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Under Weight/weight Loss


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#1 Marcus@68

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 06:07 PM

Hi

 

I've had Tommy a 10yr old male Hermann since March 2013, when he arrived he weighed 531g and 15cm long. Its difficult to measure him as he's very active but I'd say he was now 15.5-16cm long and weighs 552g.

 

He was identified as needing to be wormed in Aug and the vet suggested he should be kept awake over the winter due to his weight. He eats well, is very active and is bathed twice a week. I'm now very concerned as I just found the on line Jackson ratio calculator which states he's in danger at a ratio of 0.13 suggesting he needs special care!!!

 

With this in mind I'm going to take him to the vet for a check up this week, however I'd really appreciate it if anybody has any advice to get his weight up. He eats Romano and Radicchio with some dandelion and other weeds (which he's not that keen on, bitter cress and teasel). As he hasn't put on weight I've started to feed him more, he eats most of it and I think slight ridges are beginning to develop in him shell. I'm at a loss as to what to do.

 

I'd appreciate any advice and guidance.

 

Marcus

 

 



#2 Kelly

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 06:23 PM

Don't panic :) . I suspect you haven't measured him properly. The ratio can be greatly affected even if you're only a few millimeters out.  

 

Try measuring your tort first thing in the morning before he has a chance to warm up properly using this method: 

 

http://www.hermann-tortoise.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=8236 

 

Many keepers now use Haileys condition calculations now too. http://www.ahailey.f9.co.uk/cond.htm 

 

Just make sure you have accurate measurements.  ;)



#3 Marcus@68

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 06:41 PM

Hi

 

Many thanks, I'll try again in the morning; I did use the method previously described but may have made a mistake with the figures... I hope so.

 

Marcus



#4 Freddy

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 07:04 PM

Hi Marcus,

I agree with Kelly. Even if your measurements are off by a little this can affect the overall length to weight ratio. 

Also, the Jackson Ratio is not always accurate and should only be used as a rough guide.

It is based on measurements of tortoises in the wild which very often does not hold true for captive specimens. It also doesn't take into account the various shapes and sizes torts come in.

On a positive note your tortoise is eating well which is a good sign. If he feels solid like a stone and heavy to hold then I don't see a problem to be honest.

Hopefully, Tommy's apparent low weight can be accounted for. Otherwise I think a trip to the Vet's might be necessary.

Take care.

Kind Regards

Freddy



#5 Marcus@68

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 07:28 PM

Many thanks

 

I'll get help tomorrow with the measuring and hope to get a more accurate indication of the ratio.

 

Thanks, feeling a little less anxious.



#6 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 07:35 PM

If you can put pics up, that will help to show if he is the correct shape for the ratios to be of any use. You have to remember that all of these ratios are comprised for an average, which is not the case with many home reared tortoises. Expecting them to conform to the norm is like saying all people of 5ft 6 ins should weigh 10st, it's just not the case. Once your tortoise is adult, then it is easier to keep your own charts of weights from year to year to make sure things are not going too far one way or another.  A photo, plus one from below will help to see what is going on with your tortoise. It's very easy to measure them when cold though as they will not be geared up for tearing off.



#7 Marcus@68

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 12:02 PM

Measured Tommy this morning, he was 14cm so I'd obviously made an error.  He weighed 554g so the JR is now 0.20 which suggests he's within the normal and safe to hibernate ratio. With this in mind should I consider hibernating him in the next month or so or is it too late?

 

Many thanks for the advice.

 

 

Marcus



#8 Marcus@68

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 12:14 PM

Forgot to ask, would a small 17 or 30 litre fridge be suitable for hibernation, or would it need to be the larger under counter type?

 

(Caldura 17Lr £79.99 from Amazon) Sorry wouldn't let me paste the link.

 

Marcus



#9 Kelly

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 01:05 PM

It's too late to hibernate him now this year, plus as you've only had him since March last year it's always a good idea to overwinter them anyway if you're not sure of their past health and weights.

 

Personally I wouldn't use one of the mini fridges because it is really hard to get stable temperatures with them.

 

I recently bought the value larder fridge from Argos for only £109.99. http://www.argos.co....ber/4810485.htm It's nice and compact and holds really constant temperatures.

 

I hibernated my two in it this year with no problems whatsoever.  :)



#10 Marcus@68

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 01:20 PM

Cheers Kelly, I'll try to get some pics up of Tommy, a bit concerned he might be developing ridges on his shell. However, when I've looked at Hermann's lots of them seem to have ridges, none as smooth as I've been led to believe is possible with good husbandry.

 

How much light (hrs per day)  would you suggest he have, I use a combined lamp.

 

Marcus



#11 Kelly

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 03:10 PM

I have a four year old who is quite bumpy as he spent the first two years of his life in a vivarium, kept on the wrong substrate and fed the incorrect foods. :(

There are so many factors that contribute to getting the perfect shell, that it can be vary hard for most keepers to achieve this. So far research has shown that power feeding, too much protein in the diet, lack of calcium and vitamin D  and insufficient humidity due to being kept on the wrong types substrate are contributing factors. Current research is also being undertaken to investigate whether high fibre diets can help to slow down growth and whether or not basking lamps are also adding to the problem by drying out the keratin in a way that simply doesn't occur with natural sunlight.

 

Try and get him outside into the natural sunlight as much as possible as he will really benefit from this and when indoors replicate normal daylight hours, so at this time of year about ten hours will be fine. :)



#12 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 06:28 PM

It's unlikely that he would want to wind down now, given that you will need between 3 and 4 weeks. It's not beyond the realms of possibility though, given that fridge hibernation is nothing to do with natural hibernation, but you should have your fridge up and running for several weeks beforehand to be sure it is going to be suitable. Don't buy a drinks fridge as these are not rated for food consumption and therefore cannot be guaranteed not to freeze. Ridges on the shell are normal and indicate a period of growth or stopping growing. So long as they are not too deep or too raised they are fine.






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