Totoise Suddenly Stopped eating

lne927

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Hello all. I've had my guy Pistachio for about 8-9 months. And everything has been fine this whole time.

The last 4 days he ate nothing, just a very sudden stop. Normally he eats like a small horse.

Some notes:
This is a Male Tortoise I got from an online breeder.
The breeder said he was only 4 months old, I suspect he was much older .
He had some very slight pyramiding when I got him, and that hasnt increased or decreased at all.
He is now much heavier, I have no accurate way to weigh him, but he is noticeably heavier then he used to be when I got him. Overall very solid and heavy.


Tank Details:

Tank : is 4 1/2 feet long 3 feet wide With Heat Lamp, and UVB Light.
Substrate: 80% coconot Coir 20% play sand
Temps :
Bask spot - 96-99
Hot side 83-88
cool side 68-73

Behavior: Normally is up by time im up around 8am, padding around or sitting in bask spot. Generally stays fairly active, sleeps for a few hours at a time then will get up and go back for second or even third helpings of food before going to sleep for the night. Normally gives me Huge poops and a lot of pee!

Behavior as of the last few days : Spends all day sleeping on the cool side of the tank, most of the time he buries himself under his shelter and does not move at all. Though he seems fairly active when I take him out for his bath.



Diet: As of recently collard greens and Kale have been a staple. Very occasionally a chopped up , small slice of apple. I use TNT supplment from carolina pet supply 3 times a week found here .
http://www.carolinapetsupply.com/ca...id=752&zenid=8c7ff9844f45709244d18329f950d25d

Since his problem came up ive read that collard greens can be an " anti Nutrient" to them, so ive stopped and switched to Red leaf lettuce and Escarole as the store bought staple - and I throw in some Dandelion, Clover, Hossa I have in my yard as well.

But he just doesn't wanna eat, because he isnt eatting, he also isnt pooping or peeing.

How I care for him : Every morning around 10-11 I take him out to give him a 20 minute warm bath, I have done this every day since I got him with out fail. Every day he also pees and poops a lot. I cant keep his tank very humid. I try to cover the cage top with foil to keep the Humidity in as much as possible but my humidty guage never really goes above 50 %. So I make sure his food is wet when he eats it, I spray his substrate and give him a daily bath.

-------------------------------

Concerns and thoughts:

1. The new behavior, sleeping all day on the cool side is weird for him .

2. On day 2 I was worried, I hand fed him some apple which he very happily gobbled up. At the same time I tricked him by showing him apple and quickly put some greens in his mouth several times as a way to hopefully activate that eating instinct.

3. On Day 3 he pooped, I saw pieces of apple skin which I know they cant digest very well, but also a few pieces of greens. I am not sure if its because I fed it to him at the same time, that the apples and greens didnt get digested very well. Or Im not sure if he has an overall digestive problem.

4. Thought he might be impacted, but was able to force feed him just a little bit, he was being very stubborn, and he is pooping what he eats, albeit very small poops. But I think his colon is clear. Occasionally ill catch him take a bite at his substrate which is 80% co co coir, but does contain some sand which is an impaction risk.
(When the weather warms up more I was planning on dumping his whole substrate and go with a 60/40 mix of coir and top soil )

5. Now that I think of it he did kind of slow down his eating habbits before stopping. Their were a few days where he eat less than usual and than none at all. But once he went to nothing at all thats when I noticed his preference for the cool side of the tank. Is this hibernation behavior?

I keep his lights on 13 hours a day, all year long, and its approaching summer now it'd be a weird time to start hibernating.


---------------------------------------------

What do you guys think?
suggestions?
possible reasons why he made a very sudden stop to eating?
 
Last edited:

dmmj

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any changes to the environment? His enclosure?
 

SarahChelonoidis

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When you say force feed, what do you mean? Did you use a syringe? What were you feeding this way?

Photos may help. Nothing obviously jumps out (although apples aren't a great choice of treat).
 

JoesMum

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So he stopped eating ehen you changed his diet?

Torts can be very picky and resistant to change. You have stopped giving the collards and kale which he is stuck on and given him healthy stuff. He is happy to eat apple, but not the new stuff. No surpise there.

Rather than stop the stuff he loves but shouldn't have dead, chop some really small and wet it. Chop up a tiny amount of the stuff he should have and mix that with the other so it sticks together and feed that. Leave it there all day.

Next day if he hasn't eaten it, give him the a fesh version of the same mix. A hungry tort will eat! You have to be strong. No apple. Think like this is achild that only wants to eat chocolate.

If he has eaten it, decrease the bad stuff slightly and increase the good stuff slightly. Gradually, over several weeks, the amount of bad will decrease to nothing and he will only be eating the good.

Your tort is a grassland species whose diet should be a variety of leafy greens. It's a low protein, low sugar diet. You need to get out picking dandelions, mulberry leaves, clovers, etc for him. Not too much lettuce or cucumber as there is little fiber in it.

