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Inactive Spur-thigh
Posted: 06/08/2010 by Anita

I have an 8 year old spur-thigh whom I have owned for a year now.  This summer we brought a greenhoue for her to live in with access to an outdoor run.  The greenhouse has a ceramic heater in her bed area and a Mercury Vapour light for her to bask under.  I have the temperature in the basking spot of approx 32.   

 If  I  take her out and put her on the grassy area she will graze.  She eats dandelions etc when  offered to her.  However,  if I don't get her up she will just stay in the same place in her house.  I bath her regularly and she does not seem ill. 

I have noticed that her shell never feels warm.  Which is probably because she doesn't bask,  when she was on a tortoise table she was more active and naturally got up and went under the light. 

If anyone has any suggestions I would be most grateful.


Re: Inactive Spur-thigh
Posted: 07/08/2010 by DavidWYork

Hi Anita, I am wondering why sleeping area is heated. Torts do need a day night temperature variation to function normally. Tort may be so warm for so long that she is going into aestivation mode. This where they try to avoid the hottest part of the season in a form of hibernation when they bury themselves, sometimes quite deeply underground in the wild. I would turn off heating in sleeping area for certain, and see what happens. Also, in a greenhouse at this time of year I am surprised any heat is needed. Reptiles hibernate to avoid adverse conditions, which can result in both summer (aestivation) and winter hibernation. I would give plenty of water, cool things down, and add plenty of leafy shaded areas both in and out of the greenhouse. Good luck, and keep us posted!

            David in York

Re: Inactive Spur-thigh d
Posted: 07/08/2010 by Anita

Hi David,

Thanks for your prompt reply. 

I have turned off the heating in the greenhouse as you suggested. 

I have been worrying that it was not hot enough in the greenhouse as the information i have read suggested having a temperature below the basking light of 32ᵒC & background temperature of 20 to 25ᵒC.  Without the lights and heater the greenhouse will not maintain that heat unless on hot days. 

I will keep you posted.  Thanks again,



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