Sudden Change in Behavior

SalmonOtoro

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Hello, I bought two Greek Tortoises a couple of months ago, and they all seem to do very well. My smaller tortoise, Salmon, was extremely active for the majority of time. He'd try to climb the glass for hours on end and this continued this behavior for a few weeks. However, he suddenly became lethargic one day, he would not move or even eat. He would sleep out in the open instead of his hide, and did not try to stand up when I soaked him even though the water level is clearly above his nostrils. He showed little effort in resisting when I pulled on his hind legs, it was droopy and apparently a sign of death. I turn on the basking light for 12 hours in the day and turn it off at night. The humidity in the room is about 60-70%, but I turn on the AC at 24 degrees Celsius (I know it's a bit cold, but I gets very hot in the summer) at night. I would also say that he has a poor diet, he literally refuses anything except for lettuce and kale. I tried to get him to eat tortoise pellets, since there's a lot of nutrients and vitamins they need, but he has consistently refused to consume them. As a result, I never see him pass dark and hard feces, his poop is always light brown and watery. I'm planning on taking him to see a vet, but in the meantime I have no clue as of why he is behaving this way!

PLEASE HELP, thank you!
 

KarenSoCal

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Hello, and welcome to the forum!

In order to figure out why he isn't feeling well, I'm going to ask a lot of questions. The answers will help narrow down the reasons torts get like this.

You said you bought two...do they live together in the same enclosure?

About how old are they? Hatchlings, juveniles, adults?

What temp are they (or he) kept at during the day? Temp of basking spot?
Depending on his age, 24°C is too cold at night.

Is his enclosure enclosed, or does it have an open top?

His diet...lettuce and kale, as you said, is not good long term. You need to get him (them) a variety of weeds and other plants. You give him his lettuce and kale, but add a very small amount of the new food all mixed in with it. The new food should be chopped very small so he can't pick it out of the meal. Slowly, as he starts to get the taste of the new foods, you back off on the lettuce and kale. Tough love...he won't starve himself, so don't fall for his tricks to try to get you to relent.

Again, depending on age, 60-70% humidity is not high enough, but if the top is open, you will have a hard time keeping it higher.

It would be great if you could post some pictures of him and the setup.

I'm linking the new care sheet for Greeks. Read it and see if there are things you need to change. And come back with questions. We'll help you figure it out.

 

SalmonOtoro

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Hi, thanks for the help!

My two tortoises currently live together in the same enclosure. I notice that it could be a little too small based on the article you linked, and I am planning to move them to a big plastic tub. I bought them from the same pet store, and according to the owner, they are about half a year old. I do suspect my bigger tortoise to be older because he is bigger than my sick one.

I don't actually know the temperature, but the heat lamp I'm using is by Petpetzone (53 W). The temperature during the day is a little over 26 degrees Celsius (78.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Also, according to the care sheet, 70 degrees Fahrenheit is fine for baby tortoises? But 24 degrees Celsius is 75.2 Fahrenheit? I know advice from pet stores are not trustworthy, but the owner also said that anything below 26 Celsius is a little cold for tortoises. Which advice should I take?

Also, I have an open top enclosure. Like you suggested, I will try to raise the room humidity. It's not too hard, since Taiwan is a pretty humid place.

103260843_3091302424320024_4736407364624092455_n.jpg
103140694_188961205758804_4556890615674048022_n.jpg

The relatively little one is my sick tortoise, and here's a close-up of him:

103536687_627582467842080_8241761243344165143_n.jpg
104131709_733169367496169_3444505534803481442_n.jpg
103481743_695091907953755_2883190517524722401_n.jpg

And this is what his feces look like:

103414579_270564277334271_6832754051119335038_n.jpg

Anyway, thank you for your help! I really appreciate it!
 

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Yvonne G

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He needs to be set up temporarily in a smaller, hospital tank, something like a 10 gallon aquarium. Use a CHE instead of a light so you can get the overall temperature inside the aquarium to about 85F degrees with no hot spot. Soak him daily in 50/50 warm water/Gerber strained carrot baby food for about 45 minutes. Put the soaking bowl back into the aquarium for the soaking time so it will stay warm.

