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ebt not eating maybe trying to hibernate


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#1 center5150

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 11:14 PM

So, ive had this lil girl about 4 months now... Shes gone from the shoe box i got her in, to a 20gal tall aquarium to a rubermaid and now a turtle table. The previous surroundings change set her off her food a few days, then she was back on. Shes only been in the table about a week so the not eating,coupled insects her tables stocked with) issnt my main concern, but shes been burrowing for long periods head first into the substrate, shes alwasy burrowed but previously always tail first. I know her rubermaid was not cutting it in temperatures ( my room gets cold at night) but the table has yet to drop below 69 on the cool side at night, her uvband cf bulbs are on a 13 hour timer, so she gets plenty of light, heats on the same timer.the odd burrowing which from my research is a sign of hibernation, with the lack of appetite worries me.
Whats really confusing is at times shes hyper, roams the cage chases the feeder fish and crawdad in her pond, and climbs all over everything( glad i put a lid on the thing really) but then will bury herself, and as far as i can tell simply wont leave if i dont mover her. Ive been trying to put weight on her but shes sstill closer to a feather than a rock ( i really need to get a scale) so im afraid to hibernate her this year... Any help be greatly apreciated
Oh i know the 90 in the basking areas to hot, but thats were shes been burrowing... Just the range on my thermostat is a bit wider than id like and thats were shes been burrowing

#2 bucydanny

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 01:23 AM

i use to have mulch in my tank and my EBT would burrow around HEAD first, he would mess up his tank real bad, and the mutch would be everywhere so now im using something similar to reptile carpet, its pretty much a rubber mat on the bottom of his tank,and i take green leaves off of a bush outside and put them in his hut for bedding, he still digs around in them and sleeps in them, if yours is staying burrowed ALL the time and isnt eating, it MAY be trying to hybernate,or even though you seem to have a great set up, for some strange reason she might be getting cold somehow, if it comes down to it and you feel that it REALLY NEEDS TO EAT, force feeding an EBT is actually very easy, all you have to do is take a standard 1 1/2 inch safety pin and open it up and straiten it out but leave the little coil in it, if you want you can cut of the point (i left mine on) now pick up your turtle and grab one of its front legs and gently grab it and pull it out og the shell and hold it by its side(since its shoulder is out the turtle cant close its shell) now hold that leg very tight against its shell so you dont lose grip of it, have the food near-by, take the pin and put it in the side of its beak at a small upward angle, once its in the mouth,straiten it out and push slowly threw its mouth, and make the pin come out the other side of its beak,(you want it like a bar going across hits mouth, like horses have) now hold that in place or get someone else to, cuz the turtle will try to spit it out, put a small piece of food in the side of its mouth when it opens, then just pull the pin out the side slowly, once it has food in its mouth it cant help but taste it and eat it, then just set some of the same food in front of it , THIS IS JUST A SIMPLE WAY OF FORCE FEEDING YOUR TURTLE, THIS IS NOT MEANT TO HARM THE TURTLE IN ANY WAY, this should be your last option if it wont eat

#3 BoxTurtleLover

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 03:40 AM

First, have you had your turtle checked for parasites? Parasites can be a big cause of not gaining weight and lack of appetite. Secondly, your turtle is instinctively feeling the time of year in which it would slow down with the cooler temps, dig down some in soil or mulch if in the wild and come up and down as the temps fluctuate during the early fall months prior to totally going down and staying down to hibernate.

If you have not had your turtle checked for parasites and it turns out it does have parasites, do not hibernate until all parasites are eliminated which could take a few months or more depending on the type of parasite.


#4 center5150

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 09:46 AM

i havent had the turtle checked for parasites, she was eating, really well. any ideas on how i could block the hibernating instinct? everything ive read just talks about keeping the lights on and heat up. ive been meaning to get her checked but... good appetite and regular waste eliminations had me not very concerned about parasites. i want to keep her up this winter... ive never hibernated a turtle, and just didnt want to risk doing something wrong this year.
i was planning on trying to add another boxie at an upcoming reptile expo... maybe, figured id get them both tested while theyre separated.
oh and while i was misting the inclosure today... she probably did three laps around the table running from the sprayer. and to it at the stream at ranodm... but then after breakfast she was dug back in... its the activity then burrowing ... and i have 2 log hides and a cave for her in the table
im probably jsut worrying over nothing... the periods of activity confuse me when mixed with the burrowing head first.
the first winter is stressful

