Worried about my hatchling

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GotTort

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I'm not sure whether my 4-month-old RT hatchling is doing ok or not. Hopefully I'm just having new parent jitters. I apologize in advance for the length of this post (the major questions are do I need to be worried about eyes and shell?).
Gotleib eye.JPG Gotleib back.JPG

Up until a couple of days ago I felt he was doing fine. Since I got him 3 weeks ago he has been active and a hardy eater. I soak him 20 min early each morning (6:30 AM – sorry buddy I gotta go to work) after which he usually nibbles at some food, basks for a while and then eats quite a bit and basks some more. Then he tramps around his enclosure a bit and burrows under a hide around 1 pm or so and sleeps until I wake him the next morning for his soak. Thursday he was the most active he had ever been, exploring his enclosure for much longer than usual. The following day he barely ate. Mazuri is what I had put out for him. The last time I gave him Mazuri (3 days earlier) he did the same thing, although prior to that he had been wolfing down Mazuri when I gave it to him twice a week. I assumed he just didn’t want to eat the Mazuri again. The next day (Saturday), I put out collard greens which he likes quite a bit. However, he did not even head to his food plate after soak and went straight for humid hide where he stayed until I got him out for soak this morning. Yesterday was the first time he never basked at all. This morning after his soak he remained where I placed him for 20 minutes (under the heat lamp, but not under the warmest spot where he does his basking). During that time I scrutinized him and started to wonder if his eye were puffy (see photo). Also he was moving his head in and out while moving front legs forwards and backwards (see video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3_5HLSaNB0). He usually does this while soaking. I suspect this is nothing significant, but, again, nervous papa. I placed a piece of collard green in front of him and he ate a good amount of it. He’s now in his basking area, which has been his usually routine. Hopefully he will eat more after as good bask.

Also, what do people think of the line going down his spine, mainly below his head. He had this from the time I got him, but it seems more pronounced. His shell looks dry to me but I soak him daily for 20 minutes and leave a water dish out (which he never uses) and he frequently uses his humid hide (80% humidity during day and at least 50% by morning).

He has gained about 1.75 g and 0.16 cm per week. He now weighs 32 g. I have been feeding him greens – mustard, romaine, green leaf, collard and dandelion – from the supermarket, sprinkled with calcium a few times per week. Also, up until this last week, when he stopped eating it, he was getting Mazuri pellets 2 days per week. I just got TNT and sprinkled it on his greens the first time Thursday. That was the day he was very active and ate more than usual. I thought that was great but then he did not eat for 2 days afterward (could he have reacted to something in the TNT?).
I know I need to get him better food and have started growing some seed mix from Carolina pet supply. I have some weeds in my back yard but have not fed him any of those until I can get them identified. I also know I need to get him outside. When I have a couple of times he just spent the whole time hiding. I know I just need to get him more used to it.

Inside he is in a 22 x 16 in sterilite plastic container with coco coir and top soil. He has 100 w powersun bulb that gives a basking area of 95 and warm area of ~80. The cool area is mid 70s but I suspect he is cooler while burrowed. I am working on getting a large enclosure which will help me get a more cool area. Humidity is about 20%, plus he has a humid hide that reaches 60-80%. Some nights he sleeps in the humid hide and some nights under a log at the coolest end of the enclosure.

Jeepers, this is long. But bottom line: do I need to be worried about eyes and shell?
 
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yoyoyod

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Well his eyes do look a little bit puffy which usually means a lack of vitamins. What I would do for that is use your tnt (good non harmful stuff just flowers weeds etc) in a salt shaker start lightly sprinkling his greens and gradually increase he will never notice. Have you taken him to the vet? When I got Bobo he was a month old and was having some of the same problems. I ended up taking him to the vet where they checked his poop for anything and gave him a shot of "tropical vitamins" to bring it up in his system and a dose of cacor which would take care of some internal bugs. I also started using ZooMed Repti turtle eye drops once a week in his eyes and that helped and are good for preventative measures. As far as his shell it does look a little dark but if you are soaking him thats what you need to do.

Also very important you need to get him a UVB lamp the imitates the sun. The best kind to go with is a long tube style Repti sun 10.0. You will need to buy or construct a hood for it check my pic below. It is vital he gets these UVB rays for his digestion of calcium and proper shell growth. So important!! Try these things and see if he starts to look and feel better. I am sure some others in our community will have a helping hand also. Keep us posted.

ImageUploadedByTortoiseForum1367196863.551407.jpg ImageUploadedByTortoiseForum1367196888.684669.jpg ImageUploadedByTortoiseForum1367196917.292707.jpg
 
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yoyoyod

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Also if you are referring to that little raised crease on the top of his shell right by his head that is normal my hatchling has one too and I was told as they grow it goes away. Don't forget grab that UVB light. Don't go to petsmart they are 50 bucks. They have them on amazon.com for 26 bucks and go to home depot and buy a single bulb under the counter fixture for 20 and some small chain and string his light up. Also it you want a good basin for his enclosure while at home depot go by the concrete and buy a black plastic concrete mixing tube for 12 bucks. Great for the enclosure. If you have any questions message me and I can point you to my enclosure layout video.

Darren
 

GotTort

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Thanks Darren. I'm using a Zoe's powersun mvb that has UVB. I've read other people post on the forum saying vitamin shots should be avoided. I'll look into the eye drops.
Dave
 

yoyoyod

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The power sun is a good product I started with that. Yeah give those drops a try. I haven't heard bad nor good about the shot of vitamins just a preventative my reptile vet decided to use she has 5 russians. Anything I can help with let me know.

Darren
 

Spn785

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Try giving some carrot greens, my 5 month old RT goes nuts for that. The TNT is actually made up of some of a RT's favorite foods, so use that every other day. Do not let a Vet give the vitamin shots, they can be bad (not always are though). 20% humidity is too low, you want your whole enclosure to be between 40 and 60%. Spray down your enclosure twice a day, and even though your little one won't like it, spray the shell at least once a day. Other than looking a little dry, your tortoise looks pretty good!
 
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