Still not eating.

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Jovski

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My (kinixys nogueyi) hingeback still isn't eating. He had been prior fed a diet of lettuce by the old owner, and when i got him i carried on feeding what he was used to while he settled in.

I then switched him to a full weeds based diet and has been months now. Before this though i tried mixing the good food with the bad when wet so he couldnt help but get the good, put fruit puree on, mixing his favourite foods in cut up small with good food and the opposite way round, covered with cucumber and nothing fools this boy. In the end, i gave up and in june i started only offering good foods on their own - if he's hungry he'll eat right? He hasn't eaten anything since, and after a month i wondered if he even had an appetite or if he was ill. He will happily eat if fruit is offered to him, occasionally if he gets to the kitchen sneakily when he's out he will try to eat any crumbs he sees on the floor. He's been checked for worms, which isn't an issue, is bathed regularly and is in good health. The environment is the same as Phoebe's (same species, kept in a separate room) and she has a fantastic appetite and eats a full weeds diet, with some fruit and protein.

Im getting worried because he isn't even interested at all! When i had him checked by the vet he suggested hand feeding him - ie, opening his mouth and putting bits of good food in and repeating every few days until he will eat himself. It seemed to be too much at the time and i wasn't sure it would work but now im wondering if that would work? He's very good and lets me check inside his mouth without much fuss. If not am i ok to just plough on and keep only offering weeds until he eats?

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Jovski

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Teodora said:
I probley wouldnt have stopped the lettuce cold turkey like that..
I literally tried everything and in the end it seemed to be the only way it would work. He'll knows i'll give in first - this worked with phoebe and many other people i know. They always have food available, but like with kids, sometimes you have to be firm.
 

cecelaboosh

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Try feeding him spring mix till he starts eating then mix the weed mix in slowly
 

Jovski

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Honestly, i tried every avenue with this boy. He picks them out and if they're wet, he waits till they're dried out - if i keep spraying them he just doesn't eat. The boy is stubborn beyond belief!
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Jovita:

It might be too late...the tortoise looks in pretty bad shape. But you can't stop trying.

Get a whole head of the type of lettuce that the tortoise was used to eating. Put it in a blender or food processor and make liquid out of it. Then take a bag of Krispy, or Flourettes, or whatever the heck you guys in the UK call your bagged lettuces, and mix a handful of the good lettuces in with some of the liquified bad lettuce. The good stuff should then "smell" like what he knows as food.

If you have a good reptile vet in the UK, it might be a good idea to see if the vet can insert a feeding tube via a cut in the neck and directly into the stomach. Then you can feed him through the tube until he gets better. The tube doesn't interfere with the mouth at all, so if the tortoise ever feels like eating, he can eat with the tube in.

You can print out this article for your vet if he doesn't know how to do it:

http://www.wbeph.com/reptiles/turtle/managing-esophagostomy-tubes-in-tortoises-in-turtles/
 
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