New Greek tortoise, not eating.

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karalisa78

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I need suggestions or ideas. I have a male baby Russian tort who is very active and a pig! He was lonely, so we got him a companion in a female Greek tort. She is very friendly. As soon as she is picked up, she comes out of her shell, and loves people, but we're going on day 4 of me not seeing her eat, and I'm getting really concerned. I was told she would eat the same diet as the Russian, so I have just added more food, but she seems totally uninterested. At first I thought she may be blind because she is very light, coloring, she'll, etc. but, she won't hand feed either.
 

Jacqui

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Hi! So you have only had her for four days? Am I reading correctly you brought her home and put her right in with your male Russian? Also your saying she does not feel heavy at all, but rather is light in weight? Are you soaking her?
 

karalisa78

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She feels heavy and acts very healthy. Shortly after this post, I soaked her....she pooped a couple of times, I put her back in her enclosure, she yelped a bit, and then passed a huge worm! I've never seen anything like it! It was smaller than an earthworm, but just as long, alive and wiggling around. I took her back, and they are taking her to the vet, but said more than likely she was accidentally fed a worm and couldn't pass it.
 

nearpass

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karalisa78 said:
She feels heavy and acts very healthy. Shortly after this post, I soaked her....she pooped a couple of times, I put her back in her enclosure, she yelped a bit, and then passed a huge worm! I've never seen anything like it! It was smaller than an earthworm, but just as long, alive and wiggling around. I took her back, and they are taking her to the vet, but said more than likely she was accidentally fed a worm and couldn't pass it.

Good that she's going to the vet, although I don't know that eating a worm is the answer. I hope you weren't planning on housing them together. If you read here on the forum, that's never a good idea. They have very different care requirements, and Russians, especially wild caught or farmed, can be carriers of disease and parasites.
 

biochemnerd808

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Yikes! That is one of the stranger things I've heard of.

My guess is that, rather than having eaten a worm and being unable to digest it (Greeks CAN digest that kind of thing, although it shouldn't be part of their diet), is that this was an intestinal worm. Most Greeks in pet stores have been wild caught. So she will most likely have to be treated for parasites. There are large parasites and small parasites.

I am glad that you are here on this forum, there is so much important information on here.

3 things, and I want you to know that I am saying this gently and with respect. I fully realize that as the owner, in the end it is your decision:
1.) When getting a new tortoise, no matter the source, it is a good idea to quarantine it for 3-6 months. I chose to 'only' quarantine my new Russian females for 6 weeks, however, they had lived with their previous owner for 4 years without contact with any other tortoises. In reptiles, everything happens slowly, so a disease may not manifest itself for weeks or months. Most wild-caught tortoises have parasites, so having them tested and possibly treated should be done before introducing them to others.

2.) Mixing species of tortoises is generally frowned upon, although some people will disagree and say "Just don't mix continents." Each tortoise is adjusted to a specific environment, carries certain pathogens without being harmed themselves, and is immune or sensitive to a specific set of pathogens (aka germs). Mixing species can result in them sharing these pathogens, and worst case, both dying.

3.) As the tortoise owner, we often project human emotion onto our tortoises. In reality, tortoises don't really 'get lonely' - in nature they each roam territories of multiple acres, only rarely coming across another tortoise. Encountering another tortoise in nature results in fighting, mating, or both. If you plan to keep multiple tortoises together you need a very large enclosure, and should either keep all females, or one male with multiple females. They may learn to live together peacefully, but more likely, there will be constant territorial tension.

Again, welcome to the forum, and please don't hesitate to ask questions. For the most part, this is a wonderful, friendly, helpful forum. :)


karalisa78 said:
She feels heavy and acts very healthy. Shortly after this post, I soaked her....she pooped a couple of times, I put her back in her enclosure, she yelped a bit, and then passed a huge worm! I've never seen anything like it! It was smaller than an earthworm, but just as long, alive and wiggling around. I took her back, and they are taking her to the vet, but said more than likely she was accidentally fed a worm and couldn't pass it.
 
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