Squirt’s upgrade

Alex and the Redfoot

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I was thinking about a plant pot with brims like on hat. And I wish I didn't google "hat like pot"...
But there are "round plant supports" on Amazon - looks like something that will work.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Squirt is starting to concern me a little bit tbh, which I know probably isn’t alarming coming from me, considering I get paranoid over everything, but I unfortunately feel this has good reason😞
After seeing how much time she’s spending in her cave, I’ve took the opportunity to closely observe her today. Something that is really worrying me is, she seems to be yawning quite frequently, a lot more frequent that I’m used to seeing from her, I’d say about 3-4 times every hour throughout the day, she does a little stretch when she does so maybe she is simply yawning, but the frequency is bothering me, coupled with what appear to be wetter eyes than usual, her eyes have never appeared completely dry so it hasn’t worried me till now, but today they seem to be forming actual tears😞all this coupled with the fact she’s pretty much staying in her cave the whole time, which feels unusual for her, has definitely got me concerned there’s something else going on like a RI or something now😣idk what could be causing it environmental wise cause everything seems pretty spot on, I know I tend to panic preemptively but my gut is telling me something isn’t quite right with her atm😕
I guess all I can do is keep a close eye right now, but with it being me that’s more or less taken over the majority of her care, for her to be sick or anything at this point will come with a whole lot of guilt that it’s something I’ve done😞
 

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Littleredfootbigredheart

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It does appear to be the one eye that’s more watery than the other, funnily enough she keeps just closing that one now n again too, not both, so potentially something has irritated it.. I’m honestly not certain at this point
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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On the brighter side, her first time trying steamed chicken has gone down an absolute delight, got every scrap she did🥹
Andddd call me crazy, but I swear I’m seeing tiny growth line on her shell for the first time in years?! That would be incredible considering she’s been a little stunted!
 

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Alex and the Redfoot

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Yes, it looks like a growth line to me too.

Try bring temperatures a bit up or down for a day and check how it goes (e.g. from 86 to 84 or to 89-90). Either she is hiding from heat or just the opposite - needs more warmth. Also, you can air out the enclosure for 10-15 minutes.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Yes, it looks like a growth line to me too.

Try bring temperatures a bit up or down for a day and check how it goes (e.g. from 86 to 84 or to 89-90). Either she is hiding from heat or just the opposite - needs more warmth. Also, you can air out the enclosure for 10-15 minutes.
Aw wow it’d be so cool if she’s growing after just a few weeks in a bigger environment!
My instinct is telling me to try the heat down a bit but the potential RI is making me a little nervous to do that, one of the spots under the bulbs is already 88-90 so I’m reluctant to up the heat😕maybe I should try lower for the day to see how she acts, is airing the enclosure to lower both the temp and humidity or?
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Unless ambient temperature falls below 75F I would not be concerned about RI. Redfoots aren't wimps at all (they can tolerate significant temperature swings, but it's just not optimal for them). You will see, if it was a wrong direction on by her appetite and activity. I would try that first.

Raising temperatures will help if she's unwell (this may happen to any tortoise). With her core at 85F she should be fine in a couple of days.

Airing enclosure will lower humidity and brings some oxygen in and anything else (like smells or CO2) - out. Usually, there is sufficient air exchange when you do some daily routines like changing water and food dishes but worth trying anyway.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Unless ambient temperature falls below 75F I would not be concerned about RI. Redfoots aren't wimps at all (they can tolerate significant temperature swings, but it's just not optimal for them). You will see, if it was a wrong direction on by her appetite and activity. I would try that first.

Raising temperatures will help if she's unwell (this may happen to any tortoise). With her core at 85F she should be fine in a couple of days.

Airing enclosure will lower humidity and brings some oxygen in and anything else (like smells or CO2) - out. Usually, there is sufficient air exchange when you do some daily routines like changing water and food dishes but worth trying anyway.
Mmm it’s definitely not below 75, her shell reads about 87 on the temp gun and has been 24/7 the past few weeks, so I imagine her core temp isn’t far off? I’m just wondering what’s causing these slight behavioural changes, ie the yawning and one runny eye, all my knowledge points to RI but I could well be wrong and likely am🥲
I’m starting to wonder, if because we struggled managing her temps in her old viv, meaning she was getting a range of high 70’s low 80’s, instead of the current 84-86, whether it’s actually possible, after having those temps her entire life, she’s more climatized to our slightly cooler climate? Obviously not deathly cold, but definitely a few degrees lower, when she was a baby before I met her, her owner was never told about night heat, so for the first 7 or so years of her life she was exposed to temperatures in the 60’s! I don’t doubt there were probably times the floodlight she had was only achieving 70’s during the day at times, it certainly wasn’t enough in winter, it’s kind of a miracle she never got sick! But I’m honestly curious if maybe all those years of lower temps climatized her to want to be slightly cooler than how we have her now? As a general rule of thumb I wouldn’t suggest a temp gradient of 77-80 for a red foot, more 82-84, but maybe squirt is the exception after all the years of cooler temps, perhaps she’s wanting what she’s been used to and is feeling slightly too warm, would that maybe explain the eye and yawning? Would certainly explain why she’s always in the hide😕

My only worry moving forward if I do lower the temps, is if she’s possibly sick and I make it worse by lowering them🥲there’s already a bit by the glass that is 75 so that could go even lower😣 but id be curious to see how she behaves.. idk what to do for best tbh, something is clearly not to her liking though, i will try air out for 10 mins or so
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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If she's sick then a day of 80-82F won't make things terribly worse (it's not 60-65F). But you'll see that she is less excited about food and will stay in hide.

