Baby sulcuta not eating, eyes closed, and not moving

ladrielle

New Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
philippines
Hello!! Recently one of my baby tortoises has a soft shell (bottom and top), barely been eating and drinking water, does not open its eyes, and only moves when I poke it. I took it to the vet and they only recommended other foods to feed, but my tortoise won't even eat or open its mouth. What should I do?
**the other 2 siblings are active and do not soft shells

My sick tortoise info:
Birthday: June 8, 2021
Habitat:
  • humidity: 40-60%
  • general area temperature: 30*C
  • basking area: 38*C
  • lighting: 1 uvb 15(26w) + 1 uva heat lamp (100w)
  • water dish available for 18hrs a day
  • substrate: coco coir + organic topsoil (soon to be just organic topsoil, due to vets recommendation)
**currently separated from other tortoises
Feeding:
  • daily: timothy hay, barley grass
  • every other day: mazuri tortoise diet (soaked)
  • 2x a week: sprinkle zoomed repti calcium w/d3 on food
Soaking:
  • 1x a day 10-15mins (afternoon time: 4pm~)
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
42,662
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
A much bigger variety of diet needs to be given. Babies usually won't eat hay and Timothy hay is one of the harshest. You need to either add natural greens/flowers or buy grocery greens if you can't get natural foods.
Also if you have the Coil type bulbs they can be bad for their eyes.
Get humidity to 80%, basking 95-100F and over all temp 80-85F day and night.
Make the enclosure a closed chamber enclosure. Read the threads, caresheets and closed chamber threads in the sulcata section. Get every that needs changing done asap.
For now soak the sick one in warm water with pureed baby food carrots and pedialyte 2 to 3 times a day for 30 minutes keeping water warm always.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,589
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hello!! Recently one of my baby tortoises has a soft shell (bottom and top), barely been eating and drinking water, does not open its eyes, and only moves when I poke it. I took it to the vet and they only recommended other foods to feed, but my tortoise won't even eat or open its mouth. What should I do?
**the other 2 siblings are active and do not soft shells

My sick tortoise info:
Birthday: June 8, 2021
Habitat:
  • humidity: 40-60%
  • general area temperature: 30*C
  • basking area: 38*C
  • lighting: 1 uvb 15(26w) + 1 uva heat lamp (100w)
  • water dish available for 18hrs a day
  • substrate: coco coir + organic topsoil (soon to be just organic topsoil, due to vets recommendation)
**currently separated from other tortoises
Feeding:
  • daily: timothy hay, barley grass
  • every other day: mazuri tortoise diet (soaked)
  • 2x a week: sprinkle zoomed repti calcium w/d3 on food
Soaking:
  • 1x a day 10-15mins (afternoon time: 4pm~)
Sounds like this. Almost nobody in the world starts them correctly:

Your humidity is too low.

Are you soaking daily? You should be.

Babies don't eat hay and they need more than just grass and hay. Mazuri is okay, but not a substitute for good weeds and leaves.

Soil should never be used as a tortoise substrate. Your vet, like most vets, is wrong on this.

Here is the correct care info:

Questions welcome.
 

ladrielle

New Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
philippines
Thank you, everyone, for your replies and advice! I will apply these as soon as possible. Right now my sick baby is hospitalized, and hopefully, they make it.
 

ladrielle

New Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
philippines
Sounds like this. Almost nobody in the world starts them correctly:

Your humidity is too low.

Are you soaking daily? You should be.

Babies don't eat hay and they need more than just grass and hay. Mazuri is okay, but not a substitute for good weeds and leaves.

Soil should never be used as a tortoise substrate. Your vet, like most vets, is wrong on this.

Here is the correct care info:

Questions welcome.
Hello, Thank you for taking the time to reply to me!

I have a question regarding substrate. I have used cypress mulch + soil (50:50) before and noticed my tortoise keep eating the cypress mulch, so then I switched to coco coir + soil (50:50), and then recently my vet said to change to just soil because there was coco coir that got stuck or punctured my tortoise. (I had not known about that until he told me, I had not actually seen what he pointed out as I was not present in the appointment due to quarantine restrictions).

I plan to use orchid bark instead, but these are the only branded ones available in my country. None of them explicitly say they contain orchid bark, nor do they mention its size. Which one should I go for? Thank you for your time!

(1) Repti-zoo
(2) eco-bark bedding
(3) Repti bark
 

Attachments

  • Screen Shot 2021-10-26 at 12.37.50.png
    Screen Shot 2021-10-26 at 12.37.50.png
    444.2 KB · Views: 4
  • Screen Shot 2021-10-26 at 12.38.36.png
    Screen Shot 2021-10-26 at 12.38.36.png
    418.8 KB · Views: 4
  • Screen Shot 2021-10-26 at 12.50.48.png
    Screen Shot 2021-10-26 at 12.50.48.png
    1.8 MB · Views: 4
Last edited:

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,589
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hello, Thank you for taking the time to reply to me!

I have a question regarding substrate. I have used cypress mulch + soil (50:50) before and noticed my tortoise keep eating the cypress mulch, so then I switched to coco coir + soil (50:50), and then recently my vet said to change to just soil because there was coco coir that got stuck or punctured my tortoise. (I had not known about that until he told me, I had not actually seen what he pointed out as I was not present in the appointment due to quarantine restrictions).

I plan to use orchid bark instead, but these are the only branded ones available in my country. None of them explicitly say they contain orchid bark, nor do they mention its size. Which one should I go for? Thank you for your time!

(1) Repti-zoo
(2) eco-bark bedding
(3) Repti bark
3. Repti-Bark
 

Maryalice

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2021
Messages
61
Location (City and/or State)
Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippinex
Hello!! Recently one of my baby tortoises has a soft shell (bottom and top), barely been eating and drinking water, does not open its eyes, and only moves when I poke it. I took it to the vet and they only recommended other foods to feed, but my tortoise won't even eat or open its mouth. What should I do?
**the other 2 siblings are active and do not soft shells

My sick tortoise info:
Birthday: June 8, 2021
Habitat:
  • humidity: 40-60%
  • general area temperature: 30*C
  • basking area: 38*C
  • lighting: 1 uvb 15(26w) + 1 uva heat lamp (100w)
  • water dish available for 18hrs a day
  • substrate: coco coir + organic topsoil (soon to be just organic topsoil, due to vets recommendation)
**currently separated from other tortoises
Feeding:
  • daily: timothy hay, barley grass
  • every other day: mazuri tortoise diet (soaked)
  • 2x a week: sprinkle zoomed repti calcium w/d3 on food
Soaking:
  • 1x a day 10-15mins (afternoon time: 4pm~)
Hello @gabbyladi. I am a sulcata tort keeper also living in Manila. My baby torts are now 5 and 7 months old. The older one has been started dry but the younger one was started well. I have no experience with having soft shell torts, but have overcome issues of respiratory infection, poor appetite, irregular pooping and stone-hard urates -- all by my older tort. Both torts are now thriving and growing well and the main correction I made was in their housing. I notice your low humidity, and I am assuming you are keeping them in an open-top enclosure. I keep my torts in glass enclosures too, but I covered the top with plastic- covered cardboard to increase the humidity in their enclosures (ranging from 75% to 90%) and control the temperatures better (30C - 36C during the day, and 29C - 31C at night). I have installed a thermostat to control temps and monitor humidity levels. The substrate I use for both enclosures are Reptibark as they are small enough for them to walk on, unlike the Ecobark bedding which have bigger chunks of coconut husk. I don't use pine bark as i have read in this forum that pine is not good for torts. I haven't tried using soil as I imagine it to be messy. I mist their substrate once a day or when humiditu levels go below 80%. Water dish is provided 24/7. For food, I give them mainly carabao grass and napier grass, and mix in cuts of nalta jute (saluyot), or camote tops, or gumamela leaves or flowers, mulberry leaves, romaine lettuce, green pechay, and 2x a week I add grated or thinly sliced squash or zucchini or cucumber (no seeds). These green veggies need to be carefully spaced as each has different levels of Ca:p ratio and oxalates, among other nutients. (I can share with you a matrix i made, of the key nutrients of these veggies, which is my basis of how frequently they could be fed to the torts.) I give mazuri (or exoprime) wrapped in any of the green leaves above, no more than 2x a week. Your calcium supplementation seems ok,but i also put in a piece of cuttle bone about the size of their shells, so they can munch on it when needed. As for soaking, i graduated from their 15-min soaking to 1 hour, as i wait for them to poop. But i would keep adding hot water to keep the water warm (about 36C-37C) as I do not want a repeat of the respiratory infection the older one went thru. Overall, please be guided by the care sheet that Tom prepared for baby sulcatas. Should you need more clarifications, am happy to exchange ideas with you on raising baby torts in manila.
 

ladrielle

New Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
philippines
Hello @gabbyladi. I am a sulcata tort keeper also living in Manila. My baby torts are now 5 and 7 months old. The older one has been started dry but the younger one was started well. I have no experience with having soft shell torts, but have overcome issues of respiratory infection, poor appetite, irregular pooping and stone-hard urates -- all by my older tort. Both torts are now thriving and growing well and the main correction I made was in their housing. I notice your low humidity, and I am assuming you are keeping them in an open-top enclosure. I keep my torts in glass enclosures too, but I covered the top with plastic- covered cardboard to increase the humidity in their enclosures (ranging from 75% to 90%) and control the temperatures better (30C - 36C during the day, and 29C - 31C at night). I have installed a thermostat to control temps and monitor humidity levels. The substrate I use for both enclosures are Reptibark as they are small enough for them to walk on, unlike the Ecobark bedding which have bigger chunks of coconut husk. I don't use pine bark as i have read in this forum that pine is not good for torts. I haven't tried using soil as I imagine it to be messy. I mist their substrate once a day or when humiditu levels go below 80%. Water dish is provided 24/7. For food, I give them mainly carabao grass and napier grass, and mix in cuts of nalta jute (saluyot), or camote tops, or gumamela leaves or flowers, mulberry leaves, romaine lettuce, green pechay, and 2x a week I add grated or thinly sliced squash or zucchini or cucumber (no seeds). These green veggies need to be carefully spaced as each has different levels of Ca:p ratio and oxalates, among other nutients. (I can share with you a matrix i made, of the key nutrients of these veggies, which is my basis of how frequently they could be fed to the torts.) I give mazuri (or exoprime) wrapped in any of the green leaves above, no more than 2x a week. Your calcium supplementation seems ok,but i also put in a piece of cuttle bone about the size of their shells, so they can munch on it when needed. As for soaking, i graduated from their 15-min soaking to 1 hour, as i wait for them to poop. But i would keep adding hot water to keep the water warm (about 36C-37C) as I do not want a repeat of the respiratory infection the older one went thru. Overall, please be guided by the care sheet that Tom prepared for baby sulcatas. Should you need more clarifications, am happy to exchange ideas with you on raising baby torts in manila.
Yay another keeper from the Philippines, thank you so much for your help. I have a question. How do you feed your tortoise? Do you mix them all up and divide portions per day or do you feed a certain type of food per day? Please do share the matrix you made ?
 

