Loss of appetite

This forum covers all aspects of tortoise diet and nutrition, including mineral and vitamin supplementation and foods appropriate for different species.
Post Reply
Posts: 42
Joined: 26 Jun 2020, 20:26

Loss of appetite

Post by Tarajane77 » 03 May 2021, 17:07

Hey Nina and other lovely TTT people,

Jemima...... :roll: :roll: SO she's in her last week of worming treatment. I tested her as she had become just a fraction more bone idle than normal. It was an extremely low 152 epg of pinworm, however as her 3rd eyelid was visible we decided to worm her.

So she's had x2 vet administered doses into her stomach of Panacur 1% at 1ml (all recorded in her wonderful TTT record book). My issue is her appetite has really subsided, she may have a few nibbles every other day but nothing like before (she has put on 26g last month all recorded in her wonderful TTT record book). ☆ Is lack of appetite with worming common, will it recover or will bathing in Reptoboost help as someone suggested??

☆ Also having read more about worming is it more sensible to test for worms more frequently and try and counteract them by diet with foods high in fibre?? I've read German keepers particularly frown on worming and don't consider it an issue. Are us Brits a bit worm-obsessed??

☆ALSO the vet told me to keep her at a constant 22° at night. As her ambient room is always 19°, can i do away with the night heat once treatment ends?? I hear so much conflicting opinions as to night time temperatures for Horsfields.

So just x3 questions of which I've "☆"!!!
Thankyou Jody from Wirksworth,
P.S NINA the carex is divine, i find myself caressing it like hair :lol: xxx
[attachment=0]20210417_173610.jpg[/attachment][attachment=1]Screenshot_20210501-203131_CALEX SMART.jpg[/attachment]
Screenshot_20210501-203131_CALEX SMART.jpg
Jody K

User avatar
Posts: 844
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Loss of appetite

Post by lin » 03 May 2021, 23:11

Hi Tarajane.
So pleased you and Jima like the records booklet. They do come in handy and hold so much information that can be called up when it’s needed.

Yes, regarding the heat during the night. It can go back to normal settings after treatment has finished. I would nock off a couple of degrees a night so the temps slowly lowers and isn’t to much of a shock.

26g is ever such a lot for her to put on in a month. Maybe she realises she should cut down but, hey, she’s a horsfield and horsfields don’t cut down voluntary, with out help. My thoughts are she will probably start eating once her treatment has finished and she has a few days to bounce back up.
Aim for a raise in weight of around 3 or 4g a month will be better for Jemima, she will be better for it.

I will let Nina answer about the theory of worms, but I will say that I agree, I think we are to over the top. I think only treat if worms are visible.


User avatar
Posts: 1493
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Loss of appetite

Post by Nina » 04 May 2021, 09:41

Hi Jody,

Thanks for the update on Jemima. It's interesting that your vet decided to worm Jemima with a low egg count for pin worms, as most vets now believe that there is no need to worm for a low egg count, and in fact that a very light load of worms is actually beneficial to a tortoise (something to do with the digestive process). I've never heard of the third eyelid indicating that there is a heavy worm load, although I do know that it can sometimes show in cases of dehydration or disease. Anyway, it won't have harmed her to be wormed.

The worming medicine (Panacur) does affect the gut flora of a tortoise (it's why you shouldn't worm them just before they go into hibernation), so perhaps she's feeling a bit fragile at the moment and that has affected her appetite. Also, we've had such cold and miserable weather the last week that even though she is indoors with good lights and heat, many tortoises do seem to sense when it's cold and dark outside. If either of these two things is causing her lack of appetite, then she will recover when the medicine has left her system and when the warmth and sunshine return. Reptoboost can't hurt, and if you already have some then why not try it.

Lol, 26g weight gain last month is an awful lot!! It's important that tortoises gain weight slowly, so that they don't suffer shell deformities by growing too fast, and we usually tell people to aim for an average weight gain of between 1g - 4g per month. That's just an average, and some months they will gain more and some less, but it's something to aim for. My two gained about 20g each last month, but they had emerged from hibernation and are just getting back to their normal weight -- but I am keeping an eye on them. Horsfields are particularly greedy feeders (can explain why if I haven't mentioned this already), and so they do need to be monitored so that they don't eat too much and gain weight too quickly.

Regarding regular testing and worming, I don't think regular testing is necessary, unless you suspect she might have worms, or just for your own peace of mind, but I certainly wouldn't worm her unless you have evidence that she is carrying a heavy load of worms. It's probably sensible to test once a year (although I haven't tested mine for a couple of years as they seem fine), just to put your mind at rest. As I said, the top tortoise vets now believe that a very light load of worms does not need treating and might actually be of benefit, but anything other than a very light load certainly does need treating.

Re nighttime temperature, yes, you can definitely remove the extra heat when treatment ends. Actually I hadn't heard about extra heat when worming. You definitely have to have extra heat when a tortoise is being treated with antibiotics, but I hadn't heard that for worming -- but it sort of makes sense because when a tortoise is cool its system slows down and I guess keeping the temp above 20C might help the medicine to work. There is no need for any extra heat at night otherwise.

Do let us know if she improves soon.

So glad you are liking the Carex and I hope it grows and flourishes!


Posts: 42
Joined: 26 Jun 2020, 20:26

Re: Loss of appetite

Post by Tarajane77 » 04 May 2021, 13:41

Thankyou Lin and Nina,

I am at a loss then where I'm going wrong with the 26g increase. She's only fed freshly foraged weeds (not even enough to fill her empty shell) and flowers and has 1% of her weight in Mazuri once a week. I get her out in our warm room in a pen for an hours activity a day.

I found an exotics vet especially. He even suggested washing weeds in a minuscule amount of bleech!!....of which i ignored and will not be using him again.

I just feel really despondent at the minute with Jemima. I try my very hardest and nothing seems to be working.

Thankyou though ladies
Jody K

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest