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Hibernating Hatchling And Juvenile Tortoises


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#21 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:54 PM

Oh - oops lol. I do agree that hibernation plays a big part in the lives of healthy tortoises, that have evolved over so many years to do so and in most cases it can contribute to shell deformities, but is in no way the sole cause of such deformities. I hibernate my own torts as you know, but have to admit to having seen tortoises that have not hibernated, which have grown beautifully too - not many but a handful.
I'm not 100% sure what is meant by overuse of the bladder causing renal infections, unless hydration is poor. I'd love to see some proof of that to be honest, as would happily quote it if so ;) Would biology have been related to humans for instance? Tortoise physiology in that area is not quite the same if only because of the prescence of a secondary bladder, so I am sceptical of that until proven otherwise. I'm a bit of a doubting thomas lol.
I have never claimed to be an expert, but like to think that I have put my years of tortoise keeping and reasearch to good use and learned from it ;)

#22 Freddy

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:39 AM

Hi Sue,
In human biology stress on the renal organs can lead to a breakdown in the blood capillaries which can cause renal failure. How this applies to tortoises is anyone's guess but I'm sure it isn't far off. lol! :lol:
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Freddy :D

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 10:08 AM

I see what you are saying about stress on the renal system Freddy and it's effects on the kidneys etc and completely agree, but the urinary system of a tortoise is slightly different and I'm still wondering how it is going to be stressed by not hibernating, so long as hydration is optimum. As most of us know hibernation itself can be exactly the same as regards to stress on the kidneys if hydration again is not maintained during the big sleep. Some tortoises suffer kidney problems after hibernation, but it must not be taken that hibernation is the cause, just that we did not maintain it sufficiently.Tortoise kidneys are much more primitive than mammals and are elongated rather than the mormal 'kidney' shape. They don't work in the same way, as they lack the henle(sp) loop, which means that they don't eliminate dissolved waste such as ammonia without also using large amounts of water, hence the need for high levels of hydration and why they produce urates separately to urine, unlike mammals. The secondary or accessory bladders are separate to the normal bladder and are used to rehydrate tortoises when water is scarce. They are also used to soften the soil when egg laying if the soil is dry. It's not the normal urine that some think they see when egg laying, but fluid from the accessory bladders. I have some pics on disc somewhere, will have to dig them out. Hope this helps ;)

#24 Freddy

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 11:29 AM

Hi Sue,
Thank you for your kind explanation of tortoise physiology. I have to say I could be more informed in the area of reptiles. I have a basic knowledge of mammalian systems from my secondary education. As you say things are probably a lot different for tortoises. I know there are on going studies in this area. There seems to be still a lot to learn. Once again, many thanks for your explanations Sue. They have certainly helped my own understanding of things. Take care.
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Freddy

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:52 PM

That's very interesting Sue. I knew that tortoises had the ability to call on water reserves in emergency but I didn't know it was a separate supply.

I agree with many of your points and it is important I think to say that a lumpy shell and Metabolic Bone Disease are not necessarily the same thing at all. Some lumpy tortoises can be in good health and not really affected by being lumpy. We think of wild tortoises as having very smooth growth but I've seen various photos of wild hermanns with lumpy shells too. Though nobody seems to know why that sometimes happens.

What's your view on tortoises being hibernated in a slightly damp substarte to minimise water loss during hibernation?



Hi Ozric
I always use slightly damp substrate and not dry for hibernation, as in normal captive pens too. This way, virtually no weight is lost, same as when under the ground.
None of he torts I have seen in the wild have been really lumpy, but some have been slightly bumpy. I've seen reports of them being near to cultivated fields where beans have been grown but not noticed it myself anywhere.

#26 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:57 PM

Hi Sue,
Thank you for your kind explanation of tortoise physiology. I have to say I could be more informed in the area of reptiles. I have a basic knowledge of mammalian systems from my secondary education. As you say things are probably a lot different for tortoises. I know there are on going studies in this area. There seems to be still a lot to learn. Once again, many thanks for your explanations Sue. They have certainly helped my own understanding of things. Take care.
Kind Regards
Freddy

Hi Sue,
Thank you for your kind explanation of tortoise physiology. I have to say I could be more informed in the area of reptiles. I have a basic knowledge of mammalian systems from my secondary education. As you say things are probably a lot different for tortoises. I know there are on going studies in this area. There seems to be still a lot to learn. Once again, many thanks for your explanations Sue. They have certainly helped my own understanding of things. Take care.
Kind Regards
Freddy


No problem Freddy. I've heard some say that urinary systems in tortoises are slightly different to those of sea turtles, but not sure how accurate that statement is. I learned a lot about it when I took my little one in for his penile amputation too, as the pics looked as though he was passing urine from the penis, but accepted the vets word that there is no urethra in there. When I looked at the offending organ afterwards it was clear that it was just a groove, on the outside and not an internal tube - fascinating. I'm very lucky to have a vet that explains things well and includes me in what he is doing too.

#27 Kelly

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 01:34 PM

I've moved some of the hibernation thread here as there are some really interesting points raised totally off topic from the original thread!!! I think it would be beneficial that they all come under this heading for people looking for advise on hibernating youngsters. :)




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