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A Few Concerns


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#1 Genie

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 07:10 AM

I got Genie an 8 year old Hermanns tortoise, 3 weeks ago. She had been living with another younger tortoise that had been attacking her. When I took her on she had small areas of scales missing on her front legs from being attacked by the little bully. She also has quite a severe underbite, she isn't the prettiest bless her.

Since moving in with us my children have converted their playhouse and she has a lovely indoor area which averages at about 23oC and she has free access to an outside area. We have planted herbs everywhere so that she can graze away freely. The girls also put fresh weeds in her indoor enclosure with a pinch of calcium power each day. We have buried a bird bath so she can bathe at will and we handle her daily. However, she doesn't seem at all happy! She rarely comes out of her indoor area unless I pick her up and as soon as she can she scuttles up the ramp back inside. Most alarmingly, she doesn't seem to eat. She will come out of her shell if we rub her back (hence the name Genie) but she is very timid. We are her 4th home and I want it to be a good one. Any tips greatly appreciated.

#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 10:15 AM

Hi welcome to the forum. :)

Tortoises really don't like change and can take some time to settle into a new enclosure, with this they may not eat much, also if they don't have the correct temperatures they will also not eat, do you have a basking lamp for her as well.

I would try and not handle her at the minute as this will just add to the stress of the move, I would just give her time to settle, do you have any pictures of your set up, and her as we would love to see her. :)



#3 wizzasmum

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 11:30 PM

Hi, welcome to the forum. As Karen says, it's early days yet and the most likely factor of innappetance apart from being in a new home, is temperature. Tortoises need a temperature of 30-32 degrees to digest their food, so your lower temps are just telling her its not warm enough to be out and about, so she is going back to bed. If this continues, she will attempt to go into wind down mode for hibernation, due to the shorter daylight hours too. If you can set up a lamp for her to bask, this should help dramatically. Do you have pics so we can see how severe her underbite is, as this can affect feeding too, depending on the reason. Are you supplementing her with lots of calcium as this can be the cause of an underbite in the first place.



#4 Genie

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 07:00 AM

Thank you both for your replies. I was advised by a guy in a reptile shop that she didn't require a lamp and that I should keep her inside enclosure to no higher than 25oC. I have got a lamp in prep for later in the year but I think we will put it up this weekend. Yes, we are supplementing her with calcium powder and she has cuttlefish to nibble on but she isn't eating anything as far as I can tell. The underbite is quite severe. I'll post a pic. I a taking her to a vet next week for a check over.

#5 Genie

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 07:04 AM

Here is a pic of her underbite. Not the best but I took this pic of her when I collected her. Attached File  image.jpg   48.57KB   4 downloads

#6 mildredsmam

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 07:35 AM

Hi,

They need heat and uv, without the correct temperatures she wont eat, so it would be best to add the lamp as soon as you can.

Could you post a picture of all of her, im thinking she's a horsfield tortoise not a Hermann, do you have straw in her enclosure or was this just used to bring her home. :)



#7 wizzasmum

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 10:00 AM

I would be interested to know what reptile shop that is, as they are going to be responsible for a lot of dead tortoises. I would be happy to send them info to the contrary. She is a horsfield tortoise, not a hermanni, so depending on where you got her from, she should not have come with certificates, but if sold with them, then someone has sold a hermanni without which is an offence. The underbite is likely caused through lack of calcium and the growth she is showing is excessive. You must go to an exotics specialist and not just the run of the mill vet as this underbite needs the attention of someone who knows what they are doing. She will also need bloods taken to check on general calcium levels. It could be just poor supplementation or it might be a dislocation due to poor handling by a vet, either way it will restrict eating, so needs sorting ASAP especially with hibernation looming. To hibernate a tortoise that has not been eating properly and with a deformity could be lethal, just as it could to keep it ticking over with no help for the beak. Good luck, but do get her booked in as a matter of urgency as this could be painful.  



#8 Genie

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 06:22 AM

Thank you all for you replies. We now have a lamp and it's made all the difference, she's much more active! Still not eaten but I'm hopeful it will be a matter of time. To be fair to the reptile shop, they said that during the summer she wouldn't need a lamp but the last few weeks have been pretty grim so I should have thought about putting the lamp in before now.

No, she's not in straw. She's got about 6ins of topsoil, hay and an area of wood chippings in her house and a large outside area to graze, bury and roam in.

We're off to the vet tomorrow so should have a better idea of her general health then. I have weighed and measured her and her weight is a little low. I am wondering weather I should keep her warm and awake this winter so she can get to a healthy weight? Any advice?

#9 mildredsmam

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 08:22 AM

Thank you all for you replies. We now have a lamp and it's made all the difference, she's much more active! Still not eaten but I'm hopeful it will be a matter of time. To be fair to the reptile shop, they said that during the summer she wouldn't need a lamp but the last few weeks have been pretty grim so I should have thought about putting the lamp in before now.

No, she's not in straw. She's got about 6ins of topsoil, hay and an area of wood chippings in her house and a large outside area to graze, bury and roam in.

We're off to the vet tomorrow so should have a better idea of her general health then. I have weighed and measured her and her weight is a little low. I am wondering weather I should keep her warm and awake this winter so she can get to a healthy weight? Any advice?

Hi,

Hopefully she'll start eating soon, my horsfields are quite at the minute with the weather, I would remove the hay and wood chip and just have topsoil in her enclosure this will be loads better for her. :)

When you say you've weighed her what have you used to see that her weight is low, how much does she weigh. :)

Yes I would keep her awake this year and not hibernate her, let us know how you get on at the vets, hopefully every things fine. :)



#10 wizzasmum

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 12:19 PM

They were still wrong in stating that she wouldn't need one in summer as this is how they reach the temp to digest food. Its nothing to do with the temperature around them, this doesn't warm them at all unless we have temps in excess of 30 degrees, which we don't in UK. The sun of course will heat them up, but only if they have daily access and if she already has a problem, I would err on the side of caution and give additional heat too, shes a lot  of catching up to do. Personally I'd remove the hay as it can cause respiratory problems. It serves no purpose, as being cold blooded they cant warm up the same way as a mammal would. With her deformities she may possibly have MBD, I would get the vet to x-ray for this if she was mine. A tortoise with MBD should never be hibernated as there are likely internal problems too, which would not cope with hibernation. Good luck ;)






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