RT Grandma worried

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anagy007

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OK, So we purchased an RT from Petco on 4/14/13. He was the most active one in the tank at the store. His eyes were clear, no bubbles or runny nose. A little bit of pyramiding, but it doesn't seem bad. He felt solid when we held him.

Petco said they deworm them all 2x's before they sell them, but I made a vet appointment to make sure.

The first day or so he was not too active which I expected. After that he would be active for a little while in the morning then sleep till late afternoon and be active till almost bedtime. I have soaked him every other day till the vet on Fri 4/19/13 for 20 min. He always pooped.

The vet is not a reptile specialist but seemed pretty comfortable with him. He said he was healthy. His skin and shell looked good, eyes looked good and looked well hydrated. Weighed in at 406 grams. He did see ova in his fecal test though.

So the vet gave me 2 doses of Panacur powder which I gave to Raphael that day in a tiny cabbage burrito and said to give the second dose 3 weeks later and bring in another sample 1 week after that. The vet wasn't sure what type of ova, but said it looked like a type of nematode.

The soaking after the Panacur I spotted the worms in the bottom of his tub after he pooped. It appears to be pinworms.

I have since then been very careful and soaking him every morning to keep his enclosure cleaner. I rinse him in a second tub before I put him back. I also spot clean when I see it. Before the vet I had cypress mulch mixed with eco earth. He loved it and liked to burrow. Since I am concerned about reinfection I cleaned out the enclosure, lined it newspaper and mulch with no eco-earth. I can easily roll up the paper and discard the mulch every other day.

It is day 5 after the panacur and here's where I am concerned. He's seems to be sleeping most of the time and is rubbing his eye a lot. I have a plastic pool that I got at petsmart to get him outside for good sunlight and he usually is very active in there, but yesterday he barely walked around. I know it's still early today, but he doesn't seem to want to stay awake and he didn't do a good poop. I spotted a little debris in the water which may have been one but usually it's a little "tootsie roll". I spotted only a few worms this time, but I'm not sure if he pooped so I don't know if he really expelled any.

I also haven't really seen him eat the way I read about in this forum. I put the food out in the morning and sometimes he eats sometimes not. But it's never more than a little bit unless it's cabbage. I also give him some timothy hay which I have seen him nibble on. I have offered him Kale, Spring Mix, Collard Greens, Carrots and yellow peppers. He has taken a leaf or two of those but mostly leaves them behind. Cabbage he will eat a ton of. He must be eating because I weighed him this morning and he was 412 grams. Not sure how accurate my scale is, but that's around a 6 gram weight gain in less than a week. I have mixed up a 1:1 ratio of ReptoCal and Herptivite which I sprinkle on his food. I had a little light green Zoo Med vitamin/calcium block in with him, but he just walks over it so I took it out while we're deworming.

I have oh so many questions as I have never had a reptile before, but I am completely enamored with him.

So I guess my main question is how long do I wait to take him to the vet if he doesn't become more active and doesn't stop rubbing his eyes. I have until this Sunday to bring him to Petco for their vet to see him. (Although I don't know if that is still available since I brought him to my own)

I'm apologize for novel, I just wanted to cover my bases. I have been on this forum just about every day and I know if anyone can advise me it the people here.

I greatly appreciate any advice given.

Info: Enclosure-3' by 2 1/2' cement mixing tub, substrate-read above, 1 MVB bulb, Basking temp-95 to 100, Ambient Temp 80's, Cool temp 70's, Rock hideaway on warm side, Half Log on cool side, Water dish (not big enough for soaking), tile for food, some river rocks (from the dollar store). Light is on 12-14 hours, Temps dip to 70's at night.
 

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Team Gomberg

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Please, don't apologize for the "novel". Your abundance of info is needed for people to get a whole picture. You did good.