Your tort cannot process sugars properly - it causes kidney problems - so fruit, tomato, bell pepper and carrot should only be fed very occasionally.

Peas and beans have too much protein and should not be fed.

Please post photos of your enclosure and lighting so we can see if there are any issues. Your enclosure sounds like it is on the small side. How long is your tort?
 

lne927

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Thanks for the replys, SOrry I should have been more clear about some things.

@JoesMum - No, hes been eating tons of collie greens and kale all along- He slowed down and eventually stopped.
At that point I found out that Collard Greens according to this website http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/cs-russian.htm
is an Anti Nutrient.

I cant barely get him to eat anything. Not new food, nor the food hes used too, nor any sort of mixture that isnt full of sugar like apples. Which I wont give him more than once in a 2 to 3 week period, and he already ate apple a few days ago.

@SarahChelonoidis - When I say force feed him I mean I held food infront of his face until he ate it. I've never used a syringe nor would I even know how to. Though if you have information on how to properly use a syringe to feed them, it may get to a point where I have to do that so he doesnt starve.

Tank - Their he is in the corner on the right in his little house.

20160515_154623[1].jpg
THis is the General set up - Under normal circumstances he spends much of the day under his lights. The depression under the light is his Dug out normal spot.
20160515_154645[1].jpg
I just woke him up to take a few snap shots
20160515_154948[1].jpg
The slight pyramiding here is how he came from the breeder, it has not decreased or increased since I got him.
20160515_154957[1].jpg
Under Belly
20160515_155009[1].jpg
size, id say about 4 4 1/2 inches
20160515_155045[1].jpg
 

Yvonne G

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If you have the UVB light sitting on the screen, you need to open a hole for the light to shine through. The screen effectively filters OUT a good portion of the UVB.

Also, it is just a baby, but he's been fed too much, causing him to grow a lot.
 

lne927

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If you have the UVB light sitting on the screen, you need to open a hole for the light to shine through. The screen effectively filters OUT a good portion of the UVB.

Also, it is just a baby, but he's been fed too much, causing him to grow a lot.

I'll consider cutting a hole, but I seriously doubt this is the problem. Mostly because if he was deficient in getting the proper UVB I likely would have seen problems earier.

Also I cannot confirm his age. His shell length was about 4- 4 1/2 inches when I got him. If anything he grew about a quater inch since I got him 8 months ago. Unless you can confirm somehow that hes too young for his size?
 

Yvonne G

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I'm just going by the overall condition of the shell. There's not too many new growth rings, but what is there are very wide.

What is he used to eating, and what are you trying to feed him that he won't eat?
 

lne927

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I'm just going by the overall condition of the shell. There's not too many new growth rings, but what is there are very wide.

What is he used to eating, and what are you trying to feed him that he won't eat?

For the last 3 months the staple portion of his diet has been kale and collard greens, sprinkled with TNT supplement.

He no longer eats that, or anything else.

Note I know some people have picky Torts, mine is definitely not. From Day 1 he has been a voracious eater, and seems to like everything ive ever given him to eat.

If I take him out, and hold food infront of him for 10 minutes he will stubbornly take a bite, this is the only way to get him to eat now.
Unless of course I offer him something sweet but I cannot keep doing that.

Yesterday I had him eat some kale and collard greens that had been dipped in pureed pumpkin ( not the sugary pie filling, 100% pumpkin). He took to that a bit. Probably because Pumpkin tastes good and is orange.

Today he did eat a pansy flower which I held infront of him for a good 10 minutes.
 

Yvonne G

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Try offering him some escarole and endive. You can buy this in a package called Santa Barbara Mix. Smart and Final carries it.
 

lne927

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Try offering him some escarole and endive. You can buy this in a package called Santa Barbara Mix. Smart and Final carries it.

Tried Escarole today actually, he just doesn't wanna eat, keeps trying to walk away. Its as if his appetite has completely disappeared.
 

lne927

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Update:

I am thinking that his problem was its too warm.

Pistachio is up on the third Floor, the summer time heat warms up the roof makes the room a lot hotter in the summer then the rest of my house.
Last Summer he was fine, but the A/C was already in the window at that point.

I installed my A/C,the middle of his tank (where his food is ) was closer to 83-84 degrees before the A/C the next day, it was closer to 74-75 .

He ate a full bowl of food in one sitting! However, hes still not completely back to himself, in subsequent days hes had an on and off appetite. Maybe it'll take him sometime to get used to things again.

Today its a little warm out again and even with the A/C it was 80-82 around his food bowl, so I said, "Ok during the summer im gonna move his food to the right side near his Hide", the right side is his cool shady spot, I did that for the first time today, we'll see how he takes to it.

But I guess this is known as " Aestivation"

Overall in the last 3-4 days he ate more then he did in the past 10-or 12 days so, I guess im on the right path
 
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