Jump to content


Photo

Hibernation Tortoise Not Moving


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 Foxjo

Foxjo

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 16 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Teesside
  • Interests:Animals. I love my animals!!
    Cross stitching and making things.

Posted 04 November 2013 - 10:16 AM

Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum. :)

 

My tortoise T is five years old and this is her first hibernation. We have done all the wind down procedures to the letter.

She has been in the fridge now for two weeks.

first week after weigh in she was still responsive and her legs were quite stiff. They did move if touched.  

 

This week (2nd) at weigh in all her legs and head was limp and no response when touched. not even a movement.

I've been awake all night worrying that she might be dead. Is this normal?

 

Any advice would be great, I don't want to try and wake her up if i'm just worrying about nothing!

 

Thanks

Fox

xx

 



#2 mildredsmam

mildredsmam

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,802 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:north east

Posted 04 November 2013 - 12:20 PM

hi they do normally move when you touch them by pulling their leg in a little, the movement is only slow.

does her eyes look sunk in at all.

are you sure she hasn't moved, if she was mine and was totally limp and lifeless I would take her out and leave her in room temperature.

hopefully sue ( wizzasmum ) will be on soon who will be able to help more. x



#3 Foxjo

Foxjo

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 16 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Teesside
  • Interests:Animals. I love my animals!!
    Cross stitching and making things.

Posted 04 November 2013 - 01:19 PM

Thanks Karen,

 

I worry I may be over-reacting but I would be heart broken to lose her.

Will check her tonight when I get home.

Thanks for your reply

xx



#4 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

Guest_Wizzasmum_*
  • Guests

Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:51 PM

hi they do normally move when you touch them by pulling their leg in a little, the movement is only slow.

does her eyes look sunk in at all.

are you sure she hasn't moved, if she was mine and was totally limp and lifeless I would take her out and leave her in room temperature.

hopefully sue ( wizzasmum ) will be on soon who will be able to help more. x

I agree Karen, I would get her out and put her at room temperature for a few hours, then offer a lukewarm bath. I'm wondering if the wind down was done correctly, although obviously we do not know for sure. Hopefully all will be fine.



#5 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 04 November 2013 - 07:02 PM

Hi there,

Usually torts respond to external stimuli such as touch even when hibernating. However, some tortoises can enter a deep sleep if fridge temps  fall much below 4-6 degrees. If you are worried it would be as well to take your tort out of hibernation but you must not put her back if she finally does comes round as by then she will have used up vital energy reserves. Once woken from hibernation torts need to be kept awake for the entire winter period. Please keep in touch and let us know how you get on. I hope things turn out OK. Take care.

Kind Regards

Freddy



#6 Foxjo

Foxjo

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 16 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Teesside
  • Interests:Animals. I love my animals!!
    Cross stitching and making things.

Posted 05 November 2013 - 11:25 AM

Hi thank you for the help

I checked T last night when I got home from work. I didn't take her out of the box but I stroked her leg and she moved a little. She also moved her head.

 I wonder if when I took her out of the box to weigh her she was "acting" dead?

I feel a bit better now about things and will keep an eye on her.

 

The winding down was done for five weeks as she was overweight (I had her checked by the vet before hibernation started). and she was definitely ready to go for hibernation. with this being my first time I don't know what to expect I guess.

 

thanks for your support!

Fox

xxx



#7 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

Guest_Wizzasmum_*
  • Guests

Posted 05 November 2013 - 01:48 PM

Hi there. I

Is your vet a specialist? She should not have been wound down for five weeks as all you are trying to archive is to empty the gut, not lose weight, this would be a bad idea at this time of year. You could keep her ticking over for the winter with no weight gain by feeding less and having slightly lower temps, which would also assist with growth. Is she adult? if it was mine I think I would be getting her up and overwintering to be honest, to be on the safe side.



#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 05 November 2013 - 05:28 PM

Hi Fox,

I'm so glad to hear 'T' responded to your touch. It can take  tortoises a couple of weeks before they fully settle into hibernation. Indeed, this might have something to do with her apparent limpness. She may have been in a deeper and more relaxed hibernation state when you checked her. Personally, I don't see any reason not to continue with her hibernation. As it's her first hibernation I would only hibernate her for a maximum of 12 weeks provided she doesn't lose too much weight. Hope this helps. Take care.

