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Possible Poorly Tortoise


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#1 Emmalt10

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:30 PM

Help!
My 18 month old Herman's have been hibernating in the fridge since the start of January. All has been going well so far. I wound them down for two weeks, have checked them every day and weighed them every week. Today, one of them seems to have weepy eyes and nose.
I assume I need to bring her out of hibernation. Is it likely she has a cold? Do they develop colds in hibernation? Is there a 'best' way to bring her out if hibernation?
Any advice pleeeeaaaasseee!!
Thanks

#2 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 01:24 PM

They don't actually develop colds in hibernation, but if they were not 100% healthy when going in, things can progress. It's imperative that you get them out now, to start heat and hydration therapy, How heavy are they, as it could be that they were not completely empty? If when your tortoises have warmed up there is any sign of gaping when breathing, you need to get to a good vet ASAP for possible antibiotic therapy. Sometimes heat and hydration are enough to turn things around, but you will need to keep heat up night and day to see if this is going to work, so it might be a good idea to get hold of a dull heat emitter in readiness, so you can leave it above the tortoises overnight.



#3 Emmalt10

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 01:54 PM

Ok thank you. It all dried up pretty quickly once I'd taken it out, so now I'm wondering if it's something external ( like a drip from the top of the fridge through a hole in the box. Will monitor closely.

#4 Emmalt10

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 01:55 PM

Oh, and this one is 180 grams.

#5 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 03:07 PM

Could be condensation I suppose, but do monitor carefully just in case it's not. Hopefully they are still waking slowly - don't put under lamps or anything until they have emerged fully on their own and bathe before offering basking facilities. Offer food after this and make sure there is no wheezing of gasping. Two weeks was not long enough to wind down a tortoise of this size as it is the size of a much older tortoise. My babies coming up to two years are around 50 grams in weight, just for comparison and they had just over 2 weeks wind down. Hope this helps



#6 Emmalt10

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 04:22 PM

Gosh really? There's so much conflicting advice around, it's hard to know what is the right thing to do. To hibernate or not to. How to hibernate, how long the wind down etc. How much to feed, what to feed, and what the weight gain should be. I was advised by breeder to aim for 80 grams of growth in the first year, which I was right on track for. I did such a lot of research too. It's such a responsibility!!

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 04:45 PM

LOL  a wild tortoise would weigh considerable less than my own at two years. In captivity we do tend to overdo things and often with not very good results. I try to remember that these animals have evolved over millions of years to be doing what they still do right now, so always try to replicate this as much as possible. Watching tortoises in the wild will show what works best for them, but obviously not everyone has this opportunity and not everyone will give the same advise regardless. I think if we know what they do in nature and try to replicate this we will have fewer problems. Problems almost always occur when we try to improve on nature ;)  Did you contact your breeder re the problems in hibernation that you encountered and did they suggest 2 weeks wind down for a juvenile sized tortoise? I would think the only way to empty them in such a short time would be to increase temps, but then it would be going against the need to reduce temps in line with what would happen in the wild. Just my thoughts of course based on quite a few years of not always doing things correctly ;)



#8 Emmalt10

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 08:54 AM

I got the information off one of the websites, can't remember which, and followed a wind down routine. I haven't contacted the breeder, as her advice conflicts with a lot of other advice. She's also my mother-in-law's best friend.
I knew they had grown too much, but not by how much, which is why I wanted them to hibernate. The breeder doesn't hibernate until tortoises are four years old, and even then only for three weeks. My local vet specialist also advises against hibernating them so young, yet everything I was reading said they should. So then I felt I had nowhere to turn. It is hard. I feel terrible. Can you recommend a book?
The tortoise seems ok so far, but it was definitely the right thing to wake it up. I'll have to be super super careful with feeding (although I thought I was being). But thank you so much for your advice. I really appreciate it.

#9 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:30 AM

Three weeks is not hibernation at all, so your breeder is not hibernating hers. If she is not winding them down correctly though, they will have been lucky not to have been left in longer, as this causes various problems from mild infections to death :(   No disrespect, but your vet is likely not a tortoise vet, so playing safe by recommending not to, he probably does not understand the concept properly anyway. Most books are vastly out of date but there are a few good ones out there which give good info based on the wild life of tortoises. My favourite is hermann tortoise by Holger Vetter, which will give a good understanding of what to do with explanations as to why. It's available on Amazon. Generally, cheap pet shop books are not a lot of use and often not written by tortoise keepers even. Having said that I have one in the pipeline, which will not be expensive and aimed at new keepers lol. Most of the best info will come from long term breeders and researchers.

Hope this helps :)



#10 Emmalt10

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:42 AM

Thank you. I'll try that one and await yours!!! And post on here if I need to!!

#11 Beermat89

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:21 PM

3 weeks! Most tortoise's are not even asleep by 3 weeks i know mine wasnt so like sue said they didnt hibernate at all!
Thats great sue i will order 1 too to have a look at :)

#12 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 06:21 PM

LOL, might be a long wait, it's been in the pipeline for some time, I'm surprised it's not been washed away with all this flipping rain. Will def post when it happens though :)



#13 Freddy

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 07:51 PM

Great to hear you have a book in the pipeline, Sue. :)  It is long overdue. Please let us know when it is published. Best of luck! ;)

Kind Regards

Freddy  :D



#14 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:03 PM

I'm currently looking into finding a publisher Freddy, but struggling, partly due to lack of time. It took me around three years to do my Galapagos memoirs, haha.



#15 Emmalt10

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 08:02 PM

Just as an update. Tortoise is up and seems well. Walking around looking for food, eating and drinking but on a strict diet!!! Thanks for all the advice. The other one is still hibernating, and looking good.

#16 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 06:19 PM

Get that publisher sorted Sue......I was going to offer typing stuff for you, but seems you have done that bit!!! X x x x hugs x x

#17 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 07:42 PM

PM ing you Stella :)






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