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SPP leopard baby not gaining any weight

Discussion in 'Leopard tortoises' started by Parais11, Aug 28, 2019.

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  1. Parais11

    Parais11 Active Member

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    Hows everyone doing? I need some advice. I cannot figure out what is going on (if anything). I purchased a baby leopard (PP) back in May. He was hatched in March of 2019. When I brought him home, he weight 25 grams. Today (August 28) I just weigh him and he weighs 31 grams. He has barely gained any weight in the 3.5 months I have had him. He eats ALOT and is pretty active (although he does sleep a lot). I have him in a closed chamber with MVB, ceramic heat emitter, and a fluorescent UVB tube. His enclosure is 95-97 under the light, and mid 80’s at the cooler end. Humidity is usually around 75-80%. I spray and mix the mulch with water often to get humidity up. He is soaked daily (mostly) and usually defecates in the water. He eats red leaf, green leaf, romaine, spring mix, dandelion, hibiscus leaves, collard greens, watercress, and various other dark greens. I sprinkle some blended Mazuri on top of the greens every other feeding. He will not eat straight Mazuri. Why is he not growing? I do see some little white dot growth “lines” showing, but the weight does concern me. I really don’t want to spend money at the vet right now (unless it’s absolutely necessary). Could he have caught parasites somehow even though he has been in my care most his life? Does anyone have any advice? I appreciate the help in advance. Thank you!
    Philip Rome likes this.
  2. Darwien

    Darwien New Member

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    I have a friend here who got a baby leopard and never grow, maybe just very little like 1 or 2 cm after 1 year. When the other babies has grown out this little one very far.

    Been wondering why. Not sure if its genetic problem or something. Hope can get the answer here.
  3. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I don't know why no one else has responded, but I'll try.

    I've never kept a leopard, but believe their care is similar to a sulcata. So I'm going to give you a few links to care sheets. Read them carefully, and compare to your setup. If I'm way off base here, please forgive me...I think it's the best place to start figuring out what's going on with your baby.

    The last link is one I hate to give you, but it's necessary. I hope it is not the case here, but you should be aware.

    Please come back with any questions...we want to help you and your baby!

    Where did you get your baby? Could we have pics of him and your enclosure?

    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

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

    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/hatchling-failure-syndrome.23493/
  4. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Spp don't hatch in March. They hatch in late September or early October. And 25 grams is awfully small.

    Most people don't start this species correctly. They don't soak often enough and some people leave them outside all day. This kills their kidneys, but most of them don't die for weeks or months. Where did you get yours? How was it started?
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  6. kazjimmy

    kazjimmy Active Member

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    My only question for you. How many tortoise you have in the same enclosure?
  7. Parais11

    Parais11 Active Member

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    He’s the only tortoise in the enclosure.
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  8. Kapidolo Farms

    Kapidolo Farms Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I have had some leopards of no determined origin (mutts), not grow in an enclosure with several that are growing well. All side by side. I will, with each new batch, mark them with a sharpie when I soak, once I see a good poop come out, my own confirmation all the 'plumbing' works. One had eaten a great deal of cuttle bone and was stunted. I have often attributed the cuttle bone causing the problem, but perhaps it was a symptom of another problem that I did not see.

    I have never seeded them with adult poops for gut flora, but I use food items that have pro-biotics (for whatever good they may do). I increase ZooMed in their diet until their poops are well formed, that being the primary source of fiber, (I feed mostly grocery greens).

    Failure to thrive is attributed to poor starting conditions, in the zoo world we would often call the individual in a group that failed to thrive a 'non doer'. Sometimes though a keeper would baby that one along on its own, and it would thrive, sometimes not.

    I know we all figure that they should respond well to great care, and most do, but some are just not up to the task of thriving. They may well have a very slow start, and always lag behind in growth, but still reach adult size, but just take longer.

    So all that philosophical narrative is to ease your thoughts that you are 'doing something wrong'. You may well be doing something wrong, or the breeder and any intermediaries between the breeder and you tipped the balance towards the failure to thrive side of things. However you may just simple have a slow grower.

    The only thing I can suggest is to look at the feces, lots to be learned there. What do they look like? Firm but moist, that's excellent. Runny watery - may need to get fiber into the tortoise, or see about a fecal exam*.

    * caution on fecal exams and vets that do their own analysis. I successfully shipped a leopard tortoise to Hawaii. It had to have a health exam, including a fecal. The in office look-see showed microorganisms in abundance and the vet was coaching me on the use of metronidizol (Flagyl). That was Saturday. I got the actual lab result, on the exact same fecal Monday afternoon. The gut fauna in the fecal were normal in abundance and normal for the species of microbes. So no worries. But that vet was genuinely worried and wanted me to start a course of Flagyl. The point being, even a positive result is not a bad thing. Had I gone and dosed with Flagyl I am sure I would have knocked the gut out of balance.
    Tom and KarenSoCal like this.
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