Adult RF do fine outside with nighttime temps of 65-70F.

In the wild they are most active when can maintain core body temperature of 80-83F. They stay active in air (not body) temperature range of 68-98F (with reduced activity beyond 82F)
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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If she's sick then a day of 80-82F won't make things terribly worse (it's not 60-65F). But you'll see that she is less excited about food and will stay in hide.

Adult RF do fine outside with nighttime temps of 65-70F.

In the wild they are most active when can maintain core body temperature of 80-83F. They stay active in air (not body) temperature range of 68-98F (with reduced activity beyond 82F)
Fair enough, I’ll definitely try slightly lower temps tomorrow day and night then, her lights are off now so I’ll leave be till tomorrow so I can monitor her activity, if she seems more active with a few degrees lower I’m inclined to say that’s what she’s feeling more lol, but if there’s no change I’ll probably put them back.
Yeah I knew adults can cope with a lower temp at night, but she was a hatchling being exposed to temps in the 60’s, which is a little scary looking back😬
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Couldn’t get to the thermostats last night without moving the snake viv, so managed to turn them down slightly about an hour a go now, it hasn’t made a difference to the temp yet but maybe it’ll take longer, or maybe I need to adjust the probes, not sure yet but I’ll keep an eye.
Shes been in her cave most the day again, plodded out for a bite to eat, then went back in and fell asleep for a bit, I never see her sleep during the day😕her one eye is still streaming a bit, weird it’s not both, a better development last night was that she slept in her new hide! She hasn’t done that since moving in, so I like to think she’s slowing building confidence.
One thing I’m toying with the idea of, I noticed once the leds go off and we haven’t put the cover on yet, with just the natural light from our window shinning in, she seems to mooch a bit more, idk whether she’s not liking the brightness of the strip light, which I can get a dimmer for no problem, but it doesn’t explain her other current symptoms so honestly who knows at this point😕
I’m just glad she’s still eating.. it’ll worry me if she goes off her food

I’m still iffy that I’ve turned the temps down, cause to me they were ideal, all the hides were reading 80 where she sleep, I imagine they’ll lower into the high 70’s, but maybe that’s what she’s wanting.. time will tell I guess
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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I probably need to chill out a bit, it’s still all a new set up so I’m not surprised I’m having to make tweaks still, some of her behaviour is definitely concerning me, especially if it continues but I’m trying to stay positive, is it possible she’s still adjusting or would that be a bit unusual after all these weeks?
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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For redfoots it's pretty normal to sleep during the day. They are mostly active in the morning hours and pre-evening, avoiding bright harsh sunlight and excessive heat. My tucks in the hide around noon and stays there until 3-4PM. Then does a short stroll, occasional snack or two and goes to sleep at 5PM.

She's still adjusting, for sure - it takes weeks, sometimes months. If you lived all your life in a studio in suburbs and then suddenly move to a mansion - you will need some time to settle down (and likely you will spend your first week running around opening all room doors and examining every closet).

You are rightfully concerned about her eye and lowered activity. Hopefully this will resolve on its own with minor tweaks in setup.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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For redfoots it's pretty normal to sleep during the day. They are mostly active in the morning hours and pre-evening, avoiding bright harsh sunlight and excessive heat. My tucks in the hide around noon and stays there until 3-4PM. Then does a short stroll, occasional snack or two and goes to sleep at 5PM.

She's still adjusting, for sure - it takes weeks, sometimes months. If you lived all your life in a studio in suburbs and then suddenly move to a mansion - you will need some time to settle down (and likely you will spend your first week running around opening all room doors and examining every closet).

You are rightfully concerned about her eye and lowered activity. Hopefully this will resolve on its own with minor tweaks in setup.
Yeah thats true, I guess squirt doing it worried me because it’s not something she’s ever really done herself personally, but who knows, maybe she’s actually acting more like a typical red foot now her set up has improved and the changes are just throwing me off, I probably wouldn’t have considered it a red flag if it wasn’t for the other stuff she’s got going, it’s very possible I’m overthinking on the yawning and naps but I think her being in her cave most the time and that eye is definitely a bit of a concern, I’m really hoping it changes😣
It’s very confusing when we’ve put her into an improved set up that she’s not quite right😕but hopefully it’s just her still adjusting to everything..I’ve tried to look at the one eye closer during a soak but there doesn’t appear to be anything in it, least not that I can see
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Lowered the viv by a few degrees yesterday, temp gunned everything, directly under the bulbs is now about 87, the rest of the viv is about 77-82/4, her cave was still nice and warm, her shell reading 83, lights have been on a few hours but she doesn’t seem inclined to come out still, and that one eye appears to have a small bubble in the corner now with quite a bit of yawning😞
My worries are definitely intensifying and I’m starting to feel a bit out of my depth again, it’s so frustrating to see she’s not right but the temp gun and combos are all telling me her levels are fine! I’m at a bit of a loss on what to do to help at this point😣I’ll monitor today and if her behaviour is the same, I’m going to bring the temps back to where they were cause to me they were fine, I’m not convinced the temps are the issue just yet but idk what else could be causing these symptoms..☹️
 

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