hatchling failure syndrome?

Marcus Russ

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Mar 13, 2017
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i have a baby sulcata tortoise and a few days ago i noticed that it stopped eating as much as it did and is less active. it always an eye closed, but it's just his right eye. i'm worried because these are all symptoms of hatchling failure syndrome. it only shows those symptoms when in its cage. once i take it out to roam around a little or to soak him, he opens both eyes and moves around a lot. when i put it back in, he's normal for a bit, but than shows the symptoms soon after or the next day.

in the cage, there's a basking area of 100 degrees F. and a cooler area of around 80 degrees F. i have a UVB bulb and a heat bulb. there's a hiding spot in the cooler area. is there something i'm doing wrong with his cage?

i'm feeding his mixed greens like kale, mustard greens lettuce etc. could his food be affecting him in anyway?
 

Tom

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Hello and welcome.

If it was "Breeder Failure Syndrome" both eyes would be closed and he would likely get active outside the enclosure. If its just one eye, then some sort of mechanical injury or irritation is more likely.

What substrate are you using? Is it damp?
What type of heat bulb? What color bulb? White? Red?
What type of UV bulb? CFL type?

He definitely needs a better diet, but that is not likely to be the cause of the eye issue.

Have you read all of these?
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
 

Marcus Russ

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2017
Messages
2
Hello and welcome.

If it was "Breeder Failure Syndrome" both eyes would be closed and he would likely get active outside the enclosure. If its just one eye, then some sort of mechanical injury or irritation is more likely.

What substrate are you using? Is it damp?
What type of heat bulb? What color bulb? White? Red?
What type of UV bulb? CFL type?

He definitely needs a better diet, but that is not likely to be the cause of the eye issue.

Have you read all of these?
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
i was advised by the pet store i got it at to use a mixture of a bark and a jungle mix dirt for moisture. i spray the substrate and his hiding log with water daily.

it's a red heat bulb. i don't know what kind of bulb it is or the UVB bulb. i just recently threw the boxes away not thinking i would need them.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,506
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
i was advised by the pet store i got it at to use a mixture of a bark and a jungle mix dirt for moisture. i spray the substrate and his hiding log with water daily.

it's a red heat bulb. i don't know what kind of bulb it is or the UVB bulb. i just recently threw the boxes away not thinking i would need them.

Did you screw the UV bulb into a socket, or is it a long tube?

I think the threads I linked will explain a lot and help you fix the problems.
 

Mortis_thetortoise

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Oct 2, 2016
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Location (City and/or State)
west central Florida
if its a red heat bulb its not advised to use. the red confuses them thinking everything in their enclosure is food. you want to use the ceramic heating emitters for heat on a thermostat

read the links and get exactly what they say on here. dont listen to the pet store. dont listen to friends. or other random pet sites.

DO listen to the very knowledgeable people on here.

make sure your soaking him at least once a day
keeping the enclosure humid
good diet.
change the red bulb and you should see some improvement then keep fine tuning everything til its all good.
 

Buzz323

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Mar 24, 2017
Messages
1
I too have a young sulcata who seems to be struggling. We have had him for two years now and got him when he was maybe 4 inches long. In that time he has only gained 1.5 inches and went from ~88 grams to 180 grams (currently). He has been at the ~ 180 gram mark for many months and shows no signs of growing despite feeding regularly. Recently, he has become less active. Besides the lack of growth I am worried because he was purchased from a breeder mentioned frequently in association with "hatchling failure syndrome" and "dry starting" babies. He also had physical damage to his plastron I was not aware of before making the purchase. However, my wife and I wanted to give this little one the best care possible since he obviously didn't have a great start.

I live in the southeast and keep he/she on chipped coco bedding (misted daily). I do 20-30 minute soakings for the tortoise at least every other day (usually daily). The enclosure is kept inside and is approximately 5' x 3'. Heat/UV is provided on one end of the enclosure via Zoomed Powersun with a basking spot in the 98-105 range. I keep my reptile room at a temperature of 78-83 degrees year round so I provide 12 hours with the basking light on and do not run heat in the enclosure at night. In the warmer months there is plenty of time for grazing in the backyard (mostly mixed grasses, clover, and dandelions) and during the colder months I feed mostly dandelion greens and mixed grasses that I grow in the garage. Is there something husbandry wise I could be doing to give him a better chance? I'm really hoping his decrease in activity is not the beginning of the end.
 
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