Kind Regards

Freddy



#9 Halosmum

Halosmum

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Tyneside

Posted 05 November 2013 - 10:43 PM

I'm sorry but I do not agree with placing any live animal into a fridge. Of course the animal will be suffering with extreme cold in there if not suffocating. in the wild temps do not stay at the same degree daily - they rise up and down.  If you must hibernate, best use old tea chest or wooden box with air holes and lots newspaper and straw in a cool room or garage.



#10 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

Guest_Wizzasmum_*
  • Guests

Posted 05 November 2013 - 11:09 PM

I'm sorry but I do not agree with placing any live animal into a fridge. Of course the animal will be suffering with extreme cold in there if not suffocating. in the wild temps do not stay at the same degree daily - they rise up and down.  If you must hibernate, best use old tea chest or wooden box with air holes and lots newspaper and straw in a cool room or garage.

Straw harbours mites and newspaper draws moisture away from the tortoise, which contributes to dehydration and weight loss. This is why these outdated methods are no longer used. I don't use the fridge method myself but it has been used for many years now, by the Tortoise Trust and many sanctuaries and well known organisations. Fridges set to 5 degrees are optimal for hibernation temps and given correct substrate is used, animals usually lose minimum weight. In the wild, tortoises move up and down in the soil to keep to around 5 degrees according to extensive research. Blue Peter used the tea chest method over many years and lost several tortoises to hibernation sadly :( As tortoises metabolism slows and respiration falls to the minimum during hibernation, they will not suffocate in a fridge, especially if a piece of air line tubing is placed in the seal of the door, or the door is opened momentarily each day. Of course you would not put other animals into a fridge as this would not serve any purpose ;)

Have a look here http://www.tortoiset...efrigerator.htm

and here www.tortsmad.com/hibernation.htm



#11 mildredsmam

mildredsmam

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,802 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:north east

Posted 06 November 2013 - 04:44 AM

I'm sorry but I do not agree with placing any live animal into a fridge. Of course the animal will be suffering with extreme cold in there if not suffocating. in the wild temps do not stay at the same degree daily - they rise up and down.  If you must hibernate, best use old tea chest or wooden box with air holes and lots newspaper and straw in a cool room or garage.

hi im sorry but I don't agree with you, I've hibernated my tortoises for some years now using the fridge method with no problems at all, every morning I open the door for air exchange and weigh them regular I find their weight lose isn't much.

some garages etc wont work for hibernation with out some sort of additional heat to keep the temperatures from dropping to low, freezing temperatures can kill a tortoise. ;)



#12 Beermat89

Beermat89

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 680 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somerset
  • Interests:Tortoises/reptiles,fishing/football

Posted 07 November 2013 - 04:13 PM

Ive used the fridge method too for the last few years and in no doubt its a better way to hibernate as weight loss is nearly next to none as kept at a constant temps.as for suffocation its not a big issue if you open the door once aday to let fresh air in as torts heart rate a breathing drop to a few beats a minute so not much air is needed!im not using the fridge method this year as they dug in them selfs early before i could get the fridge set up so i expecting a little weight loss this winter!
Regards matt

#13 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

Guest_Wizzasmum_*
  • Guests

Posted 08 November 2013 - 10:59 PM

Keep the humidity up Matt and you should get very little weight loss, if any ;)



#14 Beermat89

Beermat89

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 680 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somerset
  • Interests:Tortoises/reptiles,fishing/football

Posted 08 November 2013 - 11:59 PM

Yes will do sue!should i water the substrate as normal but only once in a while?

#15 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

Guest_Wizzasmum_*
  • Guests

Posted 09 November 2013 - 08:56 AM

Once they are at low temps Matt, it should not dry out the same, so a little drizzle of water in one corner now and again (not touching tort) will be enough to keep humidity up  ;)



#16 Beermat89

Beermat89

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 680 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somerset
  • Interests:Tortoises/reptiles,fishing/football

Posted 09 November 2013 - 10:19 AM

Ok brill,cheers sue will do that :)

#17 Foxjo

Foxjo

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 16 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Teesside
  • Interests:Animals. I love my animals!!
    Cross stitching and making things.

Posted 13 November 2013 - 11:48 AM

Hi thanks for all the advice, T is doing well. She moves slightly if I open the lid to peek at her. she's snuggled deep in the shreadings. The vet is a specialist and she didn't lose massive amounts of weight in wind down (I don't have my chart to hand as I write this!) but she was carefully monitored.

 

I think now she's settled down. We are both new to this so im sure next hibernation will be a little less scarey!

 

thanks for your support

 

Fox

xx






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users