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Lethargic Herman

Discussion in 'Hermanns tortoises' started by Wewt, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Wewt

    Wewt Member 5 Year Member

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    Hey!

    I have a Hermann tortoise under one year old. Also, his eyes take a long time to open, and one of them seems closed shut. The underside of his shell seems soft and flexible when pressed lightly on.

    DIET
    - Fresh weeds from yard, including clover, grass, thistle, dandelion, plus whatever vegetable trimmings I have from the kitchen.

    ENCLOSURE
    - Photos attached. I've worked very hard on it, but it hasn't gone to plan. It's 1' deep and about 6' in length. Dirt from the yard underneath, and then cypress mulch on top. Above the enclosure I have a grow light, where I've attempted (and failed) to grow plants for his enclosure. If anyone has tips on growing plants indoors, let me know.

    TEMPS
    - Ambient temp of the room is 25 degrees celsius, and basking temp gets up to 35 degrees.

    POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS?
    - I've read that putting a drop of cod liver oil in his eyes will help. Would you recommend this?
    - Also read that if his enclosure is to dry and dusty it will result in his eyes swelling shut. Does this ring true? Should I be misting his enclosure more? I was worried about shell rot.
    - Is it possible that he is constipated? I'm going to be soaking him 2x daily for 30 minutes a time to see if this helps him, but lately he doesn't even move when put in his soaking dish.
    - I have removed him from his enclosure, worrying it is an environmental issue.

    Attached Files:

  2. Wewt

    Wewt Member 5 Year Member

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    ALSO I need to note, I have removed his basking light because I've removed him from his enclosure. Worrying it is an environmental issue, I have him upstairs with me in a temporary enclosure made from a laundry basket to keep a closer eye on him.

    Attached Files:

  3. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    I'm confused. The tortoise in the pic is a sulcata. You are posting about a Hermanns correct?
    Please read and follow the caresheet in the Hermanns section.
    I don't know about the cod liver so don't recommend it. I would though soak him in warm water with puréed carrot baby food and piedialyte mixed into the soak water. Keep him warm the whole soak about 30 minutes twice a day. One soak a day with the carrot and piedialyte the second soak without. Be sure he gets good uvb.
  4. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Also raise temps to stay 85 day and night until he gets better.
  5. Wewt

    Wewt Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes, I have a Sulcata as well (in the photos). My Hermann tortoise I don't have a pic of on this forum.

    Ok, I will soak with pedialyte twice a day and try the pureed carrot food.

    Do you think this is hibernation? From what I've read, they don't hibernate unless necessary, and his environment hasn't changed.
  6. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Not with the eye issue
  7. Wewt

    Wewt Member 5 Year Member

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    OK, bought some unflavored pedialyte and he is soaking in it right now. Will try feeding him mashed carrots, strawberries, etc. I'll keep you posted. Thank you for your help and support.
  8. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    The puréed baby food carrots need to also go into the soak. However, if he will eat it then you don't need to put it in the soak. If he won't eat thenput it in the soak. It is for the eye issues and to get some nutrients in him and to hopefully entice him too want to eat.
  9. Guillaume86

    Guillaume86 Member

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    Your tortoise don't live outside?
    hermans should live outside all the year.Keeping them in house is never good for them.

    Here in france, herman tortoise is the most common tortoise. Good breeders advise to keep them outside in a protect area from the first year.

    They should hibernate outside or inside if it's very cold in your country.

    concerning yours, she won't hibernate. the temperature should be between 5 and 8 degrees for hibernation.

    I have two. they hatched in 2016 and the seller kept them inside during 2 years. I bought them in january 2018 and i put them outside in march.

    in january : 2 years old 34 grs keep inside hatching

    herman 3.jpg


    The same six months later in her outside area: 72 grs !

    herman 1.jpg herman 2.jpg
  10. Wewt

    Wewt Member 5 Year Member

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    Oh, I see! I will do that today. His eyes have opened a bit, they look better. He moves to get away from his basking light and goes back to sleep.




    Gorgeous tortoise! I live in Canada, so he goes outside on sunny days to explore. He used to run all over the place, but the last few times I took him outside he only ate a small amount and then burrowed and fell asleep.
  11. Guillaume86

    Guillaume86 Member

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    mine are also less active right now. what is the outside temperature?
    Winter is coming here and they are preparing to hibernate. They eat less, sleep longer.
    All is normal.keeping them inside during winter and put them under spot isn't natural.
  12. Wewt

    Wewt Member 5 Year Member

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    I was reading in the care sheet that they will not hibernate unless they need to, that is isn't necessarily a sign of good health. He's only a baby. I do live in Canada, though, so it's colder outside. He is indoors all of the time except for sunny days when he goes out to explore the backyard.

