Possible sick Russian tortoise

Adkmoe

New Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
LP, NY
Hello, we are new owners to a 1 1/2 year old male Russian tortoise. We have had him for about a month. We built him a big beautiful indoor enclosure- wooden, open top and have everything he needs in there. He has been doing fine ( definitely not very active- but we are new to tortoises and assuming that’s normal. ) We soak him about every other day.
The last few days he has become very sleepy/ lethargic acting and has did not eat yesterday or today so far.
We also built him a screened outdoor enclosure and He did enjoy that when it was warmer out. Now it has cooled down so he hasn’t been out in a few days.
He is definitely not acting “ normal” and we are wondering what we should do.
I have called several local vets and no one deals with reptiles.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 
L

LasTortugasNinja

Guest
Need temps. Basking, warm zone, cool zone, night, humidity. Pics of enclosure, lights. Also, since you only had it a month, it's hard to judge it's behavior as normal, since most reptiles take 2 weeks to a month to get used to new surroundings.
 

Adkmoe

New Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
LP, NY
I need to get an official thermometer but based on my kitchen thermometer we have been using, we are about 90 under the basking lamp and 70 at night. We have been misting him occasionally but maybe not enough? We really didn’t mist for the first few weeks and just started bc I was reading about humidity and misting. So maybe that’s it?
i know we don’t really know what his normal is, but when I think back to him chowing down dandelion greens and kale and now he won’t even open his eyes to look at food. I can tell something is wrong.

image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
 

Adkmoe

New Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
LP, NY
By the way, thank you for responding and caring about the situation.
 
L

LasTortugasNinja

Guest
By the way, thank you for responding and caring about the situation.
No prob. couple of things. He's definitely a lot older than 1. Probably closer to 10. I'd place a second hiding spot in the cool side, so if he wants to securely nap in the shade, he doesn't feel like he's an easy meal. Switch out the water bowl for a ceramic pot saucer. Easier for torts to drink from. What kind of wood chips are you using? Some torts are irritated by them.

Do you soak him? If not, soak him for 20 to 30 minutes in lukewarm water (baby bottle warm). What type of light do you use?

I'm sure others here will have a checklist for you within the hour.
 

Adkmoe

New Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
LP, NY
We do have a little lean to hide on the cool side but he never ventures down there. Or at least hasn’t yet. He only stays at the warm end.
We soak him a lot. Every other or every day but will continue that.
He has one really low water bowl bc he never goes to that big one that they sold us and told us we needed to have ( of course- bc it’s a $35 water bowl.)
Crazy that you think he is 10! They told us he came from a breeder and is 1 1/2. Ugh. He measures 3 1/2 “ across and 4” long and weighs 13 oz.
Doe he look sick to you? See how his head is down and eyes are closed. That just started happening 2 days ago. He used to sit under basking lamp with his head up and eyes open.
 

Cleopatra 2020

Active Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
330
Location (City and/or State)
El Mirage. Az
By the way, thank you for responding and caring about the situation.
I am new two tortoises as well and I'm not sure about Russian tortoises but I do know leopards and sulcatas need high humidity and is recommended that they're in a closed enclosure with high temps in high humidity I never let my temps go below 82 or 83 they say 80 on here..also keep your humidity above 80% if possible... should have a basking light that hits the spot like a rock or tile is good to the no more than 92 on a temp gun that was just information passed on to me by the breeder I'm sure it's because it's a baby and doesn't want it to get too hot my turtle is completely happy with 92 and stretches out and lays there all day that's how I know she's a happy little tort so yes maintaining temperatures above 80 with high humidity fresh food and water daily and a good source of lighting
 

Adkmoe

New Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
LP, NY
The light is a 75 watt zoomed basking. I just called the local pet store and I might go get a 100 watt one...
 

