Pooped out bits of food - should I be worried?

Cherepakha

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Hi guys,

so the newly arrived (yesterday) Russian turtle :tort: has been just a little lethargic. Not eating, drinking and not moving a lot. I'm thinking it was because she was getting used to new surroundings and/or being a little scared of those surroundings. Today I soaked her in warm water for about 20 minutes and a few times, after turning around for a few seconds, the water would be full of half digested pieces of carrot (what they had been feeding her the previous day at the store). After the bath, she has been frollicing around happily in her pen :cool:, allthough, still not eating..
The pieces of food seemed to be coming out of her behind.
What does this mean? Should I be worried?

Thanks in advance
 

wellington

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I wouldn't worry to much yet. I would continue to soak her every day for 20-30 minutes in warm water and make it in a big enough container she can walk around and get things moving. She just may need some help passing things through. Also, give her some time to adjust to her new home, sometimes they won't eat for a week or so, but soaking will keep her hydrated which is important.
 

Cherepakha

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Thank you for your answer, wellington!
She behaved very well today, when I came back from work her food dish was almost empty and she had been feng shui-ing the place. I bought her nice bedding for her to dig in and she was very pleased. Starting digging almost immediately and is now sleeping half buried, half her bum sticking out.
 

RussianTortxo

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Hahaha my tortoise Arnold has been doing the same thing! I left all day and came home to him in his hideout in what looked like almost of a cave of the coconut coir surrounding him. They certainly love to dig! Arnold will dig around and then go bask under the powersun bulb and then go back to digging and then go bask. It's pretty much a back and forth thing.
 

Cherepakha

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Yes, she loves to dig, but then stay buried all day. She has discovered that she can go lower than just a few centimeters and the last few days, when I come back from work or when I get up in the morning she was always completely buried. We think she stays like this all day. She hasn't eaten again and she is not getting her calcium because of it :(
When I take her out for her bath, she frolics around in the 'tub' and she always does her 'business' in there.
When we take her out of the dirt, she feels a little cold. We thought that her pen may have been too hot, so last night, we shut off the ceramic heater during the night. When I came by her in the morning she was out, just lying in the corner.
Also, when she is in our hands, she bobs her head, like a little twitch. She makes no sound, just bobs her head. It stops when she is either in the tub or the pen.

Is any of this behaviour worrisome? (Sorry for the many worries and questions, since I am new at this I want to get it right) I've tried to look at other posts, but however informative they are, I don't want to assume that the situations are the same.

She is currently residing in an Ikea huge plastic box, to which hangs a UV light bulb and has a ceramic heater overhead. Under the heater it is 38 - 30º Celsius and in the rest about 22 - 25ª Celsius. There is a log present and some artificial plants. Her feeding area consists of a very low drinking bowl and her food lies on a plastic lid, or scattered through the pen, to see if she will eat from there.

We are currently building her a pen of 244cm long and 40 cm wide with one end near the window so she can get her UVB directly from the sun and the other side with the ceramic heater and UV tube and in the middle shade.
Thanks for anyone who can provide a little insight :)

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Kathy Coles

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I wouldn't turn the heater off at night. She might get a little to cold. If given a choice of warm and not so warm places they will auto regulate. I think it's better to be to warm than not warm enough.
 

yillt

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I wouldn't turn the heater off at night. She might get a little to cold. If given a choice of warm and not so warm places they will auto regulate. I think it's better to be to warm than not warm enough.
Someone told me to turn the heater light off every night though. this could be because my tort is a a tiny bit older. :)
 

Cherepakha

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Thanks guys! For now, we only turn off the ceramic heater for 2 hours during the night with a timer to represent a night in nature and not have it unnaturally hot 24/7. She has the substrate that is warm where she can bury herself in if she gets cold. We've done this because she seems to happy when it's just a little colder. She is even having a ritual now. When I leave the house at 7 she is up and eats between 7 and 8 in the morning.
 

lismar79

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I let my russians enclosure get down to 70 some degrees at nigh, 21 c. She is an adult though.
 

Saleama

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You are most likely experiencing new surrondings issues. Mine had bad diareah and did not want to eat a whole lot at first. Keep a good basking spot during the day at the far end so there is a nice cool spot at the other end. Cool down at night is important as is complete darkness. They need it to be healthy. They do not need night heat and it could actually cause some issues. Fresh, clean water and daily warm soaks until s/he gets used to the new home. I got mine to come around with cactus pads and aloe plants.
 

Cherepakha

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Yeah, she had major adjusting issues. We even took her to the vet, because she wouldn't eat during the 1st 9 days. Of course, when we scheduled her an appointment, that was the day she chose to start eating :p we took her anyway and the vet told us it was a she, about 5 years old and probably from the wild (she has 5 hibernation rings), which might explain why she took so long to adjust. She now has an open terrarium of 2m44 wide and 40cm long with a basking area on one side and a maze of plants on the far other and also a spot where she can dig around freely and sun that shines on her terrarium from about 10AM - 2PM.
 
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