Please Help, Baby Leopard tortoise losing weight.

Gracieheart

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Hi,

I have 3 baby leopard tortoises. I've had them for about 3 months now.
2 of them are growing well and seem very happy, one sadly is losing weight. he has lost 10g.
they are kept indoors (I live in the UK) on a tortoise table. I have a UV lamp for them to busk under which is 100w and a heat matt for the nights.
can you please tell me if this is ok for them and perhaps what I should be feeding them. currently they eat lettuce, spinach, dandelion leaves, pak choi, rocket etc .... I cant understand why 2 are ok and one seems to be struggling.
I have attached a couple of photos of them.

I would really welcome some help. I love my little tortoises and am desperate to know they are ok and I am looking after them well.

thank you in advanced.

20171029_085724[1].jpg IMG_20171014_073612_057[1].jpg
 
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Yvonne G

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Looks like you're keeping your little tortoises way too dry. Leopard tortoises hatch out during the monsoon season, when it's warm and humid. . . the ground is saturated with moisture and there is very much greenery growing around. You're keeping your babies on dry substrate and should be moist instead.

Usually a situation of three babies works better than a situation of only two, but in your case, it seems you have two dominant tortoises and one submissive. It would be a very good idea to set the little one up by himself, in his own enclosure.

Read the care sheet pinned at the top of our leopard section and make the changes accordingly, set him up by himself, and I think things will improve. However, because you've kept them so dry, and he may have come from a breeder who kept them dry, the damage may have been done and can't be corrected. All you can do from here on is set them up properly and hope for the best.
 

Bambam1989

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Tom

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Hello and welcome. I agree with everything Yvonne said.

Do you know how these guys were started as hatchlings? Wet or dry routine? How often were they soaked and what substrate were they on?

Here are some threads that will hopefully help explain how to set them up:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/

This was was typed up for sulcatas, so use less emphasis on grass for leopard tortoises, but there is a list of good foods for a leopard tortoise:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
 

JoesMum

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Hello and welcome

I agree with Yvonne. Your enclosure is far too dry. Young leopards need a closed chamber and high humidity to be healthy. The substrate needs to be something earthy like fine grade orchid bark or coco coir that you can mix with water until all of it is evenly damp. With the temperatures correct and a cover over the enclosure, the humidity rapidly rises.

Please read the following written by species experts working hard to correct the outdated care information widely available on the internet and from pet stores, and sadly from some breeders and vets too.

Beginner mistakes
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

How to raise a healthy Leopard Tortoise
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/

Leopard Tortoises are not social creatures. They don't get lonely and they don't want friends. Another tortoise is just a rival for food and space.

The first sign that things are going wrong is often that one or more fails to thrive, so I am afraid that these need splitting and keeping separately. This may be on a permanent basis. There are never any guarantees that groups will get on. It's more likely that a group will succeed than a pair, but you shouldn't keep more tortoises than you have room for separately.
 

Gracieheart

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Looks like you're keeping your little tortoises way too dry. Leopard tortoises hatch out during the monsoon season, when it's warm and humid. . . the ground is saturated with moisture and there is very much greenery growing around. You're keeping your babies on dry substrate and should be moist instead.

Usually a situation of three babies works better than a situation of only two, but in your case, it seems you have two dominant tortoises and one submissive. It would be a very good idea to set the little one up by himself, in his own enclosure.

Read the care sheet pinned at the top of our leopard section and make the changes accordingly, set him up by himself, and I think things will improve. However, because you've kept them so dry, and he may have come from a breeder who kept them dry, the damage may have been done and can't be corrected. All you can do from here on is set them up properly and hope for the best.
Looks like you're keeping your little tortoises way too dry. Leopard tortoises hatch out during the monsoon season, when it's warm and humid. . . the ground is saturated with moisture and there is very much greenery growing around. You're keeping your babies on dry substrate and should be moist instead.

Usually a situation of three babies works better than a situation of only two, but in your case, it seems you have two dominant tortoises and one submissive. It would be a very good idea to set the little one up by himself, in his own enclosure.

Read the care sheet pinned at the top of our leopard section and make the changes accordingly, set him up by himself, and I think things will improve. However, because you've kept them so dry, and he may have come from a breeder who kept them dry, the damage may have been done and can't be corrected. All you can do from here on is set them up properly and hope for the best.


thank you Yvonne.
I've printed them and will read them properly.
thanks
 

Gracieheart

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I would recommend read this as soon as possible.
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread-45180.html
And this one
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.78361/
From what I can tell your enclosure is very dry. I can't tell what kind of bedding that is?
Images of your enclosure and lights will help us identify issues.
What are your temps at?
This could become a chain reaction if the problems are not identified.


Hi BamBam 1989!
I was told to use ProRep Hemp Bedding. apparently its a soft, fibrous substrate. a friend of mine uses Komodo Tortoise Eco Terrain. looks like mud. would this be better?
my lamps keep the enclosure at about 84 during the day and the same (ish) at night with the heat mats.
thanks for replying.
 

JoesMum

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Go to a garden centre, or to somewhere online like Amazon and buy additive free.

It’s cheaper than stuff sold for tortoises but exactly the same. Avoid substrate with white bits in, even if it is marketed for tortoises, as encouraging the tortoise to eat the substrate is a bad idea.

This is ideal https://www.amazon.co.uk/LITRE-ORGA...UTF8&qid=1509462552&sr=8-3&keywords=coco+coir

If you do buy from Amazon, consider getting a temperature gun like this too. It’s far and away the best way to measure temperatures in an enclosure
https://www.amazon.co.uk/MeasuPro-I...id=1509462733&sr=8-6&keywords=temperature+gun
 

TammyJ

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You have got some very good advice! If you follow everything Yvonne and the others have said, you will be doing everything possible to help this situation. Good luck!
 

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