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Hamish won't eat
Posted: 24/05/2009 by Marian

Hi, I aquired a Horsfield Tortoise last week. He's being kept in the correct environment, but he hasn't eaten a morsel, and is also very sluggish. I'm pretty sure the temperature is corrrect, and I've given him the correct food. I bathed him to see if that would stimulate him, but it didn't. I took him to a local reptile specialist, who was concerned there may be some disease on his mouth, so I'm taking him to a vet, but does anyone know what this might be. He's only about 1 year old. I'm very worried.

Re: Hamish won't eat
Posted: 24/05/2009 by tpgNina

Hi Marion,

Congratulations on getting Hamish (lovely name!), and I'm so sorry to hear that he is unwell. There could be several causes of this. Can you tell us where you got him from (breeder or petshop/internet/etc.)? If he is a tortoise that has been imported (which will be the case if he didn't come from a proper breeder), then he could have a heavy worm load or other parasites.

Can you tell us more about the environment in which you are keeping him? What sort of enclosure does he have, what kind of substrate, light, heat, UVB source, and what kind of food are you offering him?

Finally, if your tortoise is ill -- and it sounds as if he might be -- then it is really important that you don't take him to just any vet, as most vets are not experts at treating tortoises. We have a list of recommended tortoises vets on this website -- just click on Vets and Health issues in the left-hand column and then on the Recommended Vets list, and see if there is a vet within a reasonable distance. If not, let us know, and we will try and find you someone.

I know how worrying it is, but we will help you all we can. Tortoises do take some time to settle in, so that could be part of it -- and sometimes they take a little while to eat, but he shouldn't be lethargic, so if you can tell us all you can about his environment, and also why the reptile specialist thought there might be something wrong with his mouth, we'll do our best.

Take care,

Re: Hamish won't eat
Posted: 25/05/2009 by ElaineTPG

The specialist that is a friend, so they breed tortoises? Most breeders will recognise the signs of illness and like Nina has said a specialist reptile vet is the only answer in many cases. Is the tortoises mouth pink and healthy looking or is it white as if there is a layer of mucous on it? Whilist at the vets I would also tke a faecal sample along (they often 'go' whilst in there) as he may also has an overload of worms. Keep up with bathing at least twice per day until the vet can advise treatment.

Please let us know how you get on, and a warm  Click and drag me down to the editor to both of you,


Re: Hamish won't eat
Posted: 28/05/2009 by tpgadmin

I'm just wondering if there is there any update on Hamish for us yet?



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