Is my Russian tortoise sick?

Dawn the decorator

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Apr 25, 2021
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4
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Dorset
I’d not hesitate, get her checked out by someone who is trained in reptiles..I’m very lucky...please don’t delay. If she’s I’ll she will go down hill quick...🙏🏻
I’d still get a health check..if it’s not light related it might be too late...Animal first ..the vet will advise...money is no object where your pet is concerned
 

Sccremeans25

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Apr 28, 2021
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12
Location (City and/or State)
Castle Rock
There seems to be a lot of places called Castle Rock...could you just narrow it down a bit for us? Like So Cal, or NV...the general area. It helps us with recommendations, like if you can take her outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, she doesn't need indoor UVB, at least for the summer.

The bulb you are using isn't a good source of UVB. They are highly variable in their output, and some types of them can burn babies' eyes, or even make adults hide from it.

I know it is worrisome when they don't eat, but try not to get too upset. This is a normal reaction she is having, and she'll eat when she's ready. Suddenly, one day, she'll decide all is OK, and will be fine.
Okay I think I am going to build an enclosure for her outside so she can get good heat and uvb. Can I keep her outside at night or bring her in at night.
 

KarenSoCal

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Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Okay I think I am going to build an enclosure for her outside so she can get good heat and uvb. Can I keep her outside at night or bring her in at night.
An outdoor enclosure is a great idea, and needed for healthy enrichment, and in your case, food.

The temps are the determining factor in choosing indoors/outdoors. During the day, it must warm up enough for her to bask in the sun and get her core temp up to 80°F. I would think that would be in the upper 70's at least, with good sun. At night, it needs to stay above 60°, but not be rainy and raw. Use your judgement, following the temp guidelines in the care sheet.

If in doubt, bring her inside. Don't ever risk her being too cold, especially if it's damp. That's what causes RI's, even after only one cold night.

Please make her outdoor enclosure really big. 8ft x 4ft is absolute minimum, and it really should be much bigger than that. Russians are great escapers, so keep that in mind.

I don't keep Russians, so I'm going to check these temps with another keeper.

@jsheffield You live in a cold place...Are these temps good for a Russian to go outside? She's 5", so not a baby.
 

Jan A

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Boulder, CO
Okay I think I am going to build an enclosure for her outside so she can get good heat and uvb. Can I keep her outside at night or bring her in at night.
You're in Colorado where night temperatures in the heat of summer (late April doesn't qualify) is barely above 72 degrees at mile high Denver in the thrust of 90 degrees plus for 40+ days. Right now, your night temps are way below 50 degrees. If you're at higher elevations than Denver, your day & night temps are even lower.

You cannot even think about putting a tort out overnight in Colorado without a heated house. Well, you can, but I assume you want to find it alive the next day.

If you've acquired a tort that is inconveniencing you or you didn't anticipate how difficult providing it's care was going to be, I will personally come & rescue it. You can pm me.

If you really want a tort & give it a good life, then please re-read care info sheets.

If you're under 16, all is forgiven. Please ask questions. I really, really want to see you take care of your tort in the best possible way for both of you.
 

jsheffield

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I don't keep Russians, so I'm going to check these temps with another keeper.

@jsheffield You live in a cold place...Are these temps good for a Russian to go outside? She's 5", so not a baby.
I picked 60°F as an arbitrary line for my Russians... If it's sunny and still, I might go a bit lower, and if it's cloudy, windy, or rainy, I'd wait until it was a bit warmer.

jamie
 

Sccremeans25

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Joined
Apr 28, 2021
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12
Location (City and/or State)
Castle Rock
An outdoor enclosure is a great idea, and needed for healthy enrichment, and in your case, food.

The temps are the determining factor in choosing indoors/outdoors. During the day, it must warm up enough for her to bask in the sun and get her core temp up to 80°F. I would think that would be in the upper 70's at least, with good sun. At night, it needs to stay above 60°, but not be rainy and raw. Use your judgement, following the temp guidelines in the care sheet.

If in doubt, bring her inside. Don't ever risk her being too cold, especially if it's damp. That's what causes RI's, even after only one cold night.

Please make her outdoor enclosure really big. 8ft x 4ft is absolute minimum, and it really should be much bigger than that. Russians are great escapers, so keep that in mind.

I don't keep Russians, so I'm going to check these temps with another keeper.

@jsheffield You live in a cold place...Are these temps good for a Russian to go outside? She's 5", so not a baby.
Okay. Yes the temperatures where I live are perfect right now and warm.
You're in Colorado where night temperatures in the heat of summer (late April doesn't qualify) is barely above 72 degrees at mile high Denver in the thrust of 90 degrees plus for 40+ days. Right now, your night temps are way below 50 degrees. If you're at higher elevations than Denver, your day & night temps are even lower.

You cannot even think about putting a tort out overnight in Colorado without a heated house. Well, you can, but I assume you want to find it alive the next day.

