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HELP FOR NEW OWNER
Posted: 22/11/2009 by Michelle Metcalf

hI

I have recently hot aa 3yr old hermans tortoise he seems happy enough and enjoys running around the house bit some days he just does not want to eat at all and does not seem to drink we bathe him regularly but do not know what else to do. He may be developing a white patch under his eye

 

any suggestions

 

I do not think he has hibernated before

 

Thanks

 

Michelle

Re: HELP FOR NEW OWNER
Posted: 22/11/2009 by tpgarlene

Hi Michelle

Can you let us have a few details on the type of housing he is in, what sort of lighting you are using, temperatures and diet please, and also where you got him from, ie breeder or pet shop?

atb

Arlene TPG

Re: HELP FOR NEW OWNER
Posted: 23/11/2009 by Michelle Metcalf

Hi Arlene

he is in a vivarium and we got him from a private seller who has had him from a baby. He has a UV light which we have just changed and a heat lamp. we feed him on clover vine leaves nusturtium leaves and flowers cucumber pak choi leaves different salad leaves all from the allotment so hand picked fresh  every day

Re: HELP FOR NEW OWNER
Posted: 23/11/2009 by tpgAli

Hi Michelle,

You need to get him out of the vivarium as this is the wrong set up for him im afraid, he needs an open top "table" enclosure, unfortunately vivaruims can cause endless problems for tortoises due to lack of air circulation and high humidity. You need to change the diet also. If you click on "The Tortoise" on the lefthand side of this page you will find our caresheets and enclosures section. Here will will find all you need to know but if you have any questions please feel free to ask away :-)

Ali

Re: HELP FOR NEW OWNER
Posted: 28/11/2009 by Michelle Metcalf

Hi

I am unable to change the vivarium at present but do keep the glass open all of the time and he does roam around in the house most of the day he has become very sleepy and does not eat alot. i was wondering if it is his natural instinct to hibernate what else can you recommend should we take him to the vets and get him checked out and can you reccomend one in Newcastle upon tyne. Also we are bathing him about twice a week and was wndering if that is enough also is it too cold now to let him outside in the garden apologies for all the questions it is just a little concerend

 

thanks

 

Michelle

Re: HELP FOR NEW OWNER
Posted: 28/11/2009 by tpgarlene

Hi Michelle

Leaving the glass open will improve the ventilation, but please do try and get an open topped table sorted as soon as you can - it doesnt need to be expensive to do this, you can convert a deep drawer from an old chest of drawers, or convert a bookcase - large guinea pig cages make good juvenile tortoise enclosures, and you can often pick these up cheaply through the free ads, or car boot sales.

You do need to stop letting him wander around the house though - the floor is the coldest draughtiest place in the house, and apart from dangers of being trodden on or eating something he shouldnt, he wont be able to bask, and he wont be getting any uv - so the fact that he is cold for much of the day could be causing him to be sleepy and not wanting to eat.  Tortoises are cold blooded and rely on outside sources (ie basking lamp) to warm up, and they wont be active or want to eat unless they are warm.

If it isnt already, your basking lamp needs to be placed at one end of the enclosure rahter than in the middle, and the uv light close to the basking light, but covering as much of the enclosure as possible.  Basking temp under the lamp should be around 30 - 32C.  You need to check the temp at the opposite end too, this should be close to room temp if possible so that the tortoise can move in and out of the warm area as he wants.  I would up the bathing to daily as this can stimulate the digestive system, and yes, too cold now for him to be outside in the garden.

I have just checked the vet list, and there is a very good vet in Morpeth which I think is fairly close to you?

Please keep us updated, and ask as many questions as you need :)

atb

Arlene TPG

Re: HELP FOR NEW OWNER
Posted: 28/11/2009 by Michelle Metcalf

Hi Arlene

thanks for all this super help it is really appreciated I know in the summer he was alot more lively is there anyway I can stimulate his diet I am going to go and buy an new heat lamp as have just looked in his house and it is only about 20 degrees his UV light is new and is in the middle of his house but close to his basking lamp

I will contact the vet and see if I can go and get him checked out

any ther advice is much apreciated.

thanks again

 

Michelle

Re: HELP FOR NEW OWNER
Posted: 28/11/2009 by tpgarlene

Hi Michelle

You are very welcome :)

Hopefully once the temps are sorted, his appetite will improve, although they do all tend to slow down a bit over the winter.  The only other thing I would suggest is that you ask the vet to do a faecal check for worms - if he does have them, dont panic, they are easily treated,

all the best

Arlene TPG

 

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