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How long can a redfoot go without eating?

Peacheslcg

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it’s been at least 3 days now and all she does is burrows. We’ve finally i think gotten the heat/humidity right, but she doesn’t seem to want to go back to eating.
 

Yvonne G

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Every time you walk by the enclosure, take the tortoise out of his hiding place and put him in front of the food, then quickly step out of his sight.
 

Peacheslcg

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We walk by a lot since we are sort of obsessed with her health. 3/4 times ok? Or literally every time?
 

Yvonne G

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three or four times throughout the day is good enough. The more you handle them (once they've gotten used to living there) the more relaxed they get in your care.
 

jacksknight

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Every time you walk by the enclosure, take the tortoise out of his hiding place and put him in front of the food, then quickly step out of his sight.

This is great advice here! We noticed when we added new torts for the first few weeks if you went to them while eating they would stop and go hide. Then after the first few weeks you could go put food in and they would come out to you.
 

Peacheslcg

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She did that the first few weeks and would regularly come out and eat after we put the new feed in. She would come and eat when we were usually at the table eating. About a week ago she because very sluggish and hasn't eaten a lot since then. We took her to the vet who gave her a vitamin shot. Since we've been back, no eating. She's just burrowing and staying there.
 

Madkins007

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I don't know what the backstory is here, but... there are a lot of things that can throw a redfoot off its feed. Noise (felt as vibrations), scary activities nearby (like giants walking by, getting picked up*...), too hot or cold, too wet or dry, too bright or dark, and so on. Sometimes, making a change to ANYTHING makes the torts want to hide (especially the younger ones), sometimes changes spark their curiosity and they come out to explore.

As for how long they can go without food- a healthy redfoot can go weeks to months without additional meals (depending on size, climate, etc.). This does not mean it is OK to ignore them not eating, but does mean you don't need to rush them to the vet after only 3 days.

As far as taking them out of a hide- I consider that a pretty last resort option but that is ONLY MY OPINION. Posting a photo of the enclosure with notes of the temps and humidity levels could help us figure stuff out.
 

Peacheslcg

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Maybe we are not the most patient people. . She is less than a year old. 78g when she went to the vet on Friday. Pics of her enclosure attached. We had an all in one heat and uva/uvb bulb that we got rid of today. This is the set up as of today. Two radiant heat lamps and a uvb strip. She was just so active and then had such a sudden decline that we are trying to get her back to where she was as quickly as she seemed to decline. Temp (digital is 93 where her food is, on the ‘cool’ end it’s about 85. Humidity varies between 85-90 %. Substrate is cypress mulch and peat moss. Just don’t know how long before taking her back to the vet.
 

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Peacheslcg

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It’s been another day of not eating, just remaining burrowed. The vet said to come back in a week. Trying not to panic!
 

MountainFox

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How confident are you in the vet’s knowledge and experience with torts? What were his/her observations from the exam? Was there any additional advice other than to return in a week if she didn’t resume eating?

If you feel good about the vet and the advice was not to worry, then try not stress too much! The members give great suggestions here, and and your little monster may just be stubborn. Have you tried introducing different food options? Does she have a favorite treat? Fruit is a part of most recommended redfoot diets, and I know my guy loves it. You could try giving a tiny buffet of options, placing some in or right outside of the hide. Hopefully she’s back on track soon!
 

Peacheslcg

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My husband took her to the vet and wasn't impressed by the care. He thought the vet would spend more time, but he was in and out. We got a recommendation for a vet who does reptiles (this one was supposed to). We've put everything she usually likes out, and nothing, we put her infront of her food and she just walks away, or burrows right infront of the food!
 

Toddrickfl1

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Is that a Compact fluorescent bulb? They can bother their eyes. It did it with my Redfoot shortly after I got him. He stopped eating like yours but a few days after I got rid of it he was back to normal.
 

Peacheslcg

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Is that a Compact fluorescent bulb? They can bother their eyes. It did it with my Redfoot shortly after I got him. He stopped eating like yours but a few days after I got rid of it he was back to normal.
We had an all in one that we replaced with a tube number.
 

Bee62

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It’s been another day of not eating, just remaining burrowed. The vet said to come back in a week. Trying not to panic!
Hello. I read that the VEt gave your tort a vitamin shot. Please, please don`t let the VET do this again ! These shots mostly do more harm than good. Torts need no vitamin shots.
Do you soak your tortoise daily ? You should do and add baby carrot food to the soaking water.
Soak in 100 F warm water for half an hour twice a day. The water must stay warm during the soak. A small tort like yours I would soak near the heat bulb in a plastic tub in the enclosure.
After soaking place your tort in front of fresh food. Try to feed mushrooms or a cooked egg or raw beef ( minced ) and lettuce.
Bump up your temps. It should be not less than 85 F in the whole enclosure day and night !
Wait with the next VET visit and please don`t let the VET give any vitamin shots !
I own two redfoot tortoises too. You can trust what I say.
 
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Peacheslcg

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Tried the carrot soak today along with offering her some of what you suggested about. She moved around in the soak and then just tucked her head half in when I put her in front of the food. It’s been a few hours, she hasn’t eaten a thing, nor has she moved, she hasn’t even moved to burrow, which is her norm. Worried
 

Bee62

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Tried the carrot soak today along with offering her some of what you suggested about. She moved around in the soak and then just tucked her head half in when I put her in front of the food. It’s been a few hours, she hasn’t eaten a thing, nor has she moved, she hasn’t even moved to burrow, which is her norm. Worried
You must try and try again. Keep your tortoise warm and well hydrated. 85 F day and night in the whole enclosure and 85 - 90 % humidity.
Soak often and long. Sometimes torts need some time to recover from vitamin or antibiotic shots.
 

MountainFox

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@Peacheslcg, how is your baby doing? Assuming that she hides the same way as so many redfoots (head in, butt out), have you tried putting food inside of the hide in the head spot? That would give the most private space for her to eat. I think all of the other suggestions have involved her still being exposed to eat the food. I hope chomping has already resumed in your house, though!
 

Peacheslcg

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@Peacheslcg, how is your baby doing? Assuming that she hides the same way as so many redfoots (head in, butt out), have you tried putting food inside of the hide in the head spot? That would give the most private space for her to eat. I think all of the other suggestions have involved her still being exposed to eat the food. I hope chomping has already resumed in your house, though!
No eating as yet! We are wondering if she has a piece of substrate in her throat. We’ve been doing the carrot soaks and she walks around. She looks at the food like she wants to eat it, but then walks through it to burrow. She used to eat in front of us all the time. When we put food out, she would come out and chow down shortly after.
 

Bee62

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No eating as yet! We are wondering if she has a piece of substrate in her throat. We’ve been doing the carrot soaks and she walks around. She looks at the food like she wants to eat it, but then walks through it to burrow. She used to eat in front of us all the time. When we put food out, she would come out and chow down shortly after.
Go on with the carrot soaks. Soak a long time.
What food do you offer ?
The tort needs time recover from the vitamin shot.
 

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