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Tortoise not keen on waking up


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#1 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 09:51 PM

Hi folks. I have wakened two of my tortoises and one of them isn't too keen on being up. That one seemed to be winding itself down in November with little interest in food and avoiding the heat and light. After a few weeks of that I stopped feeding that one and did a wind down routine and then that tortoise hibernated for 11 weeks in the fridge. I decided that was enough. Although the tortoise hadn't lost weight it is only two and half years old and it was my first time hibernating that one.

So I woke this tortoise up following the usual procedure and after a few hours resting she had a bath and a nibble to eat. Then she buried right down deep in the soil substrate completely out of view and it took me ages to find her a few hours later. Since then she's been acting like she did before hibernation. Its only 36 hours at the moment but the same pattern of moving away from the light and heat is going on. For a few hours today I trapped her in a warm and brightly lit place to try and give her a jump start.

So, is there anything to worry about? and should I continue with the periods of compulsory heat and light for a few hours a day? (The coolest area she can get to is going to be about 20C anyway). This tortoise was 60g in October and is 57g now. The 3g was lost prior to hibernation. None of the others showed this sluggish behaviour before being prepared for hibernation.



#2 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 11:04 PM

Go back to pre hibernation mode, 12+ hrs of heat/uv, increase baths - most important thing is to keep the tort hydrated. Keep offering food. the tort is probably still in hibernation mode, proberbly long enough for you and your nerves but obviously not long enough for her!! lol!! :rolleyes:

Bath at least once a day, if no improvement in few days maybe take her for a check up? One of mine didnt eat for a couple of weeks after hibernation last year - she was the one I spent a fortune on at the vets then all of a sudden once the whether warmed up she started eating on her own accord!!! Grrrr!

#3 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 11:06 PM


Hi Oz,

Wish I was able to help, but all I can offer is that my youngest two (21/2) were very sluggish before hibernation. I bathed them daily and put them next to their food which they would eat before heading straight back to bed. This went on for quite some weeks before wind down. I was just relieved as neither of them lost any weight at this time as they would still eat.

Do you think it could be due to the low light levels?

Paula x

#4 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 11:38 PM

Thanks your replies. I don't think its the light levels Paula because its only that tortoise which has been behaving like that, and I do have supplementary lights apart from the combined UV and heat lamp. Its true though that the level of light is much less than it would be outside in the mediterranean countries.

I don't think this tortoise would loose much if any weight with this behaviour because its not running about and it is eating a small amount. Some energy is of course used just being awake. I thought 11 weeks would be quite enough for that tortoise but perhaps not.

I don't think it is dehydrated. Its weight have gone up slightly since I got it up which must be water from the bath.

#5 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 08:08 AM

I would keep bathing her, and putting her under the light.
I have one slightly larger tortoise, who woke, and I bathed and within an hour ate some food. The next day, she didnt even come out of her bed. But then the next day she came out on her own basked and then ate.
All tortoises are different, but I also wouldnt leave too long before getting your tortoise to a vet, if you are really worried.

#6 Guest_Robink_*

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 06:23 PM

Jonathan, as ever one has said keep up with the baths, why not try adding reptiboost in the bath water. May help it did with mine last year.
Please keep us up dated.

#7 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 09:55 PM

Thanks again everyone. That tortoise ate a bit better today. I cannot be sure how active it was because I was at work all day. I am considering worming the tortoises but I believe this means all of them and some are still in the fridge and I was planning on leaving them there for another few weeks.

A couple of people have suggested the reptoboost and I will use that in the bath and then rinse off with clean water.

#8 Guest_brucefairweather_*

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:03 PM

A couple of people have suggested the reptoboost and I will use that in the bath and then rinse off with clean water.

hope it picks up jonathan.my new pair are back to the digging down for days again!!they are a worry

#9 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 11:22 PM

Bruce you are so right. Worry about hibernation, worry now they are not lively enough, worry about worming. No I must not rush into worming any tortoises especially if they are just woken up. Non stop worry!

#10 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 08:56 AM

I wouldnt worm as they have only just gotten up. Give them time for their systems to really get going first:0)
You could always ask your tortoise vets advice over the phone if you are really worried.

#11 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 11:58 PM

Quick update - that tortoise more active today and ate well. Perhaps nothing wrong at all - I can be prone to panics especially after hibernation. His mates are still in the fridge.

I will not be doing any worming right now. When the digestive system starts to work I'll get a sample checked. There are not a whole lot of knowledgable tortoise vets on the west side of scotland and I doubt they have anything useful to say at this stage of things. There is a vet school in Edinburgh that will look at samples and I'll use them, when I have a sample that is.




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