Help ! Am I Just Worried Or Is Something Wrong with Bo?

Location (City and/or State)
Arlington, MA
Hello community, I'm a super paranoid new tort mommy—literally everything makes me overly cautious or concerned so I apologize if I'm just seeing stuff. I've only had him a week but everything is so new to me, no none I knew has a tortoise so I've never had any experience but I have read the care sheets by Chris.

Anyhow, Bo is nearly 3months old Eastern Hermanns, has been a regular pooper (usually twice a day) but yesterday no poop, barely walked around and didn't go into his water dish that i saw so I gave him a soak before bed ( i usually only soak in the morning). He went right back to sleep after that soak and this morning I soaked him, set him in front of his food plate and he promptly fell asleep there for three hours. he just moved to where his water dish is and is sleeping there—basking spot is just over to the side, so it's warm.

I've attached some pics, are his eyes okay? there hasn't been any obvious signs of anything wrong and I know he's a hatchling and they sleep a lot, but since I've had him, Bo has not ignored food after his morning soak.

PLEASE HELP !
 

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ZenHerper

Well-Known Member
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
The first thing to suspect is incorrect temperatures at his level...

*what is the exact temperature reading on the ground by this dish?
*By his normal hide box?
*At the side of the enclosure farthest from the heat bulb?
*Please show a photo of the entire enclosure - what kind of heat source(s) have you started with?
 
Location (City and/or State)
Arlington, MA
The first thing to suspect is incorrect temperatures at his level...

*what is the exact temperature reading on the ground by this dish?
*By his normal hide box?
*At the side of the enclosure farthest from the heat bulb?
*Please show a photo of the entire enclosure - what kind of heat source(s) have you started with?

Okay, by the dish it reads between 95-101F (lower temp after I mist with water which I do a few times a day), cool side ranges from 79-85F (area under tarp in pic). He doesn't go into the hide box but rather sleeps on either side where the air plants are. Overall temp of the table is between 79-86F (NOT including the basking area). Temp only dips below 80F at night on the cool sides, the basking area usually stays warm (83-85F) even after lights have been turned off.

I have two basking bulbs 75W for my 4'x2' tort table. I use a slim line tube UVB light that is not permanently installed since I might change it. It's 18" long and I place it at the corner over his food, it is 7-9ins above him on that corner. basking bulbs are on for 12-14hrs and the UVB is only on for 6 since he's a hatchling.

The temps are right, I'm very careful. It's probably the humidity, I do have a Humidifier that helps with the dry heat coming from the heaters since it's winter—unfortunately I can only get the humidity to stay between 55%-70% but I'm looking for another tarp, a clear one to put over the full table which should make the difference.
 

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Cherryshell

Member
Location (City and/or State)
Manassas Virginia
The temps are right, I'm very careful. It's probably the humidity, I do have a Humidifier that helps with the dry heat coming from the heaters since it's winter—unfortunately I can only get the humidity to stay between 55%-70% but I'm looking for another tarp, a clear one to put over the full table which should make the difference.

If you can't find a tarp then what about a shower curtain? I'd think that should be able to help trap the humidity.
 
Location (City and/or State)
Arlington, MA
If you can't find a tarp then what about a shower curtain? I'd think that should be able to help trap the humidity.

Yes, covering hot lights makes me anxious so I'm really looking for something that's says specifically that it can withstand the heat so it doesn't melt or put off fumes or burn down my apartment lol, my mother is a litigations manager with USAA and I can't tell you well she's installed caution into me.
 
Location (City and/or State)
Arlington, MA
But are his eyes okay?

Today, he opens then when he's touched, picked up, in the bath (at first and then he closes his eyes while soaking)—as soon as he knows he's safe on the ground or in the bath, he closes his eyes. Theres not any crusting or liquid.
 
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Location (City and/or State)
Arlington, MA
What are you using for his water bowl?

Because he is so small, the terra-cotta dish i have is a little to deep, this is a ceramic egg shaped shallow dish (i assume used for rings or keys, from target, I soaked in hot water before placing inside the table) it's super shallow and i have slate pieces around to help give him traction, slate pieces inside the water to give him elevation if needed and the narrow part is slightly angled down in the substrate to give the illusion of a shallow side and a "deep" side.
 
Location (City and/or State)
Arlington, MA
My boyfriend and I are buddhists, he is from nepal, and we typically burn incense a few times a day in our apartment. I honestly didn't think anything of it since it's our tradition in the morning, after work and before bed. The tort's room is separate but he does go in and bless our little one. could that be effecting him?
 

