Jump to content


Photo

Is Vets Advice Correct?

Tortoise

  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 LauraBellis

LauraBellis

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 20 October 2012 - 04:10 PM

I took my 5 year old Hermann tortoise to the vets today for a pre hibernation check up. I inherited the tortoise in May this year so have only had him for 5 months. The vet has given me the following advice and I just want to check its correct as some of it goes against things I have read on forums.

- he's advised not to hibernate him this year as he needs to be sure the tortoise has been 100% healthy for the last year
- he's told me to feed him pre alpine food mix through the winter which is available on the Internet
- he's said he has a slight vitamin A deficiency which I can correct through feeding him chillies, sweet peppers, butternut squash and pumpkin. Are these the best things to treat this deficiency and how often shall I give them to him?
- at the moment I heat the tortoise table through the day with a UVA/UVB combo light but switch it off during the night so it returns to room temperature. The vet has said I should leave on a heat lamp during the night. Is this correct?
- the last thing he advised was to not feed him every 3rd day to prevent him growing too quickly.

The vet is listed on the tortoise trust website as a recommended vet but I just want to check I am doing things correctly to avoid harming the tortoise.

Any help would be appreciated.


#2 Kelly

Kelly

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 961 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Leicestershire
  • Interests:Walking, circuit training, reading, volunteering with The Leicester and Rutland Wildlife Trust and looking after my menagerie of 3 cats, a leopard gecko, a 23 year old corn snake, Maddie the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, my 5 year old Hermann tortoise, Norman and my 2 year old, Hazel. :)

Posted 20 October 2012 - 04:45 PM

I took my 5 year old Hermann tortoise to the vets today for a pre hibernation check up. I inherited the tortoise in May this year so have only had him for 5 months. The vet has given me the following advice and I just want to check its correct as some of it goes against things I have read on forums.

- he's advised not to hibernate him this year as he needs to be sure the tortoise has been 100% healthy for the last year
I agree with this.

- he's told me to feed him pre alpine food mix through the winter which is available on the Internet
I also agree with this, particulalry if you are overwintering as it adds valuable fibre to your tortoises diet.

- he's said he has a slight vitamin A deficiency which I can correct through feeding him chillies, sweet peppers, butternut squash and pumpkin. Are these the best things to treat this deficiency and how often shall I give them to him?
I have mixed feelings on this.... Yes, these foods are rich in vitamin A, however, personally, I would think that a tortoise would get all the vitamins it needs if you are feeding a varied weed only diet anyway. If you do decide to feed these foods, maybe just stick to once or twice a week.... making sure that the main bulk of the diet is weed based.

- at the moment I heat the tortoise table through the day with a UVA/UVB combo light but switch it off during the night so it returns to room temperature. The vet has said I should leave on a heat lamp during the night. Is this correct?
I would turn all lights off at night. Tortoises are well adapted to drops in night time temperatures in the wild.

- the last thing he advised was to not feed him every 3rd day to prevent him growing too quickly.
Yes, I agree that this would be beneficial over the winter to prevent him from growing too quickly. On these days though, I would advice that you drop the temperatures a little so he is not actively searching out food that is not there! He will naturally be more inactive and eat less if the ambient temps are lower.

The vet is listed on the tortoise trust website as a recommended vet but I just want to check I am doing things correctly to avoid harming the tortoise.
This list is updated failry regularly. All vets will have differering opinions as to the best way to do things.... I suppose a lot depends on how up to date their knowledge is of recent research too. Personally, I listen to what the vets says, but if I disagree with any of it because I have learned something different, I do the opposite anyway! Go with your gut feeling about what is right. Get the opinions of others and then make your own informed decision. ;)

Any help would be appreciated.



#3 Freddy

Freddy

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 948 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:County Cavan, Ireland
  • Interests:Journalism, Amateur Radio, Astronomy, History, Literature, Music, Photography, Gardening, Conservation, Birdwatching, Tortoises.

Posted 20 October 2012 - 07:55 PM

Hi Laura,
Kelly has given you some excellent advice. The only thing I would add would be with regard to hibernation.
Do you know if this tortoise has hibernated before?
If he has, chances are he will be primed to do so again and may slow down without much encouragement.
Freddy

#4 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

Guest_Wizzasmum_*
  • Guests

Posted 20 October 2012 - 08:49 PM

I took my 5 year old Hermann tortoise to the vets today for a pre hibernation check up. I inherited the tortoise in May this year so have only had him for 5 months. The vet has given me the following advice and I just want to check its correct as some of it goes against things I have read on forums.

- he's advised not to hibernate him this year as he needs to be sure the tortoise has been 100% healthy for the last year
- he's told me to feed him pre alpine food mix through the winter which is available on the Internet
- he's said he has a slight vitamin A deficiency which I can correct through feeding him chillies, sweet peppers, butternut squash and pumpkin. Are these the best things to treat this deficiency and how often shall I give them to him?
- at the moment I heat the tortoise table through the day with a UVA/UVB combo light but switch it off during the night so it returns to room temperature. The vet has said I should leave on a heat lamp during the night. Is this correct?
- the last thing he advised was to not feed him every 3rd day to prevent him growing too quickly.

The vet is listed on the tortoise trust website as a recommended vet but I just want to check I am doing things correctly to avoid harming the tortoise.

Any help would be appreciated.


