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My Russian tortoise looks dry and is lethargic. He is not

Customer Question
eating as normal. JA: I'm sorry...
My Russian tortoise looks dry and is lethargic. He is not eating as normal.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the tortoise. What is the tortoise's name and age?
Customer: His name is ***** ***** he's very young about the size of a plum.
JA: How old is Al?
Customer: I'm not sure he came to us as a gift from a pet store they didn't tell us an age.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Al?
Customer: He has a uvb light and heat lamp and lives indoors in an aquarium.
Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Reptile
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Answered in 45 minutes by:
9/10/2017
Reptile Expert: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 2 months ago
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 9,398
Experience: 15 years experience in veterinary medicine, special interest in reptiles and arachnids.
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Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

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Reptile Expert: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 2 months ago

1) How long has this been a concern?

2) How long have you personally owned him?

3) What foods are you feeding?

4) What is the ambient temp in the habitat?

5) What is the cool spot temp?

6) What is the basking temp?

7) How big is the tank?

8) Is fresh water offered daily?

9) What bulbs are you using specifically (brand and model)

10) Do you offer any vitamin supplementation? If so, what? How often?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
This has been a concern for the last 3 daysWe have owned him for about a month now.He eats kale, lettuce and grapes normally.His tank is a 30 gallon aquariumThe ambiant temp in our house is 73In his cool spot the temp is 70Under the basking light is 90His light is a zoo med 10uvb and 75 watt heatHe does not take a vitamin supplementHe gets fresh water daily and I soak him every other day
Reptile Expert: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 2 months ago

What is the ambient temp within the tank?

What is his photoperiod in hours per day?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
It is 76 in the tankHis photoperiod is about 14 hours per day
Reptile Expert: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 2 months ago

The temperatures are a little low for a Russian tortoise. I would urge you to raise the temps into the following ranges. The cool side of the habitant should fall no lower than the low 80's during the daytime. The basking spot should be around 100 degrees. You should aim for 12 hour photoperiods, as well, which should not include any type of lighting at night (including a red bulb which can stress animals) though the heat lamp can stay on to keep temps in the aforementioned ranges so long as it does not emit light (ceramic heat emitters are great choices in these cases). At night, the temp can drop into the 70's, but should be higher than this during the day.

He should also be on a calcium/vitamin D3 supplement sprinkled on his food and the majority of the food ingested should be dark leafy greens. If you choose to feed grapes, this is fine, but do so as a treat and not a regular staple.

Due to the fact that he is no longer eating normally, I would encourage you to have an examination performed. This may be due to something as minor as the temperatures needing to come up slightly or may be as concerning as an underlying medical concern such as an upper respiratory tract infection, parasites, etc. If you need help finding one in your area, I need your state of residence.

There is also a very useful site on RTs here: https://russiantortoise.net/index.htm

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Reptile Expert: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 2 months ago

Checking in. How is Al?

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