Urgent: Matteo Looks Sick

Quixx66

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This morning Matteo’e eyes look sunken and skin around face looks moist and saggy. He’s been sleeping more lately, not eating as much, and not basking as much. He’s been choosing the cool side for sleep (unusual), and his poops are 1/2 as much and misshapen. I did see him eat a little coir while grabbing some greens.

I don’t know if this is relevant, but he’s been acting this way since I switched from half chunky Eco Earth coir and Reptisoil to 100% Eco Earth fine coir. I didn't realize I was supposed to pack it down hard. But he just digs it up anyway.

What should I do?

Thanks.
 

Yossarian

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This morning Matteo’e eyes look sunken and skin around face looks moist and saggy. He’s been sleeping more lately, not eating as much, and not basking as much. He’s been choosing the cool side for sleep (unusual), and his poops are 1/2 as much and misshapen. I did see him eat a little coir while grabbing some greens.

I don’t know if this is relevant, but he’s been acting this way since I switched from half chunky Eco Earth coir and Reptisoil to 100% Eco Earth fine coir. I didn't realize I was supposed to pack it down hard. But he just digs it up anyway.

What should I do?

Thanks.

eating a little coir wont hurt the tort, If you have very recently made changes then give some time for the tort to adapt. If your concerned about appearence pics are best.
 

Quixx66

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I’m more concerned about him not pooping, then pooping just a little, then today not all all. He’s not eating today either. Now he’s walking like a decrepit person.
 

TeamZissou

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How early in the morning do you soak? I find that if I soak my 7-month old Greek tortoise before about 10:00, he may not to poop, even after an hour. I guess he hasn't had enough time to warm up, walk around etc. to get the bowels moving. Mine may also go a few days between poops. I'd say as long as he's still pooping, you're good.

Are you re-warming the water periodically during the longer soaks? Has he lost weight at all?

Walking like a decrepit person would be something to see. Tortoises don't often display bipedalism. 😄

I agree, post some close-up photos of your urgently sick tortoise.
 

Quixx66

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How early in the morning do you soak? I find that if I soak my 7-month old Greek tortoise before about 10:00, he may not to poop, even after an hour. I guess he hasn't had enough time to warm up, walk around etc. to get the bowels moving. Mine may also go a few days between poops. I'd say as long as he's still pooping, you're good.

Are you re-warming the water periodically during the longer soaks? Has he lost weight at all?

Walking like a decrepit person would be something to see. Tortoises don't often display bipedalism. 😄

I agree, post some close-up photos of your urgently sick tortoise.
Hmm, I did soak earlier lately! I am re-warming during the longer soaks.
I’ll try going back to soaks after he’s been up a while.

He’s resting and I’ve bothered him a lot already today. When he starts moving around, I’ll post pics.

Decrepit tort? 😂
 

TeamZissou

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It's also possible that he poops while burrowed and you're just not seeing it.

Have you been tracking weight each week? Are there any changes in the rate of weight gain?
 

TammyJ

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If we could see some pictures of the tortoise? And the enclosure? Sometimes this provides good clues or even may answer the question immediately.
 

Quixx66

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If we could see some pictures of the tortoise? And the enclosure? Sometimes this provides good clues or even may answer the question immediately.
current and older pic. I’ve been packing the coir down. He digs it up or likes it loose tosleep.
image.jpg image.jpg
 

Quixx66

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It's also possible that he poops while burrowed and you're just not seeing it.

Have you been tracking weight each week? Are there any changes in the rate of weight gain?
No, I haven’t been. I just started weighing him last week.
 

Yossarian

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Tracking poops is a recipe for stress. My guy is not completely predictable, I dont worry about it. A few days isnt much in tortoise terms.

I would count the fact he is digging into it as evidence he likes the substrate.
 

TeamZissou

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I agree, he's most likely fine. The burrowing is a good sign. I think some of the stuff on the forum can make you think that if they don't poop for a day or two, then there's need to worry.

