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Unusual behavior for the past week

vladimir

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Hi guys,

I'm hoping for some feedback or insight with Vladimir's current behavior. For background, he is approximately 4.5 years old, weighs 45 lbs, and lives in this enclosure: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/planning-new-indoor-enclosure.163087/

Ambient temperature in the large enclosure is between 76F and 81F depending on how far from the heater you go. Inside the heated night box the thermostat is set to 82F and temperature varies between 80F and 84F.

During the summer his diet is primarily grass and weeds from the yard supplemented with some grocery store greens. Primarily dandelions, chickory/endive, escarole. He gets a handful of Mazuri 5M21 pellets in his dish each day. The only unusual thing diet-wise lately was last week he ate a large portion of pumpkin, which he doesn't usually have, as well as a few bites of butternut squash.

Last Wednesday we had our roof replaced, and it was very loud with lots of banging. As soon as the noise started, Vladimir retreated into his box and took shelter there for the whole day. The next day, he ventured out to the flaps a little bit, but didn't come downstairs on his own at all. The roofers finished up on Friday, so there was some additional noise then, but I was hoping he'd be back to his normal self by the time the weekend was over.

I gave him a soak last night for about 25 minutes, and he ate a cactus pad and some chickory, but after that he wanted to go back to his box. This morning he wouldn't venture out when I went down to greet him.

Now one day of hiding in box all day isn't out of the ordinary, but he almost always used to venture downstairs at least once a day. I haven't been tracking too closely, but I don't think he's gone to the bathroom other than peeing once or twice in this time either.

I'm going to give him an hour long soak tonight, plus offer some cucumber and more cactus in case he's constipated. Does anyone else have any other ideas or suggestions? I'm wondering if the roof work really upset him, or if maybe the pumpkin and squash caused some stomach issues? The only other thing I can think of is he hasn't been outside recently due to the colder weather, but usually when he wants to go outside he waits in the corner or scratches at the walls.

It's so hard seeing our little guy not feeling like himself.

Thanks in advance!
 

Yvonne G

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I don't think it was the pumpkin. It may have been the noise from the roof. They're pretty tuned in to vibrations. I say just give him some time. Hopefully he's just nervous about all the noise. Double check your temperatures. It may not be as warm as you think.
 

vladimir

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Vlad, your enclosure was inside or outside? I think inside. I’m guessing all the commotion of the new roof - torts have pretty sensitive ear membranes and all that banging all day long was probably very disturbing. I’m sure he will be fine once his ears stop ringing!

Good luck!
Yep, his enclosure is indoors for now. Poor guy! I had no idea it would have such an effect on him.

Thanks for your feedback. It's always nice to get the opinion of more experienced keepers :)

I'll keep this thread updated as things change.
 

Maro2Bear

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Yep, his enclosure is indoors for now. Poor guy! I had no idea it would have such an effect on him.

Thanks for your feedback. It's always nice to get the opinion of more experienced keepers :)

I'll keep this thread updated as things change.

Take a read of this article - http://www.totallytortoise.com/tortoise-ears.html

..... Tortoises feel vibrations through the ground. The vibrations go up the legs to the shell and into the ear drum. Tortoises can hear low sounds better than high sounds. I
 

vladimir

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Thanks guys! I just saw on the our webcams that he came out on his porch, then ventured down and ate most of today's turnip greens before venturing back up to box. I think this is the first time he's come downstairs on his own since the roof project started, so I'm counting this as progress.

Thanks for everyone's input and support! :<3:
 

vladimir

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Today Vladimir came downstairs and spent several hours stretched out on his Kane mat, then ate almost all of the food I put out for him today. He's now gone back upstairs and is hanging out in box. So his behavior is a little more normal today, but still no bathroom activity, which has me a little nervous.
 

Ray--Opo

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Today Vladimir came downstairs and spent several hours stretched out on his Kane mat, then ate almost all of the food I put out for him today. He's now gone back upstairs and is hanging out in box. So his behavior is a little more normal today, but still no bathroom activity, which has me a little nervous.
I hope Vladimir is doing better. Tell him Opo is rooting for him!( my wife and I also). Do you think its weather changes? I have noticed Opo getting out of his box later in the morning. And spending more time in his box.
Keep us posted :)
 

vladimir

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If you had the heat mat in his box is there enough floor space in it so he could get off the mat completely ?
The Kane heat may is actually outside of the nightbox, so he has plenty of room to get off if he wants to. The night box is heated by a mini oil radiator. He's able to go in and out through the flaps as he pleases.

Thanks!
 

Turtulas-Len

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You said he came out of his nightbox and spent time on the mat before eating. That may mean that the floor of the nightbox might be a little to chilly for him to regulate his core temperature to his liken. If you can, try raising the the whole enclosure temps slightly and you may see more activity from Vladimir. .
 

Turtulas-Len

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You said he came out of his nightbox and spent time on the mat before eating. That may mean that the floor of the nightbox might be a little to chilly for him to regulate his core temperature to his liken. If you can, try raising the the whole enclosure temps slightly and you may see more activity from Vladimir. .
 

vladimir

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How is Vladimir doing?
Thanks for asking! He's getting back to being more normal. There was finally some bathroom activity on Thursday and Friday, so I'm a little less stressed now. I think it was probably a combination of the roofing noise and the change in the weather (and no longer getting to go outside).

I'm still keeping a close eye on him, but each day he seems to be more and more of his usual self :D
 

Ray--Opo

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Thanks for asking! He's getting back to being more normal. There was finally some bathroom activity on Thursday and Friday, so I'm a little less stressed now. I think it was probably a combination of the roofing noise and the change in the weather (and no longer getting to go outside).

I'm still keeping a close eye on him, but each day he seems to be more and more of his usual self :D
That all sounds like good news.
 

Dovey

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Today Vladimir came downstairs and spent several hours stretched out on his Kane mat, then ate almost all of the food I put out for him today. He's now gone back upstairs and is hanging out in box. So his behavior is a little more normal today, but still no bathroom activity, which has me a little nervous.
I keep only one Sonoran Desert Tortoise, who is quite small. So I'm trying to get a picture of your setup. Your sulcata can go up-and-down your stairs? That totally rocks. Does he free range through the house? A lot of folks have sulcatas here in the Sonora Desert, but they mostly live the vast majority of the year outside, and we live in a ranch community. A lot of torties sleep in barns and the like, so I tend to think of these big guys as "livestock" rather than "roommates." Brave new world!
 

Yvonne G

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I keep only one Sonoran Desert Tortoise, who is quite small. So I'm trying to get a picture of your setup. Your sulcata can go up-and-down your stairs? That totally rocks. Does he free range through the house? A lot of folks have sulcatas here in the Sonora Desert, but they mostly live the vast majority of the year outside, and we live in a ranch community. A lot of torties sleep in barns and the like, so I tend to think of these big guys as "livestock" rather than "roommates." Brave new world!
You can see Vlad's two story enclosure (room) here:
https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/planning-new-indoor-enclosure.163087/
 

vladimir

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Tom

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In general, whenever I see a sulcata slowing down or not behaving normally, I raise temp up about 5 degrees. There is no cold season in sulcata land, so our winters are not something they deal with very well unless we keep it warm.
 
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