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Dr. Dan M.
Dr. Dan M., Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 1503
Experience:  10 years of experience as a veterinary surgeon
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Hi I bought a horsfield, male tortoise, a few months ago,

Customer Question


I bought a horsfield, male tortoise, a few months ago, I was told he was about 15-18 months old. I have a table for him with lamp water, top soil of about 4 inches and have small edible plants planted, logs etc for enrichment and give daily fresh food, mainly dandilion, but offer pellet food, rose petals, leaves and anything else i can find which should be suitable and always fresh water. He has hay available, but he usually just sleeps under this. He also has a 3 metre squre enclosure, also planted with shade areas and fresh food offered and different area, logs, and pebbled to give him some thing else to climb over.

He is soaked in warm water for about 20 mins every other day.

But he hardly is rare that we see him eat and I have been checking his weight and he has lost about 10g.


Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Dan M. replied 4 years ago.

I am sorry Toby is eating very well.

At this age he will need a lot of care and dietary and environmental supervision and management. It is good he has the enclosure you describe and hay, dandelions and commercial tortoise pellets should provide a a balanced diet.

However, it is vital at this age and size in particular that enough calcium or vitamin D3 is provided. This may be way of a reptile UV light as well as dietary supplementation.

A consideration towards calcium deficiency may be causing the reduced or absent appetite. Tortoises do tend to graze so don't consume a large meal in one go like a dog.

Internal parasites also need to be considered and an oral dose of wormer would be a good idea.

Ultimately a veterinary examination is going to be needed, to allow physical assessment (look for mouth lesions that may affect eating), identification of calcium deficiency (with the possible administration of calcium injections) as well as performing the worming treatment.

At this age tortoises aren't strong and so I would encourage you to get him assessed.

Good luck

Dan Makin