Tracking weight on a weekly basis will tell you a lot about how he's doing. At this size with my Greek, I was seeing 2-3 g of gain per week. Sometimes they may plateau for a week and then pick back up. I also tried to weigh on a consistent day each week, after a poop and a soak. As long as you don't see a plateau for a month or more, I doubt there's a need to worry. They grow at different rates as well, and should grow faster in ideal conditions in captivity as was noted in your other thread.
 

Quixx66

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Tracking poops is a recipe for stress. My guy is not completely predictable, I dont worry about it. A few days isnt much in tortoise terms.

I would count the fact he is digging into it as evidence he likes the substrate.
Thank you!
 

Quixx66

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I agree, he's most likely fine. The burrowing is a good sign. I think some of the stuff on the forum can make you think that if they don't poop for a day or two, then there's need to worry.

Tracking weight on a weekly basis will tell you a lot about how he's doing. At this size with my Greek, I was seeing 2-3 g of gain per week. Sometimes they may plateau for a week and then pick back up. I also tried to weigh on a consistent day each week, after a poop and a soak. As long as you don't see a plateau for a month or more, I doubt there's a need to worry. They grow at different rates as well, and should grow faster in ideal conditions in captivity as was noted in your other thread.
Thank you for the info. I got a notebook for him, and I’ll start tracking now. I
 

TeamZissou

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I also wouldn't worry about or read too much into small changes in behavior such as time spent basking, sleeping etc. As long as all lighting, temperatures, and humidity are correct, and his general heath is good, i.e., eyes are clear and not swollen, nose is clear (no discharge/obstructions), ears not swollen, no crazy weight loss, poop is coming out, there's not much to worry about.

With regard to eating, while he ought to be eating a lot each day, he may be adjusting to the substrate change as Yossarian mentioned. I wouldn't worry unless there was ZERO interest in food for several days.

Overall, just try to chill out and let him do his thing.
 

Quixx66

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I also wouldn't worry about or read too much into small changes in behavior such as time spent basking, sleeping etc. As long as all lighting, temperatures, and humidity are correct, and his general heath is good, i.e., eyes are clear and not swollen, nose is clear (no discharge/obstructions), ears not swollen, no crazy weight loss, poop is coming out, there's not much to worry about.

With regard to eating, while he ought to be eating a lot each day, he may be adjusting to the substrate change as Yossarian mentioned. I wouldn't worry unless there was ZERO interest in food for several days.

Overall, just try to chill out and let him do his thing.
Thank you!
 

zovick

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current and older pic. I’ve been packing the coir down. He digs it up or likes it loose tosleep.
View attachment 317098 View attachment 317099
In the top pic (which I assume is the newer one), is there sphagnum moss on top of the coco coir or is that dried coir which looks lighter in color?

If it is dried coir, I think you have it too dry. I would add more water and mix it all up till it looks damp on top. The photo below shows some of my Western Hermann's babies on pure coco coir. The coir in this photo is as dry as I ever let it get before adding another quart or two of water and mixing it all up again.

Menorca.jpg
 

maggie3fan

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In the top pic (which I assume is the newer one), is there sphagnum moss on top of the coco coir or is that dried coir which looks lighter in color?

If it is dried coir, I think you have it too dry. I would add more water and mix it all up till it looks damp on top. The photo below shows some of my Western Hermann's babies on pure coco coir. The coir in this photo is as dry as I ever let it get before adding another quart or two of water and mixing it all up again.

View attachment 317107
I want one...
 

Yossarian

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In the top pic (which I assume is the newer one), is there sphagnum moss on top of the coco coir or is that dried coir which looks lighter in color?

If it is dried coir, I think you have it too dry. I would add more water and mix it all up till it looks damp on top. The photo below shows some of my Western Hermann's babies on pure coco coir. The coir in this photo is as dry as I ever let it get before adding another quart or two of water and mixing it all up again.


OP can correct me if needed but Im pretty sure its just coco, it looks all fluffed up like that because the tort has dug in there. He said he packs it down but the tort is always digging it up lol. I agree on second look though, the substrate may well be too dry in those pics, good eye.
 
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