Baby Leopard Tortoise Concerns

Billiam

New Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
10
Hello. I've just received a Leopard Tortoise three days ago. It's beautiful. But I'm concerned for it. It ha only eaten a few bites on the first day and I haven't seen it eat or drink anything. I know it's only three day, and I may be overreacting. But he just sits with his face in the corner all day and night. He's not basking, eating, drinking, pooping, or peeing as far as I can tell. He occasionally does this little croaking sound. He's breathing from his nose and his little neck puffs up with each breath sort of like some species of frog do.

Some specs:
Four foot by two foot home made tortoise table.
Reptibark as substrate (Getting topsoil, and other varied substrates soon to create micro climates.)
One large stone on which I place the food.
Providing spring mix, dandelions, and tortoise food (from the pet store).
Soaking for 15 minutes a day in warm water.
Temps at basking are 90-98 F. At cool end are 70-75 F.
Any this else, just ask.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,035
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Welcome to the Forum!

You've neglected to tell us how big the tortoise is. Baby? Adult?

It's not unusual for a new-to-you tortoise to hide all the time. It takes several days and sometimes up to 2 weeks for them to realize they're in a safe place.

For babies, they hide a lot anyway, because they're prey.

If your tortoise is a baby, you should up the temperature so it's at least 80F all over the whole habitat, with about 100F directly under the light.

May we please see some pictures of the tortoise and his habitat?
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,035
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Sorry. I didn't see that.
 

Billiam

New Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
10
No worries. Does it seem to be a suitable environment for him? I'm getting the other substrates soon.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,035
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Ok - Very nice, open, large tort table, however, not suitable for a baby leopard tortoise. Your baby needs to be kept in a warm and humid environment. I doubt you'll be able to keep that open-topped table humid enough or warm enough overall. Please read the care sheets at the top of the leopard section. The Sulcata care sheets would be helpful too (same care).
 

Greg T

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
1,183
Location (City and/or State)
League City, TX
He should be eating by now and more active. Read up like Yvonne said. Change the substrate to a topsoil or coco coir (what I use) and keep it very moist. Get the temperatures in the enclosure up in the 80-90 range to get his body temp up. You may need a ceramic heating element (CHE) to do this. Make sure you soak him at least once a day, 15 minutes or so, in a nice warm water. Your foods are good, but do you know what the previous owner fed him? If you have some Mazuri, try a nice warm wet piece for him. Chop up the spring mix, and remove the spinach. I don't want to scare you, but there is a chance you were sold a sick tort. My babies are very active and eat right out of the shipping container usually, so the fact yours is lethargic and not eating worries me. Start with higher temps, and if you have good weather now, get him outside in some direct sunlight for 30-60 minutes a day as much as possible. If you have more questions, feel free to send me a PM.
 

Billiam

New Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
10
Thanks you for your response Greg T. There were plenty of things I was doing wrong. I had a coil UVB bulb, his substrate was bland and consistent throughout his home, and the humidity was way low. The temps were close but not high enough. Last night, while he was sleeping, I went to the store and got some topsoil, sphagnum, a better water dish (I had one of the death traps from the pet store), I better hide, and I ordered a temperature gun, a hygrometer, a ceramic heating element and a timer for the lights. I just got done soaking him today, which he doesn't seem to enjoy for long. Then I immediately put him in the new enclosure with the varied substrates, without the uvb bulb, until my new mercury vapor one comes in a few days. He was considerably better. He went straight to his food and started eating. Last night, I noticed he had pooped in his water, which made me feel a little better. After eating this morning, he went over and basked under the heat lamp. He's doing all of his normal stuff.

So yes, the advice on this forum saved me and Fump (His name) plenty of disasters. Thank you!

Now I have another concern. He has a small tip on his beak. If I had to compare it to anything, I would say it most resembles the egg tooth that chickens hatch with. Do Torts have a similar tooth? Or is this something to get checked out?
 

zenoandthetortoise

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
Messages
420
Now I have another concern. He has a small tip on his beak. If I had to compare it to anything, I would say it most resembles the egg tooth that chickens hatch with. Do Torts have a similar tooth? Or is this something to get checked out?

It's an egg tooth. Nothing to worry about, but it does show he's very young so getting the temps etc dialed in as previously mentioned is critical. Sounds like you're getting the setup good to go, so nice job. And congrats on new addition.
 

