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Lethargic tortoise
Posted: 25/01/2010 by Katie

Hi,

I have 2 hermans which I've had for about 3 months. They're approx 1.5 years old and are not hibernating.

One is full of energy and the other isn't. They're housed indoors with heatlamp and UV light. I feed them daily and they get bathed about 3 times per week. Mabye it's just because I have 2 very different torts that I notice that one is far less lively than the other but because I'm new to this I'd like to be sure everything is ok with Chester (the slower of the 2). He sleeps most of the time. When I give them their food (which I now do later in the day rather than earlier before I can go to work so I can monitor who eats what) Chester seems to take an age to eat it (and not very much) whilst Herbie (lively tort) eats much more and in a fraction of the time. Chester does drink water regularly but I'm just concerned about the small amout he's eating and his real lethargy. Does this sound normal? Should I take him to a vet for a quick check? Any advice would be much appreciated. I have bought a set of scales so I will start weighing them both regularly.

One other question - Herbie is so lively he clambers up  logs and anything else I place in his path! The result often is he falls over onto his back. I've never come in from work to find him on his back but at the weekends (when I'm around) I see he's fallen over and right him. Is it better to remove their log (for shelter) or will he be able to get back on his feet eventually. The log's away from the heatlamp so he wouldn't end up lying directly under it.

Many thanks

Katie 

 

 

Re: Lethargic tortoise
Posted: 25/01/2010 by tpgAli

Hi Katie,

Firstly Chester's behaviour sounds normal for this time of year as most tortoises if not hibernated do still go through a "slow down" procedure, as long as his nose is dry and not runny and his eyes are clear i wouldnt worry to much as he will soon pick up once the weather improves. As for the active one if you are worried about him climbing  the logs then you could remove them during the day, my babies climb these and then topple off the top so i remove them while im at work, i have lots of large pebbles so that if they do fall on their backs they have something to help them upright themselves. You have to remember that even if you take the logs out if they are determined they will find something else to climb like the sides of the tort table.

Ali

Re: Lethargic tortoise
Posted: 25/01/2010 by TPGDave

Hi Katie,

Do you feed the tortoises together? It might be that theres a little bit of competition going on. You could try feeding Chester on his own, see if it improves his appetite at all.  I've found that my little Horsfields intimidate each other around food and it's led to me feeding them seperately to ensure each is getting their share.

It's good that you are going to start weighing them,its good to keep records of their growth. If you don't see any weight gain from Chester or he starts losing weight theres no harm in getting him checked over by a vet, tortoises are prone to worm infestations and this can make them lethargic too.

Re: Lethargic tortoise
Posted: 26/01/2010 by Katie

Thanks for that Ali. Yup, eyes clear and nose dry so I'm a bit more reassured. I will take the log out when I'm not there though it did occur to me too (when I see Herbie climbing over Chester!!) that they'd find another obtacle!

Re: Lethargic tortoise
Posted: 26/01/2010 by Katie

Thanks for that Dave. I did feed them together but over the last week or two I remove Herbie to give Chester a head start. I notice, even if Chester has all the food to himself, he takes ages to eat it and doesn't consume anything like as much as Herbie. I'll continue to feed them separately. I'll also see how the weight checks go and if there's any weight loss I'll definitely take him to the vets. You mentioned worm infestations which I've heard about. Should Chester and Herbie be wormed regularly?

 

Many thanks

Katie

Re: Lethargic tortoise
Posted: 26/01/2010 by TPGDave

Personally I don't routinely worm my tortoises. What you can do is ask your vet if they can do a test for worms and protozoa. This entails supplying the vet with a (fresh) poo sample from each of the tortoises to be tested. They will either test onsite or have the sample sent off. Its a good thing to get done with new tortoises. If anything is found, the treatment is fairly straight forward, a course of tortoise wormer given orally.

Re: Lethargic tortoise
Posted: 30/01/2010 by Katie

Hi again,

I took Chester to the vets. She was great and wormed him.  I'm not sure how long the effects of this might take to kick in. I've also put another heatlamp in his enclosure to see if this makes any difference. However I was watching him again for a while today with my husband  (after Chester's bath) and he seems to keep trying to scratch his eyes (he does this whether just out the bath or not). They don't seem to be runny but they're not open much and I thought it was just part of his general lethargy. Would anyone be able to comment on whether there could be something wrong with his eyes? The vet mentioned they were a little sunken but Chester didn't open them when he was there. I'm just trying to investigate every possibility as he's still not eating much and I'm getting really worried.

Many thanks

Katie

Re: Lethargic tortoise
Posted: 31/01/2010 by VivTPG

Hi Katie,  Try gently bathing them to see if they are perhaps a little sticky, if they dont open I think you should go back to the vets, just incase there is an infection in the eye or inner lid.

Regards VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor

 

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