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Turtles/Red footed tortoise


My red footed tortoise has not been moving for two days.  when i go to school and come home he is in the same spot.  Hes alive, i checked, but he also wont eat.  I am really worried for my little Gizmo. Can you help?

Hi Ethan,

In order to help you with your redfoot, I need more information.  I need to know exactly how you're keeping him, including:  how old/big Gizmo is, type/size of enclosure, substrate, exact temperatures (basking and cool area), the brand of UVB bulb you're using, and complete diet.  Once I have this information, I can give you better advice.

Redfoots need a lot of moisture.  If you're keeping him dry--on bark, for instance--he's probably very dehydrated.  This is especially true if he's in a small glass tank, and if that's the case, he may be overheated as well.  Lack of UVB can cause lethargy, as can improper diet.  Parasites can also cause lethargy, but in most cases there's something in the setup that needs changing.  Whatever it is, it's important to make the necessary changes, because things like dehydration can lead to serious health consequences if not corrected.


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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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