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Old 04-05-2019, 10:15 AM   #1
TessaRuth
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Default Tortoise not eating

Hello. I have a twelve year old Horsefield. He is a good weight and hibernated successfully this winter, coming out in mid-January. Since then, all has been well and his normal habit is to eat every day with perhaps a day off here or there. However, since four days' ago, he hasn't eaten at all. In all other respects, he appears healthy and is active and bright eyed. The inside of his mouth is pink and healthy-looking too. This lack of eating has not happened before and I'm wondering if I should be worrying and go to the vet. On the other hand, can this happen and be nothing to worry about? I have only had him for ten months so I'm not quite sure what is normal or not at the moment. I've given him several warm baths already.
Thank you so much for any help.
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Old 05-05-2019, 05:35 PM   #2
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Mine are not Horsfields but they have not been eating either although that's down to it being too cold. We have had a cold spell for a week now. If it's been warm where you are then it would maybe be unusual but if it's been a bit cool then it may be the reason
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Old 05-05-2019, 08:58 PM   #3
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As Alan says, it could be the changeable weather.
I always consider the possibility of worms if there’s reduced appetite. That’s always been the first thing to alert me if any of mine have worms as they’re not always visible.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:34 PM   #4
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sorry to hear that Tessaruth, Horsfields are usually bit piggy so I would be a bit wary. I don't think you said if he was indoors / outside. If outside just make sure you aren't doing too many baths. Horsfields hate the damp so good drainage and hot sunny spot , equally if indoors don't have the heat too high. Mine have always been outdoors torts and I have never bathed Horsfields prior to hibernation or after hibernation, they don't have heat either. You would be surprised how hot the greenhouse gets and they retain their heat in their shells. However, I do keep an eye open and if cold weather does kick in, especially with rain I do make sure they are all ok and the two little ones would come inside, particularly overnight. is he outside ? and what substrate do you have?

weigh him and keep a check for now, CB
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:02 PM   #5
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Thank you all. Yes, the weather here in SE England has been cold but he is in a vivarium where the temperature is 25-30C. He does come out in the garden when it's warm enough. So, it's eight days now and he has eaten one meal since my first post but only one. He is still bright and lively and has not lost weight. I guess I'm trying to find out when I should start worrying. My nearest specialist vet is 40 miles away so it's no small journey to be told if he is fine. Do you have any advice on when I should start worrying or what the symptoms are for a sick tortoise? Thank you so much - I really do appreciate your help.
Tessa
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TessaRuth View Post
Thank you all. Yes, the weather here in SE England has been cold but he is in a vivarium where the temperature is 25-30C. He does come out in the garden when it's warm enough. So, it's eight days now and he has eaten one meal since my first post but only one. He is still bright and lively and has not lost weight. I guess I'm trying to find out when I should start worrying. My nearest specialist vet is 40 miles away so it's no small journey to be told if he is fine. Do you have any advice on when I should start worrying or what the symptoms are for a sick tortoise? Thank you so much - I really do appreciate your help.
Tessa
I live in the SE, and my tortoises have a heated GH, where they can come and go as they please. They now only have heat on in the mornings, and come out to graze in the afternoon. The cold weather has stopped them coming out quite a lot, but they do enjoy the sun even if it feels cold to me:0)
A sign of a sick tortoise can be many things, a runny nose, stickie eyes, or being lathagic. Or not doing what they normally will do:0)
Food is not that important to the tortoise, they can go weeks without food, its us that worry for nothing:0)
I live in Kent.
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:51 PM   #7
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Yes, hopefully, I've been worrying for nothing as this morning he has eaten more than he usually does. But thank you all for your advice. As a relatively new tortoise owner, the slightest thing has me on edge so your experience is much valued.

Sandy, I'm in East Sussex. Do you know of a specialist reptile vet? Ours has moved on and the nearest I can find is in Maidstone - which is quite a journey.

Tessa
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Old 08-05-2019, 04:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TessaRuth View Post
Yes, hopefully, I've been worrying for nothing as this morning he has eaten more than he usually does. But thank you all for your advice. As a relatively new tortoise owner, the slightest thing has me on edge so your experience is much valued.

Sandy, I'm in East Sussex. Do you know of a specialist reptile vet? Ours has moved on and the nearest I can find is in Maidstone - which is quite a journey.

Tessa
Sorry I dont knowof any in E. Sussex only the one by Maidstone hospital. he is a good one:0)
Its a pity it seems tortoise vets move around a lot:0(
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Old 09-05-2019, 12:56 PM   #9
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Hi Tessaruth, I found the following on line:

East Sussex:

Cinque Ports Vets

West Sussex:

Seers Croft
Alphabet Vet Clinic

I have no experience of them but they are on line. Its best to be registered with a vet, so in an emergency you can see them.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:15 AM   #10
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Great advice. Thank you!
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