Sunshine's Not Eating...

SienaSunshine

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@harrythetortoise Her temps are always within the proper range (the picture above is a typical reading, but the humidity can shift depending on the time of day)

@Taylorlynn48 I thought the heating lamp was the issue?

@ZenHerper Thank you so much for this info. I only give her a sprinkle of Calcium Powder (plus Vitamin D) once a week and since I notice her loss of appetite, I haven't given her any supplements because I just wanted her to eat something and thought maybe the powder was deterring her for some reason.

I've hade Sunshine since September and she hasn't shown any of these symptoms before.

Thank you all so much. I'm a naturalist and just graduated with my Masters in Marine Biology, but here I am raising a tortoise! I've worked in a zoo/nature center setting for almost 8 years now and I've realized how much I still need to learn. It can feel intimidating not knowing things when I used to give presentation on Russian tortoises! But I appreciate everyone here always being so kind and welcoming and helpful.

It may sound crazy, but I used to have my desk situated next to her hutch in my room. I recently moved my desk and that was when the weird behavior started. This is definitely and insane hypothesis, right? To think she missed me sitting next to her? I just moved it back today. But that is literally the only change I have made to her immediate environment (other than occasional rearranging for enrichment).
 

Taylorlynn48

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I’m just listing some potential factors.
I would put my hand where she basks with the light on to see how hot it gets. See if it feels like it could be “drying you out” drying out your hand. Lets get to the bottom of this for you! You should also invest in trying some eyedrops for your tortoise that you can buy from a local pet store. To help with the eyes at least. And do warm soaks to get her hydrated.
 

ZenHerper

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@harrythetortoise Her temps are always within the proper range (the picture above is a typical reading, but the humidity can shift depending on the time of day)

@Taylorlynn48 I thought the heating lamp was the issue?

@ZenHerper Thank you so much for this info. I only give her a sprinkle of Calcium Powder (plus Vitamin D) once a week and since I notice her loss of appetite, I haven't given her any supplements because I just wanted her to eat something and thought maybe the powder was deterring her for some reason.

I've hade Sunshine since September and she hasn't shown any of these symptoms before.

Thank you all so much. I'm a naturalist and just graduated with my Masters in Marine Biology, but here I am raising a tortoise! I've worked in a zoo/nature center setting for almost 8 years now and I've realized how much I still need to learn. It can feel intimidating not knowing things when I used to give presentation on Russian tortoises! But I appreciate everyone here always being so kind and welcoming and helpful.

It may sound crazy, but I used to have my desk situated next to her hutch in my room. I recently moved my desk and that was when the weird behavior started. This is definitely and insane hypothesis, right? To think she missed me sitting next to her? I just moved it back today. But that is literally the only change I have made to her immediate environment (other than occasional rearranging for enrichment).

Russians are not social, so changing your desk was only a coincidence. (It is normal to try and find some Cause - any Cause - when a crisis occurs. Brains. Not intelligently designed. lol)

You've only had her a year, but she is full grown. Lots of Russians arrive in the U.S. as wild-caught.

Her compulsion to drink is very concerning. Kidney failure of some kind is first on the list of suspects. Her blood can be analyzed to see if this is so.

No supplements at all from now on...hypercalcemia and hypervitaminosis C can damage the kidneys. Let her have access to all the water she wants, and monitor if-and-how-much she is urinating.

If she has been urinating a lot, she may be losing some potassium (which can cause weakness). Again, supplementing is dangerous - it can make kidney stress or failure worse. But do offer her swiss chard, beet leaves, collard greens. If she needs electrolytes, she will be able to extract them from food. No fruit or potatoes. Dark green leaves.

I'm going to urge you again to get her in-person support as soon as you can arrange an appointment with a qualified, experienced practitioner.
 

TeamZissou

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Which Reptisun bulb are you using? Is it a tube or coil type bulb?

Coil bulbs create eye problems, so if that's the one you're using, you should shut it off and not use it.

You also need to get rid of the spot bulb and get a regular incandescent flood bulb from the hardware store. Spot lamps are too intense and focused for tortoises. They need more diffuse heat.
 
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Oreo Mario

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My 1 year old Russian Tortoise hasn't been eating very little if at all recently. The temperatures in her enclosure are correct and I've given her a soak as well. She seems active otherwise, but I'm worried about her eating.