I have never dealt with a tortoise who has worms, takes medicine or doesn't eat so I don't know what to say. Someone will soon. And thanks to your wonderful intro, they will be able to help you :)
 

theelectraco

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PetCo and PetSmart usually don't take the precautionary step to deworm, so PetCo was lying about deworming him twice. My PetSmart does, but that's cus I am obsessive over our tortoises and every new tortoise has fecal tests done as soon as they poop, and pretty much all our tortoises arrive with parasites. It isn't abnormal for them to have a loss of appetite from the deworming. I would try offering a wider variety and seeing if he finds other foods he will devour. It wouldn't hurt to take him to the vet before your 15 days is up as long as they don't inject him with something he doesn't need. I wouldn't worry too much, see if there is any improvement in the next two days and go from there.
 

WillTort2

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A couple of questions. Is your basking light in the center of the enclosure? If so, it needs to be at one end to allow for greater temperature range.

What part of the 70's do your night time temps drop to? I like to have my night temps drop to around 65 for my Russians. Day time temps around 73 to 75 away from your basking light.

I'm not sure about the cabbage, try turnip greens, bok choy, endive, raddichio (sp?), and dandelions as part of your variety.

Good luck.
 

theelectraco

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If that little analog dial is what you are using for your temps also, they are usually inaccurate and your temps may be off.
 

anagy007

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theelectraco said:
PetCo and PetSmart usually don't take the precautionary step to deworm, so PetCo was lying about deworming him twice. My PetSmart does, but that's cus I am obsessive over our tortoises and every new tortoise has fecal tests done as soon as they poop, and pretty much all our tortoises arrive with parasites. It isn't abnormal for them to have a loss of appetite from the deworming. I would try offering a wider variety and seeing if he finds other foods he will devour. It wouldn't hurt to take him to the vet before your 15 days is up as long as they don't inject him with something he doesn't need. I wouldn't worry too much, see if there is any improvement in the next two days and go from there.

Yeah, I kind of doubted that they did it. That's why I took him. :)
 

GeoTerraTestudo

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Good description. Looks like the environment is good, although Will's comment above about placement of the basking spot is worth paying attention to. At any rate, your tortoise is probably just stressed out from a number of things all at once: adjusting to a new environment, trying a new diet, and battling what seems to be a heavy parasitic infestation. All those meds may be necessary to get rid of the infestation, but they could be making your tort feel poorly, too. The sooner he can get off the meds, the better.

In the wild, Russians eat buttercups and poppies to deworm themselves naturally. It seems that their appetite for these plants goes up when they have parasites, and then once they're feeling better, they switch to less toxic plants in the sunflower, mustard, and plantain families.

So, you can offer your Russian tortoise buttercups and poppies to see if that's what he's craving. I'm a bit surprised your guy wants cabbage. It is in the mustard family and edible, but very fibrous and high in oxalate, an antinutrient that herbivores usually avoid eating in large quantities. I recommend plants from the sunflower family, since these are pretty much ideal. These include romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, wild prickly lettuce, chicory, endive, escarole, radicchio, and dandelion. Most Testudo tortoises, including Russians, love that stuff. You can also try offering wild plantains (Plantago species).

Just give it some time, and I think your tortoise will come around soon.
 

anagy007

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WillTortoise said:
A couple of questions. Is your basking light in the center of the enclosure? If so, it needs to be at one end to allow for greater temperature range.

What part of the 70's do your night time temps drop to? I like to have my night temps drop to around 65 for my Russians. Day time temps around 73 to 75 away from your basking light.

I'm not sure about the cabbage, try turnip greens, bok choy, endive, raddichio (sp?), and dandelions as part of your variety.

Good luck.

The Basking Light is more to one end, but all we could find were those darn clip on fixtures. His Lamp stand actually just arrived so I ill be fixing that. Our Household thermostat is set usually to about 77, but in the morning the temp in his bin reads about 68-70. I'm going to get some different greens today.


theelectraco said:
If that little analog dial is what you are using for your temps also, they are usually inaccurate and your temps may be off.

I have that and a round Zoo Med disk that I've been moving around from spot to spot to check. What type of temperature gauge should I get?

