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Serious weight loss?
Posted: 23/08/2010 by SarahC

I recently inherited a tortoise (Noote) when my Aunt died suddenly.  I don't know what type of tortoise he is (see separate post in the general section with photos) and so until I can identify him I am trying to replicate the conditions at my Aunt's as closely as possible.  He was and is living outside and eating mainly weeds (we have a large number of dandelions and bindweed growing and have planted some weed seed we found at my Aunt's house). We've now had him 2 weeks and he is very active but I'm not sure that he's eating much as there is not much sign the weeds are being eaten and I think the 'bites' I can see are from slugs.  We have no idea how much he normally weighs but he is 21cm long and a week ago he weighted 1504g which by yesterday had reduced to 1497g - should I be concerned by this or is it a normal weight flucuation?  I know they shouldn't normally be given fruit but I remember that strawberries are a particular favourite so I offered him one this evening which he took from me and demolished pretty quickly and also gave me a chance to check his mouth which looks clean and pinky.

I'd really appreciate some advice as since I'm a newbie I don't want to risk missing something serious.

Re: Serious weight loss?
Posted: 23/08/2010 by DavidWYork

Hi there. In my experience torts can suffer from stress when relocated, which can take a while to reduce. Click and drag me down to the editor The tort may be seriously missing its long-term keeper and habitat., but also it has been cooler of late, which will reduce inclination to feed somewhat. Was she in a sunnier/ warmer environment before? The thing is torts will, if kept outdoors naturally, slow down and eat less as the sun gets less and lower in the sky. Also, I would not change diet too quickly. He needs to keep hydrated and nourished. It can take ages to re-educate a torts palate! I would indulge him somewhat and change gradually...whatever aunt did, you must replicate for a while. There is an important lesson for us all here...assemble a file or folder for each tortoise (with clear photo if more than one in your collection) and its will help if ever our torts have to be cared for long or short term by someone else!

Good luck, and do ask anything you like via these pages. We all want to help torts and keepers as much as possible! David in York

Re: Serious weight loss?
Posted: 24/08/2010 by SarahC

Thanks David. I guess it's not surprising if he is a bit stressed as he'd been living in London for about 50 years at the same house. We are living in Bath so the climate is quite similar although pretty wet at the moment!  Thanks for the advice about replicating his diet etc from before. Is there anything else I can do to help him settle in to his new home?

Thanks again for the advice



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