My Tortoise won't eat but is very active. Please help

SillySherbet

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Hello everyone! I am hoping I can get some answers here. I have been trying to get answers from a tortoise group on Facebook but I got more people arguing than answers..

I have a female russian tortoise and have had her for almost a year now. I have never had an issue with her until now.

She wakes up in the morning (same time as usual), goes straight to her water dish and drinks some water for a few seconds.. and then starts roaming all around her glass tank. She will pace from one side to the other and just ignore her food. Most of the time she will climb on top of her food and drag it around, burying it.

It has been 2 weeks since she last ate.. and I'm extremely worried.

Her tank is covered on all sides. She does try to "climb" up the glass. It is a wide 50 gallon tank and I am in the process of moving her to an indoor tortoise table. She is about 5 inches in diameter.

I do have a vet appointment on may 29th, but I'm just afraid something may happen before that.
 

dmmj

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Might be your temps. What are they?
 

xMario

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Hello everyone! I am hoping I can get some answers here. I have been trying to get answers from a tortoise group on Facebook but I got more people arguing than answers..

I have a female russian tortoise and have had her for almost a year now. I have never had an issue with her until now.

She wakes up in the morning (same time as usual), goes straight to her water dish and drinks some water for a few seconds.. and then starts roaming all around her glass tank. She will pace from one side to the other and just ignore her food. Most of the time she will climb on top of her food and drag it around, burying it.

It has been 2 weeks since she last ate.. and I'm extremely worried.

Her tank is covered on all sides. She does try to "climb" up the glass. It is a wide 50 gallon tank and I am in the process of moving her to an indoor tortoise table. She is about 5 inches in diameter.

I do have a vet appointment on may 29th, but I'm just afraid something may happen before that.
Hello and welcome [emoji1]

Pictures of ur setup would be really helpfull
My guess is that his enclosure is just to small for him

I'm sure ur gonna get a lot of helpful replies
Soon

[emoji217]
 

SillySherbet

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I'm not at home but this is a picture of her little home from October. Nothing really has changed except putting something in front of the glass as well to help her feel more comfortable. I also added another thermometer in there so I can keep track of temps on each side.

One side is always 75 and the other side with the basking light is 90, sometimes 95.

At night, the cooler side gets down to 65 and the warmer side is 75 to 80.
I've pretty much had her temps like this the whole time I've had her and she has been just fine. Active, eating, using the bathroom..she just stopped out of nowhere 2 weeks ago.. she still is very active thoughFB_IMG_1558814720263.jpg
 

Lyn W

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Hi and welcome.
This is the best source of up to date information from very experienced keepers worldwide, so I wouldn't look anywhere where people may still be following the old info.
Have you found the Russian caresheet?
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
That will tell you all about recommended diet, temps, substrate, humidity etc .
The Beginners Mistakes thread is also a good place to learn for others https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Beginner-Mistakes.45180/

If you can follow the advice there you may be able to figure out if anything needs changing.
I think that maybe your thermometer is too high so it isn't measuring temps at tort level and those sort aren't very reliable. Many members use digital thermometers and hygrometers with a probe ,or you can easily spot check temps with a digital temp gun (about £10 on Amazon).
A shallow terracotta plant saucer big enough for your tort to self soak in and sunk into the substrate would make a safer water dish and be more easily accessible for her than the one you have.
Some tort safe plants would also help with the humidity and provide sight barriers and hiding places for her - but it could be she's already outgrown that space - 4x 8 feet is the recommended enclosure size for young adults. Does she have a bigger outdoor enclosure?
 

SillySherbet

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I don't have much of a yard to make an outdoor area for her, but I am working on finishing a tortoise table that is 4 x 8 feet inside. I have a second bedroom dedicated to her.

I will also look into a new water dish and way to check the temps digitally.
 

Lyn W

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I don't have much of a yard to make an outdoor area for her, but I am working on finishing a tortoise table that is 4 x 8 feet inside. I have a second bedroom dedicated to her.

I will also look into a new water dish and way to check the temps digitally.
Some members who have small, or no yards use kiddie paddling pools to give their torts some supervised outside time - with covers to protect from cats,dogs and birds and any other predators who may strike as soon as backs are turned, and to stop tort escape artists from getting out!
 

domalle

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Is she a wild caught adult?
They have a very abbreviated activity season in the wild.
You say you have had her a year. She is looking to lay eggs.
You have to provide a place for her to lay.
 

