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worried sick
Posted: 30/09/2010 by shazzler


im really stuck for some advice if somebody can help me please.

twiglet is really reacting to the changing temps even tho hes indoors, his basking temp is at 32 and his others at 20 but he wont even get up in the morning, i literally have to take him from his hide and place him near his basking light, he will move under it himself stay there for a while then off he goes back to sleep for the day, ive tempted him with different weeds, even florette in an attempt to get him to eat but hes not interested, im bathing him daily and he loves that happily drinks and deposits urates but no poop, hes so lethargic and im worried about his winter hibernation.

im at my wits end with him at the moment, i feel as though i should be able to do more but i cant be with him 24/7 as i work full time im so worried im debating on asking him to be rehomed to somebody who can give him more care


shazzler x 

Re: worried sick
Posted: 30/09/2010 by TPGDave


Although I dont keep Horsfields I did look after 4 for a while last year and found that the very reactive to seasonal changes, light levels etc. They ended up hibernating for 18 weeks, no problems.

Couple of things that may get Twiglet up and running. What are the temperatures like at night? Try to stay around 16 C. It might be worth adding additional lighting in the form of a daylight tube like the reptisun 2.0, I find these very useful. Make sure the indoor setup isnt at floor level too, this can make a 2-3C temperature difference which can be crucial.
I bought my hermanns in two weeks ago as they had gone into winddown mode with the poor weather and
its taken til now for them to be back up to speed so
give it a little while.

Aside from that, you're doing all the right things. Dont give up, tortoises dont need 24 / 7 attention, they're very independent. :)


Re: worried sick
Posted: 30/09/2010 by Debi

Hi Guys,

just thought i would let you know that my little lady is acting exactly the same as Twiglet, and i  have been worried about how long she is going between poo's as,  I put her under her lamp on a morning and ten mins later she is trotting of to back to bed, she is a Herman's, she is struggling to eat and just seems so sleepy, i don't think were doing anything wrong, i think it's just a matter of trying to keep her warm as often as possible , keep up with baths and i am gonna try and start her wind down a little later this year, maybe beginning of Nov, so hang on in there i'm sure Twiglet will be ok

Good Luck

Debs Click and drag me down to the editor


Re: worried sick
Posted: 30/09/2010 by winnie

Don't part with him shazzler, you'll so regret it. My horsfield was doing and still is doing what your twiglet is. I got so worried I took him to a good tort vet in manchester about 2 weeks ago only to be told that although he was a bit underweight as he hadn't been eating he was in good condition. The vet asked me what the temps were and although I thought my basking temp was ok at 32c he advised me to take it up to 35 as 32 was to low. His temp is now higher and although he doesn't really eat much if I just put his food in, if I hand feed him he eats the lot. So although I now spend apx 40 mins of my 1 hour lunch break seeing to my torts, the other 20 to the dogs and me trying to down a butty inbetween I munch with a smile on my face as stevie is eating (for now). Try his temps a bit higher, see if it makes a difference but it could be the weather turning as my 2 new horsfields are back and forth with their eating. Won't be long before the central heating goes on me thinks. I'll be sweatin' like a pig but the animals will be toastie, typical!

Re: worried sick
Posted: 30/09/2010 by TPGDave

Sound advice Winnie, upping the basking temps sounds good.

Remember the loss of interest in food is all part of the hibernation preparation for a tortoise, warm temperatures, good light and day length should kick it
back in. No harm in seeing a vet, my guy is doing prehibernation checkups at a reduced rate at the moment.

Re: worried sick
Posted: 01/10/2010 by shazzler

ah winnie , he will eat from mu hand now, not much just the odd bite but its better than nothing, i will up his basking temp , it just meanslowering his bulb slightly but making sure he acnt reach it all ,

thanks everybody for your advice its good to know im not alone in this xxxx

shazzler xxx 

Re: worried sick
Posted: 01/10/2010 by tortoise7

Hi Shazzler
Just read your post, made me sadClick and drag me down to the editor     please don't doubt yourself you have had Twiglet a long time and have looked after him so well. We all get a bit wobbly this time of year, but they are only doing what comes naturally, closing down!! I know my energy levels have dipped now the autumn is approaching. Hang on in there with all of us because we will all need comforting at certain points over the hibernation period. Molly my adult has slowed right down and is only eating every other day, today to coax her I wiped cucumber over her food, that seemed to do the trick. Keya who is the same age as Twiglet is going to be hard to wind down because she just never seems to loose her appetite, she is sleeping alot but only after she has eaten, I am dreading winding her down, so in their different ways they give us all a hard time. Chin up and keep smiling Click and drag me down to the editor
Jane, Keya & Molly

Re: worried sick
Posted: 01/10/2010 by winnie

Let me tell you something that is going to make you think I'm bonkers, but I swear it worked for me. When I first started hand feeding stevie I'd wave a nice juicey dandie leaf in front of him, he'd sniff it and maybe have the odd nibble but then would decide no thanks. What I've started doing (and I don't know why) is rolling up those dandie leaves so they look like little cigars and then holding it in front of him. I don't know why but he scoffs them with no hesitation. Like I said, it might be just me but there's no harm in giving it ago. It would be great to be bonkers with someone else and your tort might benefit to!!!!

Re: worried sick
Posted: 15/10/2015 by rebeccaflorencesmith

Hi all,

I got my 1 year old Horsfield this morning, and i am really worried. She keeps making sudden and involuntary jerking movements when basking/sleeping. She is sneezing and yawning quite a bit. and her eyes look puffy and swollen. She is also not interested at all in food. could it be a respiratory issue? please help i cannot get to the vets in manchester til next Thursday because of work!

thank you!


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