Underweight baby leopard

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WallieTheTortoise

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I trick my little guy sometimes. If I see that she's only going for one type of food, I pick up her favorite food and when I see her mouth open, I do a quick switchoroo lol.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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I don't mean to cause any disagreements as you have been given some great advice from Neal, but I don't like feeding Mazuri to babies as they become addicted to the molasses that holds the nugget together. So please follow Neal's advice as far as the fresh greens go. His advice on how to feed (flat rock, don't stand there) is also excellent. You just can't get any better advice than as given from Neal. I understand your concern as far as weight goes, but I don't see much cause for concern just yet. Most tortoises won't deliberately starve themselves, so a little tough love and a diet change and your baby will grow fine. He is not a Sulcata where you would expect quick growth. He is a Leo and slow healthy growth is fine. But stay away from Mazuri and add the leafy greens and I bet you'll have a healthy baby. Keep on top of his weight and keep following Neal's great advice and you'll do fine.
 

pk2610

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Tom said:
The biting at the air concerns me. Has he ever been under one of those U/V coil type bulbs?
The biting at the air was when I first got him and now he has improved a lot but sometimes he still miss. I put him on the regular light bulb and then replace it with the MVB for day time.



yagyujubei said:
When you feed him, put him right in front of the food. If he walks away, repeat. Sometimes, a poor eater will eat on the forth or fifth try. An hour later, do it again. Try feeding right after a warm soak.9usually an appetite stimulant)If he won't eat one thing, try something else. Try soaking some rolled oats, some will eat this. In my opinion, I think that you should be very worried. He won't stay alive at that weight for very long, I'm afraid. Check your scale. On mine, 4 quarters weighs 22.6 grams. Five dimes weighs 11.7grams.
I checked my scale and you are right: 4 quarters weighs 23 grams (on my scale) so my tort weighs less than 4 quarters... that's pretty hard to believe.

As Neal suggested, I will call the breeder and find out more about about my baby's birth weight, size of his parents, etc. I've got him from tortoisesupply, so I think the breeder is a reliable person and knows what he is doing.
 

Tom

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So you are using a regular light bulb all night, and the MVB all day?

They need it dark at night, but still warm. "Black" incandescent bulbs work fine for this. I use ceramic heating elements for night time heat. They are more expensive initially, but they last forever, and generate more heat than a bulb.

At any time in his past, like at the breeders, was he under a coil type UV bulb? These can damage their eyes and would explain a lot.
 

pk2610

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Tom said:
So you are using a regular light bulb all night, and the MVB all day?

They need it dark at night, but still warm. "Black" incandescent bulbs work fine for this. I use ceramic heating elements for night time heat. They are more expensive initially, but they last forever, and generate more heat than a bulb.

At any time in his past, like at the breeders, was he under a coil type UV bulb? These can damage their eyes and would explain a lot.
No I use a regular light bulb or MVB during the day and a black infrared heat lamp for the night so it maintain the night time temperature to around 85-90. Is that too warm for the night?

I notice that he is a slow eater and always bite at the air, so it usually takes him over an hour to eat and most time he cannot finish his food. I guest that contributed to the underweight issue.

I got frustrated watching him eat because he missed his food and seems like he cannot focus very well. Today, I decided to chop up the food even in smaller pieces and see if it works better.
 

DocNezzy

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I know that I am a little late on the response. :) Been busy at work. One of my little ones was extremely light when I got him. He also would miss the food when biting at it. I had to hand feed him for 2 or 3 months before he started eating well. I also found some powdered stuff at the reptile store that was used for malnurished reptiles. I would mix that up with some water and pour it over his food. It seemed to work well. I will see if I still have the box so that I can get you a name.

About the scale, the best way to check and see if the scale is correct is to weight a nickel and a dollar bill. A nickle weighs 5 grams and a dollar bill weighs 1 gram. Don't ask me how I know these things! :)
 

pk2610

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DocNezzy said:
I know that I am a little late on the response. :) Been busy at work. One of my little ones was extremely light when I got him. He also would miss the food when biting at it. I had to had feed him for 2 or 3 months before he started eating well. I also found some powdered stuff at the reptile store that was used for malnurished reptiles. I would mix that up with some water and pour it over his food. It seemed to work well. I will see if I still have the box so that I can get you a name.