SillySherbet

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Is she a wild caught adult?
They have a very abbreviated activity season in the wild.
You say you have had her a year. She is looking to lay eggs.
You have to provide a place for her to lay.

Do they refuse to eat when they are looking to lay eggs? I just finished her tortoise table and I am going to move her into it tomorrow. More room, more top soil for her to burrow and more privacy.

I am not sure if she was a wild caught adult.. I got her from petco which..yeah i know pet stores are kind of a crappy place to get her from but the employee who sold her to me has multiple tortoises and turtles of their own and what he told me for care was very similar to what other owners who have had tortoises for years have told me
 

domalle

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Do they refuse to eat when they are looking to lay eggs? I just finished her tortoise table and I am going to move her into it tomorrow. More room, more top soil for her to burrow and more privacy.

I am not sure if she was a wild caught adult.. I got her from petco which..yeah i know pet stores are kind of a crappy place to get her from but the employee who sold her to me has multiple tortoises and turtles of their own and what he told me for care was very similar to what other owners who have had tortoises for years have told me


Yes, female tortoises do tend to go off feed when laden with eggs. An egg takes up interior space that limits food intake. And they become active and pace a lot trying to find an appropriate place to dig a hole and deposit the clutch. You need a depth of soil for laying at least as deep as her hind legs can reach. Good luck.
 

SillySherbet

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Well, today is the day I move her into her bigger home. I made it much deeper and hopefully she adjusts to it well and lays her eggs if that is what she is trying to do!

I'll update everyone what's going on in the next few days
 

TuckTheTurtle

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Try giving her a good 20-30 minute soak in warm water.. My tort does this sometimes, After a soak he usually chows down. Hope this helps
 

Lyn W

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Do they refuse to eat when they are looking to lay eggs? I just finished her tortoise table and I am going to move her into it tomorrow. More room, more top soil for her to burrow and more privacy.

I am not sure if she was a wild caught adult.. I got her from petco which..yeah i know pet stores are kind of a crappy place to get her from but the employee who sold her to me has multiple tortoises and turtles of their own and what he told me for care was very similar to what other owners who have had tortoises for years have told me
If she is only a year old I believe it will be too early to tell if she is male or female yet, so she may not be looking to lay eggs.
There is a lot of old information still being passed on by many pet stores and it seems they also sell unsuitable and unsafe equipment obviously for the profit. I would double check everything here to be sure.
She may be a bit quiet when you move her into her new enclosure because they don't like change, but when she feels secure she will enjoy the extra space.
We would love to see pics.
 

C. Nelson

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Is she a wild caught adult?
They have a very abbreviated activity season in the wild.
You say you have had her a year. She is looking to lay eggs.
You have to provide a place for her to lay.

Yes! My female Russian stops eating prior to laying eggs. After she lays eggs she is starving and eats everything.
 

LaLaP

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I just want to say that tortoises can go a very long time without eating. I have 2 Russians and one has been refusing to eat for several weeks because his enclosure changed. Lots of things can put them off food but they won't starve in a few weeks or even a couple of months. So while you're figuring out how to get her to eat don't stress too much about her dying of starvation.
Good luck. I know how hard it is when they won't eat!
 

domalle

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The OP did not say she was a year old. She said she had only had her a year.
Females in the wild are nearly always gravid and since Horsfields have such a short season in an inhospitable climate and are being ripped out of their environment and bagged for shipment into the pet trade which, I might add, is shameful, it is likely that she is carrying eggs and needs a suitable place to lay. Please do her no more disservice and provide her with the circumstances she requires to deliver her eggs.
 

SillySherbet

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I've moved her into her new home and day one, she did a lot of exploring. Didn't eat though.. Day 2 she didn't come out of hiding until I took her out to soak her. After that, she hung out under hear basking light for awhile and then went back into hiding. No food that day either.

Today I go back to work so.. I'm hoping when i come home, she will show me she ate or even moved around a bit. Tomorrow afternoon we go to the vet to get her check.

Also, I am most definitely sure she is a female. Short fat tail. Completely different from the males I've seen.
 

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