Once he's better, you're going to have to set up another whole different enclosure and keep those tortoises separated. You may not see actual bullying, but the bigger tortoise IS telling the smaller tortoise to get out of his territory. Since the little one has no way to go, he is stressed, he stops eating and eventually looks like your tortoise looks. It could eventually lead to the death of the little tortoise.
 

KarenSoCal

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It's hard to see in the pictures...do you have a UVB light on them? If you do, and it is screwed into a regular fixture, turn it off immediately. Your tort's eyes are swollen. This could be because he's sick. But frequently it is caused by compact, curly type UVB lights. The only UVB that outputs the proper light is a fluorescent tube type. Any UVB light that screws into a regular socket should not be used.
 

SalmonOtoro

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He needs to be set up temporarily in a smaller, hospital tank, something like a 10 gallon aquarium. Use a CHE instead of a light so you can get the overall temperature inside the aquarium to about 85F degrees with no hot spot. Soak him daily in 50/50 warm water/Gerber strained carrot baby food for about 45 minutes. Put the soaking bowl back into the aquarium for the soaking time so it will stay warm.

Once he's better, you're going to have to set up another whole different enclosure and keep those tortoises separated. You may not see actual bullying, but the bigger tortoise IS telling the smaller tortoise to get out of his territory. Since the little one has no way to go, he is stressed, he stops eating and eventually looks like your tortoise looks. It could eventually lead to the death of the little tortoise.
Got it, thanks for the advice! I have a question though: If I move them into an enclosure twice the size of my current one and install two different hides, can I still house them together?

It's hard to see in the pictures...do you have a UVB light on them? If you do, and it is screwed into a regular fixture, turn it off immediately. Your tort's eyes are swollen. This could be because he's sick. But frequently it is caused by compact, curly type UVB lights. The only UVB that outputs the proper light is a fluorescent tube type. Any UVB light that screws into a regular socket should not be used.
My light says it emits both UVA and UVB rays. But if it isn't appropriate, would this type of heat lamp work?
61Fge0kSW6L._AC_SL1500_.jpg
Thanks for your help!
 

KarenSoCal

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On the double dome fixture you pictured, both bulbs are screwed into the fixture. That's exactly what I've been telling you...if the UVB light screws in, get rid of it!

You need an ordinary incandescent flood bulb for basking. Try a 65 watt.

Your UVB light will be a fluorescent tube. It will not screw in to a socket. It will be mounted in a fixture for fluorescent lights.

If you are still using the UVA/UVB light that screws in, get rid of it now. It is probably what's causing your tortoise's eyes to be burned.

The two torts each need their own separate enclosure, not just hides. You need to get 2 of everything.

How is he doing?

Did you see Yvonne's advice re' baby food soaks with strained carrots? It would be a good idea to do that. It will give him some nutrition while he isn't eating on his own.
 

BlakeElDorado

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Got it, thanks for the advice! I have a question though: If I move them into an enclosure twice the size of my current one and install two different hides, can I still house them together?



My light says it emits both UVA and UVB rays. But if it isn't appropriate, would this type of heat lamp work?
View attachment 296983
Thanks for your help!
I housed two large sulcatas on a half acre, with plenty of hiding spots/visual barriers and the larger male sought out and bullied the smaller male. Pairs are hard as one tends to bully the other. Groups (3 or more), or isolating them tends to work best.
 

SalmonOtoro

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Thank you all for your help! I brought him to the vet yesterday, and apparently he's got herpes. Though it wasn't serious, the vet still gave him 4 shots just in case. I have separated my tortoises and removed the substrate for the sick one as the vet did not recommend it. I was given eye drops to make his eyes less swollen. Although he looked to be in pain throughout the entire procedure, he did look MUCH MUCH better than before. He could open his eyes and even stood up and walked around normally. I will get new lights for both of them ASAP to ensure they get proper heat and lighting.

I can't say this enough, I truly appreciate the help y'all given me! THANK Y'ALL SOOOO MUCH!
 

KarenSoCal

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[QUOTE="SalmonOtoro, post: 1833308, I can't say this enough, I truly appreciate the help y'all given me! THANK Y'ALL SOOOO MUCH!
[/QUOTE]
Whoo whoo!! You have made my day! Now make the changes we talked about. Don't go back to the old way you were doing stuff.

And stop by here now and then with a followup and plenty of pictures.
 
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