Do you think this is making him sleepy?
 

theelectraco

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You could get a digital AcuRite thermometer and humidity gauges combos, or a temp gun.
 

anagy007

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GeoTerraTestudo said:
Good description. Looks like the environment is good, although Will's comment above about placement of the basking spot is worth paying attention to. At any rate, your tortoise is probably just stressed out from a number of things all at once: adjusting to a new environment, trying a new diet, and battling what seems to be a heavy parasitic infestation. All those meds may be necessary to get rid of the infestation, but they could be making your tort feel poorly, too. The sooner he can get off the meds, the better.

In the wild, Russians eat buttercups and poppies to deworm themselves naturally. It seems that their appetite for these plants goes up when they have parasites, and then once they're feeling better, they switch to less toxic plants in the sunflower, mustard, and plantain families.

So, you can offer your Russian tortoise buttercups and poppies to see if that's what he's craving. I'm a bit surprised your guy wants cabbage. It is in the mustard family and edible, but very fibrous and high in oxalate, an antinutrient that herbivores usually avoid eating in large quantities. I recommend plants from the sunflower family, since these are pretty much ideal. These include romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, wild prickly lettuce, chicory, endive, escarole, radicchio, and dandelion. Most Testudo tortoises, including Russians, love that stuff. You can also try offering wild plantains (Plantago species).

Just give it some time, and I think your tortoise will come around soon.

Thank you so much. I have been struggling with the cabbage thing. I just wasn't sure. Some sights said yes some said no. I am going to try and get all of those you mentioned and make a "salad". I noticed you didn't mention collard greens where others have said it's good. Any thoughts?
And Yes, HE LOVES HIS CABBAGE.


theelectraco said:
You could get a digital AcuRite thermometer and humidity gauges combos, or a temp gun.
I will stop at my pet store today and see if they have those.

Are you suspecting it's too cold? or too hot at night?


Thank You Thank You Thank You to all of you. I'm off to go shopping. This little guy has cost us a bundle, but I want to make sure he's happy.
 

theelectraco

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AcuRite you can get online and I think walmart or homedepot. Some pet stores sell the zoo med temp gun or you can get a infrared temp gun from a hardware store
 

anagy007

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theelectraco said:
AcuRite you can get online and I think walmart or homedepot. Some pet stores sell the zoo med temp gun or you can get a infrared temp gun from a hardware store

Awesome, I will try at Home Depot. They have the one I've attached. Is that the right one?
 

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GeoTerraTestudo

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anagy007 said:
Thank you so much. I have been struggling with the cabbage thing. I just wasn't sure. Some sights said yes some said no. I am going to try and get all of those you mentioned and make a "salad". I noticed you didn't mention collard greens where others have said it's good. Any thoughts?
And Yes, HE LOVES HIS CABBAGE.

Collard, cabbage, mustard, turnip, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and bok choy are all in the family Brassicaceae, formerly Cruciferae (i.e. cruciferous plants). They are edible, and wild Russian tortoises in Central Asia do eat them quite a bit, along with the other plants I mentioned (see thread: "Article: steppe tortoise diet in the wild").

In captivity, you can offer brassicas, including collard greens, as part of a varied diet. However, because they are high in oxalic acid, you don't want to offer them very often, because that can lead to a calcium imbalance. I have also noticed that my Russians don't seem to prefer brassicas. They will eat them occasionally, but in general they'd rather eat asters (sunflower family). I also feed them quality commercial foods like Mazuri and Zoomed Tortoise Food, although your guy might not eat those yet if he is still acclimating to captivity. Anyway, that's why I'm amazed your tortoise like cabbage so much, because my Russians don't.
 

anagy007

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GeoTerraTestudo said:
anagy007 said:
Thank you so much. I have been struggling with the cabbage thing. I just wasn't sure. Some sights said yes some said no. I am going to try and get all of those you mentioned and make a "salad". I noticed you didn't mention collard greens where others have said it's good. Any thoughts?
And Yes, HE LOVES HIS CABBAGE.