I heard there are possible mouth infections that could be hindering this? I'm going to schedule a vet appointment as soon as possible, but I wanted to see if anyone on here could help me out.
Ok
So even my star tortoise was not eating something
So i did put some hot water in a bowl
And did take carrot and did take out some carrot juice by pressing with my hands
And remember not much hot water you should take a little where he can go mean medium
Ok
And put for 10 min
Do this 2 times a day
And do see whats the result and try update us
I hope he get active and start eating food soon
I hope this works
Oreo Mario
 

ZEROPILOT

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Which Reptisun bulb are you using? Is it a tube or coil type bulb?

Coil bulbs create eye problems, so if that's the one you're using, you should shut it off and not use it.

You also need to get rid of the spot bulb and get a regular incandescent flood bulb from the hardware store. Spot lamps are too intense and focused for tortoises. They need more diffuse heat.
Good call.
I was thinking the same thing after looking at those eyes.
And a tortoise can go a long time without eating as long as it is drinking and staying hydrated.
Can you provide photos of the enclosure, lighting, etc?
We'll get this figured out.
 

SienaSunshine

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UPDATE!!

Hi All, thank you so much for your help and reassurance. Sunshine thanks you too! We were able to get a vet appointment yesterday where the vet explained that she hasn't gained weight since I've gotten her (despite the fact that she was constantly munching all day). But perhaps this is due to the gut protozoa she has. It was a species that is not typically harmful; however, maybe it got worse or it brought friends. He gave her an injections of fluids and vitamins since she was deemed vitamin deficient and dehydrated. Thank you guys for this insight. Since I've never own a tortoise, I didn't know what was normal and I hadn't noticed her sunken eyes. She also received a dose of antibiotics, which I will be administering for the next week.

She's going back on Saturday for another round of fluids and vitamin. If this first round has not jumpstarted her appetite by then, she'll be getting a deworming treatment as well. I'm continuing to soak her in warm water to increase her fluid intake and she should hopefully be on the track to feeling better now.

Thank you all so much for your help. This community is really sweet and welcoming and Sunshine and I are so happy to be here :<3::tort:
 

SienaSunshine

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UPDATE 2:

Sunshine has been getting fluid therapy at the vet for a week and a half now and is still on the antibiotic.

Yesterday I got the unfortunate news that she has kidney problems. The vet used the words "kidney failure," but there is still hope so I'm hesitant to use that exact wording. Her urate levels are high according to her bloodwork. However, in the last few days, she's actually seemed less lethargic and more like herself and it feels like she's responding to her treatments. I'm soaking her a lot and today she actually urinated!! (I never thought I'd be so happy to say that!)

I'm hoping that we can flush the kidneys to get those levels back down. So once again, I turn to all you lovely tortoise people. Other than soaking her in warm water, is there any additional way to stimulate urination in tortoises?

Thank you all again. We're still rooting for Sunshine!
 

TeamZissou

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Thanks for the update. I would expect urate levels to be high since tortoises are known for passing urates in urine (ie. the white stuff) after it's been recycled several times. Is this a reptile or tortoise specialist vet? I'd just be leery if they were looking for certain levels based on other animals and not taking tortoises into account. Tortoises might have a much higher baseline for what is 'high'. Anyway, don't listen to me. I'm making conjectures. I'd have to go read about urate levels in tortoises.

Glad Sunshine is doing better!
 

SienaSunshine

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Thanks for the update. I would expect urate levels to be high since tortoises are known for passing urates in urine (ie. the white stuff) after it's been recycled several times. Is this a reptile or tortoise specialist vet? I'd just be leery if they were looking for certain levels based on other animals and not taking tortoises into account. Tortoises might have a much higher baseline for what is 'high'. Anyway, don't listen to me. I'm making conjectures. I'd have to go read about urate levels in tortoises.

Glad Sunshine is doing better!
Thank you! He is part of a local animal hospital that we take all our animals to. We've normally only had cats and dogs, but they do see exotics and his treatments and analysis of Sunshine have been helping.

Her biggest thing is that she won't eat, but the vet said that at a certain tipping point in kidney failure, the animal just doesn't want to eat anymore. We're hopefully doing a tube feeding on Monday to hopefully jumpstart her appetite.

Right now, I'm just trying to see if she can flush some urates out... She urinated a bit today but it's mainly a yellowish color. Can urates be yellowish too?
 

TeamZissou

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The urates that I usually see are whitish and look like cooked egg in an egg drop soup when in the soaking tub. People have mentioned that they can become tinted a bit yellow when yellow foods such as dandelions have been recently eaten.

Were you able to make the other changes to the enclosure and lighting?
 

SienaSunshine

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Her lighting and enclosure are good. The vet thinks that she had these issues before I cam across her. Perhaps that's why she was abandoned in the first place 🤷‍♀️
 
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