Sulcata Brumating? Or just not eating?

Kittychu

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I have a 12 year old Male Sulcata I've raised from a baby. This November, I moved out from a stressful living situation. My new room is an attic room, and its typically colder in the winter than the last couple places I've lived. Since we moved, my tortoise has not been eating. It's been a month now. I scratch his back every morning and he wiggles, so I know he is alive. But he just sits under his heat lamp and doesn't touch his food or water.

I had assumed he had been brumating, but I've now read a few posts that say that sulcata's do not brumate. He has only gone one winter before without eating, and then continued to not eat in the spring, so I took him to a vet. I don't want that to happen again, so I wanted to ask some advice.

Is it safe for me to wait until spring and see if he's eating again by then? Or should I take counter measures now?

Thank you very much
 

Tom

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They do not brumate. They are a tropical species, and they need warm temps year round, 24/7. His temp should not normally drop below 80 anywhere in the enclosure day or night. Because you are having an issue, temps should be kept more in the 85-90 range until the appetite and normal activity resumes. Bump up the soaks with this added electrical heat to avoid dehydration. They should not live on the floor either. Finally, heat lamps are not good for larger tortoises. They slow burn the top of the carapace while not being able to work the core or bottom. You need a different heating and housing strategy.
 

Yvonne G

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What does your 12 year old sulcata weigh?

He's not eating because he's not warm enough.
 

Kittychu

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What does your 12 year old sulcata weigh?

He's not eating because he's not warm enough.
I'm not sure. It's been a while since I've weighed him. Maybe 20 or 25 pounds.

I understand that he is not warm enough, and I really need advice on how to improve the temperature of his enclosure. Would just a space heater next to him help? Should I get a heat pad? I haven't had trouble with him for a long time, so I'm not sure what to do next.
 

Yvonne G

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You can buy a pig blanket through osborne-inductries.com. My 110lb sulcata gets by just fine with a 1.5x 2' pig blanket. He hangs off it a bit, but it works fine. Then the rest of the room needs to be in the 80s. Since he lives in your actual house, it would be pretty hard to heat up a whole room for him. Maybe you can have his sleeping room in a bathroom. It would be easier to keep a small bathroom at around 80F degrees. Then in the a.m. you can let him out to roam as he does now, but he can always retreat back to the bathroom where you have his pig blanket and heater. ???? Just tossing out an idea.
 
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