Collard, cabbage, mustard, turnip, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and bok choy are all in the family Brassicaceae, formerly Cruciferae (i.e. cruciferous plants). They are edible, and wild Russian tortoises in Central Asia do eat them quite a bit, along with the other plants I mentioned (see thread: "Article: steppe tortoise diet in the wild").

In captivity, you can offer brassicas, including collard greens, as part of a varied diet. However, because they are high in oxalic acid, you don't want to offer them very often, because that can lead to a calcium imbalance. I have also noticed that my Russians don't seem to prefer brassicas. They will eat them occasionally, but in general they'd rather eat asters (sunflower family). I also feed them quality commercial foods like Mazuri and Zoomed Tortoise Food, although your guy might not eat those yet if he is still acclimating to captivity. Anyway, that's why I'm amazed your tortoise like cabbage so much, because my Russians don't.

So I wrote down your list and went shopping. I found a spring mix by Fresh Express with this ingredient list: Green Romaine, Green Leaf, Tango, Green Oak Lettuce, Lollo Rossa, Radicchio, Red Romaine, Red Leaf, Red Oak Lettuce, Red Butter Lettuce, Baby Spinach, Red Bok Choy, Arugula and Mizuna. I fished out the spinach and gave it to him.

WOW! He looooves it. I didn't wake him up, just put it where I always do. He went right to it and is still eating. It's been like 10 minutes. I am sooo grateful.


anagy007 said:
theelectraco said:
AcuRite you can get online and I think walmart or homedepot. Some pet stores sell the zoo med temp gun or you can get a infrared temp gun from a hardware store

Awesome, I will try at Home Depot. They have the one I've attached. Is that the right one?

OK, so I purchased the one in the picture, but would belieive I forgot the batteries. lol. I will let you know how the temps read with this one once I hit the store again.
 

GeoTerraTestudo

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anagy007 said:
So I wrote down your list and went shopping. I found a spring mix by Fresh Express with this ingredient list: Green Romaine, Green Leaf, Tango, Green Oak Lettuce, Lollo Rossa, Radicchio, Red Romaine, Red Leaf, Red Oak Lettuce, Red Butter Lettuce, Baby Spinach, Red Bok Choy, Arugula and Mizuna. I fished out the spinach and gave it to him.

WOW! He looooves it. I didn't wake him up, just put it where I always do. He went right to it and is still eating. It's been like 10 minutes. I am sooo grateful.

Awesome! Yesss! :D Spring mix is a nice way to deliver a more diversified diet. Granted, most of the plants in that particular mix are lettuce of one variety or another (Lactuca sativa), but that's fine as part of a varied diet, and certainly better than cabbage. The radicchio (Cichorium intybus), as mentioned above, is definitely a good food item. The bok choy, arugula, and mizuna are all brassicas, but again, that's also okay as long as the diet is varied. Yes, a lot of people remove the spinach, and that's probably a good thing to do, since it is high in oxalate and goitrogens (more on that below). I have occasionally offered my torts spinach, but they usually know to avoid it anyway.

There's some debate as to how harmful oxalate may be. It's how plants store their own calcium, so although it can provide calcium, if animals (or people) eat too much of it, it can also take calcium away from the skeleton. We don't have to worry as much, since we're omnivores. But herbivores like tortoises seem to avoid eating too much of it unless there's nothing else available. I forgot to mention one more thing about brassicas. In addition to being high in oxalate, they are also high in thiocyanate (or rhodanide), which is a goitrogen. In other words, too much of that can lead to problems with the thyroid gland in the neck, including goiter. But once again, offering a wide variety of foods allows the plants to balance each other out. Anyway, I'm glad your guy is leaving the cabbage behind for spring mix! Yea! :)
 

anagy007

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GeoTerraTestudo said:
anagy007 said:
So I wrote down your list and went shopping. I found a spring mix by Fresh Express with this ingredient list: Green Romaine, Green Leaf, Tango, Green Oak Lettuce, Lollo Rossa, Radicchio, Red Romaine, Red Leaf, Red Oak Lettuce, Red Butter Lettuce, Baby Spinach, Red Bok Choy, Arugula and Mizuna. I fished out the spinach and gave it to him.

