HELP my Greek Tortoise

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hpfirework

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I posted a couple days ago about my 4 months old Greek tortoise. Here I added pictures so please point out what exactly I can do.

It arrived by mail-order on this Tuesday morning. The first I noticed is that it constantly moves its head and forearms back and forth. This is my first pet tortoise so I did not know better. Now I learned that is a sure sign of respiratory problem.

I do not quite know what is the typical of activity level for a 4 month hatchling Greek tortoise. I think mine shows lethargy. It’s always in its shell. When I put it in front of the food, he eats some, but never actively seeking for food. It drinks when taking warm bath, but again, never did it by itself. If I don’t wake it up, feed food and water, it would just sleep like hibernating. I am in North Carolina, the weather here is really hot and damp. The room temperature in my house is 26C. I used paper pellets and bedding then changed to cypress bark. I misted some water on it, the hygrometer says 70%, which I think should provide enough humidity. But not sure if 70% is too damp for Greek. I also took pictures of the lamps I use. The basking lamp is 50W, turned to full strength. At the place where I put thermometer, it’s 32C or 90F. In the night, the heat emitter I use is also in the pictures, it a 60W. I did not buy stronger ones because I thought I would cook the tortoise in the hot summer night. I may be wrong? I am right now very worried about my tortoise. It’s so cute. Please help me point out what I did wrong.

I also took a picture of one of my other roommates. Because I don’t want them think I don’t care about them any more after I have a new cutie.
Cage set up
 

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CGKeith

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I think that the enclosure is pretty good. Maybe add a couple of hide spots.

I would suggest leaving the little one alone for a few days. If it was shipped it could be shaken up a bit........ and then put in a new enclosure, then changed the substrate, and a giant hand keeps grabbing it.....they get a little stressed from all that.

Plus if it is in a room where there is a lot of movement, that won't help either.

You didn't mention what you are using for food. Try a few different things and just keep putting fresh food in the same place every morning. It will come around.

My babies are usually active in the mornings, to eat, then nap most of the rest of the day.
 

Yvonne G

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Don't worry about the breathing. That's how they breathe. The legs and head move with each breath. Its perfectly normal, and definitely NOT a respiratory infection.
 

egyptiandan

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I can't see the picture :( Now I see the pictures with this post :D

The breathing you describe is the way they normally breath. Just that with a new enclosure it's a bit stressful and the breathing movement gets exagerated. He is just a bit stressed right now with all the changes that have happened lately.
Everything sounds fine with his set-up, except the heat at night. You don't need the CHE at night in the summer. Thats to much heat at night.
How long are your lights on for?
Your new Greek is just getting used to the way you will be keeping him/her and thats stressful. When under stress, hatchling tend to want to hide. So just keep bringing him/her out to eat and soak. :)

Danny
 

Michael Bird

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Baby tortoises do like to hide and burrow most of the time, particularly after a very stressful move to a new location. In the wild, they burrow almost all of the time to hide from predators.

I don't know if an actual scientific study has been done, but I have read that those compact coil type UVB fluorescent lights are very hard on the eyes so your baby could just be trying to hide its face from the harsh light. You should either use a regular long UVB tube bulb, or a combination UVB/Heat mercury basking lamp. If you do use a mercury bulb, make sure that your lamp fixture is rated properly for the wattage of the bulb and that it is a ceramic fixture, not plastic. Also, if the room temperature doesn't drop below about 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 C), then you probably don't even need to use the ceramic heat emitter at night.

If you put your ear close to the tortoise while it is moving its head and legs in and out repeatedly, can you hear it gasping or wheezing? When tortoises draw their head and legs inside quickly, such as when they are startled, it sounds like a hiss. This is normal, and it is normal for them to move their head and legs a bit when breathing, but if your tortoise is pulling the head and legs in fully every time it breathes that could be a sign of a problem.

High humidity is very good for tortoises, especially babies who are growing quickly and need the moisture to assist healthy and smooth shell growth.

What food(s) are you offering to the tortoise?
 

hpfirework

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Thank you all for so many quick responses.

I am now a bit relieved.

I do occasionally hear a sound when he breaths, especially after eating. But not sure if it's from the nose or the beak. I suspect it's rubbing beak.

In the night, I use the dimmer to turn the CHE down at low level. Now I think I probably should turn it off completely.

I feed him DOLE spring mix. I sprinkled a little Calsium powder on it but only found out it doesn't like the taste of calsium powder. I plan to plant some grass in pots. I don't know if there are dandelion seeds I can buy. I have some very good wheat seeds, is wheat grass too rich for tortoise?

I also want to feed it watermelon skin (the green and white part, no pink stuff on it), I know too much fruit is never good, is the skin okay for tortoise? My husband and I consume lots of watermelons during the summer time, enough to feed my two guinea pigs.

I will buy him more decorating stuffs and a hideout, stone dish, etc. I do not have much money to spend, so I just bought the most essential things, I will keep looking for good deals.
 
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