Beak won’t open?

Yvonne G

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I don't think it's "he CAN'T open his mouth, " but rather he WON'T open his mouth. He's not going to eat until he feels safe in his new environment. Tortoises are territorial. He's been moved out of his territory into a new one and he's stressed. It takes a while for them to become comfortable and feel safe.

Another thing to consider is maybe you're offering food items that he doesn't recognize. Try to find out what the previous owner was feeding and offer some of that.
 

jackielhogan

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Hi everyone! We went to the vet today and he is a she. Now that we know for sure, we can start figuring out a name. She was very spunky and active at the vet and the vet said she looks healthy. The vet was able to get her mouth open and everything looks good there as well. I agree that I probably just need to give her more time. I'll keep offering a variety of foods, including what she was fed previously. The vet suggested keeping it a little warmer in the evening to see if that helps. We'll bring in a stool sample to check for parasites just as soon as she makes one!

By the way, the first recommendation the vet made was to join your forum!

One more question - I'll have her new enclosure ready the day after tomorrow. Should I move her now or wait until she eats? What will cause her the least stress?
 

LaLaP

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Hi everyone! We went to the vet today and he is a she. Now that we know for sure, we can start figuring out a name. She was very spunky and active at the vet and the vet said she looks healthy. The vet was able to get her mouth open and everything looks good there as well. I agree that I probably just need to give her more time. I'll keep offering a variety of foods, including what she was fed previously. The vet suggested keeping it a little warmer in the evening to see if that helps. We'll bring in a stool sample to check for parasites just as soon as she makes one!

By the way, the first recommendation the vet made was to join your forum!

One more question - I'll have her new enclosure ready the day after tomorrow. Should I move her now or wait until she eats? What will cause her the least stress?
That's great news!
I'm not sure what to say about moving her or not. Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe other members have better advice. Keep us posted on her progress.
 

ascott

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I have sat and watched him for a very long time and haven’t seen him eat it at all. I didn’t put it in initially but did as another option since the pet store had some in his enclosure.

I’ve not seen any poop, even in his bath.


Oh my goodness.....here is the best advice I can give (after reading this post) put a bit of the food the tort is use to eating...along with something red...THEN WALK AWAY and leave the poor creature to itself.....lol....this is a solitary animal....if you are hovering and fretting then you may be not offering a few weeks or a month for the tort to settle in AND THEN the tort will venture about.....offer a much deeper substrate, about 6 to 8 inches...provide a cool dry area...a nice warm middle area and then the hot basking heating spot...along with places the tort can escape peering nosey eyes :)))......relax. It can take what seems like a long time (in human "long time") to settle in....but a month or more is not unheard of....offer water food and the enclosure with as many micro climates as possible.....
 

ascott

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Hi! I am new to tortoise care-taking and I’m very worried. My new guy/girl hasn’t eaten since I received him as a Christmas gift. I initially thought it was just the stress of the move so I thought I’d give it more time. I’ve started to worry because I’ve never seen him open his beak. This weekend, I’ve been able to handle him very easily and he has let me touch his beak. I’ve put my fingernail against it and he kind of pushes back. I’m taking him to the vet tomorrow but would appreciate any advice you could give me.

These pictures aren’t the greatest. He has some food paste on his face. I was trying to get him to eat. I’ll try to get new pictures tomorrow.
View attachment 262239 View attachment 262240 View attachment 262241 View attachment 262242

Oh and what is that black cord? Heating rope?
 

