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new Horsefield
Posted: 28/02/2010 by SuperMo

Re: new Horsefield
Posted: 28/02/2010 by SuperMo

We are new to tortoises and had no idea it was so complex! We brought home our new 5 year old Horsefield yesterday. He has been in a vivarium in the pet shop, but we bought a table as per the advice here and on many other sites. However since we got him home he has been very lethargic. He is in a warm room with the heat lamp on, and I bathed him last night in tepid water. We have now left him in the room in case the noise of us and the TV are scaring him - he is very defensive if we offer him food or anything. Bit scared - don't want to lose him - any help gratefully accepted!

Re: new Horsefield
Posted: 28/02/2010 by tpgarlene

Hi there

Welcome to the forum Click and drag me down to the editor

It may well be that your tortoise just needs time to settle in, but can I just check with you first of all, is his nose dry, or is there bubbles or liquid coming out?  How is his breathing?  It is normal btw for the front legs to be moving slighly back and forwards as they breath, but is his breathing noisy at all, or does he have his mouth open?  How do his eyes look - bright and beady like black marbles, or dull or opaque? 

As he has come from a pet shop, it would be adviseable to have a faecal check done by a vet to check for worms, tortoises which have come through the pet trade often have parasite burdons, and this can make them feel off colour and put them off their food.  If you click on the Vets and Health Issues section on the menu to the left, you will find a recommended vet list, which will hopfully have a good tortoise vet listed fairly close to where you live.

Can you also just confirm the temperatures in the tortoise table please - do you have a heat lamp and also a uv lamp?  Are you using a heat mat - these are not good for tortoises.  Is the basking lamp situated at one end of the tortoise table so that the tortoise can move between warmer and cooler areas as he wants - remember, he cannot sweat if he is too hot like we can, the only way he can cool down is to move to a cooler area.  If you are not already doing so, the lights etc all need to be switched off at night, he needs a day/night cycle of dark and light, and also cooler temperatures at night.


Arlene TPG

Re: new Horsefield
Posted: 28/02/2010 by SuperMo

Many thanks for all the above and taking the time to post it. He looks healthy with none of the above signs of ill health. He has since recovered loads and is stomping around his table like mad. Although he is not eating yet, I hope he will soon. I knew there was a reason why I had left those dandelions in the garden! I have heat and UV light, and will put the heat light at one end as you suggest. No heat mat and will tuck him in night!. I will find a good vet, though the list suggests a dearth of specialists in the North Wales area! Thanks to you all at the TPG - the website is a mine of information, and Rover is very grateful!

Re: new Horsefield
Posted: 28/02/2010 by jack

hi supermo
which pet shop did you get him/her? from?
rhyl by any chance

Re: new Horsefield
Posted: 01/03/2010 by VivTPG

Hi supermo, one of my horsfields didnt eat for 6 weeks after I got him, his previous owners said he liked chips and hobnobs!!  So it was a real shock to him to only get weeds offered to him.  But I persevered and one day he took a bite of dandelion leaf and has never looked back.  So dont worry too much.  You can tempt him with a little cucumber mixed in with the weeds, they love cucumber and although we dont recommend it as a regular food as it has no nutritional value, its ok as the occasional treat plus it is made of water so again aids hydration especially in the summer months.

Regards VivienneClick and drag me down to the editorClick and drag me down to the editor


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