repost from Intro (6 month old redfoot not eating)

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Laijla

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Hi, I reposted this from the introduction section - I need help with my redfoot and was hoping additional eyes might see it if posted in this section too!

RE: Welcome to TortoiseForum.org !
Hello all, I'm new to the site and trying to navigate for the first time as well...

My name is Laijla (pronounced Lila) and I'm a new owner of a 5-6 month old redfoot named Jet. I had spent months prior researching the care of redfoots only to have him (her?) home a few months now and realize I'm still terribly inept. Joining this list to learn.

When I was 9 months old my parents bought a redfoot from the Pomona Fair Grounds in CA (late 60's). I literally never knew a household without a redfoot roaming the backyard, patio and tiled area of our kitchen... Sadly, the year I left for college, my mother accidentally left the tortoise in the garage (we had moved to a colder climate) while she mopped the kitchen floor. She forgot to get him, temps dropped that night and he froze to death. I was heartbroken. He was about 25+ years old.

We were pretty ignorant of his care and he honestly fended for himself in the compost pile and dandelion/clover infested fenced in backyard. Thinking back, he had zero pyramiding and was a beautiful specimen. Lucky for him his instincts were stronger than our knowledge of keeping a tortoise. So, regardless of living with one for so many years, I'm quick to say, I know very little and want to learn ALL I CAN!

***I have a little dilema and hope I can get some feedback... a few days ago by daughters 13 pound dog managed to get into the tortoises enclosure. ((YES, I've fixed this issue, and the dog can't get near him!)) The dog wanted the cuttlebone luckily but not before he decided to try a bite of the tortoise. He left a few small puncture wounds. The vet flushed them and said it was minor but to be on the safe side did an antibiotic injection to prevent any chance of an abcess in one of the wounds. It's been 5 days and Jet still wont eat. The vet has told me his weight was good & he was in good health prior to the attack so not to worry yet. He is drinking well and has sought out the heat lamp more than normal. The vet said staying warm was essential for his immune system to heal himself. He looks great and he is still fairly active. One thing is he seems panicked of me now when before he was not. Ever since he was given the antibiotic shot he almost seems frightened of humans. Do you think it is likely he is making a smell association to humans with his trauma? When is too long for him to go without eating? He had been eating endive, dandelion, henbit, squash, zucchinni, carrots, strawberries, etc. prior to the attack.
Any suggestion for the little guy to aid his recovering and a return to normal?

thanks for any feedback
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Laijla:

785546idozimfepw.gif


to the forum!!!

I'll defer to the redfoot folks to answer your RF questions, but I CAN answer the one about the scared tortoise. I operate a rescue, and I get in quite a few dog-chewed turtles and tortoises. All of these animals are VERY afraid of being picked up or touched. It takes quite a long time for them to get over their close escape from the jaws of death. Same goes for the bad experience with the vet, injection and handling.

Just continue to put out the food as normal, place him in front of it and then quickly step out of sight and leave the tortoise alone.

They can go a long time without eating...not that you want them to. But he should come around when he realizes he's safe again.
 

Laijla

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emysemys said:
Hi Laijla:

785546idozimfepw.gif


to the forum!!!

I'll defer to the redfoot folks to answer your RF questions, but I CAN answer the one about the scared tortoise. I operate a rescue, and I get in quite a few dog-chewed turtles and tortoises. All of these animals are VERY afraid of being picked up or touched. It takes quite a long time for them to get over their close escape from the jaws of death. Same goes for the bad experience with the vet, injection and handling.

Just continue to put out the food as normal, place him in front of it and then quickly step out of sight and leave the tortoise alone.

They can go a long time without eating...not that you want them to. But he should come around when he realizes he's safe again.

Thank you so much! Appreciate the feedback. I'm doing everything I can for it to be as stress free as possible for him. Hopefully he can get back to his mellow little munching self :)
 

Stephanie Logan

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Welcome to the forum, Laijla.

Sorry you have joined TFO under such traumatic circumstances, but you are in the right place. You will learn a lot here about proper tortoise husbandry, diet and habitat. :)

What's your little friend's name? I hope he gets over his fright and stress soon. If you have a camera, post some photos of your tortoise and his enclosure when things have settled down a bit. :cool:

You can benefit a lot by reading the "Redfoot and Yellowfoot", "Enclosures", and "Food and Diet" sections of the forum.
 

Laijla

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Stephanie Logan said:
Welcome to the forum, Laijla.

Sorry you have joined TFO under such traumatic circumstances, but you are in the right place. You will learn a lot here about proper tortoise husbandry, diet and habitat. :)

What's your little friend's name? I hope he gets over his fright and stress soon. If you have a camera, post some photos of your tortoise and his enclosure when things have settled down a bit. :cool:

You can benefit a lot by reading the "Redfoot and Yellowfoot", "Enclosures", and "Food and Diet" sections of the forum.

