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Any turtle tips or tricks?

Discussion in 'Tortoise Health' started by jenG07, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. jenG07

    jenG07 New Member

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    I had previously posted with concerns about our new box turtle, but the situation has changed slightly, and since you guys are definitely the authorities, hoping for some good ideas! We got him about two weeks ago - he was a stray we adopted from a reptile shop. They said he was healthy, a good eater, and very active, and to be fair, in the times we saw (we visited him several times there) he was all those things. When we first brought him home, he ate his veggies and was fairly active for the first few days......then he slowed down and for the past week he just burrows and sleeps without moving basically all the time. He will stay burrowed deep in the same position for 24 hours unless I dig him up. Currently, I dig him up once a day and put him in a warm tub, where he does perk up and paddles around. After the soak, I have been offering him veggies or fruit, but he refuses to eat any of them. Every other day I have been offering worms, and he will eat those, but as soon as I put him back in his tank, he burrows and goes back to sleep until I dig him up again. He also isn't going in his water dish. I keep his tank at about 75 on the cool end and 85-90 on the warm end during the day, and the whole thing 70-75 at night.

    I took him to the vet and $237 later I found out he is an Eastern Box who had a parasite free stool sample and seems perfectly healthy. She suggested that I keep trying veggies, and let him go three days before offering worms. Beyond that, she didn't have many suggestions.

    Any ideas? Is he trying to hibernate? How worried should I be? He is my 10 year old's pet and she will be devastated if anything happens to him.... as will I!
  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    What type of heating and lighting equipment are you using?
    How long are the lights on each day?
    What size enclosure?
  3. zovick

    zovick Well-Known Member

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    This is the time of year when Eastern Box Turtles think about hibernating, so that may well be why your turtle is slowing down now. If it was a WC turtle which was caught back east this year and then shipped to WA sometime in the past 6-7 months and then escaped from its owner (you said it was a stray), that is very likely what is happening. It will probably be OK to continue doing what you are doing, but don't do so and then try to hibernate the turtle 3 months from now because it will have depleted all its reserves and not be able to hibernate successfully by then.

    Maybe there are some others on here that can speak to how to hibernate your box turtle properly, but I cannot since I have never done so.

    Good luck.
  4. jenG07

    jenG07 New Member

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    He is in a 75 gal tank, with two ceramic heaters that are on 24/7 and a MVB that is on 13 hours
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