Eating/Drinking small amounts, no pooping at all???

LisaLeslie

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My three young Desert Tortoises have been out of hibernation for 3 weeks now and they are still very sluggish. This is my second year with them and last year they were very active when they came out of hibernation. This year they are not the same. They will only eat small amounts of Romaine lettuce (not the best, I know, but they need some source of fluids, right?) and have drank small amounts of water. They did eat some watermelon but not very much. I tried their usual grass pellets and they were not interested. My real concern is that they have not pooped at all. We did have an unusually cold winter here in Southern CA. Could this be the issue? I'm very concerned as we have had some really warm days and they still aren't eating/drinking/pooping properly. Any input would be greatly appreciated. They are 5 years old and I hibernated them inside boxes in a sheltered corner of my patio. This is how I did it the previous year and they did great. Thank you for your help!
 

Lyn W

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My three young Desert Tortoises have been out of hibernation for 3 weeks now and they are still very sluggish. This is my second year with them and last year they were very active when they came out of hibernation. This year they are not the same. They will only eat small amounts of Romaine lettuce (not the best, I know, but they need some source of fluids, right?) and have drank small amounts of water. They did eat some watermelon but not very much. I tried their usual grass pellets and they were not interested. My real concern is that they have not pooped at all. We did have an unusually cold winter here in Southern CA. Could this be the issue? I'm very concerned as we have had some really warm days and they still aren't eating/drinking/pooping properly. Any input would be greatly appreciated. They are 5 years old and I hibernated them inside boxes in a sheltered corner of my patio. This is how I did it the previous year and they did great. Thank you for your help!
Have you given them a nice long warm soak?
My leopard tort doesn't hibernate so I've no experience of this, but I know that soaking them is one of the first things that keepers of torts coming out of hibernation do to rehydrate them. If they haven't eaten much then maybe there's nothing to poop out yet.
Also check your temps, uvb etc and offer some of the foods off the list in the link I sent you.
My tort won't touch pellets but I think they are usually just used a supplement with fresh foods.
 

JoesMum

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When my Greek comes out of hibernation he gets twice daily 30 minute soaks in warm water until his appetite and drinking returns. I recommend you do the same
 

Yvonne G

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You neglected to say if the tortoises are living outside. My desert tortoises aren't eating yet. They all came out of hibernation about two weeks ago. They come out every morning and line up along the fence where the sun shines and just sit there warming up.

Food inside a tortoise can't digest unless the tortoise's inner core is at least 80F degrees. If he eats and isn't warm enough the food just sits there and rots.
 

LisaLeslie

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You neglected to say if the tortoises are living outside. My desert tortoises aren't eating yet. They all came out of hibernation about two weeks ago. They come out every morning and line up along the fence where the sun shines and just sit there warming up.

Food inside a tortoise can't digest unless the tortoise's inner core is at least 80F degrees. If he eats and isn't warm enough the food just sits there and rots.

Thank you for the input. They do live outside and we have had a very cold winter for Southern California. These last few days they have become more active. I will do the warm water soaking. I did soak them in water but maybe not warm enough. Their appetite has been increasing these last two days.
 

Tom

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Soak them daily for a while, and keep them warmer at night. The oncoming warmer weather should help.

Next year, I would not leave them outside subject to the whims of Mother Nature. They will do much better if you hibernate them indoors in more controlled conditions. Temperatures at or near the surface fluctuate far too much and its not good for them. In the wild their burrows are much deeper and this keeps the temperature for their hibernation much more consistent.
 

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