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Hibernation


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#1 Guest_leahcevans_*

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 09:39 PM

Ok, so my herman tortoise Jay is 3 and a half years old. The vet has told me to hibernate him as he is healthy. I think i did everything correctly, i have starved him for 3 weeks (by the vets advice this all is) cooled down the temperature, bathed him regularly. I Put him in his cardboard box last nite to hibernate and put him in the garage. I checked him this morning the temperature was 13 degrees c so obviously not cold enough and he seemed to be awake but not fully active. I have searched the house trying to find a temp between 3-5 and i cant find one. i have put him in the attic now and im going to see how cold that gets but i am worried that it isnt going to be cold enough. I was thinkin of getting a fridge for him 2moz, but im not sure what to get and im not really sure how to use a fridge for hibernation. It is the first time i have hibernated him and i am really scared i am going to damage him. as it wasnt cold enough for him 2day i tried to get him to drink but he wont do it. Is it going to be ok that i have left him for 2 days in the wrong temperature?

scared mummy :s
xxx

#2 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 04:36 AM

Hi there! Hibernation can be a worry for everyone. You are right that our homes mostly don't have a place cool enough in them to hibernate a tortoise and the temperature goes up and down all the time. If you decide to hibernate your tortoise in a fridge then ideally you want a normal larder fridge that you can keep near 5 degrees C. But its best not to use the fridge you keep hour food in so its a whole new fridge to buy.

Although you has clowed down this tortoise correctly I would say you don't have anywhere suitable to put it now. So my opinion is that it would be best to forget this hibernation and do what you did last year to keep this tortoise up all winter.

Its best to have your hibernation place all sorted and at the right temperature before you start to wnd down the tortoise.

If you wake him up again and start to provide heat, light and food, he will go back to normal.

Hope this helps. Others may have different views.

#3 Guest_leahcevans_*

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 12:26 PM

Thank you for your reply! i have just bought a little fridge for him and have put him in it now. im checking the temp every half hour as it is slowly going down to the right temp. think the min temp on it is 5 degrees. At least i have got that sorted! I weighed him before i put him in there and he seemed to somehow put on wieght, not alot but a lil. So i guess he is still healthy. Also because he is only three i am only hibernating him for 3 weeks, as advised by the vet. my other question is ive heard if they pee you have to wake them up to drink. Before i put him in the fridge he had pee'd so i tried to make him drink but he wouldnt. How do you make them drink?

leah x

#4 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 01:59 PM

The advice is to wake the tortoise up if it pees whilst it is hibernating because of the risk of dehydration. Peeing before going down is not necessarily a problem. We can't really make them drink; only offer water.

In my personal opinion 3 weeks is not long enough to be worth doing for the tortoise. If his weight isn't going down you might want to leave him in longer.

#5 Guest_leahcevans_*

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 08:05 PM

thank you for your advice :) Another person has also told me to hibernate him for longer then this. I shall weigh him every week and see what his weight is like and go from there. I think tbh the vet said to only do that to get me used to hibernation. x

#6 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 08:26 PM

Hi There,
The minimum length for a hibernation to have any benefit is 8 weeks. So I would aim for this and check his weight at regular intervals to make sure everything is alright. Hope this helps. Take care.
Kind Regards
Freddy




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