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Poorly George
Posted: 29/05/2015 by ergo

At my wits-end- can you help?


I have a two year old Horsfield tortoise that has gone from being lively and characterful to being almost lifeless in the space of a couple of weeks.

He lives on a home-made table(as per pic), with basking lamp and UVB.

Until a recent visit to the vet (who instructed me to change to newspaper bedding) he was happily bedded in coconut husk. He had been fed a diet of cucumber, crisp lettuce and other salad leaves (never really ate cabbage, kale etc).

Around 3 weeks ago during warm weather I took him out into the garden to wander for 20-30 mins. He did his usual scrambling around and made his way to his favourite weeds. However within 2-3 days I noticed that he was having difficulty opening his eyes, and a couple of days after that hed lost interest in eating.

I took him to the vet who prescribed Tiacil eye drops (twice per day) for conjunctivitis, and said he was under-weight (currently 49g, and should be 200g?). She inserted a feeding tube,through which I should administer: -

Zolcal (calcium supplement)once per day & Oxbox Critical Fine Grind feed 3 times per day. Twice daily bathing was also prescribed.

Suffice to say that apart from a slight increase in his weight (59g) his condition has not improved; his eyes are almost constantly closed, and its upsetting to see him walking blindly into the walls. He will not take any food orally.

Im mindful of returning to the vet; call me cynical, but I feel that they will string this out as long as possible to part me from as much cash as they can.

Can anyone offer any ideas?

Re: Poorly George
Posted: 30/05/2015 by Tom


I would continue with the vet but stress that you need to limit costs.
It has gained 20% in wt which is substantial.

Going out will not be the cause.

You would be better having a 100W Megaray bulb & a dome 'holder', directed down at 90deg., about 30cm above your tort.. A fully exposed light such as yours can lead to eye probs.. 
Your 'table' looks small for the size of your tort..
You also need a digital thermo. with the probe in the 'hot spot' at tort. level.

How long have you had it ? 
It's not good to let them wander outside, then put into a small table, frustrating. Make a 50cm x 100cm x 15cm high enclosure, wire beneath to prevent burrowing (feeding tube, etc.,) & wire on top (weight down). Add a few bits of wood (loosely) above to provide bits of shade.

200g may be incorrect, have you got wt records from when you bought it ?

I sympathise totally & hope that the above helps a little, there are no easy answers with problems of this type.
Keep us updated please.


Re: Poorly George
Posted: 30/05/2015 by Tom

ps The table seems to be in part on a radiator, make sure that it is not emitting heat.


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