About the scale, the best way to check and see if the scale is correct is to weight a nickel and a dollar bill. A nickle weighs 5 grams and a dollar bill weighs 1 gram. Don't ask me how I know these things! :)
Thank you for your response. You said your tort also missed targeting the food when he was young. So did he outgrow it? How long did it take for him to pick up the speed? Some people said their baby tort could finish his food in 15 mins. Mine takes all most an hour becuase he seems to have a poor perception or coordination.
Yes, my scale is pretty accurate. He is still 20 grams. He gained one gram a few days ago and lost it again. I am really worried. How are your two leopards? Do you still have them? Do they have normal weight?
 

TortBrain

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pk2610 said:
I did all the wrong things at first and then took the advice from Yvonne and others like changing the substrate to cypress mulch, using MVB and heat bulbs, placing food on a flat rock, water dish, hiding away from tort after placing food, etc. etc. My baby is going from not eating or biting on air to eating some not very good veggies, I feed him twice once in the morning and once in the evening after I come home from work but the growth is still very slow. May be I should wait for another month or so to see if he will improve. It just shocked me yesterday when I placed him on the scale the first time and found out he only weights 20g.

Hiya Kai, my feeding method is the same as yours. Twice a day, morning & evening.
My hatchling star(of topic) came to me March this year both weighing 40g+. And as of yesterday, 1 was 44g & the other was close to 60g and obvious difference in size too. Both are eating well & on Mazuri too. Active & drinking fine. Might like what some have mentioned, slow growth?
But my Leos added 100-200g more comparing to when they 1st arrived, which was January this year. They eat like there's no tomorrow. Lol!
IMO, as long as they are active & eating+proper care given, should not be any problem.
Have fun and enjoy then journey with them.

Cheers!
 

DocNezzy

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pk2610 said:
DocNezzy said:
I know that I am a little late on the response. :) Been busy at work. One of my little ones was extremely light when I got him. He also would miss the food when biting at it. I had to had feed him for 2 or 3 months before he started eating well. I also found some powdered stuff at the reptile store that was used for malnurished reptiles. I would mix that up with some water and pour it over his food. It seemed to work well. I will see if I still have the box so that I can get you a name.

About the scale, the best way to check and see if the scale is correct is to weight a nickel and a dollar bill. A nickle weighs 5 grams and a dollar bill weighs 1 gram. Don't ask me how I know these things! :)
Thank you for your response. You said your tort also missed targeting the food when he was young. So did he outgrow it? How long did it take for him to pick up the speed? Some people said their baby tort could finish his food in 15 mins. Mine takes all most an hour becuase he seems to have a poor perception or coordination.
Yes, my scale is pretty accurate. He is still 20 grams. He gained one gram a few days ago and lost it again. I am really worried. How are your two leopards? Do you still have them? Do they have normal weight?

He did finally grow out of it. He was 4 months old when I got him, and it took 4 or 5 months for him to start eating correctly. He still eats slower that the other one though. Yes, I do still have them, but they are staying with my parents while I am stationed in Italy. I would say they are lighter than most of the other on the forum, but nothing that I am worried about. They were also squishy when I got them. Obviously they weren't taken care of well. Just keep feeding you babies and soaking them in warm water every day.
Also, I am still trying to get a hold of that box. (The one where you can see his face is the one who didn't eat well. The first 2 were in March. The last one was last month.)
 

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pk2610

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With sadden heart, I want to update everyone who responsed to my message here that my baby died Wednesday. He seemed to be doing better, and I actually thought that he was going to be okay.

Thank you again for all of your support in the past weeks.
 

Yvonne G

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I'm very sorry. You tried your best, I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
 

DesertGrandma

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I am so sorry to hear this Kai. I know how sad you are, as this happened to me with my first tort too. Just out of curiosity and to help us all learn from this, were you ever able to get a fecal sample or a visit to the vet? I know you tried your best and I hope that your next tort will be healthy for you.
 

pk2610

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DesertGrandma said:
I am so sorry to hear this Kai. I know how sad you are, as this happened to me with my first tort too. Just out of curiosity and to help us all learn from this, were you ever able to get a fecal sample or a visit to the vet? I know you tried your best and I hope that your next tort will be healthy for you.
No, I didn't. I checked vets from some local petshops. But they are not specialized in tortoises. But reading more threads from here, I had a feeling that my baby was too small to begin with (around 15 grams). He might not even be a month old when I got him.
 

DesertGrandma

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Is this the same baby tortoise that you wrote about in August, the one with diarrhea? I can see that you were given some very good advice on care at that time. My suggestion would be to do some searching and find a good reptile vet in your area before you think about getting another tortoise. A combination of good care and having a knowledgable reptile vet is essential. Good luck Kai.
 
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