Ray--Opo

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You might want to hang that just high enough so your tort cant get it. Or if you can get a good temp by taping it to the side. A infrared temp gun is great because you can check surfaces all over the enclosure and then correlate your temp probe with the knowledge you have with temp gun.
Where your temp probe is now could become a noose.
 

jackielhogan

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You might want to hang that just high enough so your tort cant get it. Or if you can get a good temp by taping it to the side. A infrared temp gun is great because you can check surfaces all over the enclosure and then correlate your temp probe with the knowledge you have with temp gun.
Where your temp probe is now could become a noose.
I agree, that would be dangerous. I only keep it in there when I’m watching. I take it out when I walk away.
 

roxy-lou

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Please try butternut squash I boil it from frozen then cook it and feed it whist it has water in it
Same with boiled carrot slices and courgette slices
Also popcorn is a firm favourite if I want to test I’d mine is off food. (Take kernel part out )
But mine goes nuts for butternut squash
 

Calinyc

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Hi! I am new to tortoise care-taking and I’m very worried. My new guy/girl hasn’t eaten since I received him as a Christmas gift. I initially thought it was just the stress of the move so I thought I’d give it more time. I’ve started to worry because I’ve never seen him open his beak. This weekend, I’ve been able to handle him very easily and he has let me touch his beak. I’ve put my fingernail against it and he kind of pushes back. I’m taking him to the vet tomorrow but would appreciate any advice you could give me.

These pictures aren’t the greatest. He has some food paste on his face. I was trying to get him to eat. I’ll try to get new pictures tomorrow.
View attachment 262239 View attachment 262240 View attachment 262241 View attachment 262242
Well what u can try is this get a straw McDonald's straw preffrd and cut off the tip kinda cut it like a human nail and then try taking some food of his mash it up real good but make sure it's kind of dampy and with the straw u can kinda force feed him a lil that's what I did and my baby eats like it's the end of the world lol try it and good luck
 

DesertGirl

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Please try butternut squash I boil it from frozen then cook it and feed it whist it has water in it
Same with boiled carrot slices and courgette slices
Also popcorn is a firm favourite if I want to test I’d mine is off food. (Take kernel part out )
But mine goes nuts for butternut squash[/QUOT

My girl will do anything for a blueberry! Note, all these apecial treats are just that - TREATS.
 

TardisMyTortoise

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My personal recommendation is to invest in a nanny cam so you will be alerted when ur tort moves around and you can watch and observe from afar. This actually helped me a ton so I didn’t stress my new tort out, and I was able to tell the vet about behavioral changes (which caught an early RI)
Oh my goodness.....here is the best advice I can give (after reading this post) put a bit of the food the tort is use to eating...along with something red...THEN WALK AWAY and leave the poor creature to itself.....lol....this is a solitary animal....if you are hovering and fretting then you may be not offering a few weeks or a month for the tort to settle in AND THEN the tort will venture about.....offer a much deeper substrate, about 6 to 8 inches...provide a cool dry area...a nice warm middle area and then the hot basking heating spot...along with places the tort can escape peering nosey eyes :)))......relax. It can take what seems like a long time (in human "long time") to settle in....but a month or more is not unheard of....offer water food and the enclosure with as many micro climates as possible.....
 

Cassiah

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Greetings.

The other thing to think about is that it’s only been o/a three weeks since this tort was rousted from the pet store, hustled to a new house, environment, food, keepers, lighting, temps etc. This tort might just be settling in. Id be tempted to give it another nice warm soak, make sure all the parameters are dialed in, provide a big pile of food, and let it alone for a week. It might just be totally adjusting and just needs some settling in time. Too much dsily fussing and attention might be stressing it out.

Good luck!
I agree. Tortoises can go a while without food.
 

jackielhogan

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Jan 12, 2019
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Libertyville, IL
It is -45 degrees here in the Chicago area so I’ve been keeping close tabs on the temperature for everyone. I put a warm bath for her today and wouldn’t you know it, today is the day she decided to eat! Just a few bites of an aloe plant I planted in the enclosure, but it’s a start. She walked over the salad of everything green I have in my fridge, checked it out and turned her nose up at it. Oh well, now that she seems ready to eat, I will have to risk this frozen tundra and go buy some different options.

Thank you everyone for the advice. I’ll continue checking in to let you know how things are going.
 
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