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Help (Tortoise does not eat or poop as much as she used to)

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by Thadus, Oct 25, 2016.

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  1. Thadus

    Thadus Member

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    I have had my tortoise for about a month or two and in the beginning she would always poop when I soaked everyday in the morning, but she rarely does that anymore. Also she used to eat almost all her food, now she barely touches it, I have tried to add more variety but that does not seem to be the problem. Any suggestions? Please help
  2. Yvonne G

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

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    Most Russian tortoises we buy are wild caught and have not lived in this geographical area long enough for their internal rhythms to have adapted to our climate yet. And wild Russian tortoises hibernate (actually called 'brumate') more than half the year in the wild. So I'm guessing that your tortoise wants to hibernate. They stop eating prior to hibernation in order to clean out their digestive tract.
  3. Thadus

    Thadus Member

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    Should I by worried? Also should I just feed her less then? @Yvonne G
  4. Yvonne G

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

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    You need to determine if the tortoise is wanting to hibernate or if there's something wrong with either the tortoise or its environment. If, for instance, he's not warm enough, you need to fix that and feed him. If he's sick you need to find out why and fix that.
  5. Thadus

    Thadus Member

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    I have checked her eyes and she seems fine and I at first though it was the temp so I turned the heat up a little more, How would I be able to tell if she wants to hibernate @Yvonne G
  6. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Simply turning the heat up isn't a fix. It can get too hot.

    You need to know, accurately, the 4 important temperatures in your enclosure (warm side, cool side, directly under the basking lamp and overnight minimum) What are they?

    The lights need to be on an bright for 12-14 hours a day to kid your tortoise it's summer still.

    BUT, your tort could be hiding away because it's scared (common in new torts especially) or because it's eyes hurt (common with CFL compact UVB)

    Have we seen pictures of your enclosure and lights to check it over?
  7. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    You need to have a thermostat so you know exactly what the temps are. It should be 75-80 during the day with a basking spot of 95-100. If she can't warm up under the 95-100 she can't properly digest it's food whic will also make her not want to eat. You also need to add more light possibly to keep her awake as you have not had her long enough for her to hibernate. 12 hours of brighter light and proper temps will help her to stay awake and start to eat better. If she's not eating as much as she used too, she's not going to poop as much either.
  8. Thadus

    Thadus Member

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    Her coolside temp reaches anywhere from 67- 81 Fahrenheit , warmside is 81- 90, under basking bulb is 90-108. I have adjusted my light timer so it turns on at 5:55 am and turns of at about 9:00 pm. Here are pictures of lights and enclosure


    I have a 10.0w UVB bulb 20161026_211228.jpg
    I have a 100w basking lamp 20161026_211200.jpg
    Here is where i have the lights, the food and water placed 20161026_211248.jpg
    Then the last image is where she likes to sleep and hide in 20161026_211305.jpg
  9. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi @Thadus

    That UVB bulb is the CFL (compact coil type) that I referred to earlier that can hurt tortoise eyes and make it hide away. We don't recommend their use on TFO.

    You should change it for a tube type lamp. The alternative is to switch both bulbs out and replace them with a single Mercury Vapor Bulb (MVB) that provides both UVB and basking heat from a single bulb.

    I can't see your lamp holders, but it's important that the basking bulb hangs down vertically. It must not be at an angle.
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