Tortoise not eating ANYTHING!

Patriciacd

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Good evening,

I have a 14 year old Russian Tortoise.

Historically, she is an incredibly picky eater. We have given her all of the (tortoise-edible) greens (Dandelion, Mustard, a little Collard, a little arugula etc) under the sun and she will take nibbles at it, sometimes like it, and then not like it anymore after a while so we Always need to switch it up. We sometimes give small fruit treats, something that excites her like crazy. We don’t do it often though, but sometimes it’ll be all she eats. Eventually she eats her greens. She prefers garden weeds.

She hasn’t hibernated since her first winter with us 14 years ago. Usually as it starts to get cold she becomes a little inactive, but will still eat and walk around. This winter, more specifically the last two weeks, she hasn’t eaten. No greens, no fruits, nothing.

I soak her in warm water almost on a daily basis. She has ample and correct light and a good shady cool spot as well. Her nostrils and eyes are clear and there is no wheezing. This behavior is just so unlike her, I just am so worried.

Any suggestions?
 

wellington

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First stop the fruit. It's too much sugar and it isn't good for their stomach flora.
Most torts that normally hibernate/brumate slows down this time of year.
To keep my Russian active and eating during winter I keep night temps in the low to mid 70's. Also be sure day temps are 80 and basking 95-100.
 

Lyn W

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Hi and welcome,
This is the most up to date carehseet for your tort and although you've had her a while it won't hurt to check if there's anything that can be done differently/better especially if there are changes in tort behaviour. I joined more than 7 years ago and I still learn something new everyday.

Are her urates OK ?
If you post some pics of her enclosure members can see if there's anything that could be affecting her.
 

Tolis

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Not eating is normal as their metabolism slows down before brumation. My greeks stop eating and spend most days inside about a month before brumation. I suspect soaking in warm water daily is messing up the torts internal clock that tells her it's winter now time to go to sleep. I would stop soaking if I were you. Just my guess though best confirm with Tom or someone more experienced
 

wellington

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Not eating is normal as their metabolism slows down before brumation. My greeks stop eating and spend most days inside about a month before brumation. I suspect soaking in warm water daily is messing up the torts internal clock that tells her it's winter now time to go to sleep. I would stop soaking if I were you. Just my guess though best confirm with Tom or someone more experienced
If they do not want the tort to hibernate then the soaking would be fine. I believe they said they haven't hibernated the tort since the first year they got it.
 

Markw84

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Photoperiod and light/UV intensity are the biggest triggers in a tortoise that brumates. Temperature is next. We always get tons of posts like this in fall. In a room with a window, there is a substantial change in ambient lighting that enters the room from summer to winter. If close to a window it is even more dramatic. Many people seem to keep lights on 12 hours, then off 12 hours. A temperate species of tortoise should be on 14 off 10 if you want it to remain active. WE ourselves tend to have our homes darker this time of year.

Be sure you have good lighting in the enclosure and put it on 14 hours / off 10 hours and your tortoise will feel more like summer.
 
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