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Member Since 26 Jun 2013
Offline Last Active Feb 06 2016 06:58 PM

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Tortoise Wont Go To Sleep!

14 November 2015 - 10:31 AM

Hi All


Im starting to get into a bit of a panic - this is the 3rd hibernation for George with me but the first year I have used the fridge method.


He went into the fridge in a box of topsoil 2 weeks ago - temps have been kept between 6-9 degrees and I have 2 sets of thermometers checking them so I know they have been kept low.


I have just checked on him today and he's moving around and still awake!!


What do I do?? I wanted to get him out and weight him today to check he was settled but now im worried - why has he not gone to sleep - this never happened using the box method and I thought the fridge would be easier and more consistent!!


Please help as I am baffled and worried





Conflicting Hibernation Advice - Help Needed

28 September 2015 - 07:30 PM

Hello all


I have an 8 year old male hermann's called George - this will be his 3rd hibernation with me as we adopted him in april 2013 and I need some help.


George sustained some superficial shell damage after a dog attack in may this year (immediate vet treatment was sought and he responded well) so in preparation for hibernation I took him back to the specialist reptile vet for reassurance - he said that his shell has healed well and he is in great health so can be hibernated.


I use the box method and monitor the temps meticulously - the temps are sustained between 4 to 9 degrees


In his 1st hibernation in 2013 he only lost 4g in weight in 19 weeks (318g down to 314g)

In his 2nd hibernation in 2014 he only lost 1 g in weight in 20 weeks (349g down to 348g)


I had planned to hibernate him for 20 weeks again - this is always so long as his weight is sustained, no sign of urination, and with weekly checks to monitor weight and health.


Due to shell damage I cannot get an accurate length measurement as the front of his shell was nibbled so he is a couple of mm shorter than he should be but his weight was 416g and I guestimated that he would have been 121 mm (he was 119 mm after hibernation in April this year) which puts him in the healthy range for hibernation.


So I'm ready to hibernate from early Nov using heat lamp to keep him going for a few more weeks - George has dug down 4 times now and I have had to dig him back up as it's too early but my concern is the vet's advice - he said that hibernation should only be for 12 weeks for a tort of this size/age and that he should only ever go up to 16 weeks once he is fully grown at around 15 years of age - the vet said it is very old fashioned advice to go for 20 weeks and we should keep them based on more recent scientific evidence (he keeps hermanns himself) so I have done some research myself and the tortoise trust have refreshed their advice and they are also saying 16 weeks on their website.


I wanted to get the views of other hermanns keepers before I make my final decision on how we proceed - so advice please if you can help