Author Topic: my two russian tortoises barely eat and sleep all day!!!!  (Read 3171 times)

spui

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my two russian tortoises barely eat and sleep all day!!!!
« on: April 17, 2011, 02:07:57 PM »
I rescued these two russian tortoises about a year ago. They were in a ten gallon aquarium with no uv bulb and no basking light. I now have them in a large tupperware container with coconut substrate uvb bulb i believe its a zoo med. and a basking bulb. i feed them dandilion greens chard kale collard greens carrots  spring mix. the problem is since they have been put in the proper enclosure they are very slow they eat very little and bury themselves all day. its been weeks and still no change. i spray them daily and keep the substrate moist but they seem to prefer when its drier.

Floof

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Re: my two russian tortoises barely eat and sleep all day!!!!
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2011, 03:08:46 PM »
What are the temps in the enclosure? Basking spot and cool side. What kind of UVB bulb (compact/coil, straight tube, mercury vapor)?

If it's too cold, if can certainly slow them down. Too hot can cause problems, as well, if the enclosure isn't big enough for them to get away from the basking area to cool off. As well, there are certain UVB bulbs (especially compact/coil) that have been known to cause eye irritation, which, in turn, can cause other problems, including lethargy...

I'd also recommend a fecal exam from the vet to test for parasites, since they are rescues.

Hopefully it's nothing serious!
Taylor
Slave to 2.1 Corn snakes, 1.0 Gopher snake, 1.2 Bearded dragons, 2 Dogs, and 1 Ferret. Hoping to add a few Russian torts to that list soon!

Gia

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Re: my two russian tortoises barely eat and sleep all day!!!!
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 07:10:42 PM »
I just got a RT and he primarary sleeps as well. I have to dig him out and put him near is food to get him to eat... My temps are 90-100 hot side and 65-75 cold. Since I just got him last Thursday I didn't really think anything of it until I saw your post.

ginababy

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Re: my two russian tortoises barely eat and sleep all day!!!!
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2011, 01:41:45 AM »
How many hours do you leave the light on every day?  It should be on 12-14 hours each day, however I leave mine on 14 1/2 - 15 hours a day and that has made the difference for my little girl.  She would sleep most of the day, too and I would have to get her up to eat and now she's up a lot more, eats on her own and explores.
Gina,  Fishkill, NY
1 Russian Tortoise - Miss Baxter
1 yellow lab - Shelby

spui

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Re: my two russian tortoises barely eat and sleep all day!!!!
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2011, 06:13:06 AM »
What are the temps in the enclosure? Basking spot and cool side. What kind of UVB bulb (compact/coil, straight tube, mercury vapor)?

If it's too cold, if can certainly slow them down. Too hot can cause problems, as well, if the enclosure isn't big enough for them to get away from the basking area to cool off. As well, there are certain UVB bulbs (especially compact/coil) that have been known to cause eye irritation, which, in turn, can cause other problems, including lethargy...

I'd also recommend a fecal exam from the vet to test for parasites, since they are rescues.

Hopefully it's nothing serious!
 The temps are 88 on hot side 69 on cold side I have a flukers 10.0 uvb compact coil and an incandescent for basking they technically arent rescues ive taken them from a friend who couldnt care for them anymore they were fine before for years in an office in a small glass tank no uv bulbs no supplements just water and veggies and they thrived now i finally have everything they need and they just burrow all day and eat maybe once a week. I am in philly if anyone knows of a vet where i can get them checked out for cheap id appreciate it i dont really have the money to take them to a specialist. Oh I leave the lights on for 10 to 14 hours. The supplement i give them is 2:1 calcium and phosphorus with d3 dusted on there food daily
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 06:24:38 AM by spui »

Floof

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Re: my two russian tortoises barely eat and sleep all day!!!!
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2011, 07:19:34 AM »
The first thing that comes to mind is your UVB bulb. The compact/coil bulbs are infamous for causing serious eye problems, which in turn cause other problems/symptoms, including lethargy and refusal to eat. Turn the UVB off completely for a week or two (leave the heat on, of course) and see if that helps.

If that turns out to be the problem, you'll want to replace the UVB bulb with a Mercury Vapor Bulb (MVB). PowerSun is a good one. A linear (straight) fluorescent UVB can work, too (ReptiSun 10.0 is a good one), but they don't last as long and don't seem to put out as strong of UVB as the MVBs.

Other than that, your temps sound about right. I would still recommend a fecal exam... The major change in environment may have caused enough stress to exacerbate a pre-existing parasitic infection. I'd especially be cautious since most adult Russians were wild-caught at some point, and I doubt your friend had ever taken them to a vet to be dewormed while she had them.
Taylor
Slave to 2.1 Corn snakes, 1.0 Gopher snake, 1.2 Bearded dragons, 2 Dogs, and 1 Ferret. Hoping to add a few Russian torts to that list soon!

spui

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Re: my two russian tortoises barely eat and sleep all day!!!!
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2011, 07:25:46 AM »
The first thing that comes to mind is your UVB bulb. The compact/coil bulbs are infamous for causing serious eye problems, which in turn cause other problems/symptoms, including lethargy and refusal to eat. Turn the UVB off completely for a week or two (leave the heat on, of course) and see if that helps.

If that turns out to be the problem, you'll want to replace the UVB bulb with a Mercury Vapor Bulb (MVB). PowerSun is a good one. A linear (straight) fluorescent UVB can work, too (ReptiSun 10.0 is a good one), but they don't last as long and don't seem to put out as strong of UVB as the MVBs.

Other than that, your temps sound about right. I would still recommend a fecal exam... The major change in environment may have caused enough stress to exacerbate a pre-existing parasitic infection. I'd especially be cautious since most adult Russians were wild-caught at some point, and I doubt your friend had ever taken them to a vet to be dewormed while she had them. Im going to post pictures later today but my son was noticing that they had three toes on there back foot. So now im wondering if there three toed box turtles will that change the way i should be caring for them. I only have the uvb bulb on today no heat and they are moving around and are more mobile.

karamire

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Re: my two russian tortoises barely eat and sleep all day!!!!
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2011, 11:05:40 PM »
  I am in philly if anyone knows of a vet where i can get them checked out for cheap id appreciate it i dont really have the money to take them to a specialist.[/quote]

Penn has a Vet program, try calling them. I'd guess since you'd be part of a teaching program that they're cheaper and I'd hope since they teach that the professors at least are knowledgeable about torts.  I don't have any first hand experience with them but it'd be a good place to start.

spui

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Re: my two russian tortoises barely eat and sleep all day!!!!
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2011, 09:54:33 AM »
 I am in philly if anyone knows of a vet where i can get them checked out for cheap id appreciate it i dont really have the money to take them to a specialist.

Penn has a Vet program, try calling them. I'd guess since you'd be part of a teaching program that they're cheaper and I'd hope since they teach that the professors at least are knowledgeable about torts.  I don't have any first hand experience with them but it'd be a good place to start.
[/quote] thanks i have them outside today and they are moving around good and eating up a storm im gonna call penn tomorrow and see what they say