Russian not eating, pooping

lymcBoris

Active Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
102
Location (City and/or State)
Scotland
Hi all. I've asked about this topic before. And I am honestly at the end of my tether and don't know why my Russian tortoise Boris has been off his food, not pooped and is extra sleepy for weeks now. Before this he was stomping around and around his enclosure like a bull, but not eating them either. I have everything correct as I know it and have the temps, humidity, UV, food, Everything! All fine. Extra lights, then off again. Nothing I do seems to change his appetite. We've had Boris for 2 years now and now I am really just exasperated by his behaviour. Please can an expert give me some reassurance that this is just what a Russian tortoise will do for times?
I am really stressed out about him as I do every single thing by the guidance. I bought a UV meter. (For a whopping £200!) I have a temp gun. I keep his enclosure humid. He has a humid sleeping area. He has a ceramic heat lamp at the other end of enclosure to keep temps around 24 degrees. He is my son's bedroom which is warm in general. All the lights and bulbs are the correct ones. 12 hours on then 12 hours off on a timer. His Enclosure is 6ft x 2.5ft. yes, not 8x4, but we are planning this. I have mazuri pellets, plus endive, raddichio, romaine, aloe, catus, kale, etc. In summer I forage for weeds and flowers. I weigh and measure him monthly. He is 12cm and has dropped in weight 50g. He now weighs approx 358g. I soak him every 2-3 days in 34 degree water for 30 mins. I honestly do everything in my power for this tortoise to thrive. And I consider myself to be a very responsible, clued up person. I researched him BEFORE we got him from a reputable breeder - NOT a pet shop. Please can Tom or Yvonne help me? I have read every single care sheet many, many times. I don't let him free roam. Need I go on? Some expert advice would be so welcome. Thanks, Lynne.

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lymcBoris

Active Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
102
Location (City and/or State)
Scotland
More photos of his enclosure showing a darker end. With plenty of hidey places.
 

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Blackdog1714

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Jul 30, 2018
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First----Take a deep breath--- Your Russian looks fine (Nails, beak, eyes, shell growth) They are very attuned to nature and when fall hits they stop eating to empty their system to prepare for brumination---a state or condition of sluggishness, inactivity, or torpor exhibited by reptiles during winter or extended periods of low temperature This subterranean torpor is not a true hibernation … but a cold-blooded version of slowing down called brumation. I pull mine out of his hidey hole and soak him every other day. Sometimes he eats sometimes he stops over it and goes back to sleep. You do not have to bruminate your Russian just be prepared for the winter slowdown from an already slower Tort.
 

lymcBoris

Active Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
102
Location (City and/or State)
Scotland
Phew!!! Now I can breathe. Thank you so much for replying so quickly with a reassuring message. I have read about brumation and have never put Boris into it. That would tip me over the edge right now. I care deeply and get myself so stressed out. Especially since lockdown here again in Scotland and being at home all day. I have dogs, guinea pigs and a fish and this wee tortoise has really pushed my levels of stress to a new level! Like a roller coaster. My teenage son is sooooo fed up with me barging into his bedroom and observing Boris for hours, trying to feed him, triple checking temps, observing every movement from him while Boris just yawns three times at me and closes his little shiny eyes! 😊 Thanks again. I will try to chill out and "GET OUT" of my son's cave.
 

Yossarian

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Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Messages
764
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
The UK has been very cold and the day lengths are very short this time of year. It looks like your tort is on a table, my guess is that with the cold weather your house termperatures have dropped a couple degrees below where they are normally, your tort feels this and reacts to it. The low light levels in the room, from the days being shorter is a seasonal indication to a temperate tort that it should prepare to hibernate. There are some hypothesis that torts can detect barometric changes and have evolved to react accordingly also. If you are keeping your tort from hibernating, light and heat are the most important. If the tort is inactive, first thing to do is raise the temps. FYI, we have been inundated with posts like yours from the UK in the last couple weeks, all with torts on tables. None of this means your tort is unhealthy or in danger, it is just trying to do what millions of years of evolution have taught it to do. We need to outsmart them by anticipating their needs when things like the Beast from the East blow over.
 

lymcBoris

Active Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
102
Location (City and/or State)
Scotland
The UK has been very cold and the day lengths are very short this time of year. It looks like your tort is on a table, my guess is that with the cold weather your house termperatures have dropped a couple degrees below where they are normally, your tort feels this and reacts to it. The low light levels in the room, from the days being shorter is a seasonal indication to a temperate tort that it should prepare to hibernate. There are some hypothesis that torts can detect barometric changes and have evolved to react accordingly also. If you are keeping your tort from hibernating, light and heat are the most important. If the tort is inactive, first thing to do is raise the temps. FYI, we have been inundated with posts like yours from the UK in the last couple weeks, all with torts on tables. None of this means your tort is unhealthy or in danger, it is just trying to do what millions of years of evolution have taught it to do. We need to outsmart them by anticipating their needs when things like the Beast from the East blow over.
Thank you for the reply and great info. Its good to know.
 
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