#5 center5150

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 09:49 AM

i use to have mulch in my tank and my EBT would burrow around HEAD first, he would mess up his tank real bad, and the mutch would be everywhere so now im using something similar to reptile carpet, its pretty much a rubber mat on the bottom of his tank,and i take green leaves off of a bush outside and put them in his hut for bedding, he still digs around in them and sleeps in them, if yours is staying burrowed ALL the time and isnt eating, it MAY be trying to hybernate,or even though you seem to have a great set up, for some strange reason she might be getting cold somehow, if it comes down to it and you feel that it REALLY NEEDS TO EAT, force feeding an EBT is actually very easy, all you have to do is take a standard 1 1/2 inch safety pin and open it up and straiten it out but leave the little coil in it, if you want you can cut of the point (i left mine on) now pick up your turtle and grab one of its front legs and gently grab it and pull it out og the shell and hold it by its side(since its shoulder is out the turtle cant close its shell) now hold that leg very tight against its shell so you dont lose grip of it, have the food near-by, take the pin and put it in the side of its beak at a small upward angle, once its in the mouth,straiten it out and push slowly threw its mouth, and make the pin come out the other side of its beak,(you want it like a bar going across hits mouth, like horses have) now hold that in place or get someone else to, cuz the turtle will try to spit it out, put a small piece of food in the side of its mouth when it opens, then just pull the pin out the side slowly, once it has food in its mouth it cant help but taste it and eat it, then just set some of the same food in front of it , THIS IS JUST A SIMPLE WAY OF FORCE FEEDING YOUR TURTLE, THIS IS NOT MEANT TO HARM THE TURTLE IN ANY WAY, this should be your last option if it wont eat

well im going for a vivarium type set up so carpets not an option. i know boxies are going to burrow, just in the past she always kept her head out. as far as feeding... im probably going to try canned catfood and carrots before force feeding... but that is an interesting way to do it. i do need to add more moss or some mulch to my dirt, the cheap dirt from home depot is just to sandy to hold much water

#6 TerryO

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 03:48 PM

I took my youngest Three Toed in for the Winter, and he is doing the same thing. No matter what your temp. are they just know it's time to slow down. Even my hatchlings are slowing down, although I do take them out every other day and give them a soak. I try to mimic the daylight hours with a long tube UVB light. I have a heat emitter (low wt.) on the other side. At night I turn everything off. Soon he will not come up for days at a time, and when he does he will also pace around a bit, sit the water, and then go down under the leaf litter again. I have him in a planted 40 gal. vivarium with only leaf litter on one side to dig in. Next Winter I'll leave him out to hibernate.

#7 center5150

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 04:01 PM

gonna be a long winter... i just assumed keeping the temps up and lights on it wouldnt trigger the natural hibernation response... maybe ill have to hibernate her for a week or to and bring her back up... anyone know if that would work?

#8 samsmom

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 08:57 PM

gonna be a long winter... i just assumed keeping the temps up and lights on it wouldnt trigger the natural hibernation response... maybe ill have to hibernate her for a week or to and bring her back up... anyone know if that would work?

Hibernation should last for a minimum of two months. Most turtles that really hibernate do so for at least three-four months. Even if they don't hibernate, they probably will be less active over the winter.

#9 center5150

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 10:22 PM

awesome... i figured that be too simple an option... oh well ill try catfood see if shell eat... im fine with lowered activity, just as long as i can get her to eat. looks like ill have to come up with money for a parasite test and a check up

#10 BoxTurtleLover

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 04:07 AM

Here in my area, outdoor turts are readied for hibernation at the end of October and some do not come up fully until mid-April, even toward the beginning of May. During the months of November and March/April, they may not be in full hibernation mode and go up and down but are still sluggish due to fluctuating temps. Some boxies come up on warm days in January and February and many die if they cannot get back down quick enough when the freezing temps return. All hibernating turtles have the hibernating instinct and it will kick in and they just "pine" to hibernate. If kept indoors and awake and not provided with a means to actually hibernate, they need to be kept awake and fed but they still will have the instinct to dig and hide.

To the OP - a fecal test usually runs about $25 at a vet and many vets will do one without having to see the turtle. Call your vet and ask if they will check a stool sample for you. With what you are describing and the light weight, I would have one done ASAP because parasites in captivity multiply like crazy cause the turtle keeps reinfecting itself via ingestion of eggs via food or water.


#11 center5150

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 07:52 AM

Well, i thought they wouldnt eat well... I dont know i guess i had a happy alert eating turtle... The slow weight gain had begun to concern me anyway but... Ya thats allot cheaper than id have thought, ill be checking around looking for a repvet today, offcourse gotta get her to eat so i can get a stool sample at this point
Thabks again everyone for your responses

Actually, its rather annoying here i am worrying, and im laying in bed watching franklin roam around her cage, doing her laps from wall to wall .... Haha fininicky lil girl

#12 BoxTurtleLover

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 11:15 AM

It also sounds to me, from your last posting, that your turtle could possibly be eggbound as you state its a female, she is aggitated (which is a major sign of a female wanting to nest). A pacing female or a female out at non-normal times than usual and trying to get out of their enclosure is a big give away and they stop eating. If that is the case, your turtle may have eggs to lay; the only way to truly determine if she is eggbound is via xray. Captive females can easily get eggbound if they do not have a suitable place to lay eggs. Sometimes they will lay them right in their enclosure if that is the last resort, sometimes they will not lay at all and die. If I were you, I would take your turtle in for a checkup to be on the safe side as to all the symptoms you are describing....

#13 center5150

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 03:20 PM

So, mixed up sum good smelly catfood, and she started teearing into it, big load of my mind




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