AgataP

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Seattle, WA
My boyfriend and I are buddhists, he is from nepal, and we typically burn incense a few times a day in our apartment. I honestly didn't think anything of it since it's our tradition in the morning, after work and before bed. The tort's room is separate but he does go in and bless our little one. could that be effecting him?

Any smoke can irritate him. They irritate my throat and eyes so maybe tortoise reacts the same? The smell of some of them can me strong as well.
 
Location (City and/or State)
Arlington, MA
Update: he's still not roaming of getting water or eating. i moved him to a different part of the enclosure to see if he would move himself back or anything and he opened his eyes when I picked him up but I set him down and he closed his eyes again and has stayed were I placed him, sleeping.

I think I'm overly worried but no one has said whether his eyes are swollen or look bad—so maybe he's just having a sleep day?
 

Yossarian

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
A laser thermometer measures surface temps, they are crap at measuring air temps. Unless you keep your house 80 degrees any part of the table not under the basking lamp will be colder than that. There is a reason that experienced owners always go to the temperature when we see things like this. People underestimate their need for heat.
 
Location (City and/or State)
Arlington, MA
A laser thermometer measures surface temps, they are crap at measuring air temps. Unless you keep your house 80 degrees any part of the table not under the basking lamp will be colder than that. There is a reason that experienced owners always go to the temperature when we see things like this. People underestimate their need for heat.


I'll be honest with you, I really don't think it's the temperature—the room he's in is especially hot, at least a 10 degree difference from the rest of the apartment. AND since we've gotten him a week ago I've kept the heat on 80+. He's been very active everyday except today. Yesterday he was active but slept longer.
 

queen koopa

Well-Known Member
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas Nevada
Babies sleep a lot and you have only had him for a week....hopefully Chris will chime in. Id say bump up humidity and provide more shaded areas without jeopardizing heat. Looks very bright...
 
Location (City and/or State)
Arlington, MA
Babies sleep a lot and you have only had him for a week....hopefully Chris will chime in. Id say bump up humidity and provide more shaded areas without jeopardizing heat. Looks very bright...

Thank you, after posting the pics I realized that the domed lights were slightly angled with the basking spot being the center of the table—after readjusting the fixtures, the lights now are directed straight downwards and it's not as bright now.
 
Location (City and/or State)
Arlington, MA
UPDATE: I spoke with our breeder, he agreed something strange was happening since the little one was very active before today—we went over the enclosure and all, and he recommended that we stop using the UVB light for a week.

He said: "It was a very strong healthy tortoise and my assumption will that it will bounce back quickly after the UVB gets absorbed by its body. These babies in the wild hardly see the sun long enough to even absorb the UVB. So they are not made to absorb synthetic UVB for long hours. That’s why i always suggest 1-3 hours. But if a tortoise us some issues after it’s been perfectly fine, it’s either they fed it something strange, too cool and damp at night, or it’s the UVB. 99% if the time, removing the UVB, fixes the issues. It’s like radiation, it builds and builds and the baby can absorb it quick enough and it starts to affect the organs. We aren’t even close to that stage yet. Usually happens after a month or so. But with a New uvb bulb, it could be strong levels of UVB. Too much is worse than not enough. I don’t even introduce UVB for the first two weeks of life."

Which makes sense to me.

So I was instructed to "kill the UVB. Don’t turn it on for a week. Sometimes too much UVB causes issues. Makes them lethargic. I would bring the soak down to 5-10 mins. Keep the heat lights on for 16 hours a day for the next week. But 95 should be the hottest. 100F is pretty hot. Sometimes too hot causes dehydration. Feed some romaine for the next two meals. It has a lot of water in it.
Sometimes those puffy eyes means too much UVB or cold and damp. I wouldn’t spray the enclosure. Instead, i wound pour a glass of warm water under the heat source.
I would also make a humid hide and place it under the heat source."

I asked if there was a way to help the little absorb the UVB and he said "Nothing you can do except soak. And offer food with high hydration like romaine. You need to flush it out. Takes about 48-72 hours. Also keep in mind that they go through growth spurts. And when they do that, they sleep more for 2-3 days. Keep me posted. Don’t panic unless it doesn’t eat for a week."

It made me feel a lot better and I trust my breeder—he's well-known and has been very helpful—I just wanted to put all of this here for others' input as well.
 
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