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Does my Russian Tortoise need help?

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by ellabree, Oct 13, 2018.

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  1. ellabree

    ellabree New Member

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    My Russian tort is named Chester, I honestly don’t know how old he is I got him 2-3 years ago, and he’s been sleeping (I think hibernating) for a long time.
    Anytime between 5-12 or more months. He is alive and moves around sometimes. Maybe he’s sick. There is some white around his mouth which I noticed today.
    I feel so bad... His cage is not suitable. About 3 feet to roam and its glass. With a log and a dish. I did let him walk around my room though, and explore outside.
    I would give him spring mix lettuce to eat when he wants to.
    My family’s budget is tight and I don’t know if we can bring him to the vet. I do have about 500 dollars in savings though. We will also be moving in a month or so.

    If anybody knows what I should do or what might be wrong with Chester please help. If he needs a bigger cage, I might be able to get one after I move. If he needs to be brought to the vet I will, try to convince my parents. I know I am not giving him the most suitable care but I love him and I do not want him to die so if you have any advice it would be highly appreciated.
    Thank you.
  2. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum!

    Sounds like your tortoise is very lethargic, which is usually caused by improper temps. What is your basking spot temp, cool side temp, and night temp? What lighting/heat sources do you use?

    Your tortoise needs a minimum enclosure size of 8x4 feet. A 3 foot tank is no where near big enough. You will have to build the enclosure yourself.

    That diet needs help. Your tortoise needs to be eating broadleaf weeds.

    Read these and come back with questions-
    Russian Tortoise Care Sheet https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Russian-Tortoise-Care-Sheet.80698/

    Beginner Mistakes https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Beginner-Mistakes.45180/

    Could we see a picture of your tortoise and enclosure?
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  3. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    You can build a nice table with wood and supplies from home depot for less than $100 bucks
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  4. mark1

    mark1 Well-Known Member

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    do you soak him ? does he still eat ? aside from lack of exercise a too small container will not kill them ….. lighting , he needs bright , as full spectrum light as you can supply , 14 hrs a day , and humidity ……. 80-85 degrees everywhere , with a 90-95 degree hot corner ….. a substrate he can hide in …….. his diet is lacking as was said , i'd imagine he's deficient nutritionally …. if he's eating i'd feed him a more varied diet and supplement it with a multi-vitamin powder ……those carrot soaks of yvonnes couldn't hurt , some bird vitamins in the water is a decent idea to .. if he's not eating , maybe you could find a vet to just give him a b complex shot , it may perk him up enough to eat , as long as a bacterial infection has not taken over ……… near a year being ill does not have a good prognosis , I did have one didn't eat for 8 months , he did well ……. vitamin ade , and b complex along with antibiotics , years later he is an eating machine ……….
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  5. ellabree

    ellabree New Member

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    He isn’t eating but might I ask, where I’m supposed to get a variety of food for him. I live in a suburban desert and there is nowhere around here that has broadleaf greens or wild plants for him to eat. Is there any good alternatives?
  6. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    If you were going to have to feed an animal certain kinds of food, may I ask why you got that animal? Not trying to sound rude, but the animal needs to eat. If you have a grocery store, then you have access to food for the tortoise. Buy escarole, endive, romaine, dandelion greens, turnip greens, etc. the list is almost endless. If your produce section doesn't stock this, ask them to order it for you
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  7. Minority2

    Minority2 Well-Known Member

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    Utilize indoor and outdoor planter boxes. Buy or create your own soil mix and fill your planters up. Purchase broad leaf weed and flowers seed mixes to grow your own tortoise food.
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  8. ellabree

    ellabree New Member

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    We are currently building a bigger cage.
    I use the ExoTerra 100w basking light. Night temp is probably in the 70s. The hot spot is 90-100. Cool side is 85-90. I don’t have a humidity gauge but I just ordered one.

    Here’s some pictures...
    IMG_1539548150.833083.jpg
    IMG_1539548254.436638.jpg
    IMG_1539548379.896544.jpg

    Tell me if anything seems off. And is there something wrong with his beak what is the white on it? Any recommendation on good cheap lightbulbs? Any tips on setting up his cage?
    I also don’t know where to get broadleaf greens...
  9. Minority2

    Minority2 Well-Known Member

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    1. How are you offering UV(B) to your tortoise?

    Your current Exo Terra basking bulb does not provide UV(B) rays.

    2. The white beak can be the cause of several reasons.

    a. conditions that are too dry
    b. tortoise repeatedly rubbing on a hard surface
    c. cuttlebone feasting
    d. other factors I may have missed

    My guess is probably extreme dryness.

    3. Can you take a couple pictures of your tortoise's shell?

    I notice a dent on the top of the shell. I just want to see if this is due to pyramiding or not.

    4. Your currently 3 x 1.5 ft enclosure is small as I'm sure you already know. Your adult tortoise requires at least an 8 x 4 ft enclosure as suggested above.

    5. How many times do you soak your tortoise per week?

    6. Do you have a water dish in the enclosure?

    Read this Russian tortoise care sheet, follow the guidelines, and change whatever needs changing:
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
  10. ellabree

    ellabree New Member

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    I’m fifteen I got him 2-3 years ago, I was very inexperienced just like most new pet owners, I did not know he would require certain kinds of food. I’m learning, thank for the information.
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  11. ellabree

    ellabree New Member

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    Love the idea! Thank you, I will try it.
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  12. ellabree

    ellabree New Member

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    I didn’t soak him but I just did today. I am outside and he just started to eat, first time in almost a year! Woohoo!!
    Do you recommend any vitamin powder? And bird vitamins?
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  13. ellabree

    ellabree New Member

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    IMG_1539550095.410144.jpg
    These are the ingredients in the spring mix. Are they bad? Are they a good enough variety?
  14. mark1

    mark1 Well-Known Member

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    I use vionate because it's what I've always used , might be better stuff around now , more specie specific ……. i'd use vitamins for small birds and follow the direction ……..
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  15. lilly_sand99

    lilly_sand99 Active Member

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    From my understanding everything with that is good! But NOT the spinach, So just pull that out!
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