Greg T

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
1,183
Location (City and/or State)
League City, TX
I'm very glad to hear that. Sounds like the improvements we were looking for. I try to keep my humidity above 60%, which requires misting a few times a day and thoroughly wetting the coir about every 3 days. Keep your substrate moist, they prefer that. He is still young if he has his egg tooth, but nothing to worry about. He is eating now, active again, and pooping so you are on the right path. They don't like soaks much, especially once the water gets cold. MIne will stretch out in warm water, but pace and climb once the water gets cold. I think you are doing fine, so it shoudl be much easier from now on. :)
 

Billiam

New Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
10
So after a day of trying out the new setup, I think things are going great! He has been out and about all day and he's been basking for most of it. After last checking on him, he had retreated to a cool part of the enclosure and started napping once he had found a suitable wet spot. I've been spraying the whole area throughout the day and it's stayed pretty wet. New temps after a day of monitoring are coming in as Bask: 100F, Cool: 75F, Hide: 95F, Night: 71-73F.

Are these all good temps?
 

Jodie

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
4,357
Location (City and/or State)
Spokane Valley WA
I keep my Leopards a bit warmer. 80F is my minimum. Now that your humidity is up, it is more important. Humid and cold equals sick tort.
 

teresaf

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Messages
2,024
Location (City and/or State)
Port Charlotte, Florida
O
Thanks you for your response Greg T. There were plenty of things I was doing wrong. I had a coil UVB bulb, his substrate was bland and consistent throughout his home, and the humidity was way low. The temps were close but not high enough. Last night, while he was sleeping, I went to the store and got some topsoil, sphagnum, a better water dish (I had one of the death traps from the pet store), I better hide, and I ordered a temperature gun, a hygrometer, a ceramic heating element and a timer for the lights. I just got done soaking him today, which he doesn't seem to enjoy for long. Then I immediately put him in the new enclosure with the varied substrates, without the uvb bulb, until my new mercury vapor one comes in a few days. He was considerably better. He went straight to his food and started eating. Last night, I noticed he had pooped in his water, which made me feel a little better. After eating this morning, he went over and basked under the heat lamp. He's doing all of his normal stuff.

So yes, the advice on this forum saved me and Fump (His name) plenty of disasters. Thank you!

Now I have another concern. He has a small tip on his beak. If I had to compare it to anything, I would say it most resembles the egg tooth that chickens hatch with. Do Torts have a similar tooth? Or is this something to get checked out?
OMG! FINALLY someone who takes advice and runs with it! Even reading the care sheets threads! Kudos! Love people like you.
 

teresaf

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Messages
2,024
Location (City and/or State)
Port Charlotte, Florida
I keep my Leopards a bit warmer. 80F is my minimum. Now that your humidity is up, it is more important. Humid and cold equals sick tort.
This is so true. These are babies, if anything you want them on warmer side of range. 80 minimum as yvonne said in your very first reply.
 

Billiam

New Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
10
O

OMG! FINALLY someone who takes advice and runs with it! Even reading the care sheets threads! Kudos! Love people like you.
You mean to tell me there are people who do not provide everything their little torts need?! That's atrocious.
This is so true. These are babies, if anything you want them on warmer side of range. 80 minimum as yvonne said in your very first reply.
I certainly have upped the temps.

Today, after I soaked him, I set him in my palm and I put a leaf from the spring mix between two fingers. He ate right out of my hand! It was the cutest thing. He croaked a little bit too. Is that normal?
 

Billiam

New Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
10
Another small update: I took him outside for the first time today. We had great weather here in Ohio, USA. He was so active out there! He was moving all around and playing with the grass as it slid across his shell, occasionally grabbing a bite as he went. I will definitely be taking him outside more often! (Weather permitting)
 

JBurer

Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
59
Billiam,
It's likely your problem was primarily the coil bulb. I had the same problem, but was 2 months further into ownership - 2 of the 3 hatchlings died. The third was on his way out when I removed the bulb and he went from steady decline to steady recovery. It was basically my only change.

Already had temps, diet and water/moisture under control. Glad I found this forum when I did
best,
John

Hello. I've just received a Leopard Tortoise three days ago. It's beautiful. But I'm concerned for it. It ha only eaten a few bites on the first day and I haven't seen it eat or drink anything. I know it's only three day, and I may be overreacting. But he just sits with his face in the corner all day and night. He's not basking, eating, drinking, pooping, or peeing as far as I can tell. He occasionally does this little croaking sound. He's breathing from his nose and his little neck puffs up with each breath sort of like some species of frog do.

Some specs:
Four foot by two foot home made tortoise table.
Reptibark as substrate (Getting topsoil, and other varied substrates soon to create micro climates.)
One large stone on which I place the food.
Providing spring mix, dandelions, and tortoise food (from the pet store).
Soaking for 15 minutes a day in warm water.
Temps at basking are 90-98 F. At cool end are 70-75 F.
Any this else, just ask.
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top