If you've acquired a tort that is inconveniencing you or you didn't anticipate how difficult providing it's care was going to be, I will personally come & rescue it. You can pm me.

If you really want a tort & give it a good life, then please re-read care info sheets.

If you're under 16, all is forgiven. Please ask questions. I really, really want to see you take care of your tort in the best possible way for both of you.
yea I am under 16. I bought the tortoise without thinking. I bought it online thinking it would be smaller and I didn’t even tel my parents I bought it.
 

KarenSoCal

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Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Okay. Yes the temperatures where I live are perfect right now and warm.

yea I am under 16. I bought the tortoise without thinking. I bought it online thinking it would be smaller and I didn’t even tel my parents I bought it.
I hope your parents know about him now! Are you grounded forever? 🙂

Read the care sheet carefully. It has all the valuable info that you need to keep him happy and healthy. Torts really don't require lots of time or attention...but they do require more than most people think.

Try to involve your parents in his daily life. Not to get them to help, but torts have a way of wriggling into peoples' hearts. It would be great if they fell in love with him.
 

Jan A

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886
Location (City and/or State)
Boulder, CO
I hope your parents know about him now! Are you grounded forever? 🙂

Read the care sheet carefully. It has all the valuable info that you need to keep him happy and healthy. Torts really don't require lots of time or attention...but they do require more than most people think.

Try to involve your parents in his daily life. Not to get them to help, but torts have a way of wriggling into peoples' hearts. It would be great if they fell in love with him.
Okay. Yes the temperatures where I live are perfect right now and warm.

yea I am under 16. I bought the tortoise without thinking. I bought it online thinking it would be smaller and I didn’t even tel my parents I bought it.
A tortoise is going to be hard to hide if you take good care of it. So how are you going to take care of it? What are you feeding it? What does its enclosure look like? Photos are welcome. We can help.

And I can personally pick him up in Colorado next weekend if not a couple of days on either side of the weekend
 

Sccremeans25

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Apr 28, 2021
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Location (City and/or State)
Castle Rock
Yes I’m not sure what I should do my parents won’t let me have her and what to release it into the wild but i said that is cruel but they don’t care since it is a wild animal. Is there any peace i could give it to because I can’t release a animal that was imported here.
 

Jan A

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Boulder, CO
Yes I’m not sure what I should do my parents won’t let me have her and what to release it into the wild but i said that is cruel but they don’t care since it is a wild animal. Is there any peace i could give it to because I can’t release a animal that was imported here.
I'm coming back to Colorado, not this weekend, but next weekend around the 15th. Will your parents let you keep it another week? You can PM me here if you want.

Otherwise, you can take it to the Colorado Reptile Humane Society, 303-726-2070 or your closest humane society. If you free your tort to the elements, it won't survive night temps in Colorado right now.

You haven't said how you're caring for it or how it's doing. I hope you're doing your very best. Like I say, you can PM me here.
 

ZenHerper

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Feb 27, 2020
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New Jersey
Yes I’m not sure what I should do my parents won’t let me have her and what to release it into the wild but i said that is cruel but they don’t care since it is a wild animal. Is there any peace i could give it to because I can’t release a animal that was imported here.
I am 100% certain that it is illegal to release a non-native species where you live.

Otherwise, what @Jan A said.
 
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AnitaBeausMom

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Aug 26, 2016
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2
Hello. I recently got a Female Russian tortoise and it has moved very little to none. She constantly sleeps all day and when I pick her up to wake her, she immideitaly goes back to sleep after I put her down. She has not eaten any food. I have a 150watt bulb and a 10.0 UVB bulb. The enclosure is warm. Please someone let me know what to do.
Depending on the time of year she could be hibernating.
 

Sccremeans25

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Apr 28, 2021
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Castle Rock
I'm coming back to Colorado, not this weekend, but next weekend around the 15th. Will your parents let you keep it another week? You can PM me here if you want.

Otherwise, you can take it to the Colorado Reptile Humane Society, 303-726-2070 or your closest humane society. If you free your tort to the elements, it won't survive night temps in Colorado right now.

You haven't said how you're caring for it or how it's doing. I hope you're doing your very best. Like I say, you can PM me here.
Right now she is living in a kiddie pool in my room but I’m going to put her outside in my backyard I think this is what my backyard looks like. I will put hides up and safe proof everything.
 

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Lyn W

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Yes I’m not sure what I should do my parents won’t let me have her and what to release it into the wild but i said that is cruel but they don’t care since it is a wild animal. Is there any peace i could give it to because I can’t release a animal that was imported here.
I'm sorry your parents won't let you keep the tort but it will be a death sentence for the poor thing if you release it in the wild.
If you do put him outside you need to be aware that Russians are great escape artists - they will dig under fences and can even climb over them. You also have to make sure they are safe from predators - mammals and birds - and have heat when needed.
In the circumstances with your folks not happy about the tort, I think I would take Jan A up on her very kind offer - at least you'll know it will have a good home.
 
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