we grew fresh lettuce for her which she enjoyed well she ate it when given but this year the slugs have beaten her to it which has not helped and we’ve tried other weeds etc. But I’m so unsure of what to safely give her sorry but one weed looks the same as the others to me. I’ve worked out which is Plantain but she just doesn’t seem to go for that so I’m busy trying to get the right foods onto her table but for me that has just not proved to be very easy, we’ll get there though, we have to. Though I'm terified of picking the wrong weed, flower I've bought large books with pictures to try and get it right but still i worry, I use the Tortoise Table as my reference web site when trying new plants, that's if the slugs have not beat us to them. Just printed off the Edible Plant collection and learnt to use our duplex printer, yeh ha.

I'll try and take a picture of the damage to the shell but I've got to arrange to meet up with our specialist vet in the near future thought i might have to see them with regards to her not eating like shhe used to but I'll wait a little while longer before i do that with a fesw more try's at new foods. I keep looking at the spider plant and remember how in fashion they were many years ago now when I want some leaves their nowhere to be seen.

Again thanks for all your advice and help, I somehow don't think I could care for more than one tortoise way to worrying.

Many thanks, Tim.

#6 Freddy

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:10 PM

Hi again Tim,
I would give Harriet another week or so and if her appetite still hasn't improved I would take her to a reptile vet.
This will serve a dual purpose as you can get her shell checked out at the same time. Hope this helps. Take care.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#7 Harriet

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 11:53 AM

Hi there,


Tried with no success to photograph Harriet’s shell damage it is very small and once we’re back from a visit to friends next week will book her in to see the specialist Vet.

On a food thought I looked again at the Tortoise Table food guide looks outside in to our front garden there in the mist is a Fuchsia bush or tree so this morning Harriet had a slight change to here diet she ate them well the leaves the flowers are strewn around her table.

I did wonder should I block the hole up that lets her into her sleeping area, so I put a log in front of the entrance but she just climbed over it and into her sleeping area, she’s very determined to go to her darker rest area. She must just be thinking when oh when are we going to have some prolonged sunshine.

Anyway I’ve also noticed some other food stuffs in the garden just hope I don’t end up poisoning her, but I will take it slowly introducing new food stuffs.

Again many thanks, Tim.

#8 Freddy

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 12:30 PM

Hi Tim,
I'm so glad to hear 'Harriet' has eaten some new foodstuffs. I think you are taking the right approach. As you say, just choose any new plants carefully and introduce them to her slowly. Hopefully 'Harriet' gets some sunshine soon. Best of luck Tim!
Kind Regards
Freddy

#9 Greenslider

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 04:07 PM

I think the lack of sunshine is playing havoc with the torts...affecting my outdoor terrapins as well. We need sunshine soon..and lots of it!

#10 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 09:15 AM

Can you post pics of the shell problem please? It could be shell rot, but need to see pics to be sure.
Her diet could do with a change too and if possible, a move to outdoors where she will positively thrive at this time of year. It's amazing how they slow down when not getting optimum conditions. She needs deep substrate that can be watered to maintain hydration along with a dry basking spot and a very varied diet, no fruit, very little cress and dandelions only as part of a mixed and varied diet. It may be that if fruit has been given regularly that she needs to be wormed, a faecal sample taken to teh vet will show if this is needed or not.

#11 Harriet

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:29 AM

Hi there,


Can I reiterate she is not on a fruit diet it is something she has had perhaps 2 or 3 times and then they were very small top of a strawberry potions, oddly enough perhaps this is something she would come across in our garden along with many other veg.


I have used cress as a reserve when I can't find or am very unsure about the correct plants and weeds to give her this is something I am persevering with now because we’ve just not been able to put her outside for more than one day a week because our weather here has been nothing short of awful so finding suitable edible food for her is a must as she has so far been house bound.

I have already said that i cannot get a decent picture of the shell issue but she will be seeing a vet shortly.

Many thanks, Tim.

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:19 PM

I'm sorry, being a new member myself (although not new to tortoise keeping, only thirty + years ;) ) I did not read the posts thoroughly enough. Not sure where you live but I'm far from the Wouth of England yet all my tortoises are out full time from May to September, except tiny babies which I protect a little more from the elements due to their tiny size cooling down rather faster. I do put thte babies out from hatching if the weather is good. If you can add a heated area to outside, you will find she will thrive and you will see totally different behaviour from her - hope this helps :)




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