Sulcata won't eat

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dcoolguy68

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Last week I took my Sulcata to a vet because he wasn't eating for about 2-3 days and his shell was getting soft, he's about 8 months old and still small. So they force fed my sulcata in hopes that will help him get his appetite back and gave me some preloaded syringes with Calphosan to give him a shot daily for 7 days and also some Neo Calglucon to put on his food. He still did not eat for 2 days so I took him back to the vet and the vet told me that another specialist said that he may have an infection that's not letting him digest food properly so then I was told to give him 1 shot of Baytril everyday. Since that second force-feeding he still has not begun eating(been 4 days), so the vet told me to wait a few more days to see if he begins eating. Any suggestions on how I can get him to eat again?
 
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Maggie Cummings

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How are you keeping him? Is he warm enough? They can't metabolize their food if they are not warm enough and then they'd stop eating. What kind of light is he under? Some UVB lights are causing problems in tortoises. What are you trying to feed him?
If he were mine, I'd make sure it's 95 or more under the basking light, I'd not have a 'cool' side just a not as hot side. Keep it humid, 80% or so, Every morning at the same time I'd put him in for a long warm soak, and then I'd put him in front of his food fresh out of the soaking. If he still won't eat, I'd take away all food and offer radicchio, endive and cooked squash. Any kind of squash that is red or orange in the meat, I'd cook that so its soft like mashed potatoes. I'd go thru that routine every morning and every evening. Fanning his face with the radicchio sometimes works. but the most important thing is to not give up. Do those things as I have suggested everyday faithfully until he either eats or dies, but don't give up, it's persistence that turns them around if nothing else does...
 

dcoolguy68

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During the day I keep him outside under the sun, for about 4-5 hours(the vet told me to give them as much sunlight as possible) until the sun starts setting and then i bring him in under the heat lamp which gets to about 95 and i was told to soak him for 30min everyday(he gained 2 grams during the days he didnt eat) so should i just keep him inside all day long with a basking light and UVB light(i have the reptisun 10.0, the long tube)? at night I change his bulb to a night bulb.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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I live in a cold climate and so I forget that some people actually have the benefit of the sun:p What's the temp outside? Is he warm enough out during the day? What are you trying to feed him?
 

dcoolguy68

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I've tried feeding him my lawn grass(he used to love eating it), spring mix, spinach, salad style hay, and some mazuri tortoise food. The weather was in the low 80s so I'm not sure whether or not I should still keep leaving him outside.
 

K9KidsLove

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Hi...Yes, 80 is a good temp to let him be outside as long as it isn't too windy. Natural sun is always better than bulbs.

Do you have dandelions near you? My guys love them.

Also, try pumpkin. It is easiest to just get a can of 100% pumpkin...in the pie fillings section. Offer it on a spoon. Mine love it. If he has parasites, the pumpkin helps flush them out. Also, it will get fiber in him to make it easier to poop. I only do it monthly tho cause too much can cause the runny poops. You can freeze the left overs in an ice cube tray, then put it in a baggie to thaw as needed.
Keep doing the daily 30-45 minute soakings in warm water up to where the carapace seam is.
Don't stress too much. They can go a pretty long time with no food. I am rehabbing a box turtle that was hit by a car and has slight neurological problems, who hadn't eaten for 3 months before I convinced the vet to put in a feeding tube. She hadn't lost but a few grams during that 3 months.
Just be patient & keep trying.
Let us know how he is doing.
Good luck
Patsy
 

dcoolguy68

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The doctor dewormed him the 1st time I took him, but idk if it got rid of all his parasites(maybe not) but so far it's been 8 days since his forced feeding and he has not eaten, he also hasn't pooped out the food he had from his forced feeding but I'm hoping that the Baytril will take care of any infection he may have so he can start digesting his food properly. I take them out in the sun as soon as there's any on my lawn and they're outside until sunset... He still moves around normally his eyes have improved(his left was shut and his right was almost completely closed) he loves sleeping most of the time(lazy guy) so I'm hoping he starts eating soon.
 

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In the meantime, try soaking him in baby food water. I buy the Gerber brand strained carrots, squash or sweet potatoes because they have the highest Vit.a content. For a small tortoise I put a half a jar in a small high-sided container then stir in enough warm water to come up to the middle of the sides of the baby. Leave him soaking for about 15 minutes. They absorb some of the nutrients from the water through the thin skin under their neck and around the cloaca.

Tortoises can go for a long time without eating, but a sick tortoise that doesn't eat might become anorexic, and once that happens, its very hard to get them started eating again. Pester this baby until he eats. My sister carries them around with her throughout the house, talking to them and stroking them. Then she waves a piece of food in front of his face until he takes a bite. If you allow this baby to hide and sleep, chances are pretty good that you'll lose him.

Yvonne
 

dcoolguy68

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So you want me to keep him awake? What is that Gerber baby food water called? How do I keep the water warm for that long? I always have to change it every 5 minutes to keep it warm
 

Yvonne G

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dcoolguy68 said:
So you want me to keep him awake? What is that Gerber baby food water called? How do I keep the water warm for that long? I always have to change it every 5 minutes to keep it warm

Well, he can have some naps throughout the day, but don't let him sleep constantly all day long.

I'm not sure what you are asking about the baby food water. The brand of baby food I buy is Gerber Strained Baby Food, and the flavors I buy are carrots, sweet potatoes and squash. This is for human babies, and you buy it in the grocery store.

15 minutes isn't long enough for the water to cool down too much. At the very most, it will reach room temperature. And that's usually in the 70's, isn't it? That's ok.

If a sulcata baby goes over two days without eating, there is something wrong. They are eating machines and when healthy, never pass up a meal.

Yvonne
 

dcoolguy68

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Yeah I took him to the vet twice to be force fed cause he didn't eat, and now its been a week since his last forced feeding because the doctor told me to wait a couple more days to see if he eats. My tortoise is 8 months old by the way, but I give him his shot of Baytril to take care of any infection he may have and the vet also told me that the water is supposed to be warm the entire time he's getting soaked. So I think I'm going to take him again to the vet tomorrow to be fed.
 

dcoolguy68

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Can I soak my tortoise in V8 juice, 100% vegetables? If I can how much percentage of Vit A&C should it have?
 
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Maggie Cummings

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You could use the V8 but we use baby food because it has more vit A. Just get a couple of jars of Gerber strained carrots and mix that with water use a small container and make the water up to his bridge and soak him for a long time you might want to put a light over him to make it stay warm...
 

dcoolguy68

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I tried the light thing and he didn't like it, I couldn't find the Gerber strained baby foods at Ralphs but there are some V8 juices that have like 100% Vit A&C
 

tortoisenerd

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They do carry baby food at Ralph's (I've shopped at many over the years). You may have to ask someone who works there for the baby food isle. It'll come in a small jar or plastic container. There may be other brand name choices. Here are a couple examples to help you out:

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Best wishes.
 

dcoolguy68

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Oh okay thanx for the pix, i'll definitely check it out tomorrow after school
 
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