New Member
Mar 13, 2020
Location (City and/or State)
Victorville CA
Good afternoon all,

Earlier this year (back in March), I noticed that my sweet 22-year-old male Russian tortoise had swelled up with edema and was taken to the vet the next day. After an X-ray and fecal float, it was determined that all was well although he had two strains of parasites. I can't recall which parasites he had, but was administered Panacur and Flagyl as well as a Vitamin A shot for the deworming. Then earlier this month, he had a followup fecal float which came back with the good news that the parasites were gone. His enclosure was also disinfected so there's no reason to believe he could be reinfected.

His observable behavior, however, has declined. Even with worms in his gut, he was basking, roaming and eating every day. It wasn't until late May that he slowly began eating less, and now has almost been a full month since he has eaten a thing or even come out of his hide. It's as if he is hibernating in the middle of California Summer.

I took the advice of a friend (graduate student in tortoise biology) to force him back on track by taking him outdoors when the weather is nice and adding strained carrots to his weekly soak. But unfortunately, these measures have not helped. When in his outdoor enclosure, he still retreats to the hide and doesn't leave. When his soaks used to be full of motion and pooping, he now sits there immobile until he is returned to his enclosure just to go back into his hide.

I am growing very concerned. He has no parasites, no kidney stones (as the X-ray proved), no visible injuries, clear eyes, clear/dry nose, no wheezing/squeaking, a healthy shell, or any physical symptoms that would be indicative of an illness. But he is not eating, and is not active, which is highly unusual compared to the past 21 Summers I've spent with him.

Does anybody reading have any experience or advice for a case like this? I read up on "Summer hibernation" aka aestivation but I find that to be unlikely as his tank is an appropriate temperature and water/food is always available to him. Please help, and thank you in advance.

TL;DR 22-year-old Russian tortoise isn't eating or moving, even though a vet trip confirmed that he appears to be in good health.

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