WOW! He looooves it. I didn't wake him up, just put it where I always do. He went right to it and is still eating. It's been like 10 minutes. I am sooo grateful.

Awesome! Yesss! :D Spring mix is a nice way to deliver a more diversified diet. Granted, most of the plants in that particular mix are lettuce of one variety or another (Lactuca sativa), but that's fine as part of a varied diet, and certainly better than cabbage. The radicchio (Cichorium intybus), as mentioned above, is definitely a good food item. The bok choy, arugula, and mizuna are all brassicas, but again, that's also okay as long as the diet is varied. Yes, a lot of people remove the spinach, and that's probably a good thing to do, since it is high in oxalate and goitrogens (more on that below). I have occasionally offered my torts spinach, but they usually know to avoid it anyway.

There's some debate as to how harmful oxalate may be. It's how plants store their own calcium, so although it can provide calcium, if animals (or people) eat too much of it, it can also take calcium away from the skeleton. We don't have to worry as much, since we're omnivores. But herbivores like tortoises seem to avoid eating too much of it unless there's nothing else available. I forgot to mention one more thing about brassicas. In addition to being high in oxalate, they are also high in thiocyanate (or rhodanide), which is a goitrogen. In other words, too much of that can lead to problems with the thyroid gland in the neck, including goiter. But once again, offering a wide variety of foods allows the plants to balance each other out. Anyway, I'm glad your guy is leaving the cabbage behind for spring mix! Yea! :)

YAY! Next time I will also buy plain radicchio to add more it to the mix. Also, He finished the entire plate of it. I have not seen him do that with anything yet, and he's still grazing on the hay. Hungry little bugger. :)
His eye seems to be bothering him less and he has been more active than I have seen him in 2 days.

I have also moved the light closer to one side as Will suggested as the lamp stand I ordered came today.

Thank You So Much!
 

lynnedit

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You have received great advice, glad he is eating. That is a very good sign.
The newspaper might be a bit drier (but important while worming as it is easy to change daily), so you can even put some artificial tears in his eyes if he continues to rub them.
Do you have any areas outside that are untreated? Look for wild plantain, violas, pansies, dandelions. You are off to a great start, ultimately variety is really important.
Have you seen these lists of edible plants?
http://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/site/plants_19.asp
http://russiantortoise.net/edible_plants.htm

Make sure there is a cuttlebone in the enclosure (you may have mentioned that :rolleyes: )
A very good supplement made of ground up weeds and flowers:
(get the one with probiotics)
http://www.carolinapetsupply.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=58

Well done.
 

Yvonne G

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I can't remember if you said what kind of light you're using, but if its the coiled type of compact fluorescent bulb, that could be the cause of the eye rubbing. Those bulbs are harmful to tortoises' eyes.
 

anagy007

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Yvonne G said:
I can't remember if you said what kind of light you're using, but if its the coiled type of compact fluorescent bulb, that could be the cause of the eye rubbing. Those bulbs are harmful to tortoises' eyes.

We are using a 100w mvb. Since I started this thread I switched to the stand instead of the clip on. I also got the accurite digital thermometer and it's registering 95 basking and 75 cool end. I doesn't get much cooler at night since I'm in florida. Our house is set to 76.

I will get him a cuttlebone and check out the link to the supplements. I also may put some moistened echo earth in with the cypress mulch on the paper. It seems too dry even though I mist it throughout the day. I know it's an expense but I care more that he's healthy.
 

anagy007

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RE: RT Grandma worried - still

OK, so He's eating well now. But he still rubs his eys and they are puffy. Now, he seems to make an odd squelching sound every now and again and opens and closes his mouth like he's chomping on something.

Could it be that the substrate has been too dry? A vitamin A deficiency?

He was in straight eco earth at petco. Also, could the MVB be too much for him? He's always on that side of the enclosure.
 
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