It’s especially important if your pet is under the weather to make sure that their enclosure is clean, food and water are fresh and prepared hygienically and that the temperature is appropriate and that your UV-B bulb is in proper working condition. Here are some additional recommendations of how you can support your tortoise while they are under the weather or are awaiting their veterinary appointment:
-Healing and normal metabolism are linked to proper environmental temperature.
Temperature: Require temperature gradient of 75-85F (23.9-29.4C) to a hot basking spot, 95-100F (35-37.8C) though they can take slightly warmer temperatures in the summer if provided sufficient shady spots or a cooler zone to retire to. Nighttime temperature of at least 70F (21.1C). Tortoises housed outdoors will need a raised, heated shelter if night time temperatures drop below 65F.
-Keep them warm. If they’re not moving around much on their own, place them in an area of the tank that near the upper end of their warm zone, but not on top of a hot rock or under the hottest basking area as they can overheat or get burned.
-Offer food, even if not eating. If your tortoise is having difficulty reaching or getting to their food, put the food dish next to them or you can also hand or tong feed them. Place a favorite food item gently against their lips and if they are hungry, they will bite at it. If not, don’t force it.
It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to force feed an uncooperative tortoise. They are likely not eating because they are not feeling well. Finding and resolving the underlying cause (environmental or medical) should hopefully help restore their appetite.
-To prevent or treat dehydration, you can give your tortoise a soak in a shallow dish of warm water for 15-30 minutes once or twice a day. Water depth should be to the shoulder but not deep enough for the head to submerge. If they are lethargic, monitor them while in the bath to make sure their head does not submerge. Dry them off after the bath to prevent cooling from evaporation.
-It's important to make sure their environment is clean as build up mold or bacteria in bedding material or excess dust can predispose or lead to respiratory infections. I recommend changing out the bedding completely at least weekly while your animal is ill (otherwise every 2-4 weeks is fine). Using a bedding that is not volatile or irritating (avoid cedar or pine), or overly dusty are recommended, such as coconut coir, organic topsoil, orchid bark, cypress mulch, and peat or sphagnum moss or even a mixture of these (for example, I like organic vermiculite free topsoil mixed with coconut coir and then topped with a layer of cypress mulch to help keep in moisture).
-It is also a good idea to re-evaluate your current husbandry practices as some common disorders, such as metabolic bone disease, are unintentionally caused by deficiencies or imbalances in diet, UVB lighting and calcium/vitamin supplementation.
I should be notified if/when you respond with additional information so we can connect about your Greek tortoise but, in the meantime, I hope this information is helpful and I wish you both the best. Thanks again for posting your question to JustAnswer.com. Sincerely, ***** *****
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Üdvözlettel: Dr. Caryn