    If he IS hibernating, how do I know? What do I do?

    UPDATE:

    The soaking in pedialyte with mushed carrots seems to be helping a bit. He's more reactive when picked up, moves a tiny bit more. Usually, though, he keeps his eyes shut and moves just enough to get out from under his lamp and falls asleep again. Still hasn't eaten anything. I'll keep up with the soaks.
  13. Bee62

    Bee62 Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I keep two Herman`s tortoises inside and let them not hibernate but:

    - you must provide a basking spot with 40 C
    - you must provide bright light 12 hours / day
    -you must provide fresh water and fresh food every day

    Warmth and the lenght of daylight ( artificial with special bulbs ) is the key that this species of tortoise don`t think of hibernation.
    I think the enclosure of your tort is too cold and to dark. That`s why she wants to hibernate.
  14. Guillaume86

    Guillaume86 Member

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    If he is inside he isn't hibernating.25 degrees is to hot for hibernation. They prepare to sleep when temperatures are around 10 12 degrees and sleep between 5 and 8 degrees.
    I saw in another thread that hermann breeding method is very different in your countrys.so i prefer let someone in us advice you for your tortoise.
    here all people let their tortoise brumate. it's recommended to let them start during the first year.
    no one advice to keep that specie inside unless for a treatment or an injury. There is only petshops which don't let tortoise brumate but the purpose is to sell tortoises all the year.
  15. Wewt

    Wewt Member 5 Year Member

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    Hey there! I've checked my temperatures... about 25 degrees in the room, basking spot is 35 degrees, but I can lower the bulb to make it a bit warmer. He's never directly under his basking light, always off center or hiding from it.

    For light, his enclosure is directly above a big grow light. I was trying to grow fresh food in his enclosure. So it's quite bright in there.

    I was soaking him daily and providing fresh food, and bringing him outside to run in the backyard on sunny days for about an hour. But then I noticed he wasn't eating anymore. I'd soak him, set him in front of food, and he would just sit there and fall asleep.

    For a few days now I am providing warm soaks for 30 minutes, 2x a day with pedialyte and mushed carrots or mineral powder.

    He is improving SLIGHTLY. He moves a tiny bit more, his head rests outside of his shell when he sleeps, and is more reactive when I pick him up (moves legs a bit), but he is STILL not eating, and doesn't seem to drink at all when I soak him.

    I am pretty sure that my mistake with him was building him an enclosure as if he were an adult Hermann tortoise, and so it was too dry in his enclosure. I understand now that he needs more humidity and moist, dark hiding places for him to burrow and spend most of his time. I hope that the electrolyte soaks help him out. He's not dead yet, so I'm optimistic that I can save my baby.
  16. Wewt

    Wewt Member 5 Year Member

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    UPDATE:

    He has now eaten a few bites of food, and is resting under his light with his head and limbs out! His eyes are still shut, though.
  17. Wewt

    Wewt Member 5 Year Member

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    UPDATE:

    Went to soak him again tonight. He was deep inside his shell, unmoving, continued to stay like this through and after his soak. His shell seems soft and flexible. Appears dead. Maybe he's just deep in sleep. :(
  18. Wewt

    Wewt Member 5 Year Member

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    FINAL UPDATE

    He has passed. I am going to guess renal failure due to dehydration.

    I was reading this thread: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/hatchling-failure-syndrome.23493/

    It's exactly what happened to my little Verne. I don't know how he was taken care of before we got him, but once we had him I think the dirt & cypress mulch substrate we had for him was just too dry, and even his daily soaks couldn't protect him from that. Once burrowed, I think any moisture in his little body would be soaked up by the surrounding dirt. We didn't think moisture would have been a problem, as the room we had him in was 80% humidity. If anything, we were concerned with shell rot, and were always careful to dry him after his soaks. His enclosure was perfect-- for an adult Hermann tortoise. Not for a baby. I didn't read anything about providing a damp hide for him until I got here; even the website where I purchased him from failed to mention that.

    I really appreciate all of your replies and help. I did my best to bring him back to life, but he was just too far gone.
  19. Bee62

    Bee62 Well-Known Member

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    I am very sorry for your loss. It might have been dehydration. Baby torts dehydrate quick and the damage on their kidneys is done quick too.
    When you get another baby tort please keep the enclosure warm and humid.
    Hermann tortoises are not prone for shell rott.
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