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New Tortoise Not Eating...


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#1 Noah_ARK

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 10:29 AM

Hi

Please could I have some advice. We bought a Hermann tortoise from a reptile centre 2 weeks ago. He was hatched in December 2013.

We built a tortoise table for him which is approx 3ft by 5ft and filled it with soil and sand substrate. There is a hide for him which he tends to sleep in and slate which we leave food on for him. He also has a water bowl that we have sunk into the table.

The problem is that he hasn't touched a piece of food since we got him. We though it was that he was too cold. We had a 60watt heat lamp but it wasn't reaching 32 degrees so got a 100watt instead which heats more of his enclosure, but still, nothing.

We weighed him a week ago and he was 50g. Weighed him his morning and he was 48g. I'm not sure whether he has lost weight or he was just covered in a bit of mud the first time!!

We bath him daily in tepid water and he seems to drink a bit whilst he's in there. He is not lethargic - he likes to plod round the edge of his enclosure then comes into the middle when he gets colder.

Please could I have some advice. Very worried about the lack of food.

Thank you!

#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 10:59 AM

Hi welcome to the forum. :)

Tortoises really don't like change at all, and can take some time to settle into a new enclosure by this they will sleep a lot and not eat, when did you change the heat bulb is that reaching 32 now in the basking area also what temps are you getting in the rest of the enclosure, temperatures been right is really important to how torts react and eat, what foods are you offering him/ her to eat and do you know what he/ she was fed at the reptile centre. :)

Keep up the baths as hydration is important at this stage, have you tried feeding after a bath. :)



#3 Noah_ARK

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 11:04 AM

We firstly offered wild rocket as that is what they were fed at the centre. We then tried other leaves, but not lettuce as I read this is not good for them. We also managed to find some dandelion leaves in the garden so tried them too...but nothing.

The new light is reaching about 35, it's 20 elsewhere during the day then drops to about 16/17 at night time.

We tried feeding him after a bath every day but no interest whatsoever :-(

We read up so much about tortoises before we got him and feel like we're not looking after him properly. How long can he go without food?

Thanks for your help :-)

#4 mildredsmam

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 11:31 AM

Your doing fine. :)  I would try and lower the heat to around 32, 35 is too high you might need to adjust the lamp a little and put it a little higher, are you watering the soil substrate, next time you change the substrate I would just use topsoil and not the sand, this can cause eye problems and makes the substrate dry. :)

A healthy tortoise wont starve it's self but they are very stubborn, you could maybe try him/ her on some romaine lettuce or florette crispy salad see if he eats that. :)



#5 Noah_ARK

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 11:50 AM

Yes, we are watering the substrate to make sure it doesn't go too dry. I'm so confused because he seems perfectly happy, comes out in the morning by himself but doesn't touch any food. They were kept quite warm in the reptile centre so maybe he has had a shock? I will try some new food you suggested. How long til I should worry?! Thank you :-)

#6 Noah_ARK

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 06:24 PM

Does he(she?!) look healthy?Attached File  image.jpg   54.32KB   5 downloads

#7 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 06:58 PM

He/She looks lovely x x x xhugs x x x

#8 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 08:24 PM

There is no way of telling from a pic if he is healthy, but his shell does show that the growth pattern has changed a couple of times, so probably between the dealer and the last keeper and then the new change to yourself. Hydration is the most important thing and what will stop him from losing weight until he does start to eat. They can go for several weeks without eating, but they must be kept warm and given daily baths while waiting. Bath water needs to be quite warm, rather than tepid as this will help him to become more mobile. Tortoises activity is temperature dependant, so putting him into cool water will just discourage him from eating even more. Hope this helps.



#9 Noah_ARK

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 10:19 PM

How warm should the water be? We have had it between 29 and 32. Thank you!

#10 Beermat89

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 10:44 AM

Yes that will be plenty warm enough,i go by the tempts of how i have my bath temperature as mine seem to like it this warm and will soak up to half hour in these tempts.(i dont have my baths to warm like the mrs who has it scalding lol)

#11 Noah_ARK

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 06:07 PM

Thanks everyone!

How long until we worry that he hasn't eaten?

#12 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 06:31 PM

Thanks everyone!
How long until we worry that he hasn't eaten?

He's obviously eaten well in the past, so around a month or when he starts to lose serious weight. I doubt it will come to that though, just don't change anything in his enclosure as that will just stress him more. Good luck.

#13 mildredsmam

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Posted 11 March 2015 - 05:10 PM

How's the little tortoise doing, has he/ she settled more now. :)



#14 Noah_ARK

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Posted 11 March 2015 - 05:32 PM

He ate a bit of a flower yesterday, but nothing today. We keep bathing him though. He seems to be sleeping in corners with his head in with all limbs out. Is this normal?!

#15 sellwin90

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Posted 11 March 2015 - 07:04 PM

I believe it just means they're warm enough. If they weren't they'd bury down.

My Edward sleeps like that too. I'm sure if I'm wrong someone will correct me

#16 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 11 March 2015 - 07:11 PM

It means that overnight temps are a tad too warm, usually in centrally heated houses where temps are up overnight. Burying down is better as it encourages smooth shell growth too ;)

#17 Noah_ARK

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Posted 16 March 2015 - 05:02 PM

Thanks for all your help so far. I have just got home and bathed him and he put his head under for about 30 seconds. Is this normal?

Also, is it normal for them to look as though they are almost asleep (eyes shut, still) under the heat lamp sometimes?

#18 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 16 March 2015 - 05:18 PM

Yes, they drink better when head is fully submerged. Basking is pleasurable so they may well close their eyes. Don't let them sleep there while small though due to dehydration risk. Make sure substrate is well watered in this area ;)

#19 Noah_ARK

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 06:13 PM

Hello again. He has put on 2g!

Just wanted to ask - the tip of his tail is a much lighter colour than the rest of it. Is this normal?

Thanks!!

#20 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 06:22 PM

Two grams is normal weight gain for a month, although some months it may be less or even slightly more. There should be a spur on the end of his tail, like a little claw. This can be a lighter or darker colour than the rest.




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