Maryalice

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2021
Messages
61
Location (City and/or State)
Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippinex
Yay another keeper from the Philippines, thank you so much for your help. I have a question. How do you feed your tortoise? Do you mix them all up and divide portions per day or do you feed a certain type of food per day? Please do share the matrix you made ?
Everyday i prepare 2 cups of cut up greens and put them in a tupperware: 50% is made up of carabao grass mixed with napier grass; and 50% is a combination of 3 groups of greens and 1 group of "fruits". Group 1 consists of mulberry leaves and hibiscus leaves/flowers, given alternately everyday. Group 2 consists of romaine lettuce, moringa leaves, saluyot, camote leaves, young banana leaves, pechay and squash leaves. As you notice, there are 7 veggies in Group 2, each would be given 1 day after the other, so it will take 7 days before any of the group 2 veggies will be given again. Group 3 consists of 3 herbs: basil, coriander (wansoy), oregano. I add one or 2 leaves of any of these herbs into their salad, every 3 days. Group 4 consists of the fruits: squash, zucchini, cucumber which are alternately given every 3 days. So each daily feeding will consist of 1 kind of green from groups 1 and 2, and one type of herb from Group 3 every 3 days, and 1 type of fruit from Group 4 every 3 days.
So each morning, we prepare their salad -about 2 cups, cut them all up in tort bite sizes, and feed to them in 2 batches. The first batch is given between 6:30- 7:30 am, when we change their CHE to incandescent bulbs and increase their temperatures. The second batch is given after their 1 hour soak around 11:00 am. They are put out on the yard at around 8:30 am for an hour and a half of yard walking and grazing. Then they are brought in for their daily one-hou soak. And when they re-enter their enclosures the second batch of fresh greens will be waiting for them. They usually clean up their plates with the first batch, but could not anymore finish the 2nd batch of food. I take out their food plates at 6pm, when i change their incandescent lamps to CHE, and turn off all lights.
Please send me your email, so i can share the matrix.
 

Maryalice

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2021
Messages
61
Location (City and/or State)
Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippinex
Am not sure if the matrix is readable, but here it is - 2 pages of it. Please note that this is a work in progress, especially the frequency of feeding which i would often change, depending on new information. The info in this matrix came from different sources in the internet.
 

Attachments

  • 20211026_145859.jpg
    20211026_145859.jpg
    1.6 MB · Views: 9

ladrielle

New Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
philippines
Everyday i prepare 2 cups of cut up greens and put them in a tupperware: 50% is made up of carabao grass mixed with napier grass; and 50% is a combination of 3 groups of greens and 1 group of "fruits". Group 1 consists of mulberry leaves and hibiscus leaves/flowers, given alternately everyday. Group 2 consists of romaine lettuce, moringa leaves, saluyot, camote leaves, young banana leaves, pechay and squash leaves. As you notice, there are 7 veggies in Group 2, each would be given 1 day after the other, so it will take 7 days before any of the group 2 veggies will be given again. Group 3 consists of 3 herbs: basil, coriander (wansoy), oregano. I add one or 2 leaves of any of these herbs into their salad, every 3 days. Group 4 consists of the fruits: squash, zucchini, cucumber which are alternately given every 3 days. So each daily feeding will consist of 1 kind of green from groups 1 and 2, and one type of herb from Group 3 every 3 days, and 1 type of fruit from Group 4 every 3 days.
So each morning, we prepare their salad -about 2 cups, cut them all up in tort bite sizes, and feed to them in 2 batches. The first batch is given between 6:30- 7:30 am, when we change their CHE to incandescent bulbs and increase their temperatures. The second batch is given after their 1 hour soak around 11:00 am. They are put out on the yard at around 8:30 am for an hour and a half of yard walking and grazing. Then they are brought in for their daily one-hou soak. And when they re-enter their enclosures the second batch of fresh greens will be waiting for them. They usually clean up their plates with the first batch, but could not anymore finish the 2nd batch of food. I take out their food plates at 6pm, when i change their incandescent lamps to CHE, and turn off all lights.
Please send me your email, so i can share the matrix.
thank you so much! I sent you my email :)
 
Top