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Does your tortoise ever have an "off" day where it doesn't eat?

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Tortus

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Well, for the first time in nearly 5 months, my tortoise isn't going straight for the food this morning.

The temperature in the house isn't nearly as cold as it's been for the past few weeks. I noticed when I put it in the soak this morning it didn't kick around as much. Then when I put it back in the enclosure, it pretty much shelled up and sat there instead of eating. It's been almost 2 hours.

This is a first for me. I'm just wondering if it happens sometimes or if it could be sick. I see nothing obvious out of the ordinary.
[hr]
Ug. I have a bad feeling right now. I sat it under the basking light, and it's still sitting in the same exact spot with its back legs out.

This isn't normal for my tortoise. After so long, you get to know their routine. It's always on the go in the morning and eats right away. Now it's barely moving.
 

CtTortoiseMom

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Did you try a warm soak yet to see if that perks your tort up?
 

Tortus

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Yes I soaked it first thing in the morning and it pooped a little, but it didn't move around much like it normally does.

The food still hasn't been touched. I know I'm probably over reacting, but this is the first time this has happened. And I see no obvious reason for it. I'm just wondering if it may be normal sometimes. It's shell is reading 92 degrees and it's back legs are still stretched out, so it shouldn't be a temp issue.
 

Tom

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Something is off. Mine will occasionally eat a little less than normal after a big warm day of grazing all day, but they still eat a lot. Double check all your temps. Do you have a cat or children that might have messed with your tortoise overnight? Did it sleep in a different than usual spot? Is your enclosure dark at night? What's the lowest temp in your enclosure at night?
 

CtTortoiseMom

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I'm really sorry but this does not sound normal. Check your lights and CHE's maybe one stopped working and your baby got too cold. Can you raise your temps at all?
 

wellington

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Like Tom said, mine too will have a few days here and there where he doesn't eat as much as he usually does. However, he has never had a day he doesn't eat. After checking all temps, day and night and humidity, try changing up his diet. Maybe he is tired of the same thing. Can you find something new to feed?
 

Tortus

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Tom said:
Something is off. Mine will occasionally eat a little less than normal after a big warm day of grazing all day, but they still eat a lot. Double check all your temps. Do you have a cat or children that might have messed with your tortoise overnight? Did it sleep in a different than usual spot? Is your enclosure dark at night? What's the lowest temp in your enclosure at night?
None of the above apply. When I picked it up this morning, it was in its normal sleeping spot buried beneath a pile of hay. (Yes, I replace the hay every other day because it molds). It felt warm to the touch as normal. Around 80 degrees is what it normally reads in the morning.

But it's still sitting there under the light where I left it all stretched out. I'm not sure what's going on.
 

CtTortoiseMom

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Barb could be right about the food. Does he have a favorite food yet? If so, try offering that.
 

tyler0912

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any change in behaviour is a worry, i'd check the temps etc, and like stated try feeding something sweet and thats not fead often :)
 

Tortus

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CtTortoiseMom said:
Barb could be right about the food. Does he have a favorite food yet? If so, try offering that.
He loves romain lettuce (yes I forgot how to spell it) and mazuri. I have both in his bowl but he's still sitting under the light. When I tried picking him up and putting him in the food dish, he just stayed shelled up.

This is weird. Again, after more than 5 months, it's never happened.
 

Neal

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Heat him up. Keep the lows in his environment in the upper 80's. The warmer temperatures should wake him up...but if you don't notice any increase in activity soon, you might consider a vet visit.
 

LeopardTortLover

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Yeah, as Tom said, has anything startled it? In the morning or over night? I know mine has been a bit funny today as she was startled yesterday - a bit jumpy but not staying in her shell. Any luck so far? Any changes? Has it had a drink - could be dehydrated perhaps?
 

sibi

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The only time my sully ever stopped eating was when be was sick. Unfortunately, there must be something not right. Do you have a cat? Where is his enclosure? All I can say for now is to keep him warm and hydrated. Watch that he defecates and urinates in his soaks. If things don't get better in a couple of days, it may be time to visit the vet.
 

Baoh

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Yes. Every once in a while a random animal will not eat for a day. If an animal eats heavily for a month, skips a day, and then resumes heavy feeding for another month, it is not something for me to be concerned with. Sometimes I do not feel like eating. It does not mean I am sick either. Nausea, of course, would be a different story.

If it is punctuated only and is not sustained, I would not worry. Sustained anorexia very likely would indicate a real problem, though, and should be monitored.
 

DesertGrandma

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I too would be concerned. We get to know our tortoises and recognize when something is off. Is he still inside his shell? If he continues to stay that way tomorrow I would def get in to see the reptile vet.
 

Team Gomberg

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Baoh said:
Yes. Every once in a while a random animal will not eat for a day. If an animal eats heavily for a month, skips a day, and then resumes heavy feeding for another month, it is not something for me to be concerned with. Sometimes I do not feel like eating. It does not mean I am sick either. Nausea, of course, would be a different story.

If it is punctuated only and is not sustained, I would not worry. Sustained anorexia very likely would indicate a real problem, though, and should be monitored.
There have been a few days here and there this winter that my leopard has been less interested in eating. All my temps are always normal, etc. Just the other day he didn't even choose to eat his food until around 4pm. by then I had changed out the food 3x.

If this behavior was more than "rarely" or if it lasted a few days in a row I'd be concerned.

but so far, just a handful of times and only this season.

Has your guy eaten yet? how long has it been now?
 

ulkal

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Sometimes my leopards take their time waking up or before they eat after their soak.

Has anything changed? I hope your tort is o.k.!
 

CtTortoiseMom

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What is the update? My fingers are crossed it was just an off day.
 

Tortus

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Ok, I work nights and had to sleep, so the update is a little late.

Fortunately,when I got up to go to work, I noticed some of the food was gone and he was in bed. So I covered up the enclosure as normal for the night. I'm not sure what time it ate, but it definitely wasn't the normal time.

Yet again this morning, a repeat performance. I gave the normal soak, and then he just sat under the light for 3 hours. This time in the shell. But at around 10:30, I looked in and saw the food half gone.

The good thing is, he's eating. The bad thing is, the normal routine suddenly changed. And I know that's normally a sign that something isn't right.

I do have a theory. Maybe some more experienced tortoise keepers will know if I'm on to something. I've been putting Timothy hay above the heat mat area in the 'always covered' more humid end, since he likes to sleep under the hay. That end is always around 90% humidity. I noticed if I don't change it every 2 or 3 days, it gets what looks like white spider web all over it. I assume this is mold? Or could it be some type of insect in the hay that hatches with moisture? I've been changing it regularly before I see this "web".

I'm wondering. Could I be missing small amounts of hay that are continuing to mold, causing a problem? I'm not sure how tortoises react to mold. At any rate, I think I'll be putting down fresh substrate in the morning and throwing out the rest of the hay. I have plenty of sphagnum that will serve the same purpose. But the hay is my best guess right now...
 

LeopardTortLover

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I definately think your onto something, but wait for a more experienced keepers response. Lots of people prefer not to use hay in humid environments for this reason and yes it is mould. He could have some mould spores on his lungs perhaps? And when he warms up more he feels like eating more (im totally not sure). Best thing to do would be to remove the hay completely - in my opinion.
 
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