I would say the same as I did on the other forum.
If you have had him since May and trust the source you got him from, then you have had him for a season and there is no reason not to hibernate him at 5 years of age.
I would wonder how he came up with a Vit A deficiency just be looking at him!
You must not feed him those foods, especially chilli peppers, I suggest you ask the vet to eat them first lol
You never leave lights on overnight, even in winter, it's very confusing for the tortoise and can lead to eating problems.
I would not miss a day feeding, just feed less each day to make up for it - if you do not feed for one day then you should also reduce light and heat levels ti mimic a bad day in nature. To continue with heat and light and not feed is pretty cruel to my mind :(
Just because he is an a list of vets does not mean he is a tortoise expert, as mentioned before, one of these vets killed one of my hatchlings after it left my care, perfectly healthy :(
Feel free to PM me if this vet practices in Merseyside or Manchester ;)

#5 Kelly

Kelly

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 961 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Leicestershire
  • Interests:Walking, circuit training, reading, volunteering with The Leicester and Rutland Wildlife Trust and looking after my menagerie of 3 cats, a leopard gecko, a 23 year old corn snake, Maddie the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, my 5 year old Hermann tortoise, Norman and my 2 year old, Hazel. :)

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:15 PM

- he's said he has a slight vitamin A deficiency which I can correct through feeding him chillies, sweet peppers, butternut squash and pumpkin. Are these the best things to treat this deficiency and how often shall I give them to him?


How about Nutrobol sprinkled on his weeds..... he'll be getting getting valuable calcium, vitamin D3... PLUS vitamin A to name but a few. :)

#6 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

Guest_Wizzasmum_*
  • Guests

Posted 21 October 2012 - 10:09 AM

How about Nutrobol sprinkled on his weeds..... he'll be getting getting valuable calcium, vitamin D3... PLUS vitamin A to name but a few. :)



There are a lot of vets out there who are 'not seeing the wood for the trees' if you get my drift, in their eagerness to dose animals. This is what happened with the one which died (there several more, just not mine), if the vet had just listened to it's history the little one could have been saved with use of a nebuliser, instead, hundreds of pounds later, it was dead :(
Re vitamin shortage, Vitamin A deficiency is quite rare and IF given a supplement as you say, it's not likely at all. There are lots of things that could mimic Vit A deficiency and I do think it is scary for a vet to diagnose it just on looking at a tortoise - did he do any tests? As you say IS the tort on any supplements? Giving a little squash will not hurt and if seeds are given too, will dispel some parasites, but I would be wanting to know what brought him to this conclusion if it was me. Sometimes we rely too heavily on vets because we do not always know ourselves, which is understable with new owners of course. I'm lucky to have a vet who looks at the whole scenario first, sometimes to his cost and not mine lol

#7 LauraBellis

LauraBellis

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 21 October 2012 - 12:10 PM

I sprinkle nutrabol on his food everyday. He said his eyes, beak and shell are fine but his skin was a little dry hence the vitamin a deficiency. No tests were run, he just examined him.

The tortoise has never hibernated before, this would have been his first year going into hibernation.

#8 Freddy

Freddy

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 948 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:County Cavan, Ireland
  • Interests:Journalism, Amateur Radio, Astronomy, History, Literature, Music, Photography, Gardening, Conservation, Birdwatching, Tortoises.

Posted 21 October 2012 - 12:51 PM

Hi again Laura,
As your tortoise has never been hibernated before to do so now would mean a minimum 8 week hibernation. A 6 month period is time enough to tell whether or not your tortoise is healthy especially if you got him from a trusted source. I would only hibernate him if you are confident and well prepared. Otherwise 8 weeks would hardly seem worth your while. It may be better to wait until next year when you know your tortoise better. It is your decision. I wish you the best of luck whatever you decide.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#9 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

Guest_Wizzasmum_*
  • Guests

Posted 21 October 2012 - 03:45 PM

I sprinkle nutrabol on his food everyday. He said his eyes, beak and shell are fine but his skin was a little dry hence the vitamin a deficiency. No tests were run, he just examined him.

The tortoise has never hibernated before, this would have been his first year going into hibernation.


Well most vets would agree that to diagnose a Vit A deficiency through dry skin is rather extreme - all torts have dry skin to some degree and it's more likely to be due to living indoors than anything else - I reckon all vets should have to go and study torts in the wild before qualifying and making such bold statements.
If your tort is getting a good varied diet and especially with having nutrobal daily, I would forget all about Vit A defieciency, it's pretty rare ;)

#10 MeImNot

MeImNot

    Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 61 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Malta
  • Interests:Chelonia in general
    \m/

Posted 25 October 2012 - 03:48 PM

I grate some carrots two times a week for mine, she dies for it and its a VitA boost...I'll never feed chillies tho! Do not allow the vet to inject with vitA until a very specific reason is given, I know of a couple of torts here that were killed with it, when they were at most a little dehydrated :/

I also agree with the ceramic heater for the night, I never let mine get under 23C at night.

If I dont feed her she starts eating stones and what twigs she finds in the soil...so I feed daily...and not later than 9am or i find her waiting in her usual feeding spot tapping her foot :D

I would also not hibernate this year...just to be 100% sure he's all fine and also so you have some sort of well layed out plan of hibernation, ask Kelly to send you hers ;)

#11 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

Guest_Wizzasmum_*
  • Guests

Posted 25 October 2012 - 10:43 PM

That's right a Vit A injuection can be lethal if not needed. It's also a very painful death, involving the skin peeling to leave red painful areas. I would avoid this vet like the plague :(





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Tortoise

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users