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Urgent Hibernation Help Required


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#1 Hermylady

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:57 PM

Hi everyone. Can anyone help. I have had my Hermann on his wind down for 16 days now. (I was late starting hibernation this year as I was away and wanted to oversee the process myself and not leave to someone else). For the last 4 days of the 16 days he has been without heat/light (room temperature of about 16/18 degrees). I decided at the weekend to bring him into the conservatory to get him to about 10 degrees slowly and then pop him in the fridge as per usual. His pre-hibernation weight was 137g (9cm long). He is 2.5 years old so I thought 16 days wind down would be about enough. However, stupidly I thought he hadn't been drinking much and decided to give him his last bath before putting him down. He seemed to drink and I dried him completely and then started to cool him off. He then decided to have a huge wee. I thought he might have just taken too much so was going to carry on with the process. He weighed 132g. About 5 mins later he decided to have another huge wee which left him weighing 126g. 11g seems an awful lot of fluid to lose. I am now worried whether I should hibernate or not as I don't want him to get dehydrated. Some people have been advising that he was probably just getting rid of the excess but 11g seems a lot. Can anyone help as to which route I should take? Should I still put him down or start feeding again. Seems a shame to stop after all the hard work over the last 16 days. I could try and make him drink over the next few days but he hasn't eaten for 16 days and was worried about leaving him too much longer. He was originally the perfect Jackson Ratio weight - now he appears to be a bit too low. All advice appreciated. Many thanks Tracey

#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:39 AM

morning tracey your tortoise would need a 3 week windown not 2 so you would still have a few more days to give him another couple of baths before he went down :)

#3 Freddy

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:45 AM

Hi Tracey,
I agree with Karen about the 3 week wind-down. The extra baths should also help hydrate your tortoise. I would proceed as normal with hibernation.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#4 Hermylady

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:08 PM

Thanks Karen and Freddy. Can I just double check my timings with you both as last year I was told to wind down for 4 weeks minimum which I did but afterwards was told by several people that 4 weeks was way too long for a 2.5 year old and it should only have been two which is what I have aimed for this year. Days 1 to 8 he had normal full heat/light no food. He went to the toilet twice during these 8 days. The next 4 days I let him have full heat and light but only for half days (I turned light on late morning and turned off later afternoon). That was the first 12 days. Since then to date (last 5 days) he has had no light or heat just been in normal room temperature (16/18 degrees). So in total he has had 17 days so far. Was the 8 days of heat long enough? Since the incident with him weeing a couple of days ago he is still at room temperature and is bathing himself quite a bit. He has gone back up to 129g. My next step was going to be cooling him off more in my conservatory during the day (10/12 degrees) and then popping in the fridge. Do you think I am now ok to do this or should I give him a couple more days at room temp. Help is much appreciated. Thanks for previous advice.

Tracey

#5 Freddy

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:19 PM

Hi Tracey,
I would give him another couple of days at room temperature. The recommended wind-down time for a 2.5 year old tortoise is 19 days. This will give him enough time to clear his gut. I would then cool him down in the conservatory and pop him into the fridge.
Hibernation should last 8 weeks.
Hope this helps.
Take care.
Freddy

#6 Freddy

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:49 PM

I agree with Ozric. Although sometimes too much information, especially when it is conflicting, can confuse matters more.
Hibernation is really a simple process and once instructions are carried out to the letter it usually proceeds smoothly.
I have been hibernating tortoises successfully for the past 30 years and have never had a problem.
Best of luck.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#7 Freddy

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:40 PM

Hi Ozric,
I have taken some time to reply to your post as I think it deserves a considered response.
Forgive me, but I think some of your arguments incline more towards the philosophical.
Practically speaking there are tried and trusted methods of wind-down and hibernation that have been devised by experienced keepers over the years which can be applied generally and successfully.
Many of us also keep up to speed with developments in the tortoise world.
Indeed the advice that you gave regarding wind-down that was recently revised by the Tortoise Trust has already been given in some form here in the past.
Personally, I think we give excellent advice here on 'My Hermann' much of it of a very specific nature.
Indeed, It is very important to us that our members feel confident in the advice we give.
I think it is far better to be confident when hibernating a tortoise than to be totally paralyzed by fear.
Anyway Ozric, your comments and input are as always very welcome and very much appreciated.
We respect your vast knowledge and experience and look forward to your many contributions here in the future.
Best Regards
Freddy

#8 Freddy

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:46 PM

Thank you for helping to clarify matters, Ozric.
I was starting to think we were doing something wrong!lol
Apologies if I misunderstood your intentions.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#9 Freddy

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:23 PM

Hi Ozric,
Your experience with the tiny tortoise reminds me of a mistake I made with a small tortoise given to me by a relation many years ago.
I mistakingly hibernated this tortoise not realising it was in fact a Kleinmanns tortoise from Egypt. These tortoises should not be hibernated and of course it subsequently died. I had no internet at the time and no way of positively identifying it. In this case it was my ignorance that resulted in the fatality. I think it just goes to show that we all make mistakes and that mistakes are indeed possible.
Take care
Freddy




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