Cleopatra 2020

Active Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
330
Location (City and/or State)
El Mirage. Az
The light is a 75 watt zoomed basking. I just called the local pet store and I might go get a 100 watt one...
you don't need it save yourself the money and just get a regular BR30 incandescent flood bulb which will run you about three to five bucks if you can get a socket from Home Depot with a couple wires attached for like a light fixture you can connect it to a dimmer switch and control the temperature and if you live somewhere warm and can get them outside for at least 2 3 hours a week should be good with UV I used LED lighting for lighting and only run my UV for an hour or so a day and with the Basking light do all the heating in the enclosure which would get it to the mid-eighties in there and low 90s on the tile
 
L

LasTortugasNinja

Guest
Adult russians typically only need 35% to 50% humidity, which can be achieved easily from a light misting in mornings and the afternoons. Higher humidity in the mornings, lower in the afternoon, to simulate nature. Petstores rarely know the source of their animals, and with reptiles they never know the age. The gal at my local store thought my tort was a hatchling. He's an adult. I've seen pet stores sell nile monitors as "adults" at two feet long... an adult nile is 5 to 7 feet long!

It's ok. We'll get him feeling better. There are dozens of people here with decades of reptile knowledge.
 

Adkmoe

New Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
LP, NY
you don't need it save yourself the money and just get a regular BR30 incandescent flood bulb which will run you about three to five bucks if you can get a socket from Home Depot with a couple wires attached for like a light fixture you can connect it to a dimmer switch and control the temperature and if you live somewhere warm and can get them outside for at least 2 3 hours a week should be good with UV I used LED lighting for lighting and only run my UV for an hour or so a day and with the Basking light do all the heating in the enclosure which would get it to the mid-eighties in there and low 90s on the tile
 

Adkmoe

New Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
LP, NY
Oh wow- ok I was told to run the basking and uv all day, which is what we have been doing. We also bring him outside whenever it is warm enough and he hangs out in this awesome screened enclosure we made him. So you are saying only run the uv a few hours a day?
 

Adkmoe

New Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
LP, NY
Adult russians typically only need 35% to 50% humidity, which can be achieved easily from a light misting in mornings and the afternoons. Higher humidity in the mornings, lower in the afternoon, to simulate nature. Petstores rarely know the source of their animals, and with reptiles they never know the age. The gal at my local store thought my tort was a hatchling. He's an adult. I've seen pet stores sell nile monitors as "adults" at two feet long... an adult nile is 5 to 7 feet long!

It's ok. We'll get him feeling better. There are dozens of people here with decades of reptile knowledge.
That makes sense as all my research has told me an enclosed glass tank can get too humid and potential shell rot. That’s why we built him this enclosure. I will keep doing everything. We have him soaking now. And hope for the best. Thanks!
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
85,209
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
I think he's not warm enough. In an open top table the only warm place in the whole enclosure is directly under the light. So if your house is in the 70sF, his table is also in the 70sF. Food inside a tortoise doesn't digest unless the tortoise's core temperature is above 80F degrees.
 

Adkmoe

New Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
LP, NY
I think he's not warm enough. In an open top table the only warm place in the whole enclosure is directly under the light. So if your house is in the 70sF, his table is also in the 70sF. Food inside a tortoise doesn't digest unless the tortoise's core temperature is above 80F degrees.
Ok I was thinking that too. Should I go get a 100 watt basking?
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
85,209
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Ditch the dual light fixture and use two separate fixtures instead. . . one at each end.
 

Kim&Tim

Active Member
Joined
May 14, 2020
Messages
190
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
you don't need it save yourself the money and just get a regular BR30 incandescent flood bulb which will run you about three to five bucks if you can get a socket from Home Depot with a couple wires attached for like a light fixture you can connect it to a dimmer switch and control the temperature and if you live somewhere warm and can get them outside for at least 2 3 hours a week should be good with UV I used LED lighting for lighting and only run my UV for an hour or so a day and with the Basking light do all the heating in the enclosure which would get it to the mid-eighties in there and low 90s on the tile
Your temps and humidity are not for Russians.
Ok also do you think I should get a 100 watt bulb or lower the 75 down a little?
Just lower it and measure. What you need to figure out is what he likes in the sense of the warm and cool side. For instance my basking spot 90/95, but if my cool side is 80 or more, he becomes lethargic. It needs to be in the 70's where he sleeps and the temps go up towards the basking lamp. I use an arcadia 24 uvb tube, it gives a little bit of warmth and my room temp is about 75 always.
 

Adkmoe

New Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
LP, NY
We woke up this am and found Moe dead under his log hide. My poor sons are devastated- we all are as we have gotten attached to him.
I’m just baffled and feeling so defeated as we tried so hard to make everything perfect for him.
 
Top