His name is Jet. Easily changed to Jetta when the day comes we can correctly sex the tortoise and find after many years it's a female! :) The male I had growing up with was named Cleo and remained a female in my mom's mind - she refused to acknowledge it was male after so many years of referring to him as female! (Don't think HE cared!)

I took some pictures but they were too big - I'll resize them soon and post. I'm excited to design an outdoor enclosure when he is bigger. I'm a horticulturist and I have TONS of ideas! My friend has done landscapes in Costa Rica and Brazil and I'm going to pick his brain for ideas too! For now he is in an enclosure (cement mixing tub from Lowes) with sphagnum moss, medium/smallish river rock, a terracotta pot for a hide, shallow gravel pan w/h2O for extra humidity, a heat lamp and several non toxic tropical potted plants. It's up high on a table and has a wire top now.

Look forward to learning lots!
 

Redfoot NERD

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Poke around in the redfootcare link in my signature and you are bound to gleen something. Be sure and take your time and read and follow any links.... there are many pics to help illustrate also.

Hope this helps...

Terry K
 

Madkins007

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Poor guy, scared out of his wits, it sounds like.

A healthy Red-foot can go quite some time without eating and not be bothered by it a bit. Drinking and basking are good signs. Don't get too nervous yet.

My 2 cents worth would be to double check that the temps, humidity, lighting, hide, etc. are all good (Terry's sites, asking here, etc. to get good info) and just keep offering good food.

I am not a big fan of banana for Red-foots other than as a rare treat, but banana and strawberries are often helpful getting a reluctant Red-foot to eat again.
 

Laijla

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Redfoot NERD said:
Poke around in the redfootcare link in my signature and you are bound to gleen something. Be sure and take your time and read and follow any links.... there are many pics to help illustrate also.

Hope this helps...

Terry K

Thanks Terry! Must say, I had been reading your sites long before Jet arrived! I really appreciate all the shared info and the 'welcomes' so far! Your female Sonshine looks like my male we had growing up! Coloring & head pattern is nearly identical.

Madkins007 said:
Poor guy, scared out of his wits, it sounds like.

A healthy Red-foot can go quite some time without eating and not be bothered by it a bit. Drinking and basking are good signs. Don't get too nervous yet.

My 2 cents worth would be to double check that the temps, humidity, lighting, hide, etc. are all good (Terry's sites, asking here, etc. to get good info) and just keep offering good food.

I am not a big fan of banana for Red-foots other than as a rare treat, but banana and strawberries are often helpful getting a reluctant Red-foot to eat again.

Mark, We always fed our tortoise bananas growing up but I have not offered Jet any yet after seeing several comments to limit them. I have given him strawberries twice but he did not seemed fussed over them ??? He likes dandelions and butternut squash the most! I might offer bananas as a bribe to get him eating again...
I live in Kentucky and its been a cold winter but he has eaten well until the dog incident. Hopefully he will start to feel safe again and get back to a regular eating routine.
Yes, the hardest part as a newbie is MY NERVES! Just wanting to do the right thing by him!
My old tort & I lived in Elkhorn, NE MANY, MANY years ago :)
 

Stephanie Logan

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Laijla said:
My name is Laijla (pronounced Lila) and I'm a new owner of a 5-6 month old redfoot named Jet.

Just a quick apology...I can read...don't know how I missed this! :rolleyes:
 

Laijla

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Stephanie Logan said:
Laijla said:
My name is Laijla (pronounced Lila) and I'm a new owner of a 5-6 month old redfoot named Jet.

Just a quick apology...I can read...don't know how I missed this! :rolleyes:

:) Well, I left a lengthy, rambling sort of message/intro so it is understandable! :D

GREAT UPDATE on Jet! He was super active this weekend and has been eating dandelion greens, butternut squash and mushrooms. After 9 days it seems his appetite has returned! With his appetite back on track it seems his safety/comfort levels have returned as well! I couldn't help but watch him eat a bit (excited to see him on the mend!) and he glanced my direction and kept chowing! Like nothing ever happened; so relieved!
thanks everyone!
 

Madkins007

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Laijla said:
Stephanie Logan said:
Laijla said:
My name is Laijla (pronounced Lila) and I'm a new owner of a 5-6 month old redfoot named Jet.

Just a quick apology...I can read...don't know how I missed this! :rolleyes:

:) Well, I left a lengthy, rambling sort of message/intro so it is understandable! :D

GREAT UPDATE on Jet! He was super active this weekend and has been eating dandelion greens, butternut squash and mushrooms. After 9 days it seems his appetite has returned! With his appetite back on track it seems his safety/comfort levels have returned as well! I couldn't help but watch him eat a bit (excited to see him on the mend!) and he glanced my direction and kept chowing! Like nothing ever happened; so relieved!
thanks everyone!

Good for both of you!
 
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