My 13 years old leopard tortoise is not eating for almost 2 weeks

Millie Tortoise

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Hi, everyone. I am from Hong Kong. And I am so grateful to find this web site. It give me so much information in need. Really appreciate that there are so many kind and experience owner sharing the information and knowledge here.

I am really worry now, as my 13 years old leopard tortoise Millie is not been eating for 2 weeks. She is like in a hibernate statues which never happen before, she is sleeping most of the time, but if I bring her out, she will walk a bit, but I can feel she seems weak
I have bring her to see a vet and is on ceftazidime injection now (1 dos /3 days, now in 3rd one, total 5, Vet follow up visit on Coming Monday) . Beside not eating there is not other symptoms show, the vet cannot really come out with a diagnose but suspect she had an infection. (both red blood and white blood cell are lower then normal, but the rest reading is normal in blood testing.) I have also keeping bath her in Reptoboost 3 time a day now.

I wonder any of you has experience with a sick tortoise, without any noticeable symptoms, and been not eating for a while. How's the recovery?

Thank you so much!
~Alice
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Alice, and welcome to the Forum!

Please give us some details about how the tortoise lives. Is there a light or is she outside, food, temperature, etc. Maybe post some pictures of where she lives and of her.
 

Millie Tortoise

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Hi Yvonne,

Thank you. After my tortoise is sick, I have doing some research and knew that there is some improvement need to be made for her house and we will do that. Long story short, Millie is also suffer a bit of calcium deficiency, as the Vet said she has a slightly deform of shell, from Xray, her bone density seems a bit low.
We did put light for her previously, but stop doing for a few years, her house is next to the window and can have sunlight year round. However, that's the problem, as window glass may filter UVB which I didn't know until now. Her diet include dandelion leaves, clover, cucumber, lettuce and sometime a bit dry hays. The Vet said she may not have enough nutrient, as her weight is under average for her age.

I knew the event trigger her no eating, i have changes her substrate because someone recommend to use some kind of cat sand (she said she is be using for years), and I was thinking give it a try.The first day after the change I saw Millie is not willing to go inside the cave, and also I can smell the thing a bit chemical... so I change back the next day. I suspect Millie had eaten some by mistake, but the Vet said cannot see any from the Xray. I suspect if it may already poisons Millie a bit as the cat sand can melt in the water.

I find out that change the environment will stress and make the tort not eating, but I have already resume everything back to the previous setting for so many days.. but Millie is stilling not eating at all...

The Vet said possible infection, I did give the antibiotic as instructed just to be safe.

I am just so worry and think that how can I be so stupid. Millie has never had a single problem before, I feel so sorry now.

I am doing this now and would like to hear your opinions:

- On intense UVB light in day time (How long should I turn on the light?)

- Soaking in VETARK Reptoboost with warm water, 3 time a day, I did saw her sipping water when I soak her (should I also do carrot soaks?)

- We will bring her to the park when there is Sun before she is sick, she like wonder around, these few days, she still walk, but more likely she will find a place and just hide. (Do you think I should just let her rest in her enclosure or still bring her to the park and encourage her to walk as I am not sure if the walking is good for her or will make her even exhausted and tired. )

If you also have other suggestion, please let me know.

Sorry for the lengthy write ups. Thank you!

Alice

P.S. Photos of her before sick.
 

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wellington

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She does have mbd for lack of calcium and uvb.
I would add pureed baby food carrot to the soak and get some liquid calcium and add that also to the soak 2-3 times a week. The uvb light should be on 12 hours a day and yes, get her outside for some natural uvb but be sure the park does not use any chemicals.
Post pics of her enclosure. Never use sand. Her recovery will be slow as she has not had proper care the whole time you had her.
Keep soaking her daily adding all mentioned each time except the liquid calcium do that 2-3 times a week.
Be sure to follow the caresheet on this forum only. Most if not everything else out there is wrong or outdated like you found out about the sand.
 

Yvonne G

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I would not take the tortoise to the park because you don't know if the gardener uses chemicals on the grass.
 

Millie Tortoise

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Thank you for your time to read and answer. I would like to ask if the light i am using now is correct.
And our temperature is around 25°C - 30°C, do I need to still put up heat lamp? Thank you!
 

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KarenSoCal

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Hi, there, Alice!
That UVB bulb is not a good type to use. Sometimes those bulbs hurt tortoise eyes, and they are bad for the pyramiding also.

What you want to get is this...


You could probably order it from a large online pet supply place. It is an Arcadia T5 HO (high output) 12% 22 inch bulb, and it fits into a 24 inch fixture. Like at the place I linked, you can buy the fixture and a bulb comes with it. After the first time, you only have to buy the bulb.

But of course, going outside for an hour in the sunshine is best. If you can take Millie out for an hour 2-3 times a week, she won't need any indoor UV.

And you are correct...glas, plastic, and even screening does prevent at least 50% of UVB from passing through.
 

Millie Tortoise

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Hi, there, Alice!
That UVB bulb is not a good type to use. Sometimes those bulbs hurt tortoise eyes, and they are bad for the pyramiding also.

What you want to get is this...


You could probably order it from a large online pet supply place. It is an Arcadia T5 HO (high output) 12% 22 inch bulb, and it fits into a 24 inch fixture. Like at the place I linked, you can buy the fixture and a bulb comes with it. After the first time, you only have to buy the bulb.

But of course, going outside for an hour in the sunshine is best. If you can take Millie out for an hour 2-3 times a week, she won't need any indoor UV.

And you are correct...glas, plastic, and even screening does prevent at least 50% of UVB from passing through.
Hi Karen,

Thanks and really appreciate your advice.

Alice
 

Lyn W

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This is the caresheet for raising them from babies, but may help you put some things such as diet and temps etc. right.

www.thetortoisetable.co.uk may hep you find more variety for her diet. It's based on UK plants but I'm sure there's some that will be familiar to you.
 

Millie Tortoise

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This is the caresheet for raising them from babies, but may help you put some things such as diet and temps etc. right.

www.thetortoisetable.co.uk may hep you find more variety for her diet. It's based on UK plants but I'm sure there's some that will be familiar to you.
Thank you Lyn. Will have a look and do the best for Millie.
 

Tom

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Thank you for your time to read and answer. I would like to ask if the light i am using now is correct.
And our temperature is around 25°C - 30°C, do I need to still put up heat lamp? Thank you!
No on that type of bulb.

25-30 is a nice ambient temp, but the tortoise needs a warmer basking area of 36-37C. Sunshine is best. It is difficult and problematic to use basking bulbs on larger high domed tortoises like yours.
 
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