Need help. Tortoise will not eat.

Redfootkeeper79

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Hello. I have an approximately five-year-old red foot tortoise. He has done great up to the last couple days. He’s not wanting to eat his recent food I put it by him and he just sits there. I have also discovered what looks like tiny little Beatles throughout his enclosure on his food even on him. He’s getting a complete substrate change today to get rid of the Beatles but would they be causing a problem? If he does not improve I will be scheduling an appointment with an exotic vet, which is very difficult with there’s only one in this area and with Covid there are very few openings. Any help or suggestions in the meantime would be appreciated.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Hello. I have an approximately five-year-old red foot tortoise. He has done great up to the last couple days. He’s not wanting to eat his recent food I put it by him and he just sits there. I have also discovered what looks like tiny little Beatles throughout his enclosure on his food even on him. He’s getting a complete substrate change today to get rid of the Beatles but would they be causing a problem? If he does not improve I will be scheduling an appointment with an exotic vet, which is very difficult with there’s only one in this area and with Covid there are very few openings. Any help or suggestions in the meantime would be appreciated.
How long has the Tortoise not eaten? Is he new to you? Have you changed anything in his routine, new enclosure, started putting him outside, temperature change, etc?
 

Redfootkeeper79

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It’s only been a few days that he hasn’t eaten. Absolutely no changes in his routine or the house. I’ve had him since he was a baby. The only thing I see different or whatever these little bugs are in his cage.
 

Toddrickfl1

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It’s only been a few days that he hasn’t eaten. Absolutely no changes in his routine or the house. I’ve had him since he was a baby. The only thing I see different or whatever these little bugs are in his cage.
Hmm, something is off then. I doubt it's from the bugs. Have you tried anything irresistible that he normally loves? If it continues I would definitely say see a vet.
 

KronksMom

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When I hurt bad, I sometimes can't eat anything for days. Good point.
 

Redfootkeeper79

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I have no idea what they are. His tank is torn apart right now and all substrate is being changed to try and get rid of them. I’ll post pics when he’s set back up.
 

KronksMom

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If you have a nearby college, you could try taking come of the bugs there. A professor of entomology or even a more broad subject like some kind of biology/zoology, etc may be ably to identify them if no one on here can. How many legs do they have?
@Pastel Tortie @zovick any idea if these critters are dangerous?
 

Pastel Tortie

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I have no idea what that one is. Try contacting your local Cooperative Extension Service office (during the week) and see if they can help identify it.
 

Redfootkeeper79

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Unless more appear they have been all removed. I didn’t think to save one. They are tiny. Would need a magnifying glass to see legs. If I find another I will get better pics and save it. They have all been taken out with the trash I hope. I did try cat food. He took a bite they acted uninterested. He did at least eat a mouthful.
 

Pastel Tortie

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You may still be able to email photos to the Cooperative Extension Service office. It's worth a shot, in case they appear again.
 

zovick

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Sorry, but I cannot tell what this bug is, nor can I say whether these could cause any problems for your tortoise. My immediate reaction is that there is some other problem affecting the tortoise. I don't think the bugs would bother it enough to throw off its appetite. Just my opinion and I could be mistaken.
 

jeannettep

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When mine dont seem interested in food, I give them a nice warm soak, chop their food up small with some soaked mazuri & mash them up together in small mounds, then put them with the food right after a soak.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Thank you. I will try that. This tortoise however hates mazuri normally
What type of Mazuri?
While it's very common for a Redfoot to dislike the LS type, The original 5M21 is almost irresistible to them, usually.
Also. Do you feed fruit at all?
Fruit make up a good deal of a Redfoot diet, and certain "treat" foods, like banana and mango can get a sick or otherwise reluctant tortoise eating again
 

ZEROPILOT

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i appreciate your opinion. If there is an issue I’d like to fix it. This is my current setup. Substrate is ecoearth. He also has a closed in dark side where he prefers to sleep.
I see several iui issues here.
Humidity would be the biggie.
Redfoot don't do well in an open topped enclosure like that. And you need it over 70% 24/7.
The second issue would be the harsh and desicating lighting. It's unnecessary and stressful. Redfoot don't need high heat. And avoid bright lights.
The 3rd would be U.V.
What type of UV light are you using?
A spiral or coiled type is a danger to be avoided. And cause of even more stress.

I hate to be the guy who has nothing but bad news for you.
I'm really trying to offer help for the both of you.
 

Redfootkeeper79

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Thank you. Bad news or not I appreciate the help. I am using a coil uv light. I will get rid of it. Is a uvb bulb acceptable for them? I wasn’t awake or the humidity. He’s been in that enclosure for about 5 years. Can you suggest something more fitting?
 

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