Advice for my sick egyptian

Chilapeno

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
13
20160310_113015_HDR.jpg 20160319_111123.jpg Hi tortoise lovers,

Im Eric from the islands of Indonesia. I am a long time lurker of this forum and im glad to finally be able to post here for the first time.

My pet tortoise is an egyptian that i rescued about 6months ago from a iresponsible owner who owned too large collection of tortoises with no proper housing.

The poor little tort is a male about 10cm in length and weighs 105grams measured yesterday(please pardon the units used here) so i guess it is an adult male.

The problem here is he has not eaten for 1 week now. He does not seem to have any interest in anything offered. At first i thought he is bored. But i have offered all range of greens i've ever fed him so far and nothing has worked.

Im starting to get worried now as his activity has decreased as well. For your information regarding the tort,

1. I usually feed him spring salad mix with zucchini and a little cucumber. Thats all he like to constantly eating so far. I grew some opuntia and hibiscus on my yard but the tort has been refusing those. I have been trying to feed him with elephant weed which is growing on my yard but no luck either. So those i mentioned are the only things i manage to feed him with this last 6 months.

2. I soak him daily in lukewarm water usually until the water starts to loose warmth. He usually defecates and urinates at this time. He has not done so for about 3 days now. Maybe thats due to the fact that hes has not eaten anything for a week?

3. Tropical climate here goes as high as 33celcius during the day and as low as 23celcius at night with high humidity all year.

4. There is NO specialized reptilian vet in my island.

5. His enclosure set up is 100% sand substrate (special sand for reptile acquired from a reptile store). The lightings that i use are 50W exotera basking bulb and 25w exotera uvb bulb. The temp at the basking spot is about 35celcius, and 25~27celcius at the spot furthest away from the light. The lowest temp at a given spot in the enclosure never goes below 24celcius.

I also include the pic of the enclosure here. If anyone expert here could point out where the problem might lies it will be a big help for me as im getting very uneasy at the moment.

Thank you for ur attention, im very new into tortoise keeping. I have only learnt from reading posts here and through the net about how to care for egyptian torts.

Eric
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
87,866
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Hi Eric, and welcome to the Forum!

What a nice, big enclosure for your new tortoises.

I don't keep Egyptian tortoises, and know very little about them, but I do see a big problem and maybe a little problem.

First of all, get rid of that spiral-shaped bulb and use either a Mercury Vapor Bulb or a tube-type fluorescent bulb:

MVB.jpg T-5 fluorescent bulb.jpg

Secondly, I know that quite a few Egyptian-keepers use sand, but I think it might be an impaction risk. They track it on their food then accidentally eat it. So if you can find it, I would switch to crushed oyster shell for the substrate.

I'm going to send out a shout-out to a couple members who I know keep the Egyptians and hopefully they can give you some help.

@Will @tortadise
 
M

Maggie Cummings

Guest
But please get rid of that light. They can blind a tortoise, they did one of mine, and they can make them not eat and be lethargic. Just use a regular incandescent bulb until you can get something Yvonne suggested. But stop the spiral bulb right now, and use a regular bulb. Bet he'll perk up quick....I don't know from celsius, what's the ambient temp in there and is it over 85 degrees? Do you have heat at night? It sounds hot there, but he needs to be able to move in and out of a hot light to regulate his own heat. If his insides aren't 85 degrees he can't digest his food so he won't eat. So maybe he's not hot enuf, but I bet it's that light. We'll see what our resident experts say....
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Chilapeno

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
13
Thank u for the quick and kind replies already.

Regarding the substrate, i got the information from http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Turtles-Tortoises/Care/Egyptian-Tortoise-Care-Tips/

Which says substrate could be anything from sand/soil misture to all sand. I opted for 100% sand to obtain the lowest humidity.

Where do we usually get crushed oyster? This is the first time i heard it. Any info would be appreciated.

Regarding the bulb, im ordering one u recomending right now. Thank u for pointing it out.

My question is, how about the other bulb (exotera 50w basking bulb)? Can i keep it as is?

As far as im concerned, there is only one spiral type bulb there, that is the uvb one isn't it?

And which type of uvb mentioned would u recommend? The long tube flrsc or the merc vapor bulb type?

Sincerely,

eric
 

Chilapeno

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
13
Ambient temp inside the enclosure is in the range of 77F at the coolest spot and 105F right under the basking bulb. So overall ambience would be about 79~82F.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
53,362
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Your temperatures sound fine.

I agree that either the coil bulb or the sand are the likely source of your problem. I would remove both of them right away. I also do no tike 50 watt spot bulbs. They concentrate too much heat into too small of an area. Instead I prefer flood bulbs which have a much wider angle of light dispersion.

In your current set up, the long tube for UV, in combination with your basking bulb will serve you well.

Ultra low humidity is not good for any species. In a dry open topped enclosure with heat lamps, things are going to be very very dry. Your daily soaks are a good thing. One of the top breeders of this species here in the US is in Florida, where the climate is very humid, and his tortoises thrive there.

I will defer to any advice offered by the people who keep this species, as I do not.
 

tortadise

Well-Known Member
Moderator
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
9,563
Location (City and/or State)
Tropical South Texas
Welcome. Well typically this time of year is rather wet for your are yeah? Not stover there so don't know what this year has shown weather wise. For sure try and get s much better UV light as Yvonne showed examples of. Cool evenings are just fine and perfect for this species, and warm days. What I would do is limit the amount of exposed area on the enclosure to the controlled temperatures in the house AC can be extremely harmful for tortoises. So that being said what's the temperatures low/high day/night in the house? Do you have any prior past knowledge on him? I'd speculate with the wet-warm season approaching rapidly that this had much to with the lack of activity, including its prior history. This species can be very sensitive. What are your daytime temperatures during the day outside?
 

Kapidolo Farms

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
5,070
Location (City and/or State)
South of Southern California, but not Mexico
I did not see in your narrative the time between when you got the tortoise to the time he stopped eating. If you just got him the week ago that he stopped eating, it would be high priority to get him into whatever those conditions you ascribe the the last owner used. At least there he was eating??

If you have had him for several months and he had been eating, then just recently in your husbandry regime he stopped eating the cause for change in behavior (not eating) is probably due to some other thing. What else has changed?

I have several small dried bunches of grass in the enclosure with my Egyptians, and a few living potted plants. They have a darker end and a brightly lighted end. They move back and forth as needed for their own comfort. I have trays of soil that are always wet, while the rest of the enclosure is dry. Sometimes they just sit on the wet soil, it is just a little bit less than mud for wetness.

When I get a new tortoise I try to give them as much choice as possible while still in a small space, so that they can select what they like and can still see everything from where they may decide to sit. That way they don't have to rely on memory for where things are, they can see it all from any place in the enclosure, yet they get many choices, wet/dry/bright/dark/and some food in all those locations.

If you can offer some yellow flowers of some sort, they like dandelions flowers but I'm not sure how available they may be in Indonesia. Yellow orange or red hibiscus must be available to you??

I also use coarse gravel/sand with some wood chips/coconut husk chips mixed in as their substrate. I have seen some pictures of Egyptians in loose sand in the wild, but the people I have spoken with who have seen them in the wild tell me those are posed images. Egyptians live on stabilized sand that is course and often with some organic matter mixed in. The use burrows at the base of shrubs where the soil is more moist than elsewhere as the plant's roots are there.

It sounds like humidity may not be a problem for you in the sense of "not enough" but Egyptians live where the marine air layer can invade inland most nights where they live.

There seem also to be a chance that your tortoise is a wild caught adult, not captive bred, wild caught adults tend to be the more difficult animals to acclimate to husbandry. Probably best to see what the other person was doing, if indeed they had it for awhile and it was eating for them.

On the coil bulbs, aside from all other considerations that can be at play, they are just too intense for a small spot. A 24 watt coil bulbs is 4cm across, while the same 24 watt single straight tube puts out the same light over about 60cm length. Just as much light but not so intense at one spot. Yvonne showed a 24 watt T5 HO tube from ZooMed, it might not be available there, but that is the idea of